|Motto||To the Living Spirit|
|Type||Private research university|
|Endowment||$393.5 million (2020)|
|President||Dwight A. McBride|
|Provost||Renée T. White|
|2,857 (continuing education)|
|Colors||White, Black, Parsons Red|
|Unaffiliated, compete against NCAA Division III schools|
|Mascot||Gnarls the Narwhal|
The New School is a private research university in New York City. It was founded in 1919 as The New School for Social Research with an original mission dedicated to academic freedom and intellectual inquiry and a home for progressive thinkers. Since then, the school has grown to house five divisions within the university. These include the Parsons School of Design, the Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, the College of Performing Arts (which itself consists of the Mannes School of Music, the School of Drama, and the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music), The New School for Social Research, and the Schools of Public Engagement.
In addition, the university maintains the Parsons Paris campus and has also launched or housed a range of institutions, such as the international research institute World Policy Institute, the Philip Glass Institute, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, the India China Institute, the Observatory on Latin America, and the Center for New York City Affairs. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity". Approximately 10,000 students are enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate programs and disciplines including design, social sciences, music, liberal arts, humanities, architecture, fine arts, design, drama, finance, psychology, and public policy.
Its faculty and alumni include numerous notable businesspeople, political figures, fashion designers, journalists, musicians, and artists. Notable students and alumni who have achieved prominence in political and business fields include economist Heather Boushey, a member of President Joe Biden's Council of Economic Advisers; Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook; Douglas Cliggott, former chief investment strategist for JPMorgan Chase; entrepreneur Stewart Krentzman, formerly an executive at Oki Electric Industry; former President of Israel Shimon Peres; and former Brazilian Minister of Finance Nelson Barbosa. In the arts, notable alumni include the artist-activist Harry Belafonte; fashion designers Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and Donna Karan; actors Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Rod Steiger, Bea Arthur, and Bradley Cooper; jazz pianist Bill Evans; trumpeter/composer Roy Hargrove; pianist/composer Robert Glasper; songwriter Burt Bacharach; soprano Frederica von Stade; playwright Lorraine Hansberry; composer John Cage; and artists Norman Rockwell, Ai Weiwei, Jasper Johns and Julie Umerle.
From its founding in 1919 by progressive New York educators, largely former Columbia University faculty that objected to a mandatory loyalty oath, and for most of its history, the university was known as The New School for Social Research. Between 1997 and 2005 it was known as New School University. The university and each of its colleges were renamed in 2005.
The New School established the University in Exile and the École libre des hautes études in 1933 as a graduate division to serve as an academic haven for scholars escaping from Nazi Germany among other adversarial regimes in Europe. In 1934, the University in Exile was chartered by New York State and its name was changed to the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science. In 2005, it adopted what had initially been the name of the whole institution, the New School for Social Research, while the larger institution was renamed The New School.
The New School for Social Research was founded by a group of university professors and intellectuals in 1919 as a modern, progressive, free school where adult students could "seek an unbiased understanding of the existing order, its genesis, growth and present working". Founders included economist and literary scholar Alvin Johnson, historians Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, economist Thorstein Veblen, and philosophers Horace M. Kallen and John Dewey. Several founders were former professors at Columbia University.
In October 1917, after Columbia University imposed a loyalty oath to the United States upon the entire faculty and student body, it fired several professors. Charles A. Beard, Professor of Political Science, resigned his professorship at Columbia in protest. His colleague James Harvey Robinson resigned in 1919 to join the faculty at the New School.
The New School plan was to offer the rigorousness of postgraduate education without degree matriculation or degree prerequisites. It was theoretically open to anyone, as the adult division today called Schools of Public Engagement remains. The first classes at the New School took the form of lectures followed by discussions, for larger groups, or as smaller conferences, for "those equipped for specific research". In the first semester, 100 courses, mostly in economics and politics, were offered by an ad hoc faculty that included Thomas Sewall Adams, Charles A. Beard, Horace M. Kallen, Harold Laski, Wesley Clair Mitchell, Thorstein Veblen, James Harvey Robinson, Graham Wallas, Charles B. Davenport, Elsie Clews Parsons, and Roscoe Pound. Only after did the New School begin to offer degrees in line with the traditional university model. John Cage later pioneered the subject of Experimental Composition at the school.
The New School uses "To the Living Spirit" as its motto. In 1937, Thomas Mann remarked that a plaque bearing the inscription "be the Living Spirit" had been torn down by the Nazis from a building at the University of Heidelberg. He suggested that the University in Exile adopt that inscription as its motto, to indicate that the 'living spirit,' mortally threatened in Europe, would have a home in this country. Alvin Johnson adopted that idea, and the motto continues to guide the division in its present-day endeavors.
The Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science was founded in 1933 as the University in Exile for scholars who had been dismissed from teaching positions by the Italian fascists under Mussolini or had to flee Hitler's Nazi Germany. The University in Exile was initially founded by the director of the New School, Alvin Johnson, through the financial contributions of Hiram Halle and the Rockefeller Foundation. The University in Exile and its subsequent incarnations have been the intellectual heart of the New School. Notable scholars associated with the University in Exile include psychologists Erich Fromm, Max Wertheimer and Aron Gurwitsch, political theorists Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss, and philosopher Hans Jonas.
In 1934, the University in Exile was chartered by New York State and its name was changed to the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science. In 2005, the Graduate Faculty was again renamed, this time taking the original name of the university, The New School for Social Research.
In 2018, the New University in Exile Consortium was formed. The consortium is a group of multiple colleges and universities around the world which host at least one exiled scholar per year, aiding them in academic pursuits as well as providing personal support with respect to their exile. Following its establishment, the Consortium has helped host scholars from Afghanistan and Ukraine following the fall of the democratic Afghan government in 2021 and the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The New School played a similar role with the founding of the École Libre des Hautes Études after the Nazi invasion of France. Receiving a charter from de Gaulle's Free French government in exile, the École attracted refugee scholars who taught in French, including philosopher Jacques Maritain, anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, and linguist Roman Jakobson. The École Libre gradually evolved into one of the leading institutions of research in Paris, the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, with which the New School maintains close ties.
Between 1940 and 1949, The New School included the "Dramatic Workshop," a groundbreaking theater education program and predecessor of School of Drama that was founded by German emigrant theatre director Erwin Piscator. Important acting teachers during this period were Stella Adler and Elia Kazan. Among the famous students of the Dramatic Workshop were Beatrice Arthur, Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Ben Gazzara, Michael V. Gazzo, Rod Steiger, Elaine Stritch, Shelley Winters and Tennessee Williams.
I attended The New School for Social Research for only a year, but what a year it was. The school and New York itself had become a sanctuary for hundreds of extraordinary European Jews who had fled Germany and other countries before and during World War II, and they were enriching the city's intellectual life with an intensity that has probably never been equaled anywhere during a comparable period of time.
The New School is divided into autonomous colleges called "divisions". Each one is led by a dean and has its own scholarships, standards of admission, and acceptance rates.
|College||Founded||Schools or Divisions|
|The New School for Social Research||1919|
|College of Performing Arts||1916|
|Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts||1978|
|Parsons School of Design||1896|
|Schools of Public Engagement||1919|
|The New School for General Studies||1919–2011||Now part of The New School for Public Engagement|
|Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy||1964–2011|
|Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design||1978-1991|
|The Actors Studio Drama School||1994–2005|
|Mannes School of Music||1916-||Now part of College of Performing Arts|
|School of Jazz||1987–|
|School of Drama||2005–|
In June 2005, the university was rebranded with a new logo and all schools were officially renamed to include "The New School" within their formal names.
Some faculty, students, and alumni expressed concern over the rebranding of the university, and especially the dramatic redesign of the logo from a six-sided shield against a green background to a spray-painted graffiti mark reading simply, in capital letters, "THE NEW SCHOOL" with, in smaller letters beneath, "A UNIVERSITY". They claimed that the university's new identity campaign, while maintaining a slick urban edge, did little to suggest academic rigor or collegiate legacy.
In 2015 the New School rebranded using elements designed by Paula Scher of Pentagram using a bespoke font called "Neue".
In addition to the new logo, the school announced that it was combining Mannes College of Music, New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and New School for Drama into a College of Performing Arts in fall 2015, relocating most of the performing arts to Arnhold Hall at 55 West 13th St., where the School of Jazz had occupied two floors since the early 90s.
|THE / WSJ||310|
|U.S. News & World Report||133|
USNWR graduate school rankings
Unlike most U.S. universities, The New School's Lang College has a "student-directed curriculum," which does not require its undergraduates to take general education courses. Instead, students are encouraged to explore before focusing on a major, selecting topics that are of interest to them. An exception to this is in the performing arts, where students must declare majors at enrollment. Although all "New Schoolers" are required to complete rigorous core training—usually of a literary, conservatory, or artistic nature—students are expected to be the primary designers of their own curriculum.
The university offers 81 degree/diploma programs and majors, with a student:faculty ratio of 9:1. Small class sizes allow The New School to teach most of its classes seminar style—especially at Eugene Lang College, which consistently ranks at the top of The Princeton Review's "class discussions encouraged" national listing.
The university offers a range of dual degree programs. These include a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts (colloquially called the "BA/FA pathway") program or a Bachelor of Arts and master's program. The former is a comprehensive five-year program that allows students to obtain their B.A. from Eugene Lang College and their B.F.A. from either Parsons or School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. The latter is also a five-year program that allows students at Eugene Lang to obtain their masters from the New School For Social Research. The university also offers a Master of Arts Management and Entrepreneurship program, which can be obtained along with either a Bachelor of Music (Mannes) or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (drama or jazz) in five-years.
Various institutes and research centers at The New School focus on specific fields of study:
The New School's College of Performing Arts is home to the influential experimental music venue, The Stone, offering 240 concerts a year.
Thirty-three percent of New School students are international, with 112 foreign countries being represented at the university. U.S. students come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Forty-three percent of them are people of color, and 5% of American students identify as more than one race. Of the entire student population, 63% receive financial aid, and 17% study abroad before graduating.
The New School's campus is centered on the area immediately south of Union Square in New York's Greenwich Village. Exceptions are some dormitories and other administrative buildings that are located in Chelsea, Stuyvesant Park, and the College of Performing Arts in the West Village.
|Building name||Address||Division / Purpose|
|20th Street Residence||300 west 29th Street||Dormitory|
|39 W 13th St||39 W 13th St||Various|
|Administrative Offices||80 Fifth Avenue
71 Fifth Avenue
|Albert and Vera List Academic Center||6 East 16th Street||New School for Social Research|
|Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall||66 West 12th Street||Schools of Public Engagement|
Offices of President and Provost
|Arnhold Hall||55 West 13th Street||College of Performing Arts|
|Eugene Lang College||65 West 11th Street||Eugene Lang College|
|Eugene Lang College Annex||64 West 11th Street||Eugene Lang College|
|Fanton Hall||72 Fifth Avenue||Welcome center, Registrar|
|Loeb Hall||135 East 12th Street||Dormitory|
|Parsons East||25 East 13th Street||Parsons School of Design|
|School of Drama||151 Bank Street||College of Performing Arts|
|Sheila C. Johnson Design Center||66-68 Fifth Avenue
2 West 13th Street
|Parsons School of Design|
|Stuyvesant Park||318 East 15th Street||Dormitory|
|University Center||63 Fifth Avenue||All divisions|
Main article: University Center (The New School)
The New School opened the 16-story University Center ("UC") at 65 5th Avenue in January 2014.
While the 65 Fifth Avenue plans were initially controversial among students and Village residents (spurring in 2009 a major student occupation that was held at The New School's previous building on that site), plans for the University Center were adjusted in response to community concerns and have since been well received. In a review of the University Center's final design, The New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff called the building "a celebration of the cosmopolitan city".
The UC serves as a central hub for all university students. The tower, which was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill's Roger Duffy, is the biggest capital project the university has ever undertaken. The building added classrooms, new residences, computer labs, event facilities, and a cafeteria to the downtown New York City campus in addition to a library, and lecture hall.
Several of the university buildings are New York City designated landmarks. Among these is the egg-shaped Tishman Auditorium, an interior landmark. It was designed by architect Joseph Urban, along with the entirety of The New School's 66 West 12th Street building, the last major project Urban designed. Thousands of writer's forums, author visits, political debates, award ceremonies, academic lectures, performances, and public hearings are held for both the academic community and general public throughout the year in Tishman.
Newer buildings have garnered a multitude of awards. Among these is The Sheila Johnson Design Center, which attracted media attention for its revolutionary design. In 2009, it won the Society for College and University Planning's Excellence in Architecture Renovation/Adaptive Reuse Award. In addition to being a Parsons core academic building, the center also serves as a public art gallery. The New School Welcome Center, located on 13th Street and Fifth Avenue, won the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter's Interiors Merit Award in 2010. In October 2019, the university celebrated its centennial with The Festival of New. 
The New School currently maintains three library locations and its Archives & Special Collections in New York City and is a member of the Research Library Association of South Manhattan. In 2009, its libraries counted a total of 1,906,046 holdings.
In 1931 the New School commissioned two mural cycles: José Clemente Orozco's "A Call for Revolution" and "Universal Brotherhood" and Thomas Hart Benton's epic America Today. The New School Art Collection was established in 1960 with a grant from the Albert A. List Foundation. The collection, now grown to approximately 1,800 postwar and contemporary works of art, includes examples in almost all media. Parts of it are exhibited throughout the campus. Notable artists such as Andy Warhol, Kara Walker, Richard Serra, and Sol LeWitt all have pieces displayed in New School's academic buildings.
The New School publishes the following journals:
The New School houses over 50 recognized student organizations, most of which are geared towards artistic endeavors or civic engagement. Notable among these are The Theatre Collective, which stages numerous dramatic productions throughout the year, Narwhals on Broadway, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), the New School Debate Team (intercollegiate competition in Policy/Cross Examination style debate), ReNew School (sustainability and environmental advocacy group) Moxie (feminist alliance), the New Urban Grilling Society (NUGS), and The Radical Student Union (RSU).
Former Athletics and Recreation Director Diane Yee joined The New School in August 2012. On October 25, 2012, a school-wide election was held to select a mascot, where The New School Narwhals were born. On January 25, 2013, the athletics logo was launched, designed by Parsons’ student Matthew Wolff (Graphic Design '14).
The department began in December 2008 under its original name Recreation and Intramural sports. The initial director, Michael McQuarrie, held the position for four years. He built a relationship with the McBurney YMCA where intramurals continue to be held on Wednesday nights and created the ongoing New School Olympics and charitable 5K Turkey Trot.
The Narwhals feature several intercollegiate teams: basketball (2009), cross country (2010), cycling (2013), soccer (2013), tennis (2014), ultimate Frisbee (2014). The New School Narwhals are an independent school, unaffiliated with the NCAA, but regularly compete against NCAA Division III schools.
Basketball – competes regularly against Cooper Union, Culinary Institute of America, Pratt Institute, and Vaughn College
Cross Country – competes in CUNYAC and HVIAC conference invitationals as an unaffiliated school
Cycling – a member of the Eastern Collegiate Cycling Conference
Soccer – competes against Cooper Union, Culinary Institute of America, St. Joseph's College, and Vaughn College
In addition to sports, the recreation department offers a myriad of free fitness classes to its community including boxing, dance, HIIT, Pilates, tai chi, yoga, and Zumba. Personal training is also offered at an affordable rate ranging from $16.50 to $40 per session.
Outdoor Adventure trips are offered several times/week and what started to be wilderness in nature (camping, hiking, rafting) has expanded to include excursions such as archery, biking, horseback riding, skiing/snowboarding, surfing, rock climbing and trapeze.
Yee has increased programming to include a second charitable race that takes place annually in April called the 5K Rabbit Run. She has also started the Urban Hunt (a scavenger hunt around campus and the Village) and Club New (a dance party for first-year students the weekend before first day of classes).
Main article: List of New School people
According to the university, The New School has a living alumni pool of over 56,000 and graduates live in 112 countries.
Main article: List of New School people § Alumni
Main article: List of New School people § Faculty
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