Textiles

Graduate

  • MFA | 2-year program

    Building on solid technical skills and a proficient design process, MFA candidates in Textiles engage in individual research to develop a personal vision and an understanding of design as an expression of a continually evolving culture. The program focuses on the woven, knit and print design of fabrics used for apparel and interior design applications. Geared towards those who have a background in textiles, along with experience in visual studies from an undergraduate program or professional practice, it helps students to broaden and sharpen their skills, hone their artistic identity and become well versed in the technical and creative potential of their chosen medium and its context. The program also emphasizes studies in drawing and color - along with participation in graduate seminars - as a means of building analytical and critical thinking skills.

  • Inspiring Community

    Textiles majors at RISD form a strong and supportive community, with approximately a dozen graduate students working together in various studios with more than 80 undergraduates and interacting with RISD's other 400-plus master's degree candidates. Faculty bring a wide range of professional expertise to working closely with graduate students to help each individual push his or her own capabilities and develop a strong, confident vision and direction for future work in the field.

  • Learning Environment

    Graduate students work closely with RISD's accomplished faculty, whose professional expertise ranges from digital technology to complex woven structures, including jacquard weaving. Vital connections to the profession are maintained through a required internship, seminar speakers, field trips, visiting critics and communications with experts in the field. Specialized facilities, high-end looms and professional software accommodate advanced work, while valuable resources outside the department include an outstanding textiles collection in the RISD Museum of Art and inspiring textiles resource materials in the Fleet Library at RISD.

  • Mary Anne Friel | assistant professor + grad program director

    "It's important that all MFA candidates in Textiles have a basic understanding of the medium, a strong visual vocabulary and exceptional motivation to undertake a rigorous program. Beyond that, however, you'll learn whatever you don't already know about various looms, designing digitally and operating advanced equipment." 

     

  • Curriculum

    The first year of the MFA program focuses on enriching students’ creative background and expanding their skills, including the use of digital technology in design. The second year allows for more individual exploration of weaving, knitting or surface design, with the final semester culminating in a thesis project that entails both studio work and writing.

    MFA first year

    • Fall
    • Graduate Studio or CAD in Textiles
    • Graduate seminar
    • Textile seminar
    • From an Idea to Meaning
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Studio electives
    • Graduate seminar

    MFA second year

    • Fall
    • Graduate seminar
    • Textile seminar
    • Open electives
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Thesis Project
    • Thesis Writing
    • Open elective

  • Thesis Project

    In the final semester, MFA candidates focus on creating a comprehensive body of work under the guidance of a thesis committee. All graduate students produce a written thesis and participate in the RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition, a large-scale public show held in the Rhode Island Convention Center.

  • Application Requirements

    1. application form + fee
    2. academic transcripts
    3. letters of recommendation (3)
    4. portfolio of work
      • Your portfolio must be reproduced and may be submitted using Slideroom, an online portfolio submission service or as digital image files on a CD or DVD. Detailed instructions for using Slideroom are available on the site (risd.slideroom.com). Slideroom charges $10 for using this submission option.
      • If you choose to send your portfolio directly as digital files, each image should be submitted as a separate file in .jpg format. Individual file sizes should not exceed 3MB. Do not combine images in a prepared presentation or slideshow of any type (e.g., PowerPoint or Keynote). You should also include a printed thumbnail page of the images on your disk. Please do not affix any adhesive labels to your CD/DVD.
      • Time-based work or performance pieces may be submitted as QuickTime or.mpg files on a CD or DVD. You should include a work description sheet along with your CD. Number the examples you are submitting and on your description page list the corresponding number, medium, size, date of completion and title for each work. It is very important that your full name and address are clearly noted on your CD/DVD and your description and thumbnail pages.
      • CD/DVDs will not be returned.
       
    5. statement of purpose (500–750 words) outlining your interest and goals in pursuing graduate study
    6. TOEFL scores (for non-native English speakers)

    In determining admission to the MFA program, the faculty selection committee in Textiles looks for evidence of an applicant’s commitment, drive, technical competence and openness to experimentation. Portfolios should be professionally presented using the highest quality representation of work showing the breadth and depth of artistic and creative thinking capabilities. Phone interviews are followed by invitations for finalists to visit campus for in-person meetings.