Gap Year Program


Discover the intersection of your creative journey and the related design fields that translate to a professional practice. Pratt Institute’s Gap Year program will help you decide which path is right for you and provide you with the experience, knowledge, skills and courage to advance in college and professional life.

Combine college credits, certificates, and professional development classes, or choose just one. Work with an advisor to determine what's best for you. Pratt provides you with the options and support to make the most of your gap year.

All Gap Year classes will be held online for the summer 2021 semester.



10 Weeks: May 24 - July 30

Making/Faking Nature

Darini Nicholas
T, W, 9:00 AM-11:50 AM
3 credits

Explore a wide range of philosophical conceptions of nature and examine how these theories have influenced the way we treat our environment, animals, and each other. Consider, among other things, whether nature is dead, if there was ever such a thing as wilderness, whether we can restore or improve nature, and if so, who should have the power and authority to do so. Readings are selected from a variety of fields in the social sciences and cultural studies.


5-6 Weeks: June 21 - July 30

Death and Dying

Hannes Charen
T, W, TH, 9:00 AM-11:50 AM
3 credits

The question of death has always haunted philosophical contemplation, artistic production, political authority and investigations of the psyche. Any contemplation of existence and meaning must in some way concern itself with the problem of finitude. Follow a broad ranging exploration into the phenomenon of death and dying as it is grasped in various cultures and communities. Whereas, historically, theology attempts to provide answers to the question of death, we will approach the topic of death through the lenses of philosophy, literature, politics and psychoanalysis, covering a broad range of topics: fear; knowledge and death; mourning and loss; existence, meaning and the horizon of death and extinction.

Horror and Monstrosity

M, W, TH, 12:00 PM-2:50 PM
Saul Anton
3 credits

Embark on a general introduction to the issues of horror, monstrosity, and the abject in literature, film, and theory. Topics may include: the uncanny, the fantastic, catharsis, the sublime, the gaze, liminality, trauma, return of the repressed, projection, splitting, Freud's analysis of dreams, the gothic, and more. Materials will include historical materials, literary texts by authors such as Hoffman, Kafka, Gilman, etc., and films by Wiener, Hitchcock, Powell, Romero, Polansky, Argento, Barker, Scott, Jeunet, Gans, Park, etc. Specific texts and films may vary.

Introduction to Acting

M, W, TH, 10:00 AM-12:50 PM
Don Andraeson
3 credits

Develop fundamental acting skills including voice, movement, expression, imagination, character development, trust and relaxation.

Detective Fiction

M, W, TH, 9:00 AM-11:50 AM
Sacha Frey
3 credits

Investigate forms of detective fiction—and discourses of mystery and crime more broadly—in literature, cinema and other media. We will rethink their development from the post-Enlightenment urbanization of the gothic in the nineteenth century to the rose of whodunit mysteries and hard-boiled crime fiction in the twentieth century (including connections to other genres like the psychological thriller, western and science fiction), as well as film noir, neo-noir, and more experimental, postmodern and contemporary examples form across nations and cultures. Our critical and theoretical inquiries will consider how stories of criminal transgression and forensic fact-finding relate to historical transformations of subjectivity and society, and how they pose challenging questions about truth, justice and power that persist to this day.

Poetics of Cinema

HMS-440E-01, 02
M, W, TH, 12:00 PM-2:50 PM
Amy Guggenheim
3 credits

Investigate relationships between image and narrative in cinema. Weekly creative assignments—informed by close readings of film excerpts and text—will culminate in the design of a short, poetic film project. We will view visionary work by innovative filmmakers, and engage in close reading, followed by active discussion, to deepen our understanding of artistic choices—in the use of metaphor, point of view, association, montage, image/action, frame, composition, time, space, kinetics, transformation, multiple perspectives, reflexivity, gesture and the body, non-linear narrative, amongst others—in the act of visual storytelling central to the cinematic enterprise.

Deep Listening

M, W, F, 9:00 AM-11:50 AM
Julia Steinmetz
3 credits

Originally developed by composer Pauline Oliveros, Deep Listening is a practice of “listening in every possible way to everything possible to hear no matter what one is doing.” This practice leads to an extended consideration of the involuntary process of hearing contrasted with the voluntary, selective act of listening. How do we perform listening? What is the performativity of the act of listening? Engage in practices of sonic meditation, interactive performance, listening to the sounds of daily life (nature, one’s own thoughts, dreams) and listening to listening itself. In parallel, we will explore theories of listening emerging from music, psychoanalysis, and sound studies and apply Deep Listening as a Performance Studies methodology. 


4 Weeks: July 6 - July30

Secret Activities of the CIA

Jeffrey Surovell
M, T, W, TH, 9:00 AM-11:50 AM
3 credits

One of the main functions of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is to collect and evaluate intelligence about foreign countries in order to assist US national security operations around the world. But the CIA also engages in secret operations abroad that have opposed progressive governments as well as political and labor movements, while sporting right-wing, often brutal dictatorships and movements. Its operations have directly or indirectly caused the torture and death of countless millions of innocent people-even genocides.

Certificate Programs: 10 Weeks: May 24 - July 30








Professional Development Courses: 4 Weeks : August 2 - August 27






Credit Courses: $1670 (1 credit), $5010 (3 credits)
Certificate Programs: $1950-$3950
Professional Development Courses: $295-$1250

To register, or for advisement, contact Chris Ferrara
Director of New Initiatives and Strategic Programs

Image by Stockshot Studio, 2019

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