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Pratt’s an exceptional place to study art and design history. From our landmarked campus you’ll have access to NYC’s premier international private collections, libraries, museums, studios, and galleries, as well as leading artists, designers, historians, and theorists.
metal sculpture spheres rest in the grass with a tree, a building and a set of goat-like statues in the background
Undergraduate, BFA
4 years
Plan of Study
Students and teacher discuss a piece of African figurative sculpture.

History of Art and Design at Pratt

Join us in New York City, the art capital of the United States, for an immersive education in the history of art and design. Specialized foundational, art and design history, and liberal arts courses prepare you to conduct research, critically analyze and describe works of art, and place them in their social context.  Studios and electives in your chosen concentration provide an in-depth program of study and experiential learning opportunities to practice traditional and new visual arts techniques.

The Experience

Students sketch from sculptures in the ancient Greek and Roman wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Taking specially designed foundation and survey courses, students in the BFA program will engage with a range of liberal arts disciplines including philosophy, literature, and criticism of the history of art and design, as well as studio courses. You’ll collaborate closely with your team, faculty, and community partners to learn the skills needed to create strategies and systems that meet real-world challenges.

Electives and Seminars

You’ll have the opportunity to take electives in film and design, architecture, non-Western, pre-Renaissance, Renaissance to Rococo, and 19th-, 20th-, or 21st-century art, theory and methodology, and chemistry of art. Major-specific seminars are available from your first through senior years, on topics that include the role of New York as a cultural capital, critical and theoretical models, and art and social justice.

Study Abroad

Bernini's fountain in the Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy.

Immersing yourself in another culture is an incredible experience that can extend the boundaries of creativity. Study abroad programs are an integral part of the college experience, and Pratt has deep connections with university partners around the world. Study in Paris with the Pratt in Paris summer program. We also recently celebrated the 35th anniversary of Pratt in Venice, which is a 6-week program that occurs each June and July. For more information on Study Abroad, visit Pratt’s Study Abroad page.

Learning Resources

We develop disciplinary fluency in our program of study and we celebrate the interdisciplinary nature of design critical to address the plurality and complexity of the environments in which we operate. Learn about resources.

Our Faculty

Pratt’s distinguished faculty of outstanding creative professionals and scholars share a common desire to develop each student’s potential and creativity to the fullest. Bringing different views, methods, and perspectives, they provide a rigorous educational model in which students make and learn. See all History of Art and Design faculty and administrators.

Our Alumni

Pratt’s distinguished alumni are leading diverse and thriving careers, addressing critical challenges and creating innovative work that reimagines our world.

Success Stories

Ready for More?

Join us at Pratt. Learn more about admissions requirements, plan your visit, talk to a counselor, and start your application. Take the next step.You’ll find yourself at home at Pratt. Learn more about our residence halls, student organizations, athletics, gallery exhibitions, events, the amazing City of New York and our Brooklyn neighborhood communities. Check us out.

From the Catalog