The New School



American professors and philosophers, including John Dewey, founded the New School University



Anti-fascist and anti-Nazi scholars and professors found a home at The New School University



Parsons School of Design became part of The New School University



Manhattan’s Mannes College of Music became a division of The New School University



The New School University officially changed its name to The New School

University in Exile

The New School: New York: Refuge for the Voice of Dissent


The New School has a reputation for progressive ideas and a reputation as a refuge for the voice of dissent. In anticipation of it’s 100 Anniversary in 2017, the school has begun a website to collect its unique history. Like other 100-year- old-institutions, there are many chapters to the story, but here a few highlights.


Freedom of Speech Trampled at Columbia University

A group of American professors and intellectuals, including John Dewey, founded The New School as a place for modern, progressive thinkers. A number of Columbia professors were part of the founding group after Columbia University required them to sign a loyalty oath to the U.S. during WW1 and even fired some it’s professors for opposing the war.

The New School plan was to offer the rigor of a graduate education without prerequisites or enrolling in a degree program. It was theoretically open to anyone. Today the college still has one program of this nature where all can extend their knowledge without working towards a degree.


Anti-Fascist and Anti-Nazi European Professors

The defining moment at the college came along a decade later. In 1933 anti-fascist and anti-Nazi scholars and professors from Europe found a home in the “University of Exile” at The New School of Social Research. Many consider the “University of Exile” as the intellectual soul of The New School. It brought together the unique combination of American leftist thinking with European continental philosophy; the latter is not commonly taught in U.S. universities and colleges.


The New School Redefines Itself with a New Fifth Avenue Building

The New School recently built an impressive new urban building named The New School University Center located at 14th Street and Fifth Avenue. The bold and urban look of the building meshes well with the image of the progressive school.


Reputation for the Avante-garde

Today The New School is distinguished by its “student-directed curriculum.” Students are encouraged to explore before focusing on a major. While there is rigorous core training, students are also expected to design their own individualized and eclectic program. The highly experimental and avant-garde class offerings include: “Heterodox Identities,” “Games 101,” “NYC: Graphic Gotham,” “Punk & Noise,” “Masculinity in Asia,” “Queer Culture,” and “Play and Toil in the Digital Sweatshop.”


Did You Know?

  • Almost a third of the student body is international – the highest number of any U.S. university.
  • Notable alumni include, Bradley Cooper, Marc Jacobs, and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
  • The Parsons School of Design has been named #1 best college of art and design in the U.S.



The New School History Project

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