The graphic design program leads to the professional degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (BFA). Co-Op Program Graduate- completed six quarters of professional practice in the field of graphic design. Inspiring CommunityEach year approximately 40 highly motivated and engaged graduate students at various stages in the program work together, inspiring and supporting one another through open discussion and an exchange of perspectives from the wide variety of backgrounds and interests they bring to campus. Learning EnvironmentGraduate students in Graphic Design share individual workspaces in a large design studio on the 5th floor of RISD’s Center for Integrative Technologies (CIT), home to several graduate programs along with the campus-wide graduate student gallery. Thesis ProjectIndividual thesis investigation is central to the final year of MFA study and culminates in the comprehensive presentation of work representing an original voice for visual and verbal expression of design thinking. The faculty selection committee in Graphic Design looks for evidence of the ability and preparedness to undertake graduate-level work.
For applicants to the two-year program, the committee looks for a mix of advanced professional, student and self-initiated design work and other forms of visual exploration.
Working drawings and pages from sketchbooks are acceptable as long as they show that you are able to “think through making.” In addition to graphic design work, applicants are encouraged to submit drawings, prints, photographs and other pieces that show the scope of their visual engagement. Viet Thanh Nguyen’s bestselling novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, and a Carnegie Medal from the American Library Association.
Participants select from three individual themes or tracks: social responsibility of the designer in society, typography and type design, or advancing the discipline through theory and innovation.
The program is two years and two months running for three consecutive summers with two part-time spring semesters that can be completed on or off-site. The program hosts weekly lectures, open to the public, by artists and designers from Los Angeles and beyond.


Another Falmouth University graduate, Jack Storey is a Graphic Design graduate but he also holds a keen interest in typographic, editorial and print based design.
Although at this time, I am looking to gain experience and knowledge which will enable me to develop my appreciation of graphic design throughout the vast area of creative mediums.
My inspiration comes from a variety of different places: Jon Gray, Jessica Walsh, David Quay, Muarice Sendak and Mark Ryden are always a good place for me to start when I need a visual jumping off point.
The department’s accomplished professors extend the energy and ideas students bring to the studio and foster generative thinking and making. This facility downtown separates grad students from undergraduates in the program — who are housed in the Design Center — but allows for ready interaction with grad students in Digital + Media, Teaching + Learning in Art + Design, Interior Architecture and Textiles.
Since these students typically also have at least two years of professional experience in the field, the program is designed to offer an opportunity for a more sustained and intensive investigation of critical graphic design thinking and making. Students in both tracks meet in the Graduate Seminar sequence, which initially builds a sophisticated sense of context through discussion of design history and contemporary critical issues, and later helps develop individual approaches to the exploration, investigation and construction of a well-designed thesis proposal.
After successful completion of the intensive first year, three-year track students merge studies with two-year track candidates, taking one more typography course but otherwise sharing the same increasingly open curriculum. Portfolios should be professionally and concisely presented using only the highest quality representation of work that best represents your abilities, along with the breadth of your design and creative thinking. Applicants to the three-year program should show examples of the ability to give form to content through the use of visual language.
Each track speaks directly to educating conscientious individuals who recognize the value of design and its role in society. Built on a sequence of required courses, the curricula for both allow candidates to tailor individual courses of study through cross-disciplinary electives.


In addition, visiting designers offer varied models for critical practice and introduce students to a wide range of resources in the larger design world. The center is also adjacent to the Fletcher Building, which offers graduate studio space for MFA candidates in five fine arts programs. Guest critics participate throughout the year and in the year-end thesis review, which offers a forum for critical dialogue focused on each student’s contribution to the field of graphic design.
Her essays have appeared in NY Arts Magazine, NYFA Quarterly and The Poetry Project Newsletter. Coursework is comprised of research, readings, studio projects (assigned and self-directed), and a final project.
In 2014, participants included Cox & Grusenmeyer, Type Radio, Feixen, Niessen de Vries, Adam Michaels of Project Projects, and LAVA Design. MFAs spend the day in conversation with each visiting artist in a group setting or in one-on-one studio visits. All MFA candidates also submit a written thesis and as a group participate in the RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition, a large-scale public show held annually.
A co-editor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing Through Visual Art, Foster teaches at California College of the Arts and lives in the Bay Area. The department provides students with instruction by core faculty, visiting lecturers, and visiting artists who are recognized nationally and internationally in their design and art practice.



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