Graduate Applicants

Prospective graduate students must complete one application by February 15 in order to be considered for financial aid.  

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): RISD’s school code is 003409 

Please note that you cannot complete this application prior to January 1. If you have not yet filed a tax return for the most recent year, you should complete the FAFSA using estimated information and correct the data once you have filed (please note, however, that awards are estimates until complete information is received). Students who do not apply for financial aid by the February 15 deadline but still wish to be considered for federal student loans may still complete the FAFSA application.

Click here for information about the types of aid available.  

Eligibility for Assistantships

Graduate students interested in an assistantship must meet the following criteria:

 US students 

  1. Completed RISD Health Form (see Health Services | visit Homer Hall, 55 Angell Street | call 401 454-6625 | email
  2. Completed W-4 form and I-9 form. These only need to be filed once while you’re a student at RISD.
    •  Form W-4 indicates the tax status, exemptions, etc. of the employee to the employer; the employer then withholds the correct amount of tax from the employee’s paycheck.
    •  Form I-9 is a US Citizenship and Immigration Services form used by an employer to verify an employee’s identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States.

    • Reminder: Please be sure to bring the following documents to the Financial Aid office: government photo ID, Social Security card, birth certificate or US passport. 

 International students 

  1. Completed RISD Health Form (see Health Services or call 401 454-6625 or email
  2. Completed 8233 form for International Students from a treaty country. Form 8233 must be filed each year you’re a student at RISD. Visit the Financial Aid Office, 20 Washington Place, 1st floor or call 401 454-6661 or email
    •  Form 8233 is for a non-resident alien receiving employee or non-employee compensation to claim a tax treaty exemption based on his or her country of residence. Tax treaty eligibility is based upon information entered into RISD’s non-resident alien tax compliance system. 

    • Reminder: Please be sure to bring the following documents to the Financial Aid office: a US taxpayer identification number – either a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

 Any student (international or not) who does not have an SSN cannot be assigned an assistantship during first semester (see the Office of International Student Services | visit Carr House, 210 Benefit Street | call 401 277-4834 | email

No payments may be made to students until requirements listed here are completed.

Check here for more about the graduate admissions process.

Apply for admission

Graduate app sidebar
For more about the graduate admissions process or to begin the online application process, go to the Graduate Applications section. 

The next deadline for submitting graduate applications is January 10, 2015.

In informal crits, students are called on to defend their own work and provide constructive feedback to each other.