I think what makes The New School different are the classes, the professors and the curriculum. The professors are not your standard professor...even in some of the more academic like classes like Psych courses. Each professor I have encountered has been extremely engaging, interesting and totally "out-of-the-box". They are really excited by what they are teaching and are genuinely conscious of the student...where they are at and what they are getting out of the class. I had a Liberal Arts Jazz and American History class. I thought it was going to be a totally long lecture class. It is a subject I enjoy so I didn't mind. The course prove to be so much more. The professor was a professional jazz musician who brought the history to life with live musicians to illustrate the music of the various periods. This was a treat I didn't expect! Yes there were papers to write and text to read but the assignments were so fascinating that they were not a chore at all. The courses are not your standard 101 types but ones that expand your curiosity, challenge you to look inside and challenge yourself. No matter how much a course is suppose to be a lecture, there is always a lively discussion involved. Students here study hard but everyone is so into what they are doing it really doesn't seem like a chore. The teachers and students have such a rapport that they just seem to blend outside the classroom. It isn't uncommon to see a student and teacher in a discussion of one sort or another walking along...be it about the course or the best place to get something to eat. As a non-traditional student finishing my BS with an MA option, I have found that being able to design my curriculum was perfect. I had never been able to find any one school which could bring together all that I wanted to do into my degree. This school did. In general, you are not locked into a stereotypical course formula. In fact you are encouraged to stretch the boundaries and do more...and most students that I have met have. I feel that though my degree was designed with getting a job in mind, none of my courses have been taught to just do that. Instead they have each encouraged me to reach outside the course curriculum and learn more just for the sake of learning something new or interesting.
Academics at the New School are very unique. It is not a traditional university where students sit at the end of the classroom without participating. Students at the Newschool are encouraged for debate discussion and encourages to ask questions. The classroom is within seminar style instead of big lecture room. The typical classroom size can range from 5-30 students. It is not like a traditional school where you have a huge core curriculum for your undergrad studies, instead you only have to take 2 writing classes, 2 University lectures, one freshman seminar and two NYC classes. Students are encouraged to explore different topics within different academics. The newschool is one of the bests schools out there for psychology. There are many fields to choose from, you can focus on neuropsychology, general psychology, or even into NCAT program (Creative Arts Therapy certificate program). The NCAT program was founded by Louise Montello, music therapist and psychoanalyst at NYU. You can choose a track from music therapy track, dance therapy track, drama therapy track. Students who are interested in a creative therapy field should apply for this program as well. Along with your BA, you can get a certificate within the field. For your senior year, you can do a research collaboration project and thesis with a staff from the department. You only need about 13 classes to graduate for the psychology major. The professors are very close with the students are very accessible. They email very quickly and answer all your questions. Interesting psychology courses include psychology of women, psychology of homosexuality, psychology of politics etc. After you graduate, you are very likely to get a job within NYC.
Lang boasts both talented and intelligent instructors and an extensive course catalogue. You can take courses with such variety as the Culture/Media class "Love and Other Technologies" or stick to the classics like "Dante" and "Ulysses." As a Culture & Media major and Fiction Writing minor, I was mostly enrolled in seminar classes of 15-20 people which revolved around out-of-class reading and in-class discussion. The classes generally had diverse reading selections and broadened my horizons intellectually, and I enjoyed a seminar atmosphere much more than the few lecture courses I took. I was never intrinsically disappointed with the courseload I had for the semester, everything from the material covered to the professor was always excellent. The workload, however, was often heavier on absorption than production, and seminar discussions could be marred by one or two students who either didn't do the reading or didn't contribute anything positive to the class (though the latter problem can really happen at any school). I would often go through scores of pages of reading that were poorly proportioned (200 pages between Monday and Wednesday, 50 between Wednesday and Monday) only to write one final paper that was almost always twelve pages or less. The grading system was also easier than I feel it should have been, especially since there wasn't always a lot of work to grade. I still can't emphasize enough how much I liked the variety of courses offered at Lang and how good the professors were at conveying the material, and excellent discussions were had both in and out of classes with my peers.
The classes are very small 17 students per class, some classes are 10 students per class, like shoe design so the professor will know your name, in class and after class. Since the classes are so small you can't hide in class so everyone has to participate, and you have to present and talk a lot in class. Parsons is a very hard school to get into , so your peers are the best of the best so it's very competitive, you not to the point where students are tying to hide their work because they think someone is going to steal their ideas. Students here have competitive spirits, where they like to talk to their peers and bounce back and fourth creative ideas with each other. Parsons prepares you for the outside world. Professors don't sugar coat anything, and they tell you the truth about your work, and grade harshly. This only makes you a better student because it pushes you to work harder, this is why most graduates land a job instantly after they graduate in the fashion industry.
The academics purely depend on which division you are enrolled at in the New School. However all the courses provided are very flexible allowing you to take electives and liberal arts courses outside your major. For example my major is design technology and i've been able to take courses within the illustration and film major, and also other liberal arts courses such as online classes at the Eugene Lang school for Liberal Arts. (Another division at the New School) Most of the professors are currently in the working field and have lots of experience and are great with providing resources, guidance and even job opportunities. Usual classes meet once or twice a week and last for about two and a half hours. The class discussions are often very engaging and consist of students from various different majors and backgrounds which is exciting.
Our class sizes don't go above 25 unless it's a lecture, and all lectures have smaller recitation classes. Classes are very felxible in that everyone is encouraged to participate and share their own opinion. I like this because I gain the knowledge of 25 brains, rather than just 1. I am majoring in Design and Management, which will earn me a business degree. The program at my school, however, allows me to learn about business and how it pertains the fashion world. I also get to take design classes. All the facilities at the school are up to date and impressive. We are also required to do an internship which I think is really good becasue it opens up many door and provides us with more opportunities outside the classroom.
Professors are quick in remember knows. My favorite class is Quantitative Reasoning class because my teacher is very friendly and also the way she teaches is very systematic and clear. Questions are very well explained. Class participants tend to be very common too. The most unique class I have took so far is Global Issues. Who knew there was so many global issues out there to consider. Yet I did not realize that till i took this class. The New School tends to geared its education towards getting a job. Every year there will be an internship fair helping those students whom want to look for a job.
Academics at The New School are unlike any other. My major is Design and Management, I get to do business and design all at once. My major is the only one of it's kind for undergrads in New York State. I wouldn't change my decision if someone paid me to. Though it is a lot of hard work, and participation counts a lot, it's never hard for me to find motivation. I have yet to take a boring class, and all of my professors are working professionals who have so much insight and connections to help me further along in my career.
The education at Parsons is geared toward getting a job because your gaining skills at the same time as building up your portfolio and getting jobs and internships. The professors work very hard to familiarize themselves with their students and learn each students way of learning when it comes to design classes. Class participation is a very important part of Parsons academics classes. Critiques constantly occur as well as group work.
Academics at the New School is very competitive, stimulating, the classes are small in comparison to larger institutions (17:1 ration with the professor) which I confidently prefer and learning is face paced.