About This Certificate

The Parsons Academy Certificate is a noncredit program for students in grades 9 through 12 who plan to apply to art and design colleges. Our curriculum and culture help students create work that reflects and strengthens their ideas, skills, and understanding of technique.

Certificate students select a total of six courses, including foundation courses, electives, and a portfolio development course. Courses are available in the spring, summer, and fall. Create a timeline to certificate completion that is perfect for you and your schedule as a high school student.

What You'll Gain

  • Greater understanding of a variety of art and design disciplines 
  • Deepened skills and technical knowledge and expanded artistic abilities
  • Guidance and feedback from Parsons' renowned faculty
  • Opportunities to collaborate with fellow students
  • A certificate acknowledging the completion of all required courses

How You'll Learn

  • Specialized instruction from expert faculty
  • One-on-one critiques
  • Group and individual critiques

  • Two foundation courses: Choose from Fine Arts I: Drawing, Fine Arts II: Drawing and Painting, and Drawing and Painting (summer only)
  • Three elective courses (e.g., Graphic Design, Fashion Design, and Architecture)
  • Portfolio Development for students in grades 11 and 12

Fall and spring students can take one course on Saturday mornings each semester toward their certificate requirements.

Summer students have two options:

  • Summer Intensive Studies (SIS) pre-college courses meet five days a week for three weeks — either online, in New York, or in Paris — and offer undergraduate credit. A grade of B- or higher in any Summer Intensive Studies course also counts as three courses toward the requirements for a Parsons Academy certificate. Note: Students must be 16 years of age or older by the start date of the SIS program in order to participate in the program.
  • Parsons Academy classes meet five days a week for two weeks in early August. Classes taken in the academy's summer program can be counted as one foundation course and one discipline-specific course.

Students should submit the petition form below to request their certificate at the beginning of the semester during which they take their final required course. Certificates are issued three times a year: in January, June, and September.

Submit the Certificate Petition Form.

The success of individual Parsons Academy courses depends on students' attendance and motivation. Each student will enhance their sense of achievement by attending and actively participating in the program.

Students taking a course toward a certificate cannot miss more than two classes. Certificate students who miss class more than two times or fail to participate fully in class will fail the course and may be asked to leave the program.

Students are expected to be on time for every class. Student participation in class is essential, and arriving late is disruptive to the entire class.

If a student will be absent, please contact the office at academy@newschool.edu or inform the faculty by email.

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