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Pratt Institute

History of Art and Design Program

Brooklyn, NY


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Pratt Institute


Pratt Institute: A Top Art and Design School

Pratt Institute, founded in 1887, is one of the oldest and most selective art, design, and architecture schools in the United States. Located in Brooklyn, New York, with satellite campuses in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood and Utica, Pratt is known for its accomplished faculty and exceptional facilities and resources. Pratt Institute offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs in architecture, graphic design, industrial design, fashion design, interior design, digital arts, illustration, creative writing, and library and information science.

Among the notable graduates of Pratt Institute are fashion designer Betsey Johnson, animator Joseph Barbera, cartoonist Jules Pfeifer, and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe.

History of Art and Design Master's Degree Overview

Pratt Institute's History of Art and Design Department, located within the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, offers the Master of Arts in History of Art and Design degree. Through comprehensive study and in-depth research and analysis, students become proficient in their critical thinking and understanding of the historical, cultural, and social roles and responsibilities of global art and design.

The program prepares students for careers as art and design historians; museum, gallery, and library professionals; and for doctoral level studies.

The curriculum comprises coursework, excursions, and internships that leverage the school's extensive working relationships with some of Manhattan's leading museums, galleries, and cultural institutions.

A Wealth of World-Class Internships

Graduate students in the History of Art and Design master's degree program benefit from world-class internship experiences offered by New York City's leading museums and cultural institutions. Most students take an internship for credit; those in the Certificate of Museum Studies program complete 2 internships at different museums or cultural institutions.

Pratt students have completed internships at the Museum of Biblical Art, Christie's, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sotheby's, Rubin Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Artists Space, Brooklyn Historical Museum, and many others.

Summer Study in Venice

Pratt Institute graduate and undergraduate students can experience Pratt in Venice, a 6-week summer program offered in collaboration with Universita Internazionale dell'Arte and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice.

The program fosters interaction between art history and the studio arts through group events, faculty/student discussions, visiting lecturers, and shared experiences. Group visits to Padua and Bassano/Maser are included.

Accomplished, Award-Winning Faculty

Pratt Institute employs more than 1,000 full- and part-time faculty members. Pratt faculty members are known for their expertise, innovation, and dedication to fostering the development of the individual. They are practicing professional artists, designers, critics, and historians who have been recognized with numerous Tiffany, Fulbright, and Guggenheim awards.

Among the distinguished art and design faculty is department chairperson Dorothea Dietrich. Dietrich is a modernist whose primary research areas are the arts and culture of the Weimer Republic and the post WWII era in Germany. Also on staff is Janice Robertson, a specialist in pre-Columbian art and the author of "Pictures Silenced by Words: Rethinking the Problem of Aztec Picture-Writing."

Dual Degree Options with Library Science and Fine Arts

Pratt also offers dual degree options. Students may pursue the History of Art and Design master's degree in combination with a Fine Arts M.F.A. degree (M.A./M.F.A). Students interested in careers in academic librarianship can pursue a Master of Science in Library and Information Science in tandem with a History of Art and Design master's degree (M.S.L.I.S./M.A.).

Museum Certificate Offers Advantage

A 15-credit Advanced Certificate in Museum Studies is available to students enrolled in the History of Art and Design M.A. degree program, as well as those students in the dual degree fine arts and library science programs.

The advanced certificate was developed to give a professional advantage to graduates who plan to pursue employment in museums and galleries. It is awarded only upon completion of the history of art and design master's degree.

Student Facilities and Resources

State-of-the-art computer facilities support all of Pratt's graduate programs and include a number of gallery spaces that exhibit the work of students, alumni, faculty, and other well-known artists and designers throughout the academic year.

Pratt's Brooklyn Campus Library's art and architecture collection contains approximately 208,000 volumes, 500 periodical and newspaper subscriptions, 66,000 slides, 190,000 pictures, 50,000 microforms, and 45,000 governmental documents.

The Manhattan Campus Library houses more than 200,000 volumes of print materials, including more than 600 periodicals, rare books, and the college archives. Pratt students may also access collections in nearby public and college libraries.

PrattPro, an online database that lists jobs, internships, and mentors, is available exclusively to students and alumni.

Financial Aid and Tuition Payment Plan at Pratt Institute

Pratt Institute offers financial support to help students fulfill their education goals. Financial assistance can include grants, loans, work-study opportunities, or scholarships. In addition, tuition management programs are available to help students pay in installments over time.

Brooklyn and Manhattan Campuses

Pratt Institute is situated on 25 beautiful acres in the historic Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn, New York. Its Manhattan campus, located on 14th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, houses the Graduate School for Information and Library Science, and also the graduate programs in Communications and Package Design, Design Management, and Arts and Cultural Management.

Both campuses are accessible to public transit lines and regional trains and housing options are available to Pratt graduate students who want to live on or near campus.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Arts (MA)
Master of Arts/Master of Fine Arts (MA/MFA)
Master of Arts/Master of Science in Library and Information Science (MA/MSLIS)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 2

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE General Test
1 Foreign Language
Thesis Required


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
Application Fee - International
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline January 5th January 5th No
Spring deadline October 1st October 1st No

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE General Test
Master's Degree Requirements Letters of recommendation, writing sample, portfolio

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 600
TOEFL IBT score: 100

Tuition & Fees

Calculator icon

Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards February 1
Types of financial support available Health Care Benefits
Institutionally-sponsored Loans
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino Not Reported
Black or African American Not Reported
White or Caucasian 62%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian Not Reported
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races Not Reported
Unknown 25%


Male (12%)
Female (87%)


Focus of faculty research: Conservation techniques, women artists from previous centuries, art of sixteenth-century Veneto, design history, nineteenth-century Germany
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn, NY  11205-3899
United States
Contact John Decker
Phone: 718-636-3532