Explore our programs
RISD’s immersive graduate programs offer exceptional opportunities to focus on creative practice and develop ways of thinking, seeing and problem-solving critical to facing the complexities of global life in the 21st century. Take a look at the graduate study viewbook for more about the grad experience at RISD or request more information.
A community of makers committed to designing with meaning, discipline and rigor, graduate students in Architecture constantly rethink how, what and why architects make.
The Ceramics MFA program facilitates cross-disciplinary collaboration while emphasizing the highest level of discipline-specific education. Students are encouraged to explore a wide spectrum of applications—from fine art sculpture to studio pottery and architectural projects.
Students in this joint RISD–Brown University program envision alternative frameworks for addressing critical issues in public health, climate change and other areas and, in developing solutions through iterative making and testing, express ideas through the objects they create.
Digital + Media
Defining their own areas of interest within a strong body of research, Digital + Media students explore how to communicate complexities through multiple means and mediums. They explore new forms of engagement and take creative risks toward moments of revelatory discovery.
Through immersion in material exploration and critical making, graduate students hone focused design practices and broaden their career and research perspectives within a unique artistic environment rich with possibility.
Through disciplined investigation of both the material and conceptual manifestations of the medium, graduate students in Glass engage with the world through continual experimentation and artistic striving.
Global Arts and Cultures
By uniting critical theories from the humanities and social sciences with studies in the visual, performative and literary arts, students in Global Arts and Cultures investigate diverse forms of making and their entanglements with systems of power and resistance.
Situating design as the primary language and method in which to make sense of and communicate experience, the Graphic Design MFA program educates the complete human being, developing interests and expertise that access the full breadth of the profession.
Graduate students in Industrial Design make fresh ideas and compelling arguments that are informed by research and evidence and then made manifest in diverse work that is tested and validated through prototyping and critique.
Graduate students in Interior Architecture focus on adaptive reuse in all its forms, from remodeling and reusing existing structures to performing transformative interventions, reusing materials and preserving cultural memory across time and space.
Jewelry + Metalsmithing
Both a bastion of tradition and a vanguard of innovation, the MFA program propels graduate students along personal lines of research, cultivating professional curiosity, empathy and respectful recognition of otherness.
The MLA program encourages students to explore the discipline in all its breadth—from intensely personal artistic expressions to highly engineered technological interventions, with projects ranging dramatically in scale.
Students in the Nature–Culture–Sustainability Studies MA program develop scholarly expertise in a rapidly evolving field by embarking on self-directed research in areas such as Anthropocene studies, climate change cultures, green urbanisms and sustainable design futures.
Mirroring the department’s philosophy as a whole, the graduate program in Painting is open-ended so that students can develop practices best suited to what they want to pursue in the studio and beyond.
Collaboratively and individually, MFA candidates in Photography develop and refine technical and critical thinking skills while considering photography and its cross-disciplinary possibilities in the broadest sense, emerging from the program as professionals equipped to realize diverse creative goals.
Through the exploration of printed multiples and both traditional and non-traditional techniques, students in the Printmaking MFA program discover the creative and technological boundaries of a rapidly evolving field.
The MFA program in Sculpture creates an open and rigorous environment in which students take risks and experience new ways of working while engaging in ongoing dialogue with faculty, peers, visiting artists and the larger RISD community.
Teaching + Learning in Art + Design
Students in TLAD's MA and MAT programs acquire a strong foundation in the theoretical context of art education while enjoying meaningful opportunities for pedagogical practice in art and design.
Exceptionally motivated to undertake a rigorous program, MFA candidates in Textiles delve deep into hand-based techniques, digital design and making with advanced equipment while developing a critical language and context for their work.