The mission of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences is to explore areas of knowledge and to reflect critically and creatively on aesthetic forms and on intellectual and cultural practices. Graduates can conduct research, substantiate arguments, and communicate in the broadest possible socio-historical, literary, and scientific contexts. The school's primary goal is for its students to make continuing contributions as critical thinkers and creative professionals.
The School provides a well-rounded General Education for students in the professional programs, offering a curriculum in Humanities and Media Studies, Mathematics and Science, Social Science and Cultural Studies, and History of Art and Design. With both depth and breadth unequaled by other colleges of art and design, SLAS offers courses in astronomy, botany, chemistry, communications, cultural history, creative writing, cultural studies, ecology, English, foreign languages, gender studies, humanities, mathematics, music, performance, philosophy, physics, psychology, science, and social science. Most of these areas of study offer courses that make explicit connections with students' areas of professional interest. A student can take a psychology course on perception and creativity, a chemistry course on the science of conservation, and a course on the artist in fiction and film, to name only three examples.
Studies in the liberal arts and sciences provide a foundation for lifelong learning. Courses complement Pratt's pre-professional degrees, giving students critical thinking skills that allow them more flexibility in an ever-changing marketplace.
The School offers degree programs for students whose interests impel them to pursue their education as thinkers and writers in a community oriented toward art and design:
- M.A. History of Art and Design
- M.A. Media Studies
- M.F.A. Performance and Performance Studies
- M.F.A. Writing
- Combination M.A./M.F.A. History of Art and Design/Fine Arts and M.A./M.S.L.I.S. History of Art and Design/Library Science
SLAS also offers a variety of interdisciplinary and discipline-focused minors, many of which can satisfy General Education requirements. Other minors coordinated elsewhere in the Institute may also include a strong connection with Liberal Arts courses.
SLAS includes the Writing and Tutorial Center, which offers assistance in writing and specific academic subjects to students at all levels. We also offer the Certificate of English Proficiency Program and the Intensive English Program, which support international students in gaining and perfecting the English language skills they need to pursue their education and to interact as vital members of the Pratt community. SLAS also coordinates Writing Across the Curriculum, which fosters creative collaboration between the curricula through writing.