After graduating with a degree in criminal psychology, Preity made her acting debut in the film DIL SE in 1998 followed by a lead role in SOLDIER the same year.
The performances earned her a Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut, and she was also acclaimed for her role as a teenage single mother in KYA KEHNA (2000).
She started playing a diverse range of characters for her film roles, and her depiction of screen persona contributed to a change in the concept of a Hindi film heroine.
Preity delivered a number of successful films including VIDESH: HEAVEN ON EARTH, THE LAST LEAR, KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, VEER-ZAARA, LAKSHYA, KAL HO NAA HO, KOI... MIL GAYA, DIL CHAHTA HAI, and SALAAM NAMASTE.
She received a Filmfare Award for Best Actress in 2003 for her performance in the film KAL HO NAA HO.
Her first international film role was in the Canadian film HEAVEN ON EARTH, for which she was awarded the Silver Hugo Award for Best Actress at the 2008 Chicago International Film Festival.