Bachelor’s Program

As a major in the four-year Printmaking BFA, you engage in intensive study of conceptual, formal and practical issues related to historical and contemporary prints. You’ll find inspiration through direct contact with original works of art at the RISD Museum and in other collections in the region, with critical insights from faculty, visiting artists and other print-world professionals also helping you create mature personal work.


During sophomore year—your first as a Printmaking major—you discover the basic forms of printmaking like intaglio, lithography and silkscreen. Then as a junior in the BFA program, you continue to hone your conceptual, critical and technical skills through a number of Printmaking electives or studios in related disciplines such as Illustration, Textiles and Photography.

View the curriculum

Learning outcomes

Graduates are prepared to:

  • develop the self-reflective capacity to explain why they are making prints.
  • be conversant with the history of the printmaking field.
  • articulate the conceptual grounding of their work and defend it through critical dialogue.
  • demonstrate knowledge and technical skills in varied printmaking contexts, from intaglio, lithography and silkscreen to related disciplines such as illustration, textiles and photography.

Inspiring community

Approximately 35 undergraduates and 15 graduate students work alongside one another in the department's dedicated facilities in Benson Hall. Students at all levels—both within and outside the major—inspire each other through provocative individual inquiry and exploration.

Learning environment

In addition to dedicated facilities in Benson Hall, Printmaking majors regularly take advantage of especially helpful resources on campus. For example, you can access to a collection of 26,000 works on paper from the 15th century to the present just across the street at the RISD Museum. Direct study of these works offers invaluable insights and inspiration, as does hands-on access to specimens in the Nature Lab and in the Fleet Library's extraordinary collection of artists' books.

Degree project

In the third year of the program, seniors work more independently, refining a personal visual vocabulary through a final degree project—a body of work that demonstrates each individual's technical strengths, along with his/her conceptual clarity and depth.