University of Cincinnati vs. Pratt - Industrial Design

Hi, I’m a senior in high school and have been accepted into UC and Pratt’s industrial design programs. I would greatly appreciate it if anyone out there can provide me with pros/cons of the programs and any comparisons between the two. (disregarding the price tag, as I will be paying about the same for both schools)

I have visited both and stayed for a month at one of them. From what I gathered, is it correct to assume that UC is more practical and industry based, whereas Pratt allows for more exploration and innovativeness?

And also, my ideal career path would be to end up at a design firm instead of a brand-name company that pumps out the same kinds of products.

welcome to core,
there have been many long discussions regarding the two schools, use the search function and read up a bit. That will probably help a lot.

it’s not so easy to categorize schools or the industry (consultant v corporate)
don’t think that one school necessarily leads into one track…

I honestly can’t speak about Pratt since I don’t know much about their program. I am currently a Pre Junior at UC in the ID Transportation Track and I do have to say it has been a great time…

As far as UC’s program being more practical and Industry based. You may see that I guess because of the structure of the program. UC’s program in my opinion teaches you the skills necessary to get a Co-op. I’d say some of it is theory and technique, while the rest is practical application when out on Co-op. Its one thing to learn technique and design in a classroom. Then its something else to learn how the Industry works either at a corporation or a consultancy… .Some of the projects especially during the 2nd year are really there to teach the basics of design, model making, CAD, Design communication etc…Its up to you to explore and be innovative in school or in the real world…
I am on my second Co-op right now and I had the opportunity to work for a multi billion dollar corporation and interact with consultancy’s from that perspective. Now I am working for a consultancy dealing with various corporations and government agencies…In my opinion…When it comes down to it experience is what is needed and UC definitely gives you the opportunity to gain that experience.
Ultimately its up to you and for me the deciding factor was the Co-op program. As a non traditional student the prospect of another 5 years on top of the 4 I had previously spent in school didn’t look appealing at all. Then my life experience told me that experience is a HUGE factor when trying to get the job you want… There are just some things you don’t learn in school… Good luck


Let me make it clear that I like Pratt. I liked their programs and their campus. I also know graduates from Pratt who have impressed me with their work. HOWEVER, in my opinion, Cincinnati is a better school for some design majors such as ID, Interior Design and Architecture and maybe some others. Why?

  1. Cincinnati is a university. You can get interdisciplanary work that you won’t get with Pratt. For example, some ID designers might be able to do projects with the criminology or anthropology department. This leads to some unbeatable educational experiences.

  2. Liberal arts and other courses are better at universities vs. most art schools.

  3. Facilities are MUCH better at Cincinnnati. Check out the gyms, swimming pools and cafeterias. They are ALL much , much better and bigger at Cincinnat vs. that of Pratt. It isn’t even close.

  4. Coop. This is where Cincinnati shines. They were the first school in the country to have an integrated coop program built into their curriculum. This provides 6 quarters of real world education and experience that kids from other schools probably won’t get. This is INVALUABLE. No school can give all the material needed for the real world. Coops usually fill the gaps in the education very well. They also provide some “ins” for jobs upon graduation. Over 30% of the coop kids end up working at a place they had a coop in.

5.Cincinnati is usually cheaper net of scholarships than Pratt. In addition, it is possible to get “in-state” tuition in the future with proper planning,which makes Cincinnati a real steal.

  1. Pratt needs a lot of maintenance: As of several years ago, Pratt buildings had a LOT of maintenance problems. It was unusual for professors to post notes on classroom doors for kids to remove their work due to leaking ceilings. This is because Pratt has only a 50 million dollar endowment,which actually isn’t bad for an art school. However, this has to be compared to Cinnnati who had over a 1 billion dollar endowment at the same time 1 year ago. Yes, they are now both down in their endowment, but Cincinnati’s still exceeded that of Pratt by about 20:1

  2. Cincinnati has a lot a folks who aren’t art majors. Trust me, interfacing with only art majors isn’t as fun as meeting a lot of folks who are majoring in other areas.

Bottom Line: I guess you should check out each school. Overall, I think that Cincinnati has the edge in many ways,but you won’t go wrong ( educationally) with either school.