Students posing in their commencement gowns

Commencement Ceremony 2019

Pratt's Commencement Ceremony will occur on Monday, May 20 at 10 AM at Radio City Music Hall, and recognizes all students who graduate in August 2018, December 2018, and May 2019. Additional information will be sent to students who registered to graduate and updated on the official Commencement page.

Health Insurance After Graduation

Health insurance is a vital issue to consider when students are graduating and one that should be addressed as early as possible to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Pratt Students will fall into two main categories—those who remain covered under their parents' insurance, and those who were covered under Pratt’s student insurance.

Students who have been covered under their parents' insurance may remain on this policy until age 26, and under some circumstances, dependents may be covered until age 29 under their parents' policy. For more information, parents should contact the workplace benefits administrator of their health plan. More information on this policy can be found at

Students who have been covered through Pratt’s student health insurer, Aetna Student Health, will be covered through to August 17, 2018, if they graduate in May and January 14, 2018, if they graduate in December. There is no continuation plan beyond this date.

Since students are not able to access on-campus Health and Counseling Services once they graduate, they will need to seek care from providers in the community. For students who have been on Aetna Student Health, a list of Aetna providers is available at Doc Find through the Aetna Student Health website, Students may contact the Health and Counseling Office for further assistance finding a referral to local medical providers.

Students who need to obtain their own insurance, whether they have aged-off their parents' policy or have not obtained insurance through work after graduation, should look at the Health Insurance Marketplace at . These benefits are made available under the Affordable Care Act (“Obama Care”), and many graduates qualify for subsidized policies. It should also be noted that international students may obtain insurance through the Health Care Marketplace.

Students and parents are encouraged to call the Health and Counseling Office at Pratt at 718.399.4542 or if you have further questions or concerns.

Helping Your Student After Graduation

While this is unlikely to be surprising to parents, graduating from college often leaves young adults with mixed emotions. At Pratt, we have seen a sudden increase in the utilization of counseling services leading up to graduation, and a steep rise in referrals to mental health providers in the community. Graduation is an event that students have been working toward and looking forward to with tremendous anticipation, but when it comes, students sometimes become unexpectedly disappointed and occupied with anxiety and fears. What should have been a celebratory time is now filled with worries about jobs and finances, and persistent insecurities and unreasonable expectations about their chosen career path. Additionally, many students are coping with the loss of identity as a student, mourning the end of an era in their lives, and fearing the loss of the structure of organized education.

How you help your child during this transition?

  • Be patient and offer support
  • Hold back at first from offering advice and just listen
  • Give them permission to enjoy this pause between college and work
  • Encourage them to seek counseling
  • Remind them about Pratt’s Center for Career and Professional Development

Understanding Your Student’s Professional Development

The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) is the starting point for students and graduates to learn about themselves and their options in the world of work. We guide them through self-exploration assessments, research emerging trends and career opportunities, and teach students to navigate the path from college to career with clarity, confidence, and a lifetime of support.

The CCPD augments Pratt’s state-of-the-art curriculum offerings with personal and professional development planning, career advising, industry mentoring, goal setting through mindfulness and mind mapping, professional development resources, workshops, and entrepreneurship education.

CCPD Resources and Services

Career Advising

Career strategists offer one-on-one guidance to prepare students and graduates to develop effective career development tools. Appointments are scheduled through Pratt Pro to discuss any career development topics, including:

  • Cover Letter, Portfolio and Résumé development
  • CPT/OPT Advising for International Students
  • Early and Advanced Career Strategies
  • Entrepreneurship and Freelancing
  • Grant Applications, including Fulbright
  • Graduate School Applications
  • Internship Advising
  • Life Coaching
  • MBTI and Strong Inventory Assessments
  • Mock Interviews
  • Portfolio Reviews

Job Search

The CCPD manages Pratt Pro where employers post internship, professional, and volunteer positions. Students and alumni can search and apply to thousands of opportunities posted each year. Our Industry Relations team performs outreach to employers around the world to help students/alumni connect with the best career opportunities. We organize studio visits and firm trips to expose students to diverse workplaces and the latest industry trends, while giving them access to receptive employers and professional networks.


The CCPD delivers over 100 events every year that present students/alumni opportunities to engage in professional development throughout their careers, giving participants direct access to people, conversations and opportunities; helping to build and perfect career skills; and discovering new ways of envisioning their career.


We publish articles and how-to guides on a wide range of career development topics through the CCPD blog and the CCPD Career Ambassadors’ blog. Our weekly newsletter informs the Pratt community of relevant career and professional development events, resources, and opportunities.

What role do you play in your graduating student’s professional development/success?

Parents can also provide a wealth of encouragement, resources, and a support network to their graduating students. Here are some tips on how you can help your graduate succeed after Pratt:

Supporting resilience

First, celebrate the success of graduation!  It is a huge and wonderful accomplishment. Most likely, students will need a small mental break to relax and reflect on their education.

Every graduate will face challenges, and having the competence and ability to adjust to meet these challenges requires resilience.

  1. Help graduates remain focused on things that are in their control.  Focus on the following efforts, which will have the most impact:
    • Develop an online presence to expose their work
    • Articulate skills they have and match them to jobs and opportunities they want
    • Develop a creative/personal statement
    • Develop a portfolio
    • Create and refine a résumé
    • Network through attending industry-related recruiting events/meet-up groups related to their interests, conferences with specific speakers/panelists, and joining professional organizations’ area chapters (e.g., AIA, APA, IDSA, CAA)
  2. Talk with graduates about their values (creative and personal). Understanding their professional goals in relation to their values can help them make better decisions about what they really want to commit to, and potentially result in more satisfying professional experiences in the long run.
  3. Help your graduate envision failures and mistakes as opportunities and challenges to overcome setbacks.

Graduates’ internet presence and strategy

Encourage graduating students to create a Linkedin and a account on the Behance network. These platforms enable students to have a more strategic entry into the professional world, and incorporate tools to network and efficiently search for jobs.

Advice you can give to a Pratt graduate going through a job search

  • Other great resources include Pratt faculty, alumni, and the network of individuals that graduates have grown to trust over their Pratt experience (internship supervisors, mentors, etc.)
  • Encourage graduates to conduct interview preparation.  Prep before an interview can help graduates connect their values and creative processes to the position and to the company's needs.
  • Creative recruiting agencies can be a great tool for those seeking positions. This is a way your graduate can source job opportunities that may not yet be posted online. Just keep in mind your recent graduate should never have to pay a fee for these services up front.

Pratt’s Center for Career and Professional Development offers lifetime support to Pratt graduates. We offer tools, techniques, and strategic support and guidance to your graduate so they can flourish and thrive in the world of work. We can be reached at or 718.636.3506, Monday–Friday, from 9 AM–5 PM EST.