Recent Updates: The New School has released its academic plan for 2020-21 and a phased reopening plan for its New York campus. Please check the Parsons Paris website for information about our Paris campus. Learn more.

  • Current Courses

      • Take the Next Step

        Contact Us

        General Admission Contact
        The New School for Social Research
        Office of Admission
        79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
        New York, NY 10003
        212.229.5600 or 800.523.5411

        Admissions Liaison
        Samuel Yelton

        Committee on Liberal Studies
        6 East 16th Street, room 711A
        New York, NY 10003
        Tel: 212.229.2747 x3026
        Fax: 212.229.5473 

        Mailing Address
        79 5th Avenue, room 711A
        New York, NY 10003

        Paul Kottman

        Senior Secretary
        Jeff Feld

        Student Advisor
        Silvana Alvarez Basto

        Liberal Studies Student Handbook


    • Courses in the Department of Liberal Studies survey modern society through groundbreaking thinkers and significant developments in the arts, social history, cultural theory, politics, and philosophy. Students will enhance their own ideas through nonfiction writing and criticism, improving the clarity of their thinking and analytical construction.

      Please consult the New School Course Catalog for a full list of courses. Fall 2020 courses include:

      • Cultural Criticism, GLIB 5112
        Melissa Monroe, Part-Time Assistant Professor 

        This course focuses on the elements that constitute a strong writing style and on how writers concerned with political and cultural issues use various structural and rhetorical techniques to entertain and outrage, provoke and inspire. We look closely at texts by a variety of cultural critics, including Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, W.E.B. DuBois, H.L. Mencken, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Jessica Mitford, Joan Didion, and Edward Said, focusing especially on the relation between form and content, analyzing why authors make the stylistic choices they do, and examining how these choices help determine readers' responses. We also put these lessons into practice: Students write several essays, and we often look at samples of student writing in class. This course is open to BA/MA students; please email the instructor for permission to register.

      • Trans Theory as Gender Theory, GLIB 5150
        McKenzie Wark, Professor of Culture and Media 

        Trans people have a unique relation to gender in that they have experienced being two (or more) genders, whereas most cis people have only ever been one. So what if we took the accounts and theories of gender created by trans people as central to thinking about the concept of gender in general rather than as a subtopic of feminist or queer theory referring only to a special case? We build on pioneering work in trans studies (Susan Stryker, Sandy Stone, Leslie Feinberg) as well as recent contributions (Paul Preciado, C. Riley Snorton) as ways of constructing alternative pathways into the research on gender and sexuality of more standard accounts (Eve Sedgewick, Judith Butler). It may turn out that some aspects of transgender experience and thought do not fit neatly in accepted conceptual frameworks. Besides reading theoretical texts, we look at examples of trans literature, art, and media that may transcend existing theoretical categories and call for novel concepts.

      • The Making of the Modern World, GLIB 5542
        Paul Kottman, Professor of Comparative Literature

        The course presents an interpretation and an evaluation of the fate of modernity as understood by some of the most influential thinkers of the past 250 years — and involving different currents in the arts, social history, cultural theory, politics, and philosophy. Modernity is understood here to entail such phenomena as the emergence of the nation-state, ambitious claims for the authority of reason in human affairs, the increasing authority of the natural sciences, the advent of a discourse of natural or human rights, aesthetic modernism, capitalism and the free market, globalization, and social movements that take up new demands of mutuality, from feminism to the labor movement. Each of these issues is addressed, through readings of works by Descartes, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Darwin, Nietzsche, de Beauvoir, Arendt, and others — along with a range of cultural products and social practices. Required core course for MA Liberal Studies students.

      • Cultures of Capitalism, GLIB 6324
        Benjamin Lee, Professor of Anthropology and Philosophy

        This course provides an introduction to the cultural dimensions of capitalism as viewed from the perspective of Marxism (Marx, David Harvey, and Moishe Postone), neoliberal theories of subjectivity (John Rawls and Robert Nozick), and affect theory (Bergson, Deleuze, Lauren Berlant, and Sian Ngai). The immediate backdrop is the election of Donald Trump in 2016, which infused contemporary politics with a sense of risk, uncertainty, and volatility. This complicated history goes back to the early 1970s, when changes in the global economy provided the backdrop for the development of derivative finance, postmodernism, and neoliberalism. We trace the way these changes interacted with the rise of the Internet and digital media, which have their technical roots in the exploration of randomness and information, leading to our present culture and politics of volatility.
  • Take The Next Step

Submit your application


To apply to any of our undergraduate programs (except the Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs) complete and submit the Common App online.

Undergraduate Adult Learners

To apply to any of our Bachelor's Program for Adults and Transfer Students and Parsons Associate of Applied Science programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.


To apply to any of our Master's, Doctoral, Professional Studies Diploma, and Graduate Certificate programs, complete and submit the New School Online Application.