Pratt Institute has created the first master of arts degree program in its 124-year history — a media studies program that will be offered through the Institute’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences (SLAS) in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies starting in fall 2013. The Institute’s Charter was amended by the New York State Department of Education to allow Pratt to offer master of arts degrees in addition to the associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees already offered.

The graduate media studies program will be accepting applications for the fall 2013 semester in fall 2012 and Pratt’s SLAS will spend the next year developing the curriculum and recruiting faculty and students.

“This is extremely exciting for us,” says SLAS Dean Andrew Barnes. “The Institute is uniquely positioned to offer such a program, since media studies students will be surrounded by the hands-on practitioners of the very media they will be studying. This program will give them both the theoretical knowledge to think about media and the applied experience to make significant changes in the field.”

According to Ira Livingston, chair of the Humanities and Media Studies department, Pratt’s master of arts degree program will be an intensive media studies program linked closely into the art, design, and architecture environment of Pratt, and into the burgeoning mediascape and lively social space of Brooklyn and New York City. The mix of courses offered will feature theory, criticism, and practice-focused seminars; individual and collaborative projects; internships; and salon-style encounters with visiting scholars and practitioners. Classes will be small, and will be taught by the media studies scholars and media makers who are the program’s faculty members.

“Our media studies faculty are people who have, in one way or another, found our career paths by refusing to choose among our various interests, and these are also the kinds of students we’re looking for,” said Livingston. “Especially in a world of ongoing media convergences and evolution, this approach will put our students ahead of those who, for whatever reasons, felt compelled to choose too narrowly,” he added.

Pratt’s SLAS trains students to conduct research, substantiate arguments, and communicate in the broadest possible socio-historical, literary, and scientific contexts and offers degree programs for students whose interests impel them to pursue their education as thinkers and writers in a community oriented toward art and design. The new master of arts degree in media studies is the third degree program offered through SLAS. The school currently offers a bachelor of arts degree program in critical and visual studies and a bachelor of fine arts degree program in writing. In addition to a curriculum in the humanities and media studies, the school offers courses in mathematics and science, and social science and cultural studies.

View a video interview with Professor Negar Mottahedeh, a new faculty member of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Mottahedeh will teach in the school’s master of arts degree program in media studies in 2013.