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The 36-credit Master of Arts in Theories of Urban Practice program offers an innovative path for students interested in the critical study of design practices in the context of cities, urban space, and urban ecosystems. The program focuses on design-driven spatial and ecological innovation in relation to social justice, inclusion, and co-production of urban space. 

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Transforming Cities

The MA Theories of Urban Practice program is for students who wish to pursue advanced studies in urbanism or careers as urban researchers, designers, teachers, design critics, policy advisors, and leaders of nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and private design and development firms. Students explore design as a vehicle and a catalyst for bringing together government agencies, community-based groups, civic associations, and the nonprofit and private sectors in co-creating and transforming urban and ecological networks. They devise progressive collaboration techniques to empower communities developing socially and ecologically sustainable urban systems including food production and distribution, housing, green spaces, and educational infrastructure.

New Approaches to Urbanism

Recent master’s theses range from a graphic memoir of a Kuwaiti oil town, created to include populations left out of official histories, to a curriculum that engages secondary students in city revitalization through neighborhood-based experiential learning to an interactive exhibition employing interview-based research to promote broader notions of urban diversity.

Resources for Integrative Research

The program is housed in Parsons’ School of Design Strategies, an educational environment that fosters innovative thinking about and experimentation with the design of cities, services, and ecosystems. Accordingly, they can take a project-based studio in Parsons’ MS in Design and Urban Ecologies program, and have opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary projects offered throughout the university. Parsons is part of The New School, a pioneering university located in the heart of New York City that offers some of the nation’s best-respected programs in design, social sciences, liberal arts, performing arts, and management and policy.

Future Opportunities

Graduates pursue careers in urban design, city planning, government administration, nonprofit management, collaborative urbanism, teaching, research, and social enterprise. The program also prepares students to pursue doctoral studies at top universities around the world

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Visit the Theories of Urban Practice page on the The New School website for more details!

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