Graduate Studies at RISD

We live at a time when the process of making is in radical transition. Graduate education at RISD embraces the uneven character and complex pleasures of art, labor and experimentation, along with the distinct risk of failure – all of which stimulate, sustain and advance adaptive practices. RISD supports the creative and intellectual journeys of graduate students from around the world by offering resources and facilities to accommodate an ambitious range of studies and practices, a pedagogical environment that encourages independent and critical thinking, and a committed community of faculty members, visiting artists, and other intellectuals able to challenge, encourage, question and advise.

At RISD we value individual, independent research and collaborative projects designed to wrestle with real-world challenges. We look to our graduate students to push beyond the bounds of the known and ask provocative questions of themselves and their work, to experiment with new materials and to surface as many new questions as answers. We understand that artists and designers have the potential to be both insightful practitioners and influential thought leaders capable of applying their open yet deep and probing process of inquiry and production to broader contexts.

That, in the broadest sense, is what graduate education in art and design is all about. More specifically, graduate study at RISD is shaped by a combination of centripetal and centrifugal forces. Our challenging education encourages students to pursue their work with great focus and intensity, in an environment rich in disciplinary breadth and grounded in intellectual depth. Thriving in a culture of critical thinking and making, RISD’s graduate programs cultivate laboratories of practice where students’ commitment to and passion for concentrated and connective intellectual and creative work can develop, deepen and ripen into ambitious ideas about the future.


Pradeep Sharma

Amy Patenaude
Administrative Coordinator
401 454-6131

Grad Studies Foreground Image 2
Installations such as this cascading pile of tortillas share gallery space with multimedia works in the grad show.