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"Rhode Island School of Design's Department of Teaching + Learning in Art + Design

 recognizes the potentially transformative and consequential nature of engagement in and      through the visual arts across the lifespan. We view access for all to high-quality art and

 design learning experiences as a matter of equity and social justice."

The Department recruits to its community, artists and designers who envision their future selves as agents of change in settings as diverse as K-12  schools, higher education, non-profit sector community-based organizations, as well as museums and galleries. Our students are provided with diverse learning opportunities across its degree offerings, engaged-learning, and collegiate teaching courses and especially through its outreach initiative Project Open Door - a college access program for teens attending public high schools in Rhode Island's urban core cities. These opportunities make optimal use of RISD's extraordinary resources, particularly its studio and liberal arts faculty, Nature Lab, Fleet Library, the RISD Museum of Art, as well as the cross-registration agreement with Brown University. Further, our graduate students benefit from learning experiences and opportunities to effect change within the City of Providence, the State, and across the nation.

Master of Arts in Art + Design Education (MA)

1-Year Program

RISD’s Master of Arts (MA) in Art + Design Education is a one-year (fall through spring) program for individuals seeking an advanced academic credential that furthers professional careers at the intersection of art, design, education, and context.

Through an individually designed sequence of courses, internships, and independent study, the MA in Art + Design Education promotes rigorous inquiry coupled with an expansive breadth of discovery. MA candidates work with a faculty adviser to co-construct individual programs of study utilizing an array of offerings centered at RISD and radiating out to the learning community at Brown University and the city of Providence-known as “the cultural capital.” In short, TLAD candidates appreciate the flexibility of the program and the ability to tap into enormous expertise while making choices about their own education. 



Critical Investigations in Arts Learning

Theories and Practices of Community Engaged Pedagogy

Curriculum Development for Elementary Visual Arts Learning or Curriculum Development for Secondary Visual Arts Learning



Elective(s) or



Colloquium: Contemporary Practices in Arts Learning

Thesis Research

Elective(s) or


Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)

1-Year Program

RISD’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is an intensive one-year (summer through spring) cohort teacher preparation program for artists and designers that culminates in the recommendation for teacher certification in Art (pK-12).

In the MAT program, theoretical concepts are interwoven with scaffolded practical experiences—providing candidates with opportunities to test out ideas in authentic learning environments throughout the year. Our MAT is approved by the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and, as a result of the Interstate Compact, has reciprocity in at least 44 other states. It is, however, important for applicants to understand that while RISD awards the MAT degree and recommends its graduates for certification or licensure, the award of teacher certification is determined by individual states, each of which has its own specific requirements. In other words, candidates must pass any teacher-certification test(s) required by individual states.



Lifespan: Human Growth + Development

Documentation as Assessment + Advocacy


Curriculum Development for Elementary Visual Arts Learning 

Curriculum Development for Secondary Visual Arts Learning

Lifespan: Exceptionality

Foundations + Futures of Art + Design Education


Studio or Liberal Arts Elective


Student Teaching in Elementary School

Student Teaching in Secondary School


Graduate students choose between two programs: the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), an intensive, one-year (summer through spring) cohort teacher preparation program for artists and designers eligible to work in the US that culminates in a recommendation for teacher certification in art in US-based pK–12 schools and the Master of Arts (MA) in Art + Design Education, a one-year program (fall through spring), for individuals with diverse backgrounds who are interested in crafting a program of study that explores contemporary pedagogical and creative practices.

"Our experiential learning environment supports strong connections between graduate

 students and faculty who value studio-based learning and recognize the unique power of

 art and design in a changing society."

At RISD, prospective educators craft the foundations of their pedagogical practice within a vibrant community of artists, designers, and scholars. Each year approximately 20–24 TLAD degree candidates work closely with faculty, professionals in the field at partner organizations, and a range of visiting lecturers. When the time comes, faculty take particular pride in helping each degree candidate with a job search, which has led to an extremely high placement rate and greater job satisfaction for graduates. 

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