BA Program in Critical & Visual Studies

Critical and Visual Studies is a Bachelor of Arts program for the curious and imaginative student who wants to pursue studies in the liberal arts and sciences while immersed in Pratt’s unique environment of creative openness and intellectual experimentation.
We believe that the liberal arts and sciences bring vitality, creativity, and practical application to intellectual practice. Here, every aspect of social life—from street art to political systems, from international media to the global economy—is a potential subject of your studies. The program provides a unique interdisciplinary framework within which our students explore the liberal arts through the study of the artistic, social, and political meanings of cultural and aesthetic production.

For more information, please visit our official Pratt page at:

The Liberal Arts and Sciences Context at Pratt: Strong Foundations, Individualized Programs

Your studies in the program will give you:
  • A critical understanding of culture that is grounded in philosophy, history, the social sciences, and humanities.
  • Competency in social theory, analytical research methods, and various techniques of communication.
  • The ability to develop and critically integrate written, oral, visual, and spatial expression.
  • The flexibility to pursue both in-depth studies and make links between academic work and the wider world through internships in cultural institutions, especially non-profit arts and public service agencies.
  • A faculty whose scholarship and teaching is on the cutting edge of scholarship and cultural criticism.
Our faculty’s diverse teaching and research interests include philosophy, sociology, ethnography, cultural studies, media studies, globalization, imperialism, colonialism and post-colonialism, critical theory, psychology, gender and sexuality, world history, history and historiography, cinema and documentary film, literature and creative writing, theater and performance studies, landscape and space, environmental studies, sustainability, and the sociology of science and technology. The faculty’s area specialties include the Americas, Africa, the Mediterranean, Central Asia, Middle East, the Pacific Rim and Indian Oceans.

The program sponsors many events every year that embody the range of student and faculty interests. Some long running events and series include:
  • The Departmental Speaker Series, which brings renowned scholars and intellectuals to the Institute and gives our students the opportunity to meet and interact with them.
    • Past speakers have included: Nora Alter, Alain Badiou, Robin Blackburn, Susan Buck-Morss, Tina Campt, Jim Czarnecki, Gina Dent, Anna Grimshaw, Timothy Hall, Saidiya Hartmam, Randy Martin, Tom McCarthy, Gyan Prakash, Vicente Rafael, Martha Rosler, Sukhdev Sandhu, and Wendy Woon.
  • The Scholar-In-Residence Program, which brings a major contemporary thinker or artist to campus for an extended residency.
    • Past Scholars-in-Residence have included Stanley Aronowitz, Patricia Clough, Juan Cole, and Susan Meiselas.
  • Film Screenings, which offer provocative forums for timely debates about current social, political and aesthetic issues. Filmmakers accompany their film screenings and address interested students after the screenings, making for lively discussions that extend beyond the classroom.
  • The Wallabout Film Festival, which is a student film festival produced and curated by an interdisciplinary team of students from Pratt Institute. Showcasing films by innovative student filmmakers from around the world, Wallabout is a platform for students to screen their work to a diverse community of peers, artists and industry professionals, initiating conversation and collaboration. It is an important platform for supporting student filmmaking and for adding to the vibrant creative culture of Brooklyn.
  • Field trips, which provide opportunities to see current museum and gallery exhibitions; to network with artists, architects, designers, critics and curators; and to engage with the city at large. 
  • Senior Thesis Readings, which are public presentations by seniors of their thesis research. These presentations and discussions are a chance for students to get to know the work of peers and to gain perspective on their own intellectual development.

To Apply, please visit Pratt Institute Admissions at http://www.pratt.edu/admissions/

Department of Social Science & Cultural Studies
School of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Pratt Institute
200 Willoughby Ave.
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11205