Parsons School of Design - Fashionista

Parsons School of Design

Donna Karan and Rihanna at the 69th annual Parsons benefit. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The New School

Donna Karan and Rihanna at the 69th annual Parsons benefit. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for The New School

Location: New York, New York, USA

Programs: Undergraduate: Fashion Design, Strategic Design and Management. Graduate: Fashion Studies, Fashion Design and Society.

Annual Tuition: Undergraduate: $46,820. Graduate: $48,020.

Famous Alumni: Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander Wang, Isaac Mizrahi, Bill Blass, Claire McCardell, Anna Sui, Jason Wu, Jenna Lyons, Jack McCollough, Lazaro Hernandez, Prabal Gurung, Chris Benz, Steven Meisel, Thakoon Panichgul, Peter Som, Carmen Marc Valvo, Zac Posen, Behnaz Serafpour, Doo Ri Chung, Tracy Reese, Sophie Buhai, Lisa Mayock, Flora Gill, Alexa Adams.

What the Students Say:

"If you don't know what you want to do, or which path to take, (or if you do) the New School is perfect. For no extra cost in tuition, you can take classes from ANY of the other majors and choose from copious amount of electives."

"It speaks about more than fashion, it approaches the world from a design perspective and encourages and teaches design thinking. That may not be for everyone, but I personally think that this is why I would choose Parsons over any other university."

"Parsons is not the school for a traditionalist; you are constantly forced to think and subsequently create in an unconventional manner. If you take advantage of your four years at Parsons, you will learn as much from your peers as you will from your professors."

"Really like my school. However, I feel a disconnect with the professors. Not very personal."

"Best for name and internship opportunities."

The Bottom Line: 

Parsons is a fashion design powerhouse, and the school has turned out tons of marquee talent. Its New York City location is a major draw as well: students are able to not only take internships during the summers, but during semesters, too (if they have the time). Some will even intern with one brand for two or three years. What’s more, the school has partnered with many retailers and corporations like LVMH and Kering; it works with the latter on a huge initiative to make fashion more sustainable. Parsons has also been the quickest among fashion schools to devote significant resources to sustainability, working to incorporate it throughout the fashion design program. No other university in the U.S. has as much access or prestige. That said, it will cost you.

More Info:

The Top 10 Fashion Schools in the U.S. in 2017: See the full list.