|Motto||Be true to your work, and your work will be true to you.|
|Endowment||$215.7 million (2019)|
|163 (full-time) |
|Campus||Urban, 25 acres (10.1 ha)|
|Colors||Black, White and Yellow |
|ACAA (NCAA Division III) |
Pratt Institute is a private university with its main campus in Brooklyn, New York. It has a satellite campus in Manhattan and an extension campus in Utica, New York (Pratt MWP). The school originated in 1887 with programs primarily in engineering, architecture, and fine arts. Comprising six schools, the institute is primarily known for its programs in architecture, interior design, and industrial design.
Pratt Institute was founded in 1887 by American industrialist Charles Pratt, who was a successful businessman and oil tycoon and was one of the wealthiest men in the history of Brooklyn. Pratt was an early pioneer of the oil industry in the United States and was the founder of Astral Oil Works based in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn which was a leader in replacing whale oil with petroleum or natural oil. In 1867, Pratt established Charles Pratt and Company. In 1874, Pratt's companies were purchased by John D. Rockefeller and became part of his Standard Oil trust while Pratt continued to run the companies himself.
Pratt, an advocate of education, wanted to provide the opportunity for working men and women to better their lives through education. Even though Pratt never had the opportunity to go to college himself, he wanted to create an affordable college accessible to the working class. In 1884, Pratt began purchasing parcels of land in his affluent home town of Clinton Hill for the intention of opening a school. The school would end up being built only two blocks from Charles Pratt's residence on Clinton Avenue.
From his fortunes with Astral Oil and Charles Pratt and Company, in 1886 he endowed and founded Pratt Institute. In May 1887, the New York State Legislature granted Charles Pratt a charter to open the school; on October 17, 1887, the institute opened to 12 students in the Main Hall. Tuition was $4 per class per term (approximately equivalent to $113.8 in 2019). The college was one of the first in the country open to all people, regardless of class, color, and gender. In the early years, the institute's mission was to offer education to those who never had it offered to them before. Pratt sought to teach people skills that would allow them to be successful and work their way up the economic ladder. Specifically, many programs were tailored for the growing need to train industrial workers in the changing economy with training in design and engineering. Early programs sought to teach students a variety of subjects such as architectural engineering, mechanics, dressmaking, and furniture making. Graduates of the school were taught to become engineers, mechanics, and technicians. Drawing, whether freehand, mechanical, or architectural, thought of as being a universal language, united such diverse programs and thus all programs in the school had a strong foundation in drawing. In addition, the curriculum at the institute was to be complemented by a large Liberal Arts curriculum. Students studied subjects such as history, mathematics, physics, and literature in order to better understand the world in which they will be working in, which is still used in Pratt's curriculum.
Enrollment grew steadily since inception. Six months after inception the school had an enrollment of nearly 600 students. By the first anniversary of the school there were 1,000 students in attendance. In five years time the school had nearly 4,000 students. In 1888 Scientific American said of the school that "it is undoubtedly the most important enterprise of its kind in this country, if not in the world".Andrew Carnegie even visited Pratt for inspiration and used the school as a model in developing Carnegie Technical Schools, now Carnegie Mellon University. At the first Founders Day celebration in 1888, Charles Pratt addressed what would become the school's motto: "be true to your work and your work will be true to you" meaning that students should educate and develop themselves diligently and go out into the world working hard, giving all of themselves.
As public interest grew in the school and demand increased the school began adding new programs including the Pratt High School, Library School, Music Department, and Department of Commerce. Because of the overwhelming popularity of the Department of Commerce, the department broke off from the main institute and formed its own school, under the guidance of Norman P. Heffley, personal secretary to Charles Pratt.The Heffley School of Commerce, the former Pratt Department of Commerce, originally having shared facilities with Pratt evolved into what is now Brooklyn Law School.
In 1891, the institute's founder and first president, Charles Pratt, died and his eldest son, Charles Millard Pratt, assumed responsibility of president for the school. In 1893, Charles Pratt's other son, Frederic B. Pratt, was elected President of Pratt Institute taking over from his elder brother. Because Charles Pratt Snr. died so soon after the college was founded, Frederic Pratt is ascribed with guiding the college through its early decades. Under the direction of Pratt's sons, the institute was able to thrive both financially and critically with many new construction projects and courses. By 1892, the number of students enrolled was 3,900. In 1897 the most popular major for students was domestic arts.
In 1896, the school opened its monumental Victorian-Renaissance Revival library with interiors designed by the Tiffany Decorating and Glass Company and sprawling gardens outside the library. The library was available not just for students but to the general public as well. The Pratt Institute Library was the first and only public library in Brooklyn for nearly 15 years. Additionally, the library served as a working classroom for the training of librarians and is cited as one of the first schools of Library science. The Pratt Institute Library also made available the first reading room for children in New York City.
By the turn of the century, The School of Science and Technology had become Pratt's most prestigious and well known school comprised most of the school's enrollment Across from East Building on Grand Avenue, the institute constructed a new quad dedicated specifically for the engineering school. Constructed over a period of a quarter of a century, the Chemistry, Machinery, and Engineering buildings were constructed in the same architecture style, unifying all disciplines offered by the School. Pratt also had a large variety of courses dedicated specifically for women during this time. Some of the 25 courses women could partake in included library science, nursing, home economics, and fashion.
By 1910, all of the departments of the institute were organized as individual schools including the Library School, School of Domestic Science, School of Fine and Applied Arts, and the School of Science and Technology.
As World War I faced the nation in 1914, Pratt partnered with the United States Government to aid in the war effort. The School of Science and Technology had its own Student Army Training Corps which taught enlistees engineering skills needed for the war. Students designed aircraft used in the war and trained operators. In 1927, mechanical engineering alumnus Donald A. Hall designed the Spirit of Saint Louis, used by Charles Lindbergh in the world's first transatlantic flight.
By the 1938 most programs at the school began offering four-year Bachelor of Science degrees and Pratt transformed itself from being a technical school to a rigorous college . By granting bachelor's degrees, Pratt had to revise its curriculum from being a two-year school to now being a four-year college. The changes also reflected New York State requirements for granting degrees and stricter government and professional licensing regulations for graduates. During this decade, the foundation program for all Art School students was also founded. In 1940 Pratt began granting graduate degrees.
During World War II Pratt also helped in the war effort as it did during World War I with the engineering school training servicemen before they were deployed. Students helped to design camouflage for soldiers, buildings, and weapons. Following the war, the school saw a large influx of veterans enrolling as part of the GI Bill.
In the 1940s, the School of Science and Technology changed its name to the School of Engineering and in 1946 established its own honor society with mechanical engineering being the most popular major at all of Pratt. In 1953, Francis H. Horn became the first President of Pratt who was not a member of the Pratt family. Enrollment continue to climb throughout the decade and in 1948 the institute reached an all-time high in attendance with 6,000 students. By 1950, Pratt had become an accredited institution by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. In 1954, the architecture department split from the Engineering School to become its own school.
As part of white flight in the 1950s and 1960s which affected the majority of New York City the neighborhood of Clinton Hill began to see a transformation from an upper-class, affluent, white community to one chiefly populated by poor and working-class people of color. During this time, Pratt considered moving its campus to more affluent Long Island or Manhattan and increase its attractiveness but decided to stay at its original Brooklyn campus due to the history and Charles Pratt's original mission.
As part of Robert Moses' plan for urban renewal in New York City, Pratt's physical campus saw the greatest amount of change in its history. Prior to the 1950s, the school was located in separate buildings located on several public streets. However, after Moses' clearance of many of the structures located between Pratt's buildings, the land was given over to the school, and a true campus was established. Ryerson Street, Grand Avenue, Steuben Street, and Emerson Place ceased to allow automobile traffic, and the campus became enclosed, forming the Grand Mall to connect the institute's buildings. The elevated train running along Grand Avenue between the East Building/Student Union and the Engineering Quad was dismantled. As a result of new real estate, the school was able to build several new structures, all designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White, including men's and women's dormitories and a new student union. In addition, Moses' construction projects around the school helped to build the School of Architecture. Research funds were granted to the school to help discover new building techniques. By 1963, the urban planning department formed the Pratt Center for Community Development in an attempt to revitalize Pratt's surrounding neighborhood and Brooklyn.
In the 1970s and continuing well into the 1980s New York City and Brooklyn still faced large amounts of crime and poverty and as a result enrollment fell and the school began to face a budget deficit. Prospective students and faculty felt uneasy about the safety of the campus and community. In 1974, the men's basketball team came to the attention of national media outlets as Cyndi Meserve joined the team becoming the first woman to play men's NCAA basketball. Students earning architecture degrees exceeded those who were earning mechanical engineering degrees in 1975 and architecture degrees became the most popular degree at Pratt, a trend that still exists. In anticipation of the institute's centennial anniversary in 1987, several capital improvements were made to the campus trying to restore the condition of many of the dilapidated buildings. The Grand Mall was re-landscaped with new plantings, brick pathways, and lighting and the Newman Amphitheater was built in 1988 in celebration of the hundredth anniversary. President Richardson Pratt Jr retired in 1990 after nearly twenty years of serving as president, becoming the last president to be a descendant of founder Charles Pratt.
By 1993, Thomas F. Schutte was appointed as president and has since become the longest standing president overseeing the institute not a part of the Pratt family. In the same year, Pratt controversially closed its School of Engineering, an integral part of founder Charles Pratt's long term vision for the school. Historically, the school was Pratt's most successful school and many associated the school with its engineering program. In response to the institute-wide decrease in enrollment and school-wide budget issues, closing the School of Engineering was thought of as being the only feasible option to keep the school's other programs afloat and to address the budget. Students in the Engineering program were transferred to Polytechnic Institute of New York University while tenured professors were relocated to the School of Architecture and the science and math departments in the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
As a result of closing the costly School of Engineering, the school was able to get out of debt and on the track to financial success. Funds were allocated for campus-wide beautification projects and restoration and modernization of historic buildings, starting with Memorial Hall. Part of the beautification projects included adding the Pratt Institute Sculpture Park in 1999 where contemporary art sculptures are placed throughout the campus lawns and gardens, making it the largest contemporary sculpture park in New York City. Pratt also began a partnership with Munson-Williams-Proctor and Delaware College of Art and Design for art students to study for two years at either campus and finish their degrees at Pratt's School of Art and Design in Brooklyn. During the 1990s the school was able to increase enrollment by twenty-five percent, from approximately 3,000 students in 1990 to 4,000 students in 2000.
Vincent A. Stabile, a 1940 graduate of the School of Engineering, donated about $13 million to Pratt, the largest donation made by any alumnus in the college's history, with the request to President Schutte that the donation be used to reopen the School of Engineering. President Schutte rejected Mr. Stabile's request but instead allocated the funds to construct a new residence hall named in the donor's honor. From the mid-1980s to the 2000s Pratt experienced the transition from being mainly a commuter school to become a residential school through the construction of new residence halls Cannoneer Court, Pantas Hall, and Stabile Hall.
Pratt Institute is currently unranked by U.S. News & World Report. In its specialty rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranks Pratt 15th among "Best Fine Arts Programs" and 34th in "Best Library and Information Studies Programs". The Bachelor of Architecture program has been ranked as being in the top fifteen programs in the United States consistently since 2000 according to Architectural Record.Bloomberg BusinessWeek ranked the school as being one of the top 60 schools in the world to study design, and respondents to a Business Insider survey said that the school was the 6th-best school for design in the world.
While Kiplinger's Personal Finance previously named Pratt as one of the country's best values in private colleges and universities, it is no longer listed in their rankings. It was previously included as one of the top values for academic quality and affordability out of more than 600 private institutions.
Pratt Institute is divided into 6 schools and more than 28 departments and divisions offering over 22 undergraduate majors and 25 graduate majors.
The schools include:
Pratt Institute offers the following joint degree programs:
Pratt Institute is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and is authorized to award academic degrees by the State of New York, following guidelines established by the New York State Department of Education.
The Bachelor of Architecture degree and the Master of Architecture degree at the School of Architecture are accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board. The undergraduate Interior Design program is accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation.
Graduate programs in Library and Information Science, Art Therapy, and Art Education are all accredited by the Committee on Accreditation of the American Library Association, Education Approval Board of the American Art Therapy Association, and RATE respectively. The School of Art and Design is one of only forty-three schools part of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.
|Hispanic American (of any race)||9.5%||18.3%|
|Two or more races, non-Hispanic||3.5%||2.7%|
Pratt Institute students, numbering 3,483 undergraduates and 1,392 graduate students in Fall 2019, come from 78 countries and 47 states. Women represent 71% of undergraduates and 74% of graduate students.
Pratt Institute's main campus is located on a historic, esteemed, enclosed 25-acre (100,000 m2) campus located in the Clinton Hill neighborhood in Brooklyn, 2 miles from Downtown Brooklyn and 3 miles from Lower Manhattan. Midtown Manhattan is just 5 miles from the campus.
The campus is accessible by two public entrances, both of which close in the evening hours and are guarded by security 24 hours a day. The main gate located at Willoughby Avenue on the north side of campus is accessible for pedestrians and vehicles while the secondary pedestrian-only gate located at the corner of Hall Street and DeKalb Avenue at the southwest part of campus is convenient for commuters and for students to get to Higgins Hall. In addition, there are two other swipe card access gates available only for student use. The campus is very park-like and fully landscaped and provides a stark contrast to the urban neighborhood which surrounds the school.
The four main areas of the campus include the Library Rose Garden, Cannon Court, Newman Mall and Amphitheater, and the Engineering Quad:
The entire campus is open to the public as park space during the daytime. Throughout the campus, many contemporary sculptures fill the gardens and landscape, making the campus home to the largest sculpture park in New York City. The sculptures are loaned to Pratt and are changed on a rotating basis. Public Art Review recognized the campus as having one of the 10 best college and university art collections in the country.
|Displayed since||Name of Sculpture||Artist|
|2016||La Méditerranée||Philippe Anthonioz|
|1999||Picnic Table||Siah Armajani|
|2005||The Book of Stone and Steel|
|2011||Maze 1||Phyllis Baker Hammond|
|1995||Image 95||Masaru Bando|
|2014||Whispering Bench-- Texting,||Cathey Billian|
|1995||Wind Reeds||Bill & Mary Buchen|
|2007||Seven of Hearts||Noël Copeland|
|2013||Half Story Mountain||Grayson Cox|
|2002||Jive||Mark di Suvero|
|2004||Epistrophy, Straight No Chaser, Round Midnight||Richard Heinrich|
|2009||Silo||Tomasz Jan Groza|
|2001||Fourth Dimension||Ann Jon|
|2008||Segmented Flower Form Part 1||Mary Judge|
|2001||Lions at the Gate||Wendy Klemperer|
|1990-1999||6 Copper Spheres||Grace Knowlton|
|2003||Saratoga Winter||Harry E. Leigh|
|2008-2009||Waiting for Coyote||Nao Matsumoto|
|1996||Manhole Covers||Brad Michael McCallum|
|2007||Pratt Pillows||Mark Mennin|
|2007||Untitled||Sung Ha No|
|Date unknown||Promise||Neil Noland|
|2012||Double Sbalzo||Beverly Pepper|
|2006||Ecstasy||Nova Mihai Popa|
|2004||Aerated Rectangles||Salvatore M. Romano|
|2009-2010||Five Equal Volumes|
|Date unknown||Untitled||Tony Rosenthal|
|2007||Four Floating Disks||G.A. Ruda|
|2004||Particle/Wave,Time/Space Continuum||Karl Saliter|
|2006||Dream of Africa||Shin Sang-Ho|
|2012||Scarce of Fishing||Arden Scott|
|2014||Intersections: Gardens #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9||Arlene Slavin|
|2007||Block 700||Sean Slemon|
|2006||Black E.C. Tower||Kenneth Snelson|
|2003||Silent Beam||Takashi Soga|
|2000||Siting on His Laurels||Dana L. Stewart|
|Date Unknown||Bench||George Sugarman|
|Date Unknown||Right Angles||Gunnar Theel|
|2012||Brickhead: Yemanga||James Tyler|
|Date Unknown||Three Cement Goats||Unknown Artist|
|2006||Ode to Miles Davis||Hans Van de Bovenkamp|
|2009||The End Justifies the Means, Justifies the End ...||Martha Walker|
|2012||Pratt Desk||Allan Wexler|
|2006||Welcome II||Raphael Zollinger|
Pratt is home to a diverse collection of buildings composed of several architectural styles. Most of the buildings at the school were built before World War II in the style of Romanesque Revival, Victorian, and Neoclassical styles and were designed by prominent nineteenth and twentieth century architects. After the war, Pratt began building more contemporary styled buildings.
In 2011, Architectural Digest named Pratt as being one of the top ten most architecturally significant college campuses in the country, for its seamless collection of buildings ranging from since the 1800s.
The Main Building, East Hall Building, and Student Union are all located adjacent to one another and make up a complex of the original buildings, all built specifically for the Institute in 1887:
Other structures include:
Pratt Institute Historic District
|Location||Roughly bounded by Hall St., Dekalb Ave., Willoughby St. and Emerson Pl., Brooklyn, New York|
|Area||9 acres (3.6 ha)|
|Architectural style||Late 19th And 20th Century Revivals, Renaissance, Romanesque|
|NRHP reference No.||90001138 |
|Added to NRHP||March 23, 2005|
A number of Pratt Institute's buildings and landscapes are historically significant. The Pratt Institute Historic District is a national historic district that comprises 10 contributing buildings built between 1885 and 1936. Several buildings are recognized as being New York City Designated Landmarks. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005 and was awarded the Getty Foundation Campus Heritage Grant. Two buildings outside the historic district, Higgins Hall and the Caroline Ladd Pratt House are also listed on the historic register as being a part of the Clinton Hill Historic District. The buildings and structures listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places for their architectural or historical significance are:
Pratt, a residential campus, offers seven different residence options for its students. All residence hall students are provided with a bed (twin extra-long), a desk, a chair and a dresser. Students residing in a dorm on campus are required to be on a mandatory meal plan (Stabile, Cannoneer, ELJ, and Pantas), while those off campus are able to sign up for an optional meal plan (Willoughby and Grand Avenue). Cannoneer Court, Leo J. Pantas Hall, and Vincent A. Stabile Hall are the primary freshman dorms. In total, 51 percent of undergraduate students reside on campus while 92 percent of incoming freshmen students reside on campus. Pratt offers the following residence halls for students to choose from:
Pratt does not provide any official sponsored transportation options for its students, but there are several public transportation options located directly off Pratt's main campus.
The school is served by MTA New York City Bus routes with the B38 bus route servicing the campus to the south with stations along DeKalb and Lafayette Avenues and the B54 bus route serving the area north of the campus along Myrtle Avenue. In addition, the New York City Subway's train has a station located at the intersection of Washington and Lafayette Avenues. The Clinton-Washington Avenues station (IND Crosstown Line) is located directly across the street from Higgins Hall. In addition, the train has an entrance to Clinton-Washington Avenues station (IND Fulton Street Line) four blocks south of the Hall Gate entrance and three blocks south of Higgins Hall.
The Long Island Rail Road at Atlantic Terminal, is located a short walk from the campus. Pratt participates in New Jersey Transit's University Partnership Program where students can receive a twenty-five percent discount on monthly passes based out of Penn Station in Manhattan.
The Pratt Manhattan center, located at 144 West 14th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenue, is home to Pratt's associate degrees programs in graphic design, illustration, and digital design and interactive media, an undergraduate program in construction management, several of Pratt's graduate programs including the master's degrees in the School of Information, Facilities management, Design Management, Arts and Cultural Management, and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies which offers an array of non-credit courses and Certificate Programs, including certificates in Digital Design, Advanced Perfumery, Creative Interiors, Floral Art and Design, among many others. This seven story historic building was acquired by Pratt in 2000. The Institute restored the building's exterior to its original facade highlighting its decorative architectural and design elements and renovated the interior to feature its high ceilings and wood beams. A lovely staircase from the building's lobby leads to the Pratt Manhattan Gallery.
This new building houses the School for Information, the Graduate Programs in Design Management, Arts and cultural Management, the two-year associate degree Programs in Digital Design, Graphic Design and Illustration, and the Manhattan office of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies. The modern building has many resources like a library, computer lab and meeting spaces.
In 1974, the New York Phoenix School of Design, formerly the New York School of Applied Design for Women and the Phoenix Art Institute, merged with the Pratt Institute to form the Pratt-New York Phoenix School of Design, which offered three-year certificate programs in art and design at least into the late 1970s. It is located in the landmark New York School of Applied Design Building at 160 Lexington Avenue, at the northwest corner of Lexington and 30th Street. At this time, Manhattan had long been the epicenter of publishing design during the latter-twentieth century. This new commercial-art-dedicated satellite was modeled to apply intensely concentrated vocational training in graphic design, illustration, package design, and textile design. Its faculty was largely composed of Manhattan's working professionals, who themselves had achieved the level of skill necessary to meet the city's global-defining standards. Magazines, books, music albums, movie posters, print and television advertisements and packaging for all forms of retail products were the intended goals for its graduates, as well as Manhattan's omnipresent fashion industry. In addition, the below-ground space in the school was converted into a state of the art printmaking facility, teaching artist-created lithography, silk screening and engraving.
Pratt institute is known for the campus's "Pratt Cats" which roam freely on campus, and inspired the schools's mascot, Charlie. The cats each have their own names and personalities, including but not limited to: Charlie, L'il Mama, Mustachio, Shadow, Thomas, and Benji. The cats have heated homes on campus, and are fed by staff and students.
The Pratt Cannoneers, a founding member of the Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (USCAA), has varsity teams competing in men's basketball, soccer, cross-country, indoor/outdoor track, and tennis; as well as women's soccer, tennis, cross-country, indoor/outdoor track, and volleyball.
The men's basketball team has a storied tradition, including the 4th longest collegiate basketball rivalry in the nation between Pratt and Polytechnic University (Brooklyn, NY), with Pratt holding the overall record 78-59. The Cannoneers also took home a national collegiate championship title in 1901, and made four NAIA ('59, '60, '61, and '62) and two ECAC ('77,'79) post-season appearances. Former players included Ed Mazria ('62), who was drafted by the New York Knicks, and Anthony Heyward ('94), who currently tours with the And1 streetball team as "Half Man Half Amazing". Bernard Chang was formerly captain of the Men's Varsity basketball team.
The men's soccer team won the NAIA tournament in 1959, edging Elizabethtown College 4-3 in double overtime.
The women's cross-country team recently captured the 2006 HMWAC championship title and coach Dalton Evans won "Coach of the Year" honors. The men's cross-country team also has a championship title. The women's tennis team has won three HVWAC titles, including an appearance in the ECAC tournament.
In addition, there are intramural activities schedules throughout the year, ranging from individual (tennis and track & field) to team sports (soccer, basketball, volleyball, and touch football). Two premier student intramurals events include the fall classic Halloween Pratt Ratt Outdoor Obstacle Relay Race and the annual Mr. & Ms. Pratt All Thatt Fitness & Artistic Expression Pageant finale.
The Athletics Resource Center (A.R.C.) is home to the athletic department, and features the largest clear-span space in Brooklyn. It also hosts the annual Colgate Games, the nation's largest amateur track series for girls from elementary school through college.
The school's mascot, the Cannoneer, derives from the 19th century cannon that stands prominently near the main gate to the campus. Cast in bronze in Seville, Spain, the cannon bears the insignia of Philip V and was brought to Pratt from the walls of Morro Castle in Havana, Cuba, in 1899.
Beginning in fall 2018, Pratt became an exploratory Division III institution within the NCAA. Pratt also was invited to, and joined, an NCAA Division III conference, the American Collegiate Athletic Association.
Pratt has several student media groups including a Film Club.
Congressmen, government officials, and politicians
American Red Cross