About This Program

For Parsons’ inaugural pre-college program in China, the world-renowned art and design school will offer eleven-week courses taught in English for high school students based in Shanghai and Shenzhen. The course options include Fashion Design and Graphic Design.

Parsons faculty will lead live online instruction on weekend mornings, which will be supplemented with in-person group making sessions led by art and design mentors on weekend afternoons. 

Parsons faculty will provide real-time creative and technical design instruction, project guidance, and group and individual critiques. The art and design mentors will facilitate making sessions in a studio space, supporting students’ progress through the course content. In this hybrid format, students will realize their own design ideas, gain introductory skills, and create portfolio-building work.

This program facilitates learning through a hands-on, project-based curriculum. Students benefit from a direct connection to Parsons faculty, access to a studio space, and group making sessions with like-minded peers. This program will be brought to China by Parsons and its partner XNode.

Format: Hybrid Synchronous Online/Studio

What You'll Gain

  • An introduction to Parsons’ design methodology, including research, concept development, sketching and prototyping, iterative project development, and written reflection

  • Understanding of the creative process that artists and designers use to evolve and interpret original ideas

  • Instruction in effectively documenting work in analog and digital formats

  • Basic skills and technical knowledge and expanded artistic abilities

  • An understanding of an art/design studio practice by participating in a variety of activities including lectures, demos, and discussions; individual and collaborative exercises and projects; and self and peer critiques

  • Guidance and feedback from Parsons' renowned faculty

  • Experience in describing one’s work through verbal and written formats using art and design vocabulary 

  • Expert advice on developing portfolio content and applying to top art and design colleges abroad

  • Opportunities to collaborate with fellow students

How You'll Learn

  • Instruction in live online sessions taught by Parsons faculty
  • One-on-one and group critiques and feedback from expert faculty members
  • Small group in-person making sessions at a studio space led by art and design mentors

  • Community building through making sessions

The program features one non-credit pre-college class that introduces students to an area of art and design. The two class options are Fashion Design and Graphic Design.

The program will run from September 25 to December 11, with three hours of online creative programming each Saturday.

All courses are hybrid synchronous, with the online sessions taught by Parsons faculty on Saturdays from 9:00am to 11:50am China Standard Time.

For week three, the online class will meet on Sunday, October 10 due to the Chinese National Day holiday. The online class will not meet on November 27 due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

The group making sessions will take place on five Saturday afternoons: October 2, October 16, October 30, November 13, and December 4. Art and design mentors will lead small group sessions from 2:30pm to 3:30pm CST at a studio space. Students will then have an open making session in the studio space from 3:30pm to 5:30pm, where they can work on their projects. Students must be located in Shanghai or Shenzhen and have the ability to meet in-person for the five making sessions.

In addition to the online and making sessions, the program includes several virtual webinars featuring content to help students prepare for college admission. Webinars will be led by Parsons faculty and alumni, along with counselors from the Parsons Admissions team. All students will have the option to complete a one-on-one portfolio review with a Parsons admissions counselor, receiving individualized feedback on their work.

Students must demonstrate English language proficiency as classes are taught in English.

You may register for one course for the fall session from our website. Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Registrations are accepted in the order in which they are received. Early application is strongly encouraged.

Fall Pre-College Program in China (September 25 to December 11)

Registration Begins Tuition Fees Total
July 7 $4,500 $40 $4,540

Fashion Design, Ages 14-18

Design and visually communicate your original ideas for fashion in this design studio. An expert in the field of fashion guides you in developing and interpreting your research and concepts to the creation of drawings and presentations at an introductory level. You’ll explore a variety of making skills to interpret original ideas for fashion from 2D to 3D using traditional and non-traditional techniques and materials such as paper draping, material handcraft manipulations, and basic hand or machine sewn mockups. A sewing machine is not required. The creative process, trends, and careers are further explored in virtual field trips and visits by industry professionals.

Graphic Design, Ages 14-18

Learn the fundamentals of graphic design in this design studio. Graphic design is all around you -- on subway posters, websites, T-shirts, candy wrappers. It is the medium in which words and images combine to communicate messages effectively. In this class, students focus on learning analog and digital creative problem-solving techniques and the basics of graphic form and expressive typography. Assignments will offer students the opportunity for maximum creative input while challenging each individual to be innovative thinkers and successful problem solvers. All assignments are framed within the graphic design methodology of research, concept development, critique, analog and digital production methods, professional output, and presentation. This course requires access to an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (not included).

Course Drop or Withdrawal Date Percentage of Tuition Refunded
Before September 27 100
Before October 4 75
Before October 11 50
Before October 18 25
October 19 or Later 0

Attendance and Workload

Online classes convene once a week on Saturdays; students participate in the live three-hour sessions using video conferencing. On five Saturday afternoons, students participate in one in-person group tutoring session (one hour) at a studio classroom. After the group tutoring session, there will be an open studio session (two hours) in which students can work in the classroom, receive support from the tutors, and collaborate with peers.

Students can only miss two of the online sessions and one of the group tutoring sessions in order to successfully complete the program. Students are expected to complete assignments each week, and they can receive support for these during the group tutoring sessions.

The success of Parsons pre-college 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 the Parsons Academy Certificate cannot miss more than two online classes with the faculty. Certificate students who miss class more than two times or fail to participate fully in class or the group tutoring 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.

Courses are supplemented by special guest lectures, events with the Parsons Admission team, and portfolio reviews.

Language Requirement

Students must demonstrate English language proficiency, as classes are taught in English. Students who attend a high school in which English is the primary language of instruction can submit a transcript or a letter from a school administrator confirming the language of instruction.

Alternatively, students can submit a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 79 or higher on the Internet-based course, an IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.5 or higher, a PTE (Pearson Test of English) score of 53 or higher, or a DET (Duolingo English Test) score of 100 or higher. Visit TOEFL, IELTS, PTE, or DET for more information.

What You'll Need

  • A modern computer and mouse

  • Headphones, a microphone, and a webcam

  • A stable high-speed Internet connection

  • A digital camera (mobile device cameras are suitable)

  • Supplies on class list (estimated cost: $150 USD)

  • Some courses require access to Adobe Creative Cloud; please check the course description. To purchase a subscription, go to Adobe Creative Cloud for Students. 

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

The New School has authorized the National Student Clearinghouse to provide transcript ordering via the Web. During the pandemic, only official PDF copies of New School transcripts will be issued. Official PDF transcripts are free of charge.

After you request your transcript from the National Student Clearinghouse, your transcript will be mailed electronically to you or another recipient, such as a university, that you have designated. If you are sending your transcript to a college or university, make sure the school accepts electronic PDF transcripts as official, and keep in mind the following when ordering:

The transcript link for the requester has a 30-day time limit.

  • Once the transcript is downloaded, there's no expiration date.

  • Unlimited views are allowed.

  • Printing is allowed.

  • Copying is not allowed.

Please email globalpartner@newschool.edu to speak with a program representative in English or Chinese.

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