How to Choose a Major

Applicants interested in architecture, writing, critical and visual studies, construction management, and the BA in art history must apply directly to those majors at the time of application because they have different first years. Students who are uncertain about which major to choose in the School of Design may choose undecided and then select their major in the spring of their freshman year. Certain majors like interior design and industrial design, as well as others including 2D animation, are limited by space and must control the numbers entering to assure enough space and equipment for all students. Most welcome students who wish to enter their departments. Note, however,  that although we try to accommodate all students, we are unable to guarantee that you will be able to select your first-choice major in the second year if you applied undecided or have decided you want to change your major.

Undecided students in art and design or students who initially chose another major and want to switch to another major within their school must submit the Change of Major form from the Office of the Registrar and meet with the Chairperson of the department in which they want to major. Be prepared to bring a portfolio including work from the foundation year and a transcript with your grades from the fall semester. See question below for instructions on how to submit the paperwork for changing your major.

Students who wish to talk with an admissions adviser about the various majors are encouraged to call or come in with their work to discuss. They may also read about each major and concentration online. See FAQs below for more information on the process of declaring/changing your major.

How to Appeal a Dismissal

The conditions leading to a student’s dismissal are stated in both the Graduate and Undergraduate bulletins in the "Registration" portion under "Qualitative Standards" as well as here. Every student who has been dismissed has the right to appeal this action. Students who receive a letter of dismissal from the Dean’s Office are also given a date by which a written appeal is to be turned in for review.

Suggestions on how to write an appeal:

  • An appeal should never be hand written.
  • Take care to ensure that it is grammatically correct.
  • State the facts and circumstances leading to the dismissal in an honest and responsible manner.
  • Give consideration to how you intend to avoid such circumstances in the future.

You have the right to submit along with your letter, letters of support from teachers, administrators, and health care professionals. The Institute convenes the Committee on Academic Standing twice a year (at the end of the fall and spring semesters) to review appeals. The decisions of the committee will be relayed in a timely and effective manner.


How do I change my major?

If you are a Freshman, you will not be able to change your major until your second semester. Come visit us in Academic Advisement for a Change of Major form and we will walk you through the process.

After your Freshman year, if you want to change your major, you must obtain a Change of Major form from the Office of Academic Advisement or the Registrar and meet with the Chairperson of the department in which you would like to major. The signature of your current Chairperson is also required. Note that you may have a new academic advisor when you change your major. It is recommended that you meet with him or her to discuss the effect that the change of major will have on your curriculum. Then, take the form to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

If you wish to change to a major that resides in a different school (for example, switching from painting to writing or architecture) you must apply for this change in the Office of Admissions. 

Note that although we try to accommodate all students, we are unable to guarantee that you will be able to select your first-choice major in the second year if you applied undecided or have decided you want to change your major. 

How do I get into a closed class?

If you want to get into a class that is closed, you must go to the department that offers the course and request the permission of the Chairperson or the Assistant Chairperson. Neither your advisor nor the faculty member can add you to a closed class.

How do I get an Incomplete grade in a class and what does it mean?

An Incomplete in a class may be given by your faculty member if you have been in regular attendance, satisfied all but the final requirements for the course, and you have given satisfactory proof that the work was not completed due to illness or other circumstances beyond your control. You must complete the work by the date specified by your faculty, and no later than the end of the following semester, otherwise you will receive an F for the course.

What do NR or NG mean on my transcript?

NR means that there is no record on file of you being registered for, or dropping or withdrawing from, a particular section of a course. Often, it means that you have attended a different section of a course than the one that you registered for. You will need to see your advisor to fill out a drop/add slip, and you will need to obtain a letter from your faculty stating that you attended his or her course. 

NG means that you were properly registered for a course, but the faculty member has not issued a grade.

What if I am not happy with a grade that I have received?

You must contact your professor directly regarding your grade for a class. The professor is the only person who can submit a change of grade for you, if they deem it appropriate. See the Pratt Catalog under "Final Grades, Grade Disputes, and Grade Change Policies" for more information on requesting a change of grade.

How do I fill out the "Common Application College Report" and have it sent to other colleges?

  1. Fill out the "To the Applicant" Section with your information.
  2. Sign and date it in the "Important Privacy Notice" box on the first page.
  3. Bring the form to your academic advisor for him/her to fill out the disciplinary record section.
  4. Make copies of the form—one for each college to which you are sending the application.
  5. Bring all copies of the form to the Registrar's Office. They will fill out the "To the College Official" section and stamp each copy with the official college seal.
  6. Be sure to provide to the Registrar the addresses for each college that you want the Application sent to.
  7. The Registrar will then mail the applications to the colleges for you.

I am an international student am I eligible for financial aid?

You are not eligible for federal aid, but there is a great website which lists scholarships and loan information for international students.