The Division of Graduate Studies oversees RISD’s 22 master’s programs in 16 disciplines in the fine arts, architecture, design and art education, and works to support a dynamic and interdisciplinary culture of advanced research, scholarship and critical making.

RISD offers a generous range of courses and opportunities to clarify your ideas, develop your work and deepen your commitment to your creative practice. It also offers a community – one in which we care about each other and for each other’s work and development as artists and designers. You find that in the studio and classroom, but also in the myriad ways that graduate students take on leadership roles – in student government, in collaborative publications and projects, in research and as curators of exhibitions in the Gelman or Sol Koffler galleries.

Some of today’s most urgent global issues – sustainability and the environment, health care, income inequality and social justice – are ideas with real significance for artists, designers and critics.  
  • How do we create responsible, ethical and sustainable practices? 
  • How do we develop and perpetuate critical inquiry and the abiding curiosity required of adaptive practices? 
  • How do we exemplify the value of the creative process – of hands-on making combined with critical thinking – in a larger societal context?
  • Through our work together, how do we reinforce the idea that art and design are continuous and dynamic – moving, stirring, transitional, transformative – anytime and everywhere?

Working with dedicated and accomplished teachers, visiting artists, designers, scholars and extremely perceptive peers, you will be challenged and inspired by the questions involved in creating and analyzing new work. You will be encouraged to embrace the compelling dimensions and complex pleasures of art and labor, conviction and doubt that stimulate adaptive, proactive practices. 

Through the work you do here, you will broaden your ideas and confirm your commitment to pursuing searching, consequential work that affirms why art, design and culture do, indeed, matter to us all.




Patricia Phillips 
Patricia Phillips
Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

Amy Patenaude
Administrative Coordinator
401 454-6131

Grad Studies Foreground Image 2
Installations such as this cascading pile of tortillas share gallery space with multimedia works in the grad show.