The Curriculum

The summer PreCollege program consists of four classes modeled after Pratt’s undergraduate offerings. Students choose a “concentration” from the following options: Architecture, Art and Design Discovery, Creative Writing, Cultural Studies, Digital Imaging and Photography, Fashion Design, Fine Arts / Painting and Drawing, Graphic Design, Illustration (Digital), Illustration (Traditional), Industrial Design, Interior Design, Jewelry / Metal Arts, Film / Video, Photography, Sculpture, or Sequential Art and the Comic Book. To complement this chosen concentration course, students are automatically enrolled in Foundation, Art History, and Portfolio Development classes. Upon completion of the program students earn four elective college credits accepted at most colleges and universities.

Foundation Courses

Students who enroll in a concentration course in art or design classes will automatically be enrolled in the Foundation of Art and Design course. Students will develop their skills in using color, shape, line, movement, and other formal concepts basic to professional study in all areas of art and design.

Students enrolled in Creative Writing will be automatically enrolled in a Foundation of Writing course. Students will further develop fundamental writing and critical analysis skills for application to their area of study. The Cultural Studies concentration allows students to choose either art or writing foundations.

Modeled after Pratt's first year Foundation program and taught by professional artists, designers, or writers, this course will expand your thinking, strengthen your portfolio, and provide a basis for further study.

The Foundation course is worth two credits, and is designed to complement the two-credit concentration choice. Transcripts will reflect a letter grade from this class.

Art History

This course will use the culturally rich resources of New York City to help students experience key elements of the history of art. Students will explore the many functions of art and the stylistic differences and similarities across historical periods. The course also serves as a complement to studio classes, helping students find meaningful connections between art history and the development of their own work. This course is a non-credit class offering a pass/fail grade.

Portfolio Development

A professional portfolio can be vital in gaining admission into college. This course is designed to introduce the fundamentals of portfolio development. Students will learn what to include in their portfolios—based on standards set by top colleges—and investigate the basic technical skills for developing a professional portfolio. Upon completion of this course, students will be given the opportunity to have their portfolios reviewed by a Pratt admissions counselor to help them gain a first-hand understanding of what might be expected by one of the top colleges. This course is a non-credit class offering a pass/fail grade.

Concentration Offerings

Students are placed in one of the 2-credit concentration classes below. Transcripts will reflect a letter grade from this class.


Create the structures in which we live and work. Students develop solutions to a series of architectural problems through hands-on work; producing sketches, drafting plans, and building models.

Art and Design Discovery

Experience diverse disciplines in the field art and design; delve into 2D and 3D techniques as you sample areas of study such as fine arts/painting and drawing, graphic design, and industrial design in this interdisciplinary course. Perfect for students interested in investigating all aspects of art and design.

Creative Writing

Express thoughts and ideas through words. Focus on the basics of creative writing, while developing writing skills in one or more genres (poetry, essay, fiction, writing for theatre, film, or magazines). Through reading /writing assignments and critical reviews, students examine written language, the composing process, and voice. Students produce written works in various styles and genres, and then present the work for peer review and critique.

Cultural Studies

Explore and critique culture using a multi-disciplinary, theoretical and practical approach; from philosophy and social science, to the humanities and journalism. Immerse yourself in every aspect of urban culture, from popular music and film to underground art and international cuisine, using culture as a lens to examine issues of race, class, and gender. Field trips around NYC will foster your ability to assess and write critically on selected forms of culture. This concentration course allows students to choose either art or writing foundations; and is for those interested in exploring the professional worlds of writers/journalists/critics, drawn to issues of contemporary culture.

Digital Arts: Art and Electronics

This course provides the foundation for creating multi-sensory art with hardware electronics and software code. Students will learn the basics of using sensors to gather data from the physical world, coding programs on a micro-controller board, and controlling motors that make objects move. Focus will be on creating physical, interactive art objects that possess visual, kinetic and sonic qualities. No previous experience with electronics or coding is required.

Digital Arts: 2D / Traditional Animation

In this course, students will explore both hand-crafted and digital approaches to the art of animation. From early optical toys, through drawing frame by frame on paper, to creating digitally composited layers of movement for a fully realized project with sound and color, students will experience a wide range of animation techniques. Daily exercises range from traditional character animation to more experimental techniques, allowing students to foster their own vision in the discipline. These exercises will lead to the production of a short animated film in the style of the students choice, which will be showcased at the final exhibition.

Fashion Design

This course offers an introduction to the fashion industry in New York City. Various aspects of design, inspiration and terminology will be explored. Experiment with designers' techniques in sketching and illustration, and develop basic skills in collection development. Field trips to related industry exhibits and designer showrooms will enhance the depth of learning.

Fine Arts / Painting and Drawing

Develop skills of observation and expression through a visual medium. This concentration course enhances students’ perceptual and aesthetic awareness through the creation of fine art. Instruction in drawing and painting incorporates a variety of techniques, media, and subject matter.

Graphic Design

Explore what makes a design successful, and investigate the role of design and the designer in meeting the demands of an ever-changing society. Learn design tools, principles and methods to produce unique and memorable graphic work. Create professional logo, website, poster and packaging designs which culminate in successful branding. Typography, photography and illustration are incorporated in visualizing your ideas along with the introduction and application of state-of-the-art computer graphics.

Illustration (Digital)

This introductory course explores ways to tell a story through creating digital images that communicate new ideas for editorial and commercial purposes. The world of illustration has moved rapidly into the new millennium. The computer has created countless new and exciting opportunities for illustrators. In this elective course, students will analyze the current styles employed in today’s illustration field and explore directions for the future. Students will develop technical and artistic skills in drawing while experimenting with scanning, digital photography, Internet research, and using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator software. Students will be expected to produce finished, professional-level digital work.

Illustration (Traditional)

Tell a story without using words. This course explores ways to create pictures that communicate new ideas. Students develop technical and artistic skills in drawing and painting for use in the commercial world; enhancing illustration skills through life studies, experimentation with a variety of media, and by cultivating their imagination.

Industrial Design

Create objects that meet the everyday needs of society. This concentration course examines how embracing today’s social, physical, and ecological needs presents opportunities for creative design. Through drawing and model making, students explore, challenge, and redefine the forms and inventions with which we live.

Interior Design

Optimize the space in which we live. This concentration course centers on the impact of the interior space on the individual, as well as various groups, by working with the classic elements of light, color, form, and space. Projects include drafting, rendering and model-making.

Jewelry / Metal Arts

Jewelry has a rich history from the earliest examples of personal adornment to the thriving world of contemporary jewelry. This course is an introduction to basic, direct metal, fabrication techniques for jewelry and small-scale metal objects. Students will research and develop design concepts and execute finished pieces using non-ferrous metals combined with alternative materials and current technology.

Film / Video

Explore the aesthetic and craft of filmmaking through individual hands-on projects. Using digital video, students will produce short film projects designed to develop both a technical competence, and an appreciation of the power and creative potential of the moving image. Camera and editing equipment will be provided.

Photography: Black and White Analog

Capture life in the moment. Students study 35mm camera operations, lighting techniques, and darkroom procedures to achieve a broad-based knowledge of black and white photography. Instruction includes exposing and developing film, making contact prints, enlarging and finishing photographs. Color photography will be introduced. A limited number of 35mm cameras may be available on a first-come-first served basis.

Photography: Digital

Learn the basics of digital imaging: scanning, shooting, using graphic software, and various forms of manipulating and outputting images. Using primarily Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, students will develop imagery and improve conceptual and technical skills, while incorporating art elements and the principles of design. Familiarity with computer is helpful, not necessary. Students must have access to a digital camera.


Delve into a variety of processes and materials in the making of 3-dimensional sculpture. Life-casting, mold-making, plaster and basic woodworking will be explored. Contemporary sculpture and artists will be introduced as they relate to the projects and processes learned. Students will come away with a greater knowledge of contemporary sculpture and the ability to create unique works of their own.

Sequential Art and The Comic Book

Explore the art of pictorial storytelling; combining images and text to create visual narratives for single panel illustrations, comic strips / books, graphic novels. Investigate all aspects of this art form: from drawing techniques, lettering, and inking, to composition, perspective / camera angles, panel sequences, and developing your own original stories. Skills acquired provide a foundation for creative processes such as: children's book illustration, storyboards for film and television production, and animation.