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Graduate Studies

Advising at the graduate level is conducted typically by the Graduate Program Director (GPD), although some programs may assign students to full-time faculty advisors other than, or in addition to the GPD (for example in Landscape Architecture). Students choose their Thesis Committee Chair who provides guidance on the master’s thesis specifically.

Graduate Highlights
  • Consult the Course Announcement for the total credits required for your degree as they differ by type of degree and whether the program is two-year or three-year
  • In addition to your required degree program curriculum, consider registering for a course from the graduate seminar series. These courses are indicated by the prefix GRAD in the course announcement.

  • Wintersession is a great opportunity for graduate students to teach a course of your own design. Work with your Graduate Program Director on a course proposal. **Note some programs require you to start on your proposal in the summer before fall semester.**


August 1, 2018

Registration for fall classes for incoming graduate students

Welcome week

September 3 – 6 , 2018 

Graduate Student Welcome Week

Academic Advising for new transfer and graduate students

First day of Fall Semester

September 6, 2018

Add/drop registration period begins. If you have questions about adding/dropping a class consult your advisor.

Master's Written Thesis

The graduate written thesis—an accompaniment to the thesis body of work and a requirement for all RISD graduate students—is a highlight of the graduate experience. It’s also a complex challenge, requiring intensive research, rigorous thought, sharp articulation, and considered book design.

RISD offers a wide range of support for the written thesis, which we encourage you to draw from liberally and early, starting in your very first semester.


Last Day of Fall Semester

December 14, 2018

First Day of Wintersession

January 3, 2019

Add drop registration period begins. Ends on January 10. If you have questions about adding/dropping a class consult your advisor.

Wintersession Course Proposal

Call for Proposals in Early February

The call for proposals for Graduate student teacher courses will be in early February each year. Work with your GPD on your proposal, which must be submitted by the proposal deadline, usually early April.

Last Day of Wintersession

February 6, 2019

First Day of Spring Semester

February 14, 2019

Add drop registration period begins. Ends on February 23. If you have questions about adding/dropping a class consult your advisor.

Last Day of Spring Semester

May 24, 2019