School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
The mission of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS) is to enable students to explore areas of knowledge and to reflect critically and creatively on aesthetic forms and on intellectual and cultural practices. Students conduct research, substantiate arguments, and communicate in the broadest possible socio-historical, literary, and scientific contexts. The school’s primary goal is for students to make continuing contributions as critical thinkers and creative professionals.
SLAS plays two major roles in the undergraduate curriculum. First, it provides a well-rounded education for students in the professional programs, offering a general education curriculum in humanities and media studies, mathematics and science, social science, and cultural studies. With both depth and breadth unequaled by other colleges of art and design, SLAS also offers a suite of minors to complement the professional degrees: Cinema Studies, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, History of Art and Design, Literature and Writing, Media Studies, Performance and Performance Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, and Sustainability.
Second, the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers three undergraduate degrees: the BA in Critical and Visual Studies, the BFA in Writing, and the BFA in the History of Art and Design. The Critical and Visual Studies program is for the curious and imaginative student who wants to pursue studies in the liberal arts and sciences while immersed in Pratt’s unique environment of creative openness and intellectual experimentation. At the core of the program is the understanding that the integration of theory, method, and experience is crucial to learning. Here, every aspect of social life—from street art to political systems, from international media to the global economy—is a potential subject of study. The program provides a unique interdisciplinary framework within which our students explore the liberal arts through the study of the artistic, social, and political meanings of cultural and aesthetic production.
The chief goal of the undergraduate writing degree is the graduation of creative writers who are well-versed in literature, literary theory, and other modes of critical thinking. At the center of the curriculum are creative writing studios in which a range of forms are explored. The studios are complemented by core courses that focus on essential, but too often neglected, aspects of the literary arts—word choice, grammar, logic, exposition, and critical thought. The location of the program in New York City is taken full advantage of, primarily in Writer’s Forum, a course that invites writers, editors, and literary agents to campus to address the writing majors, and the Internship Program, in which students can select from an array of internships, from St. Mark’s Poetry Project to Saturday Night Live.
The undergraduate degree in the History of Art and Design offers students the chance to study on a campus that attracts leading artists. Students have the opportunity to study 17th-century frescoes in Venice, 19th-century Dogon figures in the conservation laboratory at the Brooklyn Museum, and 21st-century performance art as curatorial interns at the Guggenheim Museum. History of Art and Design students bring a wide array of experiences and backgrounds to their studies and graduate the program with new knowledge, experience, and a professional network to inform and support their careers for many years.
Pratt provides a well-rounded education in the liberal arts that encompasses humanities and media studies, mathematics and science, and social science and cultural studies. In addition, the Institute supports international students in gaining the English language skills they need to pursue their education and to interact as vital members of the community.
Resources in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Laboratories and Computer Facilities
The science laboratories (chemistry, physics, biology), located in the Activities Resource Center, are interdisciplinary research facilities. Sophisticated instruments and equipment are available, and undergraduates are encouraged to use them under faculty supervision. Computer facilities are available for use by all students of the Institute. Specialized facilities are employed in the sciences.
Writing and Tutorial Center
The Writing and Tutorial Center provides free tutoring for all Pratt students in English, math, physics, art history, thesis preparation, and other academic areas. Special assistance is provided for students for whom English is a second language. Small-group and regularly scheduled one-to-one conversation sessions are also offered.
The Writing and Tutorial Center staff consists of a director, faculty and staff tutors, and trained student peer tutors. The director coordinates scheduling and appointments in all areas. Any faculty member, staff member, or adviser may recommend students who need assistance.
The Writing and Tutorial Center is located in North Hall 101. Appointments can be made by phone, Skype IM, or in person.
Assistant to the Dean