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Using credits from outside of the Social Science and Cultural Studies Department


The Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies (SSCS) provides students with critical skills that expand how they perceive their intellectual, artistic, and professional work. Courses in SSCS cover a broad range of disciplines, and allow students the opportunity for both introductory and advanced study in the areas of our faculty expertise. SSCS is home to several minors and a major, and much of the department’s work is done in support of the General Education goals at Pratt Institute.

It is preferable that Pratt students take courses within Pratt Institute’s offerings when possible. However, we recognize that there may be compelling reasons for a student to wish to take courses in topics that would be covered by SSCS at other educational institutions. For a guide to the circumstances under which credit for such courses may be transferred to Pratt, please review the following. 

Transfer Credit

Students who begin their higher education at another institution before transferring to Pratt may request to have credits transferred to Pratt when they begin here. While other institutions may offer similar courses or courses with similar names, it is important that these course syllabi, learning outcomes, and other factors be reviewed by the SSCS department to determine if they are equivalent to courses at Pratt. After review, a determination will be made about what 

requirements these courses may fulfill.

Permission to Take

Students who are currently enrolled at Pratt may apply to have a total of six credits taken at another institution counted towards their requirements at Pratt (nb: six is the maximum for permission to take credits approved by all departments combined). This process is called “Permission to Take” and follows stricter rules than Transfer Credits. Permission to take requests must be submitted before the courses are taken, and students must justify their request. Generally, permission will be guided by the philosophy that Pratt students should take courses at Pratt whenever possible.

Acceptable reasons for taking a course at another institution include:

  • The course complements the student’s academic interests or art and design speciality based on previously taken courses at Pratt, and no equivalent course is offered at Pratt.
  • Due to an unavoidable circumstance, the student has fallen behind their degree progress, and needs to “catch up” to graduate within a conventional timeframe.

Unacceptable reasons for taking a course elsewhere include:

  • Taking this course allows the student to take fewer credits during the traditional academic year.
  • Taking the course allows the student to graduate in fewer semesters than according to conventional degree progress.
  • Taking the course is more convenient than taking the same course at Pratt.

Types of Credit

There are several categories of required credits that courses in SSCS can fulfill, and the department’s policy regarding permission is designed to reflect that.

General Education Core Credit

Our GE Core courses have been specifically designed to complement the art and design work of Pratt students. These courses include both the “Global Perspectives” Core Menu, and the “Ways of Knowing/Thinking/Doing” Core Menu, also known as Menu G and Menu T, respectively. Of the 9 credits that must be taken in the core menu, 3 must be writing intensive. It is the policy of the SSCS department that the department will not award credit for GE Menu G or GE Menu T for courses from another college or university to any student currently enrolled at Pratt Institute. Transfer students will have their previously taken courses’ syllabi reviewed to determine eligibility for GE core credit.

General Education post-Core SLAS Elective Credit

 Pratt students are required to take 15 credits of “Post‐Core” general studies elective content drawn from the offerings of the Mathematics and Science Department, the Humanities and Media Studies Department, and the Social Science and Cultural Studies Department. At least 9 of these 15 credits must be at the 300‐level or above.

When accepted, relevant credits from other institutions may count towards these post-Core elective requirements. The SSCS department requires a syllabus for the course in order to determine if credit will be awarded at the 100-200 level or the 300 level. 

All-Institute Elective Credit

All-institute elective classes are classes taken outside of a student’s home department. As such, the chair of the department housing the student’s major must make the determination that a course is sufficiently outside of the student’s major area of study. After review by the student’s home department chair, the SSCS department can review the proposed course to determine if the class is appropriate to receive credit. 

How to Apply for Credits

Students who wish to apply for transfer credit or credits through the permission to take process must contact the SSCS Department chair and assistant chair. Students who wish to apply for credit through the permission to take process must provide an adequate explanation in their initial inquiry to the department.