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Rhode Island School of Design

Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Rhode Island School of Design is a private, nonprofit college founded in Providence, RI in 1877. Approximately 2,480 students from around the world are engaged in liberal arts studies and rigorous, studio-based learning at RISD, where they choose from 19 studio majors and earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees in thefine arts, architecture, design or art education.

Bachelor's programmes

Engineering & Technology (2)
Applied Sciences & Professions (1)
Humanities (1)



As one of the first independent colleges of art and design in the US—incorporated on March 22, 1877 as both a school and museum—Rhode Island School of Design has always stood out as something of a maverick. By the time RISD began offering full bachelor’s degree programs in the 1930s, our reputation for vision and leadership in advanced studio-based education had already begun to grow.


Founded in 1877, RISD stands out among the world’s preeminent colleges of art and design. Its community of critical thinkers and makers shares a belief in the value of hands-on learning, experimentation and an ever-evolving approach to an immersive, discipline-based studio education reinforced by studies in the liberal arts.


Through state-of-the-art imaging systems and unmediated access to more than 80,000 specimens, students explore design in nature and the symbiosis between artistic and scientific research.


At this interdisciplinary research space, students and faculty make use of advanced tools and processes to experiment, explore materials and engage in innovative collaborations.


Student services

Providing opportunities for all students to develop personally, socially and intellectually, the Office of Student Affairs serves as a general advocate for all RISD students.. The office helps create active learning environments that support students' co-curricular experience, with programming and services that reflect values of community, inclusiveness, responsibility, leadership and wellbeing.

Housing services

Students who live in RISD housing appreciate the comfort, convenience and camaraderie of living on campus. A range of residential options—from shared rooms to houses and lofts—reflect the individual needs of art and design students, offering larger-than-average rooms and dedicated workspaces that accommodate a variety of lifestyle preferences.

Library services

A unique aspect of RISD and other art and design schools is the need for tangible, touchable research materials – not just books and articles about art and design but actual samples of wood, plastic, composites, textiles, metals and so forth that students need to explore for use in their projects.

Medical services

RISD’s Health Services Center provides high-quality, confidential healthcare services to students in an ambulatory care setting, including RN triage for first aid/emergent care, acute care visits and referrals to specialists. Comprehensive GYN care, STI testing and free rapid HIV testing are also available.

Student Life

Campus life

Given its relatively small footprint, Providence is comfortable and easy to navigate, with seven colleges and universities making it very student-focused. A vibrant community of artists and designers—including many alumni who choose to stay in the area—adds to the flavor, as do the city’s eclectic neighborhoods, which offer a variety of lifestyles, restaurants and entertainment options. Students often take advantage of day trips to Boston, New York or beautiful beaches as appealing options for inspiration and refreshment.

Sports facilities

RISD students tend to be active in a wide variety of ways. If you're looking for fitness activities on campus, visit the Catanzaro Student Fitness Centerfor dance, pilates, spinning, tai-chi and yoga or head to the nearby Brown athletic complex, where you'll have access to a swimming pool, ice skating rink, indoor and outdoor tracks, and courts for tennis, squash, racquetball and basketball.


In the United States, most state registration boards require a degree from an accredited professional degree program as a prerequisite for licensure. The National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), the sole agency authorized to accredit US professional degree programs in architecture.

Providence, Rhode Island, United States