The mission of graduate studies in the History of Art and Design Department is to provide students with the skills and knowledge to pursue careers as art and design historians and professionals in museums, galleries, and libraries, or to pursue graduate work at the doctorate level. Through comprehensive study of global art and design within historical and cultural contexts and intensive research and scholarship in specialized areas, students develop a critical understanding of the field as well as research and analytical skills. Graduates demonstrate excellence in independent and critical thinking and understanding of the historic roles and responsibilities of art and design. Internships at museums, libraries, non-profit art organizations, and galleries provide opportunities for students to work in professional areas of their interests and prepare for future careers.
The Program's Structure
The History of Art and Design Department develops courses, organizes excursions, and establishes internships to take advantage of our extensive working relationship with the city's museums, galleries, and cultural organizations.
Dual M.A./M.S.L.I.S. or M.A./M.F.A.
Dual master's degrees with Fine Arts or Library Science are available resulting in a M.A./M.F.A. or M.S.L.I.S./M.A. degree. For these programs 30 (instead of 36) credits of art and design history are required.
Museum Studies Certificate
The 15-credit Advanced Certificate in Museum Studies provides learning opportunities for students who wish to acquire the essential knowledge and skills needed to engage with the museum world as professionals. The curriculum features experiential learning and field research through the two-semester museum practicum/internship giving students hands-on experience in current museum practice while working in NYC’s leading cultural institutions. Taught by an expert faculty, coursework brings focus to exhibitions, curation and conservation. Students obtain positions as a result of their internships and the knowledge and skill sets they acquire in the program.
Art's historical concern with materials and techniques exists naturally in connection with the programs in the practice of art. This is an emphasis in all our courses, but takes specific form in our required Chemistry of Materials, Techniques, and Conservation course taught in collaboration with the Brooklyn Museum, which has one of the oldest and best-equipped conservation laboratories in the country. In addition, issues related to conservation problems in Venetian art history are explored with the help of local experts on site in our Venice program.
- Graduates command of a body of knowledge that describes the forms and creation of valued and acknowledged works of art.
- Graduates have a historical understanding of subjects tied to changes in social, political, and economic contexts through time.
- Graduates demonstrate an understanding of the discipline’s tools and methods and are able to apply these to a specialized body of information.
- Graduates are able to read and translate texts in French, or German, or another research language.
- Graduates achieve the ability to research and write an in-depth thesis on a topic of their choice.
Applicants must demonstrate skills of observation and description, analysis and criticism, the potential to successfully complete the course work, and to design and present a graduate thesis of merit. Undergraduate study in art and/or design history is encouraged, and at least an introduction in those fields should be included in the completed undergraduate curriculum. The online application must contain a personal statement describing the selection of Pratt and motivation for the degree, a writing sample demonstrating analytic and communication skills, and recently earned scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE code 2669). Applicants whose first language is not English must submit results of the TOEFL exam. Competence in a research language other than English must be demonstrated prior to submission of the thesis. For more specific information, please see: Graduate Departmental Requirements.
Course Requirements – M.A. History of Art and Design
Core Required Courses – 9 credits
HA-602 Art Historical Methodology
HA-650 Material Techniques and Conservation
HA 605 Thesis (Research language requirement must be completed before registering for thesis)
Other Courses must fulfill distribution requirements in:
- Film, Design, or Photography
- Non-Western design art and history
- Ancient or Medieval World
- Renaissance or Baroque
- 19th, 20th, or 21st centuries
Please note that a single course may fulfill more than one of these distribution requirements.
Requirements for MA History of Art & Design
- Semester 1
Complete these courses plus 3 Elective credits.HAD-602 Art Historical Theory and MethodologyCOMPLETE 3 CREDITS FILM/DESIGN ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:HD-501 Survey of Design History 1750 to the PresentORHD-511 History of IllustrationORHD-551 Issues in Design HistoryORHD-606 Concepts of Design IIORHD-640 Aspects of Japanese DesignORHD-651 Problems in Design HistoryORHD-664 History of Interior Design IORHD-665 History of Interior Design IIORHA-514 Film CriticismORHA-551 Issues in Art HistoryORHA-552 Women in PhotographyCOMPLETE 3 CREDITS ARCHITECTURE ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:ARCH-551B Frank Lloyd WrightORHA-551 Issues in Art HistoryORHA-651 Problems in Art History
- Semester 2
Complete these courses plus 3 Elective credits.COMPLETE 3 CREDITS NON-WESTERN ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:HAD-502 Asian ArtORHAD-510 Chinese Landscape Painting Or HAD-512 = African ArtORHAD-522 Pre-Columbian ArtORORORHAD-640 Aspects of Japanese DesignORCOMPLETE 3 CREDITS RENAISSANCE/BAROQUE/ROCOCO FROM THIS LIST:HAD-501 Renaissance ArtORHAD-507 Art by Women 15th Century to the PresentORHAD-515 Southern Baroque ArtORHAD-519 Drawings & Prints Seminar Pisanello to PresentORORHAD-590I Art History of Venice (Venice)ORHAD-616 Northern Renaissance ArtORHAD-623 Dutch Art SeminarORHAD-630 Michelangelo SeminarORHAD-632 Venetian Renaissance SeminarOROROR
- Semester 3
Complete these courses plus 3 Elective credits.COMPLETE 3 CREDITS PRE-RENAISSANCE ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:HAD-504 Aegean and Greek ArtORHA-529 Roman ArtORHAD-531 Medieval Art IORHAD-532 Medieval Art IIORORHAD-631 The Making and Decoration of Medieval ManuscriptsORORORCOMPLETE 3 CREDITS 20TH CENTURY ELECTIVE FROM THIS LIST:HAD-509 Impressionism and Post-ImpressionismORHAD-511 African ArtORORHAD-552 Women in PhotographyORHAD-633 19th Century German Art and CultureORHAD-634 The Beginnings of Abstract ArtORHAD-635 Creating ExhibitionsOROROR
- Semester 4
Complete these courses.HAD-605 Thesis