Jewelry + Metalsmithing

Graduate

  • Post-baccalaureate | 1-year program

    J+M also offers a unique course of study: a custom-designed, year-long program for students interested in building upon their undergraduate experience. Based on one-on-one work with a designated faculty member, the program helps students combine conceptual thinking and technical abilities into a well-rounded studio practice tailored to individual interests.

  • MFA | 2-year program

    RISD’s graduate program in Jewelry + Metalsmithing cultivates individual excellence by emphasizing rigorous research, material experimentation and creative practice. Graduate students produce meaningful work by being encouraged to question and investigate the forces that motivate them and to engage in critical discourse with the creative community within and beyond the department.

  • Inspiring Community

    With its small size and high ratio of faculty to students, the program offers focused, individual attention to a dozen graduate students as they define their methodologies, delve into research areas of their own choosing and explore the intersections between art, craft and design. Graduate students inspire each other and also benefit from the wide range of visiting artists, critics and practicing professionals from around the world who are invited to campus to offer critical input.

  • Learning Environment

    Both graduate and undergraduate students (approximately 35) work with high-end equipment in the department’s specialized facilities but each person also has an assigned workbench with a torch, ventilation and storage. Graduate students engage in work independently and need to remain open-minded and responsive to feedback and dialogue. Risk-taking is imperative for advancing individual creative practice and locating one’s work within a larger contemporary context. In short, graduate students are expected to open up new, uncharted territory and demonstrate high levels of competency, setting the standard for the department as a whole.

  • Tracy Steepy | graduate program director

  • Curriculum

    As an important supplement to studio classes, the graduate seminar addresses issues particular to the field, along with broader concerns in contemporary art. Seminars are structured around the analysis of readings, presentations and field trips, with the resulting discourse creating a bridge between theoretical concerns and hands-on making.

    In addition to the standard MFA program, the post-baccalaureate option allows candidates with diverse professional backgrounds and conceptual interests to gain technical proficiency and critical feedback through a year-long immersion working one-on-one with a designated faculty member.

    MFA first year

    • Fall
    • Graduate Studio I
    • Jewelry Seminar I
    • Graduate Professional Practices; Graduate Jewelry Seminar I
    • Elective Graduate seminar
    • Graduate Jewelry I
    • Open elective
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Graduate Studio II
    • Jewelry Seminar II
    • Graduate Professional Practices; Graduate Jewelry Seminar I
    • Elective Graduate seminar
    • Graduate Jewelry II
    • Open elective

    MFA second year

    • Fall
    • Graduate Studio III
    • Graduate Professional Practices; Graduate Jewelry Seminar II
    • Graduate Jewelry III
    • Elective Graduate seminar
    • Wintersession
    • Open elective
    • Spring
    • Graduate Professional Practices; Graduate Jewelry Seminar II
    • Graduate J+M Thesis

  • Thesis Project

    In the final semester, degree candidates focus on creating a comprehensive body of work under the guidance of a thesis committee. All MFA candidates produce a written thesis and participate in the RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition, a large-scale public show held in the Rhode Island Convention Center.

  • Application Requirements

    1. application form + fee
    2. academic transcripts
    3. 3 letters of recommendation
    4. portfolio of work
      • Your portfolio must be reproduced and may be submitted using Slideroom, an online portfolio submission service or as digital image files on a CD or DVD. Detailed instructions for using Slideroom are available on the site (risd.slideroom.com). Slideroom charges $10 for using this submission option.
      • If you choose to send your portfolio directly as digital files, each image should be submitted as a separate file in .jpg format. Individual file sizes should not exceed 3MB. Do not combine images in a prepared presentation or slideshow of any type (e.g., PowerPoint or Keynote). You should also include a printed thumbnail page of the images on your disk. Please do not affix any adhesive labels to your CD/DVD.
      • Time-based work or performance pieces may be submitted as QuickTime or.mpg files on a CD or DVD. You should include a work description sheet along with your CD. Number the examples you are submitting and on your description page list the corresponding number, medium, size, date of completion and title for each work. It is very important that your full name and address are clearly noted on your CD/DVD and your description and thumbnail pages.
      • CD/DVDs will not be returned.
    5. statement of purpose
    6. TOEFL scores (for non-native English speakers)

    For admission to either the MFA or post-baccalaureate program, the faculty selection committee in Jewelry + Metalsmithing looks for evidence of an applicant’s commitment, technical competence and desire to pursue art professionally. Portfolios should be professionally presented using the highest quality representation of work showing the breadth and depth of your art, design and creative thinking capabilities. Phone interviews are followed by invitations for finalists to visit campus for in-person meetings.