Rhode Island School of Design Launches Master of Fine Arts in Illustration Program

Advanced studio program looks to the future of illustration by focusing on critical perspectives, artistic voice and visual literacy in the public realm

Providence, RI - Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) introduces a new MFA in Illustration, a two-year, 60-credit advanced studio program. RISD’s MFA in Illustration encourages experienced visual communicators to reflect on the illustrator’s role as an influential social actor—within the profession and in the world. As students progress through the program, they will learn to turn illustration practice to the good of society and transformation of the field.

Students will take on increasingly complex projects oriented around critical issues in illustration theory and practice. Required seminars and studios are supported by additional studies in art and design and elective courses across the college, allowing students opportunities for focused, personally meaningful study. The experience culminates in a final thesis project that builds on work completed throughout the program. In completing the thesis, degree candidates explore ideas, methods and modes of expression that suit their goals as socially engaged artists and communicators.

“The development of personal vision and approaches to practice empowers illustrators to engage with critical social issues and to contribute to the greater good,” says RISD Illustration Department Head Eric Telfort 05 IL. “In launching the MFA Illustration program we look forward to empowering the next generation of visual communicators to push the field in positive new directions.”

Informed by RISD’s overall mission and values, the Illustration MFA is based on a set of core beliefs about illustration practice and advanced study in the field. Faculty in the program proactively promote these values through teaching, mentorship and practice within studio and classroom spaces that are safe, inclusive and positive for all students. 

For additional details, info sessions and to learn how to apply, please visit here

About Graduate Study at RISD  
At RISD, graduate students interact meaningfully with both the world and one another. Through studio courses, interdisciplinary seminars and public programs, they engage in provocative discourse and cultivate critically informed creative practices. In the immersive atmosphere they find here, degree candidates discover that taking the time to question and probe, to push and pull and wrestle with what motivates them can lead to unexpected outcomes.

About Rhode Island School of Design
RISD’s mission, through its college and museum, is to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation. The college’s strategic plan NEXT: RISD 2020–2027 sets an ambitious vision for educating students for the future and bringing creative practices to bear on the creation of just societies, a sustainable planet and new ways of making and knowing. RISD’s immersive model of art and design education, which emphasizes critical making through studio-based learning and robust study in the liberal arts, prepares students to intervene in the critical challenges of our time. Working with exceptional faculty and in extraordinary specialized facilities, 2,225 students from 60 countries engage in 44 full-time bachelor's and master's degree programs. RISD’s 30,000 alumni worldwide testify to the impact of this model of education, exemplifying the vital role artists and designers play in today’s society. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. Find more information at risd.edu.