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Graduation Requirements for Graduate Students

Master’s Degree Requirements 

1) Satisfactory completion of all published course credit requirements with a cumulative grade-point average of not less than 3.00, with the exception of M. ARCH and MLA candidates who need a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher.

2) Fulfillment of the minimum on-campus residency requirements.

MFA, MID, MDes and MLA (2 yr) 2 years
M. ARCH and MLA (3 yr) 3 years
MAT, MA in Art Ed, MA in Interior Architecture 1 year


3) Successful completion of the following course credit requirements:

MFA, MID 66 credits MID (2.5 year) 84 credits
MDes (2 year +) 66 credits
MLA (2 year) 72 credits
MAT in Art Ed (I year +) 33 credits
MA in Art Ed (1 Year) 33 credits
MA in Interior Architecture (1 Year +) 45 credits
M. ARCH, MIA, MLA 111 credits


4) Payment of all financial obligations to the College, or arrangements for such payment satisfactory to the College.

5) Filing an Application for Degree early in the final year.

Changes and Exceptions to Graduation Requirements
Changes, substitutions, or waivers to any of the departmental course requirements, or other degree requirements, must be approved in writing, using the “Degree Requirement Waiver/ Substitution Form available in the Registrar’s Office and on their website.”

Graduate Thesis
Typically, the completion of a graduate thesis or degree project is a final requirement for a graduate degree at RISD. The thesis requires basic standards of excellence and high-quality professional appearance. Note that formats may vary within departments, as criteria must be developed specifically with each student. The thesis is composed in relation to the pedagogy of each department and the nature of the specific thesis work. Each graduate student convenes a thesis committee (generally of three members) in the final year of a degree program. The final bound document must be submitted to the thesis committee for signatures and ready for delivery to the Fleet Library one week before Commencement.

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The Providence River and cityscape as seen from the southern edge of campus, behind the Industrial Design and
Architecture buildings.