NOTE: Pratt Institute is continuing to update this information as details become available. Please continue to visit this site and pay attention to campus email communications with important information.
Since April 2020, when Pratt assembled the pandemic planning committees, the Institute has assessed academic and operational needs for reopening. This included developing a mitigation plan with our in-house experts on health and safety, in partnership with Geosyntec, which includes testing, monitoring, tracing, and disinfecting protocols. Additionally, Pratt drafted social contracts for our community, consulted with and observed the decisions of local and regional government officials, health experts, and other academic institutions and organizations, and built a robust curriculum with the complex schedule and enhanced technology necessary to support it.
While Pratt has put extensive protocols in place to reduce the risks associated with working, living, and learning on campus, we cannot eliminate them completely, and we need to be ready for the possibility that the virus may put new demands upon us on very short notice.
All students, faculty, and staff returning to campus are asked to work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Extensive measures on campus are also in place to promote the safety and wellbeing of Pratt's whole community.
Pratt Institute is asking each member of our community to pledge to be accountable by signing a social contract agreeing to abide by requirements and expectations that will contribute significantly toward reducing the spread of COVID-19. Social contracts for students, faculty, and staff have been written in consultation and with input from the Pratt community. They are designed to be a temporary addition to the existing community standards, by which we all agree to abide as members of this community.
Where can I find the most recent news and communications about the 2020–21 school year?
Pratt is committed, as always, to delivering a world-class education with our renowned faculty. While around 70% of courses are fully online, 30% are in a hybrid format with some in-person meeting. Due to the studio or lab-based nature of many of these courses, we believe this flexible format best supports our students.
The in-person components of hybrid courses, in order to meet health and safety standards, involve stringent physical distancing, and limited numbers of students in any given space, with regulated and limited access to specialized equipment and facilities, including studios and labs. No matter where or how our students choose to take courses or access services, they are supported by our dedicated and distinguished faculty and staff, and the enhanced robust technology needed to learn and create.
COVID-19 tests are not available from Pratt Institute. Please see the “Diagnostic Testing” section of the site for information on obtaining a COVID-19 diagnostic test, including resources on free testing sites in New York City, New Jersey, and other states.
What are the COVID-19 testing requirements for students, faculty, and staff?
When to get a test is different for each member of the Pratt community who is returning to campus. A diagnostic COVID-19 (PCR) test must be completed within seven days before your return date to campus to ensure results are accurate and timely. The test result must also be submitted to the portal dated within seven (7) days prior to returning to campus. (Results may take 24-48 hours to process.)
You should work backward from the day you intend to be on campus, for example:
- If you are returning to campus on February 9, should get tested no earlier than February 2.
Please be aware that your first time on campus cannot be more than seven days after the day you were tested for COVID. More details on diagnostic testing and this process are available on the “COVID Testing and Monitoring” page.
No, only a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test is accepted for meeting the requirements for coming on campus. For more information, see the “COVID Testing and Monitoring” page.
What should I do if I cannot get a negative COVID-19 test result due to prior COVID-19 infection?
Regardless of prior infection, vaccine status, or your perceived safety around classmates or coworkers, all students, faculty, and staff must adhere to these core health habits: Wear a mask, maintain physical distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick. Follow the guidelines of the social contract that uphold the wellbeing of the whole Pratt community. More health and safety guidance is available on the Back to Pratt website.
Pool testing—or pooled testing—takes samples of saliva or nasal swabs from a group of people and combines all these samples into one laboratory test. This allows for larger groups to be tested for COVID-19 more frequently and is used only in situations where the number of positive test results is expected to be low.
If a pool tests negative, then all the samples can be presumed negative with the single test. In other words, all of the individuals who provided samples can be assumed to test negative for COVID-19.
If a pool tests positive, each of the participants in the original pool will be tested individually to determine positive cases.
At Pratt, our residential students, residential staff, and public safety staff who interact with the students in the residence hall(s) on a regular basis participate weekly in pool testing. This allows Pratt to take the next steps to quickly identify a community member with a confirmed positive COVID-19 test result and separate them from the rest of occupants thereby lowering the potential of transmission. This, coupled with our standard practices of mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing, helps us keep the risk of “an outbreak” low.
Pratt and consulting and engineering firm Geosyntec have partnered on environmental testing that can monitor for positive cases even before a person feels symptoms. This includes testing on surfaces and within wastewater in the campus buildings. This testing allows for a responsive tracking system to contain infection on campus. For more information, see the CDC page on Wastewater Surveillance Testing Methods.
Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from those who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. See the CDC guidelines for more information (PDF).
No, the COVID-19 testing protocols are for members of the Pratt community coming to campus.
Pratt continues to closely follow the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State. While the vaccine is being introduced, Pratt will continue to adhere to its strict COVID-19 testing guidelines for campus and its protocols for protecting the health and safety of its community.
The CDC website has the most up-to-date information on the US vaccine system, who gets it first, how it works, and other frequently asked questions. The New York Forward site has the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines in New York State, including plans for distribution and implementation.
What COVID-19 training is available for the Pratt community?
What are the daily symptom monitoring requirements for coming to campus?
What is a digital ID and how does it facilitate access to campus?
Mobile devices are available at campus entry points including the Main Gate (200 Willoughby), Myrtle Hall, Higgins Hall, and Pratt Manhattan for community members to use to complete the daily health screening questionnaire and access their digital ID.
Are temperature screenings required to come on campus?
Community members are advised to allow a few extra minutes for the new access enhancements. To help avoid delays, everyone should be prepared to present their digital Pratt ID and the self-assessment status badge through the Pratt Safe app while awaiting a temperature screening. In order to ensure physical distance, lines with 6-foot spacing are being maintained at all entry points.
Pratt is committed to reducing the spread of COVID-19 on campus and rapidly communicating any operational changes in response to the current transmission rate with our community members. The Back to Pratt microsite has the current COVID-19 conditions indicator with color-coded guidance for the most up-to-date level of action. The indicator can also be accessed on the Pratt Safe app.
Pratt’s expert Risk Assessment & Mitigation Group is continually monitoring, assessing, and making recommendations to Pratt’s senior leadership team for changing or elevating the campus operational status. These changes would be based on maintaining a threshold criterion for testing of community members as needed, screening all community members entering campus, and conducting health audits. To promote the healthiest campus possible, Pratt is vigilantly reinforcing the consistent use of PPE, making sure supplies of PPE are available, maintaining a consistent and regular cleaning and disinfecting schedule, and providing community education on COVID-19 containment and prevention efforts.
In all of these actions, Pratt is closely complying with city and state guidance, including Governor Cuomo’s August 27 issued guidance for infection rates on college campuses and mitigation actions schools must take when the infection rate rises above certain levels.
Pratt is adhering to the strict measures and protocols based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state, and city guidelines and policies that it has put in place to promote a healthy and safe campus. This includes the social contract that holds our community members accountable with expectations for the individual actions as well as rigorous testing standards.
Regardless of prior infection, vaccination status, or perceived safety around classmates or coworkers, all students, faculty, and staff must adhere to these core health habits: Wear a mask, maintain physical distance, wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick.
Joined with other measures like the Pratt Safe App which requires completing the daily health screening questionnaire, the Institute continues to promote these protocols that require everyone’s continuous participation for their success.
Each member of our community has a responsibility to be safe for the whole Institute and no matter the circumstances Pratt is committed to this collective cooperation for the healthiest campus possible.
What are the current hours of operation for the Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses?
Are there in-person office hours for Student Services and other departments?
All students, faculty, and staff are required to wear a face covering or mask while on campus including in classrooms, studios, shops, labs, offices, and common areas, or in those locations where social distancing measures cannot be followed in accordance with local and national guidance for social distancing.
When eating outside on campus, Pratt community members are asked to observe the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for personal and social activities related to dining, including wearing a mask as much as possible, limiting contact with shared items, maintaining a social distance of six feet or more, and washing your hands often.
Pratt is providing all students, faculty, and staff with a minimum of two washable face masks, as well as establishing disposable face-covering distribution points at key locations on campus, such as Public Safety posts, Pratt Health Services Office, Student Affairs Office, and Human Resources. Hand sanitizer stations are available across campus.
Faculty and staff are being provided disinfecting supplies by the Facilities Department to clean their workspaces.
How is social distancing being implemented on campus?
How did Pratt decide on its fall plan?
How is Pratt adhering to city, state, and global guidelines?
What are the general guidelines for safely returning to campus?
How are classrooms, studios, and other spaces being cleaned and sanitized?
The Office of Facilities Management is carefully following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to improve the indoor air quality and circulation across campus. Annual and preventative maintenance on the building equipment by Facilities is further providing the best performance of the building HVAC systems.
In campus spaces that have mechanical ventilation (HVAC), Facilities is maximizing the outside air in all these HVAC systems and increasing air filtration with the installation of high-density filters. All the systems are running at a minimum of two hours before and after occupancy. The installation of additional controls such as UV lighting is being investigated for additional disinfection.
In spaces without mechanical HVAC, but with windows and doors, Facilities has added exhaust fans to maximize the air changes in rooms to six to eight times an hour. Closed spaces like private offices are single occupancy only.
If spaces do not have mechanical ventilation and no windows, they are single occupancy or closed.
The air in bathrooms is being exhausted either through the existing building exhaust system or through the installation of a window exhaust fan. Many bathrooms are single occupancy or, if necessary, closed.
The social contract for students, faculty, and staff is an extension of Pratt’s Community Standards and violations will be addressed by staff, faculty, RAs, security, and fellow students as usual. Any violations will be adjudicated as are all policy violations, however, it should be noted that violations where one’s actions cause potential harm to another or the community are dealt with more serious consequences/limitations. It is critical that all members of the community think through their decisions regarding the social contract as each decision will not only put others at physical risk, it will cause a student a conduct outcome.
Pratt Health Services is providing telehealth services to our students as well as limited in-person services. These in-person appointments are always subject to change so please check the Health Services site for the latest information.
The preferable way for students to request a virtual appointment is by email at email@example.com or phone at 718.399.4542.
Health Services maintains a list of resources around New York City to meet students’ healthcare needs.
We encourage students who are feeling stressed or overwhelmed for any reason to contact the Senior Student Advocate and Care Coordinator, Martha Cedarholm, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will work with you.
Pratt’s Counseling Center is available by phone at 718.687.5356 and email at email@example.com. While the Center’s physical location is closed, video sessions are being offered through a secure platform.
Faculty and staff can find COVID-19 emotional health resources on the Human Resources Benefits FAQ, including free and confidential hotlines and apps.
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
What happens if a positive case of COVID-19 is identified on campus?
Contact tracing is initiated by the New York City Department of Health. However, Pratt has enlisted several leaders on campus, including GeoSyntec, to enhance that effort. These leaders include, but are not limited to, members of the health, public safety, human resources, and residential life offices. Contact tracing begins with the identification of the person who tested positive followed by an interview that determines where potential transmission could be. If exposure does not meet the criteria of a “close contact,” then no further communication to others is necessary. If, however, there are close contacts who meet this criteria, those people will be contacted, interviewed, and likely quarantined.
If you believe you had contact with someone with COVID-19, or feel sick with possible COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, or trouble breathing, you should follow these procedures:
- Do not report to work, class, or other activities on campus.
- Seek medical care from your healthcare provider. Call ahead and tell them about your symptoms. Please do not show up at a clinic, urgent care, or other health facility without calling first as your provider may need to take special measures to protect other people. Consider using a telehealth visit.
- If it is determined you have been infected but are well enough to stay home for recovery, you should avoid contact with others. Stay at home, except when seeking professional medical care.
- Avoid further travel until the illness resolves.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Immediately discard the tissue in the trash bin and wash your hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol.
Pratt students can contact Health Services with medical concerns during business hours at 718.399.4542 or Public Safety at 718.636.3540 after hours.
The Pratt Safe app offers a discrete process for reporting your concerns related to the health and safety of the community and campus. Access the “COVID Concerns” form under the “Return to Campus During COVID” section to start this process. While this process is not anonymous, all information will be relayed to the appropriate departments and treated with discretion as we work together to promote health and safety.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a detailed guide to workplace, school, and home cleaning. The CDC also has recommendations for community facilities with suspected and confirmed cases as well as cleaning and disinfection recommendations for homes where a person has a suspected or confirmed case.
All administrative and academic staff are responsible for the disinfecting of items in single-use offices and at private workstations such as the telephone, keyboard, mouse, touchscreens, printer, desk, chairs, tape dispenser, stapler, etc. Refrigerators, microwaves, and coffeemakers should be cleaned before and after they are used. Offices are able to purchase cleaning and disinfection supplies such as wipes, gloves, sanitizer, etc. through the same process as purchasing office supplies.
Routine cleaning practices will occur in administrative and academic offices. Pratt will clean these areas once during the day or evening. The daily cleaning routine includes: removal of trash, dusting, dust mop and spot mopping as required, vacuuming as needed, and carpet cleaning upon request. A complete disinfecting and mopping of floors will occur once a week. Please see the full “Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols” for more information on these measures.
If anyone in our community has experienced, is aware of, or has witnessed any incident of bias, discrimination, or harassment, please report it to the Bias Education Response Task Force using the Bias Incident Report Form.
The risk of COVID-19 is not bound by race or nationality. We encourage the Pratt community to read the CDC anti-stigma guidelines for facts about this illness.
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (watch this video for best practices). You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching your face—especially your eyes, nose, and mouth—with unwashed hands.
Practice respiratory etiquette. That means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Immediately discard the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
Social distancing can slow the spread of infection. Increasing the distance between people, whether it’s limiting the number of people in a classroom or working and learning remotely, is social distancing, as is waving instead of shaking hands.
Wear a mask and wear it correctly. The CDC recommends that people age two and older should wear masks in public. Follow the CDC guidance for how to select a mask with two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric that completely covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly without gaps. The CDC’s February 10, 2021, report on maximizing the fit for cloth and medical procedure masks includes improvements such as fitting a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask, and knotting the ear loops of a medical procedure mask and then tucking in and flattening the extra material close to the face.
The CDC recommends that everyone gets vaccinated for the flu, takes everyday preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, cleans and disinfects frequently touched objects, and takes medications if they are prescribed. While the current flu vaccine has no impact on COVID-19, it is still advised that everyone receives the vaccine.
We encourage our community to follow the CDC’s new double-mask recommendations but do not require it. Students, faculty, and staff can pick up additional masks at public safety booths on campus.
CDC, state, and local guidelines are just that: guidelines. When new recommendations are released, Pratt thoughtfully interprets and prioritizes them for the health and well-being of our campus community. Keep a watch on the Back to Pratt website and e-newsletter for the latest updates as the pandemic and these guidelines continue to change.
There will not be dining services on campus this semester. In place of AVI’s usual food service, Pratt has some limited vending options on the Brooklyn campus. This includes a Farmer’s Fridge in the Higgins Hall lobby. The 24/7 grab-and-go fresh meal concept offers salads, sandwiches, noodle bowls, snacks, and more, with an app available to reserve items and pay with your phone.
In accordance with public health guidelines, the Student Union is open in a limited capacity from 8 AM to 8 PM, Monday through Friday. Only the main space in the Student Union is accessible; the conference rooms and Pool Lounge are closed. At this time, no other services in the Union can be accessed.
Student Life has posted a list of available social and work spaces on campus. While using these locations, students are responsible for following the social contract and posted instructions, including wearing masks and remaining at least six feet apart. Reservable work or teaching space is also available for faculty and staff.
What virtual and on-campus services are available from Pratt Libraries?
Until further notice, Pratt is discouraging large in-person gatherings in order to prevent the possibility of spreading COVID-19. In-person gatherings should be limited to the very few activities that cannot be accomplished remotely. Events such as lectures, symposia, and celebrations will not be held in-person and will be planned as remote activities.
Although restrictions will be required, opportunities for safe in-person programming and social gatherings will be provided through the enhancement of indoor and outdoor spaces. Student organizations and clubs will continue to meet virtually.
Are the ARC fitness facilities open?
Will there be Pratt sports this 2020–21 school year?
Can visitors and guests come on campus?
All on-campus visits, including campus tours, information sessions, and counselor appointments are suspended until further notice. Virtual General Undergraduate Information Sessions for prospective students have been created to replace on-campus visits.
Can I see my friends?
I’m a parent, where can I find information on the the 2020–21 school year, ways to connect with fellow parents, and other resources?
Are the residence halls open in spring 2021?
Although following months of research and deliberation Pratt established protocols that we believed would allow us to safely open the residence halls in late June 2020—and we immediately communicated the decision to the Pratt community—one month later the COVID-19 cases in the United States had risen dramatically. New York State issued guidelines indicating that people traveling from over 30 states and most countries needed to follow strict quarantine procedures. In addition, the wait to receive COVID-19 test results had climbed to two weeks in many cities and states. Those circumstances caused Pratt to reverse the original decision on shorter notice than we would have liked.
Nothing has been predictable about COVID-19. Pratt has included a statement in every communication that all decisions are subject to change and our priority is to be as transparent as possible with every decision that we make and to keep our community informed. The Back to Pratt website has an enormous amount of information and our entire community receives a Back to Pratt email each week. This includes decisions on the residence halls going forward.
Earlier in the fall semester, Pratt communicated with all students that we would not make a decision about opening the residence halls until the first week in November and that there was no guarantee that we would open them. Resident students received several communications throughout the semester updating them and reminding them that we would be announcing plans for reopening the residence halls in early November. RA@home also communicated this with their assigned residents.
While many approaches to opening the residence halls were explored and evaluated, ultimately, Pratt determined that instead of focusing on any one class level, we would provide housing for students with the greatest needs.
There have been successes and challenges for students across the Institute. In normal circumstances, the idea of providing space for first-year students to interact with their peers would be ideal. Unfortunately, the safety protocols that we would have to put in place severely restrict the benefits of bringing students together on campus.
If you are experiencing learning challenges, apply for spring housing. We are attempting to provide enough space to meet the need. The application deadline is November 29.
What are the quarantine procedures for students, faculty, and staff arriving from out-of-state?
Yes, you can increase the student loan amount to help cover any additional costs associated with off-campus housing. Please reach out to your personal SFS counselor to begin the process.
Residential Life and Housing have listings and off-campus housing search resources available online.
There is an active Pratt Roommate Search Facebook group to connect students looking for off-campus housing.
Pratt counselors are ready to assist vulnerable students at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does Pratt offer assistance for students who have never rented before and need support navigating things like a lease, guarantor, security deposit, broker’s fee, etc.?
There will be ample parking on campus for the 2020-21 academic year. Details available on the Parking and Permits page.
Please note that all 2019-20 parking permits expired on December 31, 2020. Effective January 1, 2021, all community members wishing to park on the Brooklyn campus need to apply for a 2021 parking permit which will be sold at a discounted price of $100 each and will be valid through August 31, 2021. Anyone not currently in possession of a valid 2021 parking permit who would like to purchase a permit may do so upon their return to the Brooklyn campus.
With the exception of students living in the residence halls, overnight or long-term parking is not permitted on the Brooklyn campus.
Residential Life and Housing have set up a process for all students to email email@example.com with their name, number, and a brief summary of their question. Staff members will do their best to respond within 24 hours.
At this point, continuing students (those taking a leave) will be able to go through room selection and the deposit made for FA 2020 will be used for FA 2021. New students (those deferring) would complete their FA 2021 housing application and would be assigned with all other new students, using the original date of deposit for FA 2020 as their priority date.
The staff and faculty at Pratt are committed to building and strengthening their relationships with students and the relationships between students. Digital services and solutions have been developed to connect students with each other and with their professors and the administrative staff. Individual and group counseling is widely available to all students, and student clubs and organizations are continuing to meet and develop programs online.
For students pursuing either the remote or the hybrid option, student services, activities, and engagement are online. All support services are easy to access. There will continue to be opportunities for students to engage in campus governance and community dialogue remotely.
First, the student should notify Residential Life and Housing to cancel their fall housing. They can do so using the ‘Cancel Housing Request’ form on the housing application website (navigate to the housing application website via my.pratt.edu -> my profile -> update your -> residence life housing application.) The form will allow the student to indicate that they want their housing application forwarded to the spring semester.
Pratt will do what we can to keep you informed of your belongings. Our priority is the safety of your belongings, so if other residents will still be occupying the space we don’t want to leave your items unsupervised for the semester. In that case, we will coordinate to have your belongings packed and stored for the semester.
Students who are taking a leave of absence for the entire academic year 2020-21 or are canceling and finding alternative off-campus accommodations would need to arrange for a long-term storage solution or schedule the retrieval of belongings. We are only able to make arrangements for leaving items in the room for students returning for SP 2021 at this time.
Students should work with Pratt’s risk managers to rectify this unfortunate situation. They can begin by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What does the 2020–21 academic calendar look like?
We are engaged in a challenging and stimulating academic year with the same standard of excellence in teaching, learning, and research across the creative fields for which Pratt is renowned. With our entire community’s safety and wellbeing as our priority, we have created a framework in which Pratt students are continuing to receive a world-class education from Pratt’s stellar faculty. All students, whether they join us in New York City or study remotely, are able to make full-time progress toward their degrees.
No matter where or how our students choose to take courses or access services, they are being supported by our dedicated and distinguished faculty and staff, and the enhanced robust technology needed to learn and create.
What will classes be like this year?
How will I know if a class is in-person, online, or hybrid?
Pratt recognizes that while conducting classes online has become commonplace, these online meeting formats bring with them some privacy concerns. Our best practices guidance takes into consideration the needs and privacy of both students and faculty.
The current guidance states: Anyone who is intending to record a class or meeting should clearly inform all participants ahead of time. Recording a class is not required by the Institute—except in the case of a disability-related accommodation—but is permissible. Recorded classes should not be shared with anyone who is not a member of the class (except professional captioners). Only the faculty member teaching the class should have permission to record the class. It is acceptable to ask students to agree to this condition either verbally or in writing.
All students should be encouraged to use the Zoom background feature—if their computer meets the system requirements—to protect their privacy. While faculty members may prefer that students have their cameras on during class, students should not be required to make their faces visible on camera. Asking students to show their work or a working process on camera, for pedagogical purposes, is permissible.
The full details of this guidance are available through the Center for Teaching and Learning (PDF).
What resources for hybrid teaching formats are available to students, faculty, and staff?
Pratt is committed to providing an excellent and equitable Pratt educational experience online, as well as safely in hybrid courses where faculty and staff will use campus facilities, albeit in a highly monitored, time-limited, and regulated way. Required studio courses in the degree programs that depend upon access to specialized equipment and facilities are prioritized for access to labs and studios. We will not be able to offer long stays and unlimited access to studios as we normally would.
Is this hybrid format extending through the spring semester?
I’m a faculty member with questions about using Canvas to manage my courses. Where can I find more information?
The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) FAQ has Canvas and teaching and learning-related questions and corresponding up-to-date answers. If you are a faculty member with questions about technology, please contact the Technology Desk at email@example.com. If you have questions regarding course scheduling or course administrative issues, please contact your department chair or course coordinator. If you have any questions regarding teaching, course design, online best practices, or Canvas usage for teaching activities (that are not already on the FAQ page), send them to the CTL at firstname.lastname@example.org.
International students can engage in remote classes from inside or outside the United States. Please see the FAQ questions related to international students for further information.
The U.S. is currently restricting entry of foreign nationals (including international students) who have been present in certain countries in the past 14 days. These countries are China, Iran, UK/Ireland, all European Schengen countries, and Brazil. If you are presently in one of these countries, you will not be able to enter the U.S. until the travel ban for the country you are in is lifted. For more, please see NAFSA’s updates on COVID-19 travel bans
On July 13, the Department of State tweeted that consulates were beginning phased reopening of non-immigrant visa services: “US embassies and consulates are beginning the phased resumption of routine visa services. The date for each embassy or consulate will depend on local conditions. We are unable to provide details for each location. Please monitor the embassy or consulate website for updates.”
Students should contact the local consulate and follow the instructions for visa appointment scheduling, which varies by consulate.
You can stay outside the US and take full-time classes online if that is what works best for your personal, travel, and health situation. Provided ICE’s spring guidance remains in effect, students are permitted to remain in Active status either inside or outside of the US when engaged in full-time online coursework.
If you already were issued your SEVIS I-20 for Fall, we can make an update to your current I-20 start date. Your SEVIS ID would remain the same. You may email email@example.com if you would like to change your I-20 start date to Spring, which begins in January.
Yes, your existing student visa in your passport should remain valid for future use, until the expiration date printed. There is NOT a five-month rule to be concerned about regarding your visa. For reference, see the Homeland Security guidance: Do students need new visas?
Consider these deadlines:
- August 1, 2020, is the deadline to pay tuition without incurring a late fee.
- If you need to cancel or change your housing arrangements, please review the online housing information.
- Penalties apply to students with a fall 2020 registration for leave of absence eForms submitted after the first day of class, August 24, 2020.
- Penalties are applied even if you did not pay the bill.
- If you did not pay your bill, then the penalty will be applied and must be paid in order to return.
Consider that your I-20 will be terminated and that you will need to reapply for the I-20 and show a new bank statement in order to return for the spring 2021 or fall 2021 semester.
Consider that the “F-1 clock” will start from the beginning when you return to campus.
Consider how many semesters you have remaining:
- This could affect eligibility for CPT and OPT when you return to campus (read the FAQ on the impact of a leave on SEVIS status).
- If you have more than 12 credits remaining as an undergraduate student (or 9 credits as a graduate student), can you take 12 (or 9) credits in spring 2021 and the remaining credits in fall 2021? Check with your academic advisor. In this case, you would be eligible for OPT (but not CPT).
- Consider the extra expense for this option.
- For students with one or two semesters remaining, consider that taking classes completely online in fall 2020 will keep you in F-1 status whether you are in the US or abroad. Interruption of your F-1 status with a leave of absence will cause a break in your status.
- For students with one semester left, consider that if you decide to take classes online so you will be eligible for OPT, remember that an OPT application must be mailed from the United States up to three months before the completion date.
- If you decide to take the LOA and come back for your last semester, be aware you will forfeit CPT and OPT opportunities upon return.
If you are a current student planning to take a leave of absence, we will need to end your current I-20 for the period of leave. You will need to later apply for a new I-20 with updated financial documentation to return to the U.S. to continue your studies. You cannot stay in the U.S. during your leave. You will have to pay a new SEVIS I-901 fee for the new I-20, and your eligibility for practical training (Curricular Practical Training - CPT, and Optional Practical Training - OPT) will be reset. This means you will not be eligible for CPT and/or OPT until 1) after you return to the U.S in your new F-1 status and 2) you are re-enrolled full-time for two full semesters (one academic year) after your return. Students who are close to graduation should consider this carefully. You will not be eligible for post-completion OPT if you restart your status with less than two semesters remaining of required coursework.
The Office of International Affairs (OIA) is closed physically, but we are still providing services remotely. Travel signatures are valid for 12 months from the date signed on page two of your I-20 (six months for alumni on OPT). You can request a new travel signature by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and including your name as printed on your passport and Pratt ID number. Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Department of Homeland Security has provided us special authorization to send students I-20s electronically with e-signatures. Any new electronic I-20 you receive will remain valid for your use beyond the COVID-19 emergency, until you need an updated I-20 for another purpose. Please print your I-20 on letter-sized paper and sign it at the bottom so you have a paper copy to carry with you.
Under the new guidance, as a student in their home country taking online classes, you do not need an I-20 for the fall semester. If you want to register for online classes for the fall, please send an email to the Registrar’s office about your return at email@example.com. If you have an OIA Hold, then please fill out the International Student Form (the ISF) and make the following remark: “I am returning from a leave of absence, taking classes only online, and remaining in my home country. I do not need an I-20.” You would need to request your new I-20 for the semester you return to the United States and Pratt in-person.
If you get a visa appointment during the fall semester, you will take the I-20 that has the new spring start date. It is okay and normal that you would only be registered for online classes at that time because you are studying outside of the US. During the fall semester, you are still eligible to receive the visa to enter the US for the spring term while studying online.
Students who choose to study 100 percent remotely online will not be charged the fees typically associated with on-campus living and instruction. Please see “Adjustments to Fees and Tuition for 2020/21 Academic Year” for more details on how this impacts both undergraduate and graduate students.
Pratt’s facilities will be accessible to students who participate in face-to-face instruction. While many of the fees remain the same, the student activity fee, room, and board will be reduced, in addition to the tuition, room, and board freeze. Please see “Adjustments to Fees and Tuition for 2020/21 Academic Year” for more details on how this impacts both undergraduate and graduate students.
Contact your personal SFS Counselor. They are ready to assist you and respond to your financial questions.
Taking a leave of absence or deferring enrollment will not affect a student’s eligibility for receiving their previously awarded Presidential Merit Scholarship.
Please contact Student Financial Services for the most accurate information related to your situation.
Students experiencing financial difficulties as a result of COVID-19 should speak with their financial aid counselor about additional aid for which they may be eligible.
Supporting the reopening of our campuses during the ongoing pandemic requires that all faculty and staff returning to campus for the 2020-21 academic year agree to and abide by clear standards and expectations that promote appropriate behavior and goodwill. As members of the Pratt community, accepting responsibility for our friends, family, colleagues, and the wider community will contribute significantly toward reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Faculty and staff must observe all requirements for daily self-assessment, daily temperature assessment, reporting of symptoms, and diagnostic testing. Everyone is advised to wash their hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Faculty and staff should clean their workspaces with the disinfecting supplies provided by the Facilities Department before leaving each day.
Faculty and staff must wear an appropriate face covering or mask, which covers the nose and mouth at all times, while on campus when not working alone in a private office. Please contact Human Resources by either calling 718.636.3787 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance with an accommodation relating to this requirement.
Failure to comply with the requirements outlined in the Social Contract for Faculty and Staff may result in disciplinary action and/or denial of entry to Pratt campuses.
Please contact Human Resources by either calling 718.636.3787 or emailing email@example.com to discuss your work options based on your condition.
Please contact Human Resources by either calling 718.636.3787 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your work options based on your situation.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to limit nonessential personal travel; Pratt-sponsored travel is not authorized until further notice. It is advised that everyone approach any travel with ample caution and weigh the benefits against the risks to yourself and the community.
If you are traveling, check the jurisdiction you are going to for local COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements in advance. Students, faculty, and staff need to follow Pratt’s quarantine policy which is available on the Back to Pratt site.
ARCHIVED: Are there more shaded outdoor spaces set up for outdoor teaching or other uses?
Pratt Institute has made the difficult decision to not reopen the residence halls this fall, given the current state of COVID-19 globally and in the United States. We have decided that we can provide the safest conditions by closing the residence halls and attending to a much more contained use of campus. Please see “Residence Halls: Fall 2020 Decision to Remain Closed” for more details.
When Pratt's senior administration made the difficult decision to not reopen the residence halls this fall, it was a decision made in response to the current state of COVID-19 both locally and globally. We had anticipated that, by the end of July, virus tests would be widely available, test results would be returned quickly, and that the infection transmission rate would substantially decline. But this is not the case. While New York City has brought its number of COVID-19 cases down significantly, cases in most of the rest of the country, and in other parts of the world, are continuing to rise and spread rapidly.
The changes to housing this fall will not have an impact on financial aid. Please reach out to your personal SFS counselor with any questions.
All housing cancellation for fall 2020 will be no penalty. If you decide to move your assignment forward to spring 2021, you need do nothing and your assignment will be set for spring.
If you decide to defer or take a leave of absence until fall 2021, that deposit will be carried over to reserve your spot on campus. You will be able to go through room selection or complete a fall 2021 application in the spring.
The housing deposit remains on your student account as a credit and can be applied to future terms if you are moving your application forward. Otherwise, if you will not be attending or will not be living on campus, we can refund your housing deposit.
Students are advised to check in with their airline and/or hotel about rebooking or refunding any deposits. Res Life can offer support by providing a letter explaining that the Pratt residence halls are closed: email@example.com.
Keeping the residence halls closed for the fall semester does not change the academic curriculum that has been developed for fall 2020. All students, whether they join us in New York City or study remotely, are able to make full-time progress toward their degrees. Pratt is committed to providing an excellent and equitable educational experience online, as well as safely in hybrid courses.