CCA OR PRATT? brand name vs. inspired living?

CCA or Pratt for Master ID?

  • cca
  • pratt

0 voters

I have been accepted to Pratt grad ID and CCA ID programs. I am having a VERY hard time deciding.

It seems that, yes, Pratt has a big name and seems that maybe the name gives grads a much easier time upon graduating.

CCA is in a stunning area (and I care about nature and my living enviro) and the facilites and space and technology are newer/bigger.

The student/recent grad work is just as good as Pratt–but Pratt grads already have products on the market or work for big co–some CCA grads are just doing design writing/lecturing or doing things on the side (even though CCA seems to have more actually built products, not just drawing/concept.)

Also, I lived in NY for 2 years and as far as inspired area/art scene–its actually underrated once u have spent time in other major cities, such as SF and Beijing. The quality/beauty of life on west coast is appealing…

I have been surprised to see some negative Pratt comments here–but not much on CCA.

please respond, i only have a week and half to decide.
thanks everyone.

hi there, i’m in the same boat as you. i was admitted to CCA and Pratt, but I am heavily leaning towards Pratt. i visited both. The program at CCA is really interesting because it is a MFA in Design, where you can focus on ID, but your fellow students are also graphic or interactive designers. This is really great in a way, because of all three ARE interrelated and you have a lot of opportunity to collaborate with others. But i left with the impression that the work seemed more conceptual than hands on studio work you would experience at Pratt. For one, the student work areas are very different. CCA is set up a bit more like a professional design studio (desks, computers), whereas Pratt is like a messy workshop studio (building materials, paint, etc). The curriculum outlined on the two websites shows that the programs are quite different. The curriculum at CCA seems more broad/conceptual, which definitely seems interesting, but you may not leave with a skill set as focused on ID as you would from Pratt. i supposed its just a matter of what you are looking to get out of the degree.
i could be wrong, so if anyone has anything to clarify, please chime in.
good luck with your decision!

thanks for everything you said. I agree a with lot of it, from my visits, I was just wondering if you have looked at CCA’s faculty. They are astounding! It seems like they are better than Pratts by a long shot–which is confusing considering the rankings. they all are much more on the radar in the design community and have alot of impressive (and recent) credentials in hot emerging areas–especially in green design.
Im just wondering, if your teacher is the owner or artistic director of frog design or fuseproject–it seems that could be a very direct connection to future employment opps. Pratt must make up for it in other ways?
The curriculum at CCA, i agree, appears to have too much theory/history/concept mixed in with the studios. But I have to say I think I saw better/larger-scale models and things being built at CCA. at pratt it was all styrofoam and sticks. i dont know what to do.
im going to email Pratt and ill let u know if i find out anything interesting.

I saw your question about CCA on the admissions results thread and want to say I think noodle is spot on with my impression of CCA. I think the lack of comments on CCA is because it’s still a fairly new program. IMO I would recommend it if you have design experience and want to get into design management. From my experience as a project manager, I think the cross pollination between id, ixd, and graphic will be beneficial in the real world because you want to have enough of an understanding of how they think and work to pull together large scale projects.

Ultimately, I decided I want to have strong hands-on skills like drawing and CAD before I go telling designers how to do their job :slight_smile: Also, being from CA I’m like you in that I’d like to experience a design community less familiar. To me, RISD is like CCA in that conceptual way of teaching, so I am in a similar situation deciding between RISD and Pratt. If you decide to go to Pratt, let me know!

hey mwicht, i wrote a big review in my thread “CCA versus Art Center”. However, that was for the undergrad program.

From what I have heard from others, they graduate program is very broad. I’ve talked to some people in the grad program and they say that the undergrad program is hugely superior in a lot of ways.