Pratt Institute was founded in 1887 by American industrialist Charles Pratt. An advocate of education and the transformational impact it can have on people’s lives, Pratt set out to provide an affordable college education that was accessible to working men and women. When the college opened in 1887, it was among the first in the country to welcome students regardless of class, color, or gender. The rapidly industrializing economy at the turn of the 20th century required new training initiatives and educational experiences for workers. Pratt responded by providing programs that prepared students to enter the fields of design and engineering. Early Pratt students became architects, engineers, dressmakers, and furniture makers. Pratt’s engineering and design programs were complemented by a liberal arts curriculum that provided students with a rich and full understanding of the world in which they would be working. This approach remains a part of the Pratt curriculum.  

Today, Pratt Institute is transforming academic excellence in architecture, art, design, information studies, and liberal arts and sciences through its defining heritage and visionary future. Since the first class of 12 students convened on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus in 1887, the college has become a top-ranked global leader in higher education with a world-renowned faculty of over 1,100 award-winning artists, designers, architects, writers, and scholars. Realizing that solving today’s pressing challenges means going beyond traditional academic thinking, Pratt’s faculty inspires its students to question the status quo to develop new solutions for real-world problems. With this in mind, the Institute is home to a number of impact-driven centers that push the boundaries of innovation on topics ranging from community development, sustainable fashion, and robotics to data visualization. Pratt’s locations—a beautiful 25-acre main campus in Brooklyn and a landmark building in Manhattan—provide unparalleled opportunities for 4,700 students to engage with, and learn from, artistic leaders and local and international industries. In 83 countries across the globe, Pratt’s 62,000 alumni are advancing the creative economy and shaping the world through their remarkable work.

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