Students in a classroom

The mission of General Education at Pratt is to complement students’ major area of study and to ensure breadth, diversity, and depth in the students’ education through engagement with the ideas and modes of inquiry of different fields of study. Pratt graduates emerge as creative professionals whose work is informed by a critical understanding of their cultural and physical environment and of the ideas and values that have shaped the world’s societies and their own lives and creative work. Based on the belief that creative practice and critical thinking form an integral whole, General Education emphasizes the development of visual and verbal intelligence; engagement in critical inquiry and analysis; integration of ideas and approaches from different disciplines; appreciation of human differences and multiple perspectives; and reflection on students’ responsibilities to themselves, to society, and the environment in the creation of original, innovative work.

Pratt’s General Education program provides a solid foundational breadth across the liberal arts and sciences, depth through flexible pathways for focussed exploration, and opportunity for strong interdisciplinary connection with the art and design disciplines.

Pratt’s General Education curriculum is designed to ensure students’ achievement of eight program‐level competencies: Oral and Written Communication Skills, Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning, Critical Analysis and Reasoning, Technology Competency, Respect for Human Differences, Information Literacy, Reflective Practice, and Historical and Cultural Awareness.


In brief, the complete General Education curriculum for a typical Pratt student includes the following elements:
  • A General Education “Core” in the first two years of the degree program, which comprises:

    • 6 credits of literary theory and direct instruction in writing, provided through the HMS-101A/201A Humanities Core sequence or their equivalents.

    • 9 credits distributed evenly across three “Core menus.” Six of these nine credits must be classified as Writing Intensive. These credits are distributed as follows:

      • 3 credits from the Mathematics and Science Core Menu
      • 3 credits from the “Global Perspectives” Core Menu, administered by the department of Social Science and Cultural Studies

      • 3 credits from the “Ways of Knowing/Thinking/Doing” Core Menu also administered by Social Science and Cultural Studies

    • The first year of the General Education Core also includes 6 credits of Art/Design History survey, delivered as the HA‐111/112 Themes in Art/Culture sequence.

  • 15 credits of “Post‐Core” general studies elective content drawn from the offerings of the Mathematics and Science Department, the Humanities and Media Studies Department, and the Social Science and Cultural Studies Department. At least 9 of these 15 credits must be at the 300‐level or above. SLAS-administered minors could be used to fulfill Post-Core General Education requirements. Some of the SLAS minors may include courses that could be taken in the freshman and sophomore "Core" years, as well. Contact your advisor or the minor coordinator for details.

  • For the NASAD accredited programs, students are required to take a further 6 credits of Art/Design History courses, at least 3 credits of which must be at the 300 level. The curriculum tables of the various majors determine when these credits are taken; for most students, this is alongside their “Post‐Core” general studies content.


A curriculum table reflecting the above is available as a PDF.

Although the above describes the General Education structure for the NASAD-accredited BFA programs in the Schools of Art and Design, the components and sequencing have slight variation within the School of Architecture, the degree programs of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and for students enrolled in the Intensive English Program.