At the academy

Organisation of the Basicyear

During the Basicyear, you will be assigned to a group with its own classroom and regular team of teachers. One of these teachers is your mentor, who will oversee your general development over the course of the year. During the Basicyear you will be working on assignments. Twice a year, the study results will be assessed on the basis of a presentation composed of the work you have made. A written essay is part of the theoretical component of the programme. At the end of the Basicyear, you and your teachers will assess whether you have laid a sufficient foundation for continuing your studies. In order to make a well-founded choice for a specialisation, over the course of the year you will become acquainted with all departments and workshops.


After the general formative year (Basicyear), you will choose one from among twelve graduation programmes, the departments. The departmental programme spans three years. Thus, the entire bachelor's degree programme lasts a total of four years.


Every study year, there are two moments when the tutors together assess the students’ work and progress. Areas of focus include: visual ability; motivation; technical aspects; communication concerning the work; and the ability to reflect on and analyse the work.

The Rietveld Academie does not use a grading system but is instead fully committed to issuing textual evaluations based on these assessments. A text specifies and evaluates each student’s individual study progress and provides individualised directions for further development.

Study points 

For each positive assessment, the student will receive 30 study points, aka ECTS credits. Two positive assessments will result in the maximum amount of 60 study points and will enable the student to start the next academic year. It is only possible to be promoted to the next year at the end of the academic year.

IND-requirement of 30 ECTS for non-EU-students: The Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) requires students from non-EU countries who possess a residence permit based on study to obtain at least 30 ECTS  each academic year. If they fail to do so, the residence permit will be withdrawn. This can be exempted only once in the case of serious illness or personal circumstances. A student who, due to illness or personal circumstances, is unable to follow the study sufficiently to achieve these 30 ECTS should contact the student counsellor immediately, as soon this situation arises.

Graduation & diploma

The programme is concluded with a final presentation during our annual public Graduation Show. Graduates may use the title of Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design (BA).

After graduation

After obtaining your Bachelor’s degree in Art and Design, you may choose to immediately start working as a visual artist or designer. But there is also a possibility to continue your studies with a Master’s degree programme, for instance at the Sandberg Instituut