Master’s Program

Integrating new artistic and technical approaches with the great historical traditions of the medium, the graduate program in Printmaking encourages your individual artistic growth through the exploration of printed multiples.

With input from faculty, visiting artists and print-world professionals, you learn to create advanced personal work responsive to the issues defining the field. Mastery of intaglio, lithography, screenprint, relief, photo and digital methods—with special emphasis on one area—ensures confidence in the professional arena.


During your two years in residence here, you take on a serious investigation of the possibilities presented by contemporary printmaking. In addition, you may gain professional experience through off-campus internships during Wintersession and over the summer.

View the curriculum

Learning outcomes

Graduates are prepared to:

  • demonstrate mastery of traditional techniques of relief and intaglio printing in all their complexity, along with a knowledge of lithography, screenprint, photographic and digital methods.
  • indicate confidence in their ability to make work that is meaningful to them and successfully conveys their ideas.
  • build a studio practice based on skills and procedures developed from research and study.
  • articulate – both verbally and in writing – concepts and contexts pertaining to their work.
  • exhibit deep and thorough knowledge of at least one traditional printmaking process through rigorously executed studio work.
  • display appreciation for and knowledge of the broad field of contemporary art making, including installation, relational aesthetics, performance and sound.

Inspiring community

The dozen-plus first- and second-year MFA candidates in Printmaking deeply engage in personal artistic exploration. You work closely with faculty as well as curators at the RISD Museum, who offer ready access to original works of art along with historic context and expertise.

As a grad student at RISD, you are also part of a larger community of artists pursuing advanced-level work, and enjoy many opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Learning environment

Graduate students in Printmaking work in individual studios in RISD's Fletcher Building, an interdisciplinary space that houses MFA candidates in several other fine arts graduate programs. You also make use of the department's core facilities in Benson Hall, working side-by-side with approximately 35 Printmaking undergraduates.

Printmaking facilities in Benson Hall include an intaglio editioning studio, a woodshop, a computer lab, and spaces for student exhibitions and group critiques. In addition, majors share a screenprinting facility and large-scale intaglio and lithography presses with graduate students in Textiles.

Thesis project

In the final semester, degree candidates focus on a creating a comprehensive body of work under the guidance of a thesis committee. All MFA candidates produce a written thesis book and participate in an annual graduate thesis exhibition of work by students graduating from RISD's advanced degree programs.