Bachelor’s Program

RISD's Textiles BFA prepares you to become a highly skilled designer in the field, while also taking a fine arts approach to making, with special projects and classes focusing creating one-of-a-kind works of art. As you develop artistically and hone your design and creative process, you learn to apply newfound technical skills and advanced techniques to making innovative two- and three-dimensional work.


In the first year of the program you learn various methods of print design, silkscreen, weaving, knitting and dyeing before choosing to focus on either fine arts work or industry-related projects. Juniors then concentrate on more advanced techniques by focusing on an area or areas of personal interest, developing individual concepts and broadening perspectives by taking courses in other disciplines.

In addition to producing a final degree project, seniors pursue internships designed to strengthen connections to the professional world.

View the curriculum

Learning outcomes

Graduates are prepared to:

  • engage in the design process by framing a premise and iterating material responses as an idea evolves
  • understand the purpose and context of a finished work and how these may inform decisions made in the process of creating it
  • articulate inspirations, explain interpretations and defend solutions in one's own creative process
  • demonstrate strong visual and material competency—including in color, pattern, texture, structure and materiality—in regards to the creation of two- and three-dimensional work
  • demonstrate excellence in craftsmanship by creating wovens, knits and surface works that are well considered, deftly made and fully resolved
  • explain the current field in the context of art, architecture, design and technology
  • demonstrate broad historical and theoretical awareness of the textile field and its larger disciplinary, cultural and economic contexts
  • recognize environmental/sustainability and social concerns related to textile processes and manufacturing

Inspiring community

Approximately 80 undergraduates and a dozen graduate students work together in studios, sharing ideas and offering feedback and assistance. In addition, the practicing professionals who teach in the department support your development as an artist and designer eager to energize the field. Faculty work with students individually and in groups to help you develop a strong personal vision and a deep understanding of all aspects of the discipline.

Learning environment

The department maintains a close connection to the field through its alumni, group field trips, professional internships and guest speakers and critics. Here you’ll find opportunities to collaborate on projects with companies that are leaders in their industry. Developing design collections with professional partners and adhering to industry standards provides invaluable experience as you embark on your own path after graduation.

Degree project

Senior year culminates in a final degree project that defines each student's personal area of interest, mode of working and future direction.