Pratt Institute-Main Top Questions

What are the academics like at Pratt Institute-Main?

Ashley

If you want to pass your classes, say good bye to sleeping. Freshman year is your easiest year, but you won't have a social life if you're in the architecture or art/design schools. Get ready for 6 hour classes, teachers who will ask you if you have a learning disorder, and your roommates selling speed to help your fellow classmates survive mid terms and finals. If you manage to graduate on time (which a good number of students find that taking an extra year keeps them sane) you will either be handed a job immediately, or be sitting at your parents house, waiting for that phone call. All in all you will look back on your years at Pratt Institute, wishing you took advantage of the wonderful therapy programs the office of Health and Counseling offered you.

Harper

Class sizes here in general are small. My major's classes are tiny. Last semester I was in a 17-person class, which was considered large. Two of my classes are relatively large (about 40-60 people) lectures, but this tends to be uncommon. Most writing classes are extremely discussion-based. Class participation is not as common as I would like it to be, but professors tend to be pretty supportive of student discussions. Professors are for the most part easy to contact and willing to help you with your work. Work in the Writing Program is very self-directed, prompts tend to be very broad so you can make your work what you want it to be, as easy or as hard as you want. Unfortunately, curricular resources for liberal arts students are basically limited to professors, and as great as professors are, they are really not enough of a reason for you to choose a liberal arts major at an art school as opposed to a liberal arts college. The departmentalization of this school makes it nearly impossible for you to use many of the arts facilities on campus without paying additional fees or taking arts classes. The Writing Program itself is very new and is part of the school's liberal arts program, which is ghettoized and given very little attention outside of the two liberal arts majors, themselves given distinctly less attention than the art and design majors which are the school's bread and butter. Liberal arts electives outside of Writing and CritViz are laughably bad. Structurally, the program makes very little sense - though it is a great opportunity to network with fantastic visiting lecturers and internship opportunities, most of the classes I am taking could be consolidated into fewer classes or eliminated. Simply put, there is not enough content to really justify a narrow, career-driven Creative Writing program, even if some professors incorporate literature from other disciplines into their classes. If all you want to do is write or publish, and you wouldn't mind learning some other stuff on the side, and explore New York City, this place has the professors to allow you to grow tremendously as a poet or author. It is so structurally barebones and devoid of the opportunities possible at liberal arts colleges, however, that I cannot recommend it to the majority of people interested in Creative Writing. Think about it. An undergraduate education is the time to experiment, and there are several other liberal arts schools that offer strong Creative Writing majors without forcing you to pay thousands of dollars just to learn poetry or prose-writing. Pratt, structurally speaking, is not a good place for anyone to do much more than write creatively.

liz

Most of my professors know my name. Students study all the time. We are geeks, we study even on Fridays and Saturday nights. Classes are very small, so its better with class participation. Yes, we have gone to the bar and have talked about architecture. No one else understands what we are talking about either, which means we get even more lost into our architecture talk. Students are competitive. Thats what happens when you stay up all night, put your work up on a wall, and have other people critique it. Architecture is hard. You don't sleep and it makes no sense the first year. I've spent time with some professors outside of class and will run into others at school and talk with them for a while. Pratt doesnt really look towards getting a well rounded education. Its very much focused on your major. Pratt seems to be learning for learning sake, but the architecture students are perferred over other NYC architecture students by architecture firms.

Allie

The faculty is pretty excellent, there are some really well-known professors teaching. Some departments have better facilities than others, for example, the photo department (which is my major) could really use some sprucing up. It gives it charm though. The departments aren't too ridiculously huge, and speaking from experience, everyone knows everyone, kind of like a big family. That definitely makes the classes more interactive and people participate and we aren't freaked out to critique anyone. I also found that in classes I've taken outside my major, which is also great. The requirements are reasonable, although I was bummed about having to take Drawing, 3D and Light/Color/Design my first year (and one of those classes during my second) since I'm not the best at drawing--give me a break, I'm a photo major!--I think it really paid off. Everyone in the Art and Design department get the same first year foundation so we're all well-rounded in everything. Good going, Pratt! The education at Pratt is definitely both geared toward getting a job and learning for its own sake. Most of the professors want you to learn as much as possible and grow on your own, but they still want you to be able to pay your rent. At least this is what I learned in my Studio photography class with Sardi Klein, hands down the best class I've taken at Pratt so far. Not only did she teach us lighting "tricks" and how to make people look good, but she taught us really helpful things like how to shoot headshots, muscian promo shots, etc. And she taught us how to set up and take down everything so we can start out as assistants and make some easy money so we don't starve.

RAY

Great range of programs and facilities Much room for electives in many majors

Emily

The classes are really small, so Professors get to know you and you get to know them. The average freshman class size is about 20 people, and it gets smaller from then on as the majors split up, so you get lots of 1 on 1 attention. The teachers push you really hard, so don't bother if you tend to be a slacker. The general rule is that you get an hour of HW per hour of class, and I'm warning you now that you will have at least three 6-hour classes, plus three more 3-hour classes. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE OR YOU WILL KILL YOURSELF!! I personally think that this is a lot of work, but nobody asked if I cared. Students are pretty competitive, trying to show each other up by bringing in some amazing piece of homework.

Lauren

Most professors in the Fine Arts Department really get to know their students. However, you have to put in the effort to get to know them. Asking questions is probably the best way to develop a relationship with a professor. Showing them that you care about the class is also obviously a plus, if you put in the work they will notice you for it. The liberal arts classes need to be revamped. The amount of classes is crazy. I am taking eight classes right now, totalling 23 hours of class per week. This does not include homework time. To graduate on time (four years) you must take around 17-18 credits per semester, at least in the first two or three years.

Brett

Being an Advertising major you get to do a lot of different things that you wouldn't normally relate to advertising. My favorite class so far was actually Black Literature. Just because it's an art school doesn't mean our liberals suck. I think we have some of the best liberal programs. Taking classes besides design classes is just as important. well-rounded education is the name of the game. The students here are smart they know alot about alot. And they're not afraid to voice their oppinions. Intellectual conversation is common amongst us. Politics, religion, relationships all that jazz. Pratt deffinetely is geared towards getting you a job after graduation. I think there is a 97{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} employment rate after college. something like that. Either way, they are here to help get jobs. And after 4 years spent making ads for things like vinegar, pepto-bismol, martha stewart cookbooks and other such exciting products, they BETTER help get us jobs. We do a lot of fun projects also (music posters, book cover designs, animations, poems, blah blah blah) but sometimes, it's rough when you get assignments for mundane items. It really depends on the teachers you take as to what you get out of the class. I've had teachers that are really aimed at real world experience and teachers that are there to more inspire you and just learn something even if it's about yourself and not art. It's competitive here so watch out! but mostly we are all here to help eachother and it's nice. No one has yet to sabotage anyone elses work. that i know of...

Kathryn

The classes at Pratt are mostly great, you just have to look hard to find the good ones. The liberal arts here aren't very hard. If you pick the right teachers, you could go all four or five years with out ever reading a book. I don't suggest that, but by having easy liberal arts you are able to focus on your work. The teachers here are the key. They can help you land jobs, get you set up in the art world outside of school, and introduce you to some great opportunities. Become friends with your proffessors because that's the only way to get ahead outside of Pratt.

Casey

For graduation, we are required to have 2 semesters of English, 5 semesters of art history, 10 liberal arts elective credits, 16 studio arts elective credits, 6 social sciences/philosophy credits, and 6 math/science credits, in addition to our other required studio classes. That is a LOT of work. Intimidating as it sounds, there is room for it in your schedule. At first, all I could do was groan at the thought of these classes, but now, I think of them with relief...to an extent. Right now I am taking 8 classes. 6 of them are studio classes, and 2 are liberal arts classes. Next year I will be taking 3 liberal arts classes. If I had 8 studio classes, I would NEVER sleep again. The liberal classes, surprisingly, provide a break from the constant right brain. Though this still means a lot of work, when it comes to deadlines, liberal arts (though ALL Pratt students complain about them and are constantly talking about how much they hate them) have a beginning and an end. There's no critiquing, re-working, or gallery aspect. It's very black and white, and sometimes that's needed to break up all the color in our schedules. Stressful, yes; worth it in the end, totally.