Digital + Media


  • MFA | 2-year program

    Through a fluid curricular philosophy and shared open research structures, the program is designed to prepare responsible, resourceful, collaborative and accomplished artists and cultural producers able to evaluate and understand the importance of their work within a wide range of contexts.

  • Learning Outcomes

    Graduates are prepared to:

    • develop a thorough understanding of a range of technologies, including their material capabilities and characteristics, appropriateness for specific strategic applications, relevance within larger systems and impact on people and society

    • demonstrate proficiency with a vocabulary of multiple material practices

    • exhibit fluency in history, theory and criticism with respect to art, technology and new media practice

    • organize teams and work collaboratively with people from a range of disciplines

    • present work professionally through exhibitions, publications and other relevant contexts

    • communicate cogently about their ongoing studio art process

    • demonstrate effective writing skills as part of or in support of artistic practice

    • contribute to the ongoing dialogue about research and new work in the field

  • Inspiring Community

    Digital + Media attracts a diverse group of talented, intellectually engaged students for inter- and trans-disciplinary exploration in the digital arts. Each year approximately 30 grad students work with professors from multiple disciplines who are top practitioners in the field and interested in complementing their own perspectives on the latest trends in digital media production with those of visiting artists and lecturers. This makes for a dynamic exchange of ideas among students, faculty and visiting professionals all coming at the field from various perspectives.

  • Learning Environment

    Students and faculty in Digital + Media are committed to continually evolving the articulation of nonstandard approaches to the computer as a creative and expressive medium. The program facilitates bridges to other departments at RISD and Brown, enabling individual inquiry, high-level collaboration and team-based artistic research and practice. Study of technology, art and design is balanced with inquiry grounded in conceptual, critical, social, cultural and historical considerations. In addition to regular coursework, students have an opportunity to gain experience in teaching, assist in faculty research, explore potential exhibition opportunities and engage in research and collaboration with peers at other institutions.

  • Curriculum

    Unfolding over a highly engaging two-year course of study, the program includes a central curriculum informed by the fields of art, media theory, computer science, engineering, social theory, political theory, cultural studies and environmental studies, among others. Students explore a number of potential study areas to define their own personal and/or team-oriented approach to practice.

    MFA first year

    • Fall
    • Digital Media Perspectives
    • Digital + Media Grad Studio/Seminar 1
    • Open Elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open Elective
    • Spring
    • Digital Media Theory
    • Digital + Media Grad Studio/Seminar 2
    • Open Elective

    MFA second year

    • Fall
    • Digital Media Written Thesis Prep
    • Digital + Media Grad Studio/Seminar 3
    • Open Elective
    • Wintersession
    • Digital Media Written Thesis Prep
    • Spring
    • Thesis Project
    • Open Elective

  • Thesis Project

    In the second year, D+M students research specific areas of interest, including new forms of sensing and physical interface production, experimental games, augmented reality, motion graphics, electronic music and sound arts, hybrid architectural/media environments, experimental industrial design, wearable computing, digitally articulated sculpture and responsive environments. Overall, the thesis project should hybridize, redefine and rearticulate form and meaning in the digital arts.

  • Application Requirements

    1. application form + fee
    2. academic transcripts
    3. three letters of recommendation
    4. portfolio of work
    5. statement of purpose
    6. TOEFL scores (for non-native English speakers)
      • The faculty selection committee in Digital + Media is looking for evidence of the ability and preparedness to undertake graduate-level work. Portfolios should be professionally and concisely presented using only the highest quality representation of work that best represents your abilities, along with the breadth of your design and creative thinking.
      • For more information or to begin the application process, visit the Apply page.