Pratt Vs RISD Architecture?


I recently got admitted to both the schools and plan to pursue architecture.
I wanted to know which of the two is better for me as they’re both great schools and I can’t seem to decide.

Pratt has the amazing facilities and campus and the location which really excites me plus I was also offered a really large scholarship from them that will significantly reduce the financial stress on my parents.

But RISD has the prestige and is ranked a notch higher for architecture and I’ve heard has better professors? (not too sure on this one) however have not got any scholarship or aid from them as I am an international student.

If you have any good or bad opinions/thoughts and/or experiences with any of the schools please let me know (especially for architecture)! I would love to know them.

I was also accepted to pratt for architecture and received a 20k scholarship but didn’t apply to risd.
It is true that risd ranks higher but the difference isn’t so significant. Pratt gives u an advantage of being in nyc. Im aware that risd is more competetive to get into though.
Pratt also has fabulous professors both full and par time; a lot from ivies, cooper, pratt, parsons and even risd.

I don’t see that much difference between the two if u dont mind the costs. It’s all up to u. I’m debating between pratt, parsons and northeastern; waiting on cornell.

If u don’t mind, how much was ur scholarship from pratt?

Pratt and RISD have slightly different approaches to the discipline of architecture, although both offer the 5-year B.Arch. At RISD, you have actually NOT been admitted to the architecture program but rather to the foundation program. You will take the same art and design foundation classes as every other first year student. Anyone can choose architecture for their major (as long as you choose early enough RISD pretty much guarantees your first choice). Math is not emphasized for architecture either in the application or during the first year - at least not more than it is for the rest of the first year class. However, RISD gets some pretty high math SAT/ACT scores so perhaps that’s not so much an issue.

Pratt admits directly to the undergraduate architecture program and is much harder to get into than the art or design schools. You have your own foundation year and they do emphasize math in the application via the subject test. My D1 is in her foundation year at Pratt and her roommate is an arch. student and is never in the dorm - she basically lives at the school of architecture! My D1 told me it looks to be a very grueling program so I’d say about par with RISD on that front. (D1 was admitted to the school of design and while she’s super busy she does have more free time than does her roommate).

I’d bet that RISD and Pratt really do resemble each other more once you get past the foundation year. The B.Arch is going to have standard requirements that all schools granting that degree have to meet. So one question you will want to ask yourself is whether you wish to do architecture prereqs from the get-go (i.e. attend Pratt) or start with more fundamental art and design principles and then (should you choose) move on to architecture specifically (RISD). Perhaps you can get on the websites of both schools and check out the curriculum in order to understand the differences better.

I don’t have the DI 2016 rankings but for 2015 both RISD and Pratt were on the backside of the top 10. Both excellent schools for architecture. You might visit both and figure out which one seems to be a better fit? That’s probably difficult for an international student but perhaps you can swing a quick visit to the States and visit both at the same time. Pratt’s accepted day is sometime in early April, I believe.

Good luck with your decision!

@GAudi483 Thanks for the info, I too got 20k a year for Pratt. If there’s not much difference I think Pratt looks like a better deal because it’s turning out to be way cheaper and nyc pretty much guarantees a job. Hope whichever school you choose works out for you and good luck for Cornell! :slight_smile:

@Mamelot Thank you so much for all this! It really helped. I’m looking for a more intensive program that jumps right into the course, so I think I’m leaning more towards Pratt, plus the scholarship is really helping us. Unfortunately I won’t be able to visit, it’s too expensive just to come for that, I’ll be relying on the insights of the people on the internet haha!

Could you tell me a little bit about how your D1 likes Pratt? I’ve heard some outstanding reviews but some outrageous ones as well about the administration and dorms. How does she find her teachers and the overall experience? Could you tell me about some of the pros and cons?

D1 loves her foundation studios and the instructors and speaks very highly of the head of the foundation dept. She has found that the faculty are very accessible and supportive so far. Of course those are all schools of art and design, not architecture. She didn’t really like the English lit course during the first semester but things have improved a bit this semester. I think the prof. was focusing on some pretty obscure themes earlier on and seems to have settled into more conventional literary themes now, thankfully (although to be honest from what my daughter told me over Winter Break I really liked the stuff they were doing! LOL). That prof. is also teaching the class for the arch. students and I don’t know how they did or whether they liked the course or not. D1 tells me that she’s really looking forward to sophomore year because then she gets to choose electives for her academic subjects.

Overall the campus seems to be a very friendly and welcoming place. She really has enjoyed getting to know the other students and her foundation group is pretty tight-knit at this point. D1 hasn’t really interacted much with the administration (I’ve probably done so a bit more just in terms of paying the bill, checking on FA status, and so on . . .). I actually found Pratt to be a lot better organized once you enroll! Never had a problem with getting an answer to a question. Bursar’s office gets a bit swamped right before the fall semester starts but they do get back to you if you leave a message.

Dorms are older and not as nice as what some of the other art colleges have (especially those with new dorms!). D1 lives in Pantas and really likes it but is considering Willoughby for next year. Those are actually apartments with kitchens (you still are required to purchase the meal plan). Right now she says having a roomie in architecture (and they share a bathroom with at least one other arch. student) is kind of like having your own room because her roomie spends so much time over at the school of Arch. The TV in the lounge has been on exactly twice - once for Super Bowl, and the other time for the Oscars. When that happens a good number of residents all come down and watch together which she really likes. The dorms have fun activities and parties that she’s been involved with.

D1 plays on the Pratt’s quidditch team and really enjoys that. They do get creamed by NYU, however.

Obviously the location is primo. Clinton Hill is a relatively peaceful part of Brooklyn and of course Brooklyn is going to be a lot quieter than Manhattan anyway. But you can get out over to a museum or to a show or just eat out pretty much whenever you want (or whenever you can get away from your work . … ). People complain about the G train not running often enough but D1 thinks it’s fine.

I realize I don’t really have cons (other than the older dorms). I’ll try to think of some and then post an update!

@Mamelot , great info!
If u don’t mind answering another of my question, what do u think of Parsons’s architecture program compared to that of Pratt considering that i plan to finish up to masters either way? I’m offered a 16k from Parsons and plan to double major or at least minor in sculpture if I go there.

@GAudi483, sorry but I don’t know anything about Parson’s architecture program. Unless it’s a B.Arch program fulfilling the professional academic and licensing requirements then you are probably looking at another two or three years of graduate study, correct? The BFA might allow you to enter the M.Arch program with advanced standing but you’d probably need to double check on that. Especially if you plan to use some of those electives to double major or minor in another subject.

Your main questions should be: What do I want to get out of my undergraduate years? Am I focused primarily on becoming a practicing architect or do I wish to enrich my undergraduate education with other subjects first? These are questions only you can answer. The path to becoming a practicing architect will be longer, and most likely more expensive, should you attend Parson’s. But you would have a lot more flexibility on that path as well - including the flexibility to switch gears should another subject grab your interest once you are actually enrolled in art/design school and taking courses - and still graduate on time. If you attend Pratt, you’ll become an architect much sooner but it’s full throttle architecture once you arrive at Pratt. Should you decide to so something else (hey, you are an undergraduate - it can happen!!!) you would most likely need to repeat a foundation year and your scholarship may be in jeopardy.

You said you wished to do a master’s regardless so, assuming you attend Pratt and graduate with the B.Arch you would be qualified to pursue an M.Arch II (which is a POST professional degree) or a master’s in another field (which would then be the opportunity to expand your horizons a bit). Lots of options for you! Good luck with your decision!

@wasabi77 just in case u choose pratt, info from this link may be helpful



She cares more about Social Life than the average student.Date: Jun 27 2008
Major: Architecture (This Major’s Salary over time)
If you are an incoming freshman architecture student, my recommendation to you is to pick the dorm that is the closest to the architecture studios. You will be spending alot of time in Higgins Hall so my recommendation is to choose Leo J Pantas as your first choice dorm. On late nights when you’re exhausted and its snowing like heck…the last thing you want to do is walk a mile in the snow…its not something you’d want to deal with at 3 am…or at anytime of the day for that matter, besides the fact that it is right in the center of everything…the office, the library, the cafeteria, and the gym are just steps away…its great!
Ask a Question or add a response!

Pantas is a good choice. It’s right by the Design Center and furthest south right near the back gate. Only a couple minutes from Higgins (which is a block or two south of the main campus). D1 lives on one of the Healthy Living LLC floors and says it’s pretty quiet up there so you can work uninterrupted. She knows a LOT of arch. first years who are over there.

Having been in all three dorms when we were touring, I actually thought that Pantas was the nicest. The rooms are suite-style so two doubles sharing a bathroom (four total). One of the other first year dorms is like that as well, and the third is corridor-style with bathrooms on either end. Definitely check out the descriptions.

I know they are planning to build another first year dorm but that’s not happening for a bit. It was just announced when D1 showed up for orientation.

@Mamelot @GAudi483 Thank you so much for all the info! really appreciate it. :slight_smile: hope to make my decision soon!

Glad it helped. I’ll most likely be going to pratt if rejected by cornell or don’t receive any scholarship. @wasabi77

@GAudi483 btw where are you ending up going?

@wasabi77 i’ll be going to pratt

@GAudi483 see you there mate!