Curriculum

The MID is a two-year program with an option to arrive half a year ‘early’. Both MID options allow you to come from a variety of design related backgrounds to explore, practice and develop your personal response to the broad discipline of Industrial Design. The first year of the MID is investigative, and orientates you to the program. It has minimal curriculum requirements with most credits being made available for elective studies. The following final thesis year allows candidates to use required and elective credits to construct a self-directed engaging challenge to the discipline.

The ‘early’ 2.5 Year program is primarily intended for students entering the MID program from design related backgrounds that aren’t heavily grounded in the shop experience. Interestingly though students might also choose to join the 2.5 Year program if they want additional exposure to the studio based practice experience.

The following required and elective course schedule illustrates your 2.5 Year MID experience. After it’s first summer break, the 2.5 Year program merges with the 2 Year program.

Wintersession .5

When you arrive in the MID 2.5 program at RISD you are required to take a 5 week, 3 credit course introduction to the Industrial Design Department and all it’s possibilities. This specifically includes a light weight version of the Graduate Shop Orientation and Communications courses. The current official name for this is Introduction to Industrial Design.

Spring Semester - Year .5

In your first Spring Semester you are required to take the 2.5 Year specific 3 credit courses called Graduate Shop Orientation and Communications Introduction. You also have to choose one of the 6 credit Undergraduate Advanced studio courses. You need to take a total of 15 credits during the Spring Semester. Your remaining 3 credits are available for electives available within the ID department, Graduate Studies, across RISD and at Brown University. Remember that prior to graduating you are required to take at least one 3 credit Graduate Commons class, but this can happen during any semester.

MID Advanced Studios

Choose 6 credits from the MID Advanced Studio Course options

Electives

Choose 9 credits from the Graduate Commons Seminars, ID Advanced and Special Studio courses, Skills and Shop courses and/or Non Major Electives

Summer - Year .5

It is recommended that you pursue an internship during the Summer. RISD hosts a Design Portfolio Review event in March that provides an opportunity for you to meet with over 100 major companies to talk through your emerging portfolio, and internship opportunities.

Fall Semester - Year 1

In the Fall Semester you are introduced to the broad nature of the Industrial Design Discipline in the 6 credit MID Advanced Studio course. (If you have just started the program in your first semester you are also required to take the 2 Year specific 3 credit courses called Graduate Shop Orientation and Communications Introduction).

As you need to take a total of 15 credits during the Fall Semester you will have a remaining 9 (or 3 if you’re just starting) credits available for electives. Remember: During your Graduate Experience you are required to take at least one 3 credit Graduate Commons Seminar class. Electives are available within the ID department, Graduate Commons, across RISD, and at Brown University.

MID Advanced Studios

Choose 6 credits from the MID Advanced Studio Course options

Electives

Choose 9 (or 3) credits from the Graduate Studies Seminars, ID Advanced and Special Studio courses, Skills and Shop courses and/or Non Major Electives

Wintersession - Year 1

You need to choose a total of 3 credits for the Winter Intersession. Wintersession is a great time to experiment and we strongly recommend that you take one of the Graduate Student instructed courses. (The deadline for proposing your own Wintersession course is the end of the preceding September). Remember that during your Graduate Experience you are required to take at least one 3 credit Graduate Commons class. It is also possible to take an Internship during the Wintersession.

Spring Semester - Year 1

In your Spring Semester your introduction to the broad nature of the Industrial Design Discipline continues in the 6 credit MID Advanced Studio course.

As you need to take a total of 15 credits during the Spring Semester you will have a remaining 9 credits available for electives. Remember: During your Graduate Experience you are required to take at least one 3 credit Graduate Commons Seminar class. Electives are available within the ID department, Graduate Commons, across RISD and at Brown University.

MID Advanced Studios

Choose 6 credits from the MID Advanced Studio Course options

Electives

Choose 9 credits from the Graduate Studies Seminars, ID Advanced and Special Studio courses, Skills and Shop courses and/or Non Major Electives

Summer - Year 1

It is recommended that you pursue an internship during the Summer. RISD hosts a Design Portfolio Review event in March and an Internship Connect event in late September. These events provide opportunities for you to meet with over 100 major companies to talk through your emerging portfolio, and internship opportunities.

Fall Semester - Year 2

In your final Fall Semester you are required to take two MID Thesis Studio courses. These studios are the 6 credit Research and the 3 credit Communications I courses. They are the initiating courses in which you create the bulk of your Thesis project work. This includes the planning for your final semester, and the first part of your required concluding document, the Thesis book.

Important: During your thesis year you should use all your elective credits to create support for your Thesis project. The Thesis year is a good time to use your Independent Study allocation which with support from a Faculty member allows you to create your own 3 credit course. Remember: During your Graduate Experience you are allowed to create two 3 credit Independent (or Collaborative) Studies.

As you need to take a total of 15 credits during the Fall Semester you will have a remaining 3 credits available for electives. During your Graduate Experience you are also required to take at least one 3 credit Graduate Commons Seminar class. Electives are available within the ID department, Graduate Studies, across RISD and at Brown University.

MID Thesis Studios

You are required to take 12 credits of MID Thesis Studio Courses

Electives

Choose 3 credits from the Graduate Studies Seminars, ID Special Studio courses, Skills and Shop courses and/or Non Major Electives

Wintersession - Year 2

You need to choose a total of 3 credits for Wintersession.

This is the perfect time to create and teach your own Wintersession course that explores elements of your Thesis topic. (Remember: The deadline for proposing your own Wintersession course is the beginning of the preceding September).

Spring Semester - Year 2

In your final Semester you are required to take two MID Thesis Studio courses. These studios are the 6 credit Making and the 3 credit Communications Two. These two studios combine to conclude and communicate your final project in a form that engages a specific audience within the discipline of Industrial Design.

Important: During your thesis year you should use all your elective credits to create support for your Thesis project. The Thesis year is a good time to use your Independent Study allocation.

As you need to take a total of 15 credits during the Spring Semester you will have a remaining 6 credits are available for electives. Remember: During your Graduate Experience you are allowed to create two 3 credit Independent (or Collaborative) Studies. During your Graduate Experience you are also required to take at least one 3 credit Graduate Commons Seminar class. Electives are available within the ID department, Graduate Commons, across RISD and at Brown University.

MID Thesis Studios

You are required to take 9 credits of MID Thesis Studio Courses

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Electives

Choose 6 credits from the Graduate Commons Seminars, ID Advanced and Special Studio courses, Skills and Shop courses and/or Non Major Electives

Summer - After Graduation!

Time to get that amazing job with the specific audience from the discipline of Industrial Design that you engaged with in your Thesis! :)