Undergraduate Communications Design

Undergraduate Communications Design

The Communications Design (ComD) major at Pratt is the only program in the country that recognizes and embodies the convergence and integration of Illustration, Advertising, and Graphic Design as the primary forces for the visual expression of ideas. Words, images, strategies, motion, and sound—whether on a page, wall, television, laptop, or phone—are the tools you need to communicate a message across all platforms. In ComD we teach our students how to craft the strongest and most impactful communications possible by being creative problem solvers and elegant image-makers. Take a moment to view our current curriculum for these programs.

Thanks to our industry-leading faculty—some seasoned, and some exciting new talents—our students present their work to the designers and art directors that will be hiring them when they graduate, and have access to even greater opportunities through internships within the diverse networks those faculty represent. Students from our program are able to chart their own path with choices from over 40 electives, representing courses that focus on creating content, business, entrepreneurial projects, information design, social media, design thinking, and audio branding. They acquire the skills needed to realize their visions, whether it be within a corporate structure or starting their own practice.

The undergraduate ComD department is a multi-disciplinary studio where students from each area of concentration engage and challenge each other, developing their own approaches to a variety of solutions. Their career paths are many and varied with success and fulfillment as the common denominator. If your goal is to develop your own creative voice rather than to be a part of a chorus, Communications Design at Pratt is the major for you. Visit our degree page for our department mission and goals, and see below for more our areas of concentration.


With a concentration in Illustration, your education will differ from programs at other schools specifically because it is part of a larger major and not a standalone discipline. The advantage of this to our graduates is that they enter the field not only with an excellent grounding in all media, including painting and drawing, but having mastered—in required classes—conceptual thinking, problem solving, typography, and photography, as well as 2- and 3-D design and current computer software. Recommended electives include sequential art, motion graphics, independent publishing, web design, and business classes. Our alumni can—and do—succeed in widely varied careers from advertising and graphic design to film to display to fashion merchandising and children’s books. Our students who choose to concentrate in Illustration are successful, in short, because they are prepared for everything.

Advertising Art Direction

With a concentration in Advertising you will be charged with conceiving and executing brilliant ideas and strategies that both engage and move consumers to action. You’ll learn what it takes to be an art director in a top advertising agency, and you’ll explore every detail that impacts an ad visually and verbally, from typography to photography to copywriting to digital and video applications. A faculty of award-winning and seasoned industry professionals will help you develop your own unique creative process and teach you how to communicate clearly and conceptually. They’ll work with you on the branding process, utilizing the potential of new media, and developing strategic insights that will make your portfolio stand out from the crowd. If you’re an artistically-inclined dreamer who sees no limit to the power and potential of an idea, Advertising may be the course of study and the career for you.

Graphic Design

With a concentration in Graphic Design, you will learn to balance the conceptual problem-solving and technical skills required to craft effective and impactful messages, design systems, artifacts, and experiences and express ideas and solutions across all media platforms. From the design of an app, an identity or a website to package and signage systems, graphic designers integrate all elements into meaningful and effective communication. As our major Communications Design embodies convergent disciplines, students are educated to translate form to content and develop, filter and strengthen that content through required advertising, illustration and imaging courses. Pratt graphic designers are nimble; alumni of the program are successful design practitioners as well as authors and authorities in their chosen disciplines.

Visit the prattcomd website and the department blog for more information.