Rhode Island School of Design

United States of America

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University History

Rhode Island School of Design was founded in 1877 as co-educational institute. It is a private art and design school founded by Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf, who wanted to increase the availability of design education to women. The institute is affiliated with Brown University. Both institutions offer dual degree at graduate and undergraduate levels. Now, the Rhode Island School of Design is working under the guidance of President- Crystal Williams.

In 1877 Rhode Island School of Design was founded as a private art and design school founded by Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf. It is a co-educational school in Providence, Rhode Island.  The first class began with 43 students in which most of them were women. Initially, the school was started in six rooms on the fourth floor of the Hoppin Homestead Building in Downtown Providence. Later, in 1893 the school was moved to a building at 11 Waterman Street on College Hill.

University Achievements

Rhode Island School of Design is a well-known university in the USA. Forbes has ranked it among the top 110 regional universities. In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked the school first amongst Fine Arts programs. In 2021, the school was ranked 4th by the QS World University Rankings of Art & Design programs. In 2019, the undergraduate architecture program at the school was ranked 6 in Design Intelligence's ranking of the Top Architecture Schools in the USA. In 2018, the school was also named among Forbes’ America's Top Colleges as well as in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Top Producers of US Fulbright Scholars. 

University USP

Rhode Island School of Design is known to provide an excellent skill-based learning curriculum to enhance student techniques. It is popular for majors in the fine arts program. Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), is an internationally acclaimed leader in providing art and design education.

University Notable Alumni

Rhode Island School of Design’s alumni has expert alumni from different backgrounds who are there to serve based on their common passion and responsibility towards the university. Some of the alumni members of Rhode Island School of Design are-

  •  Visual artist and writer Roni Horn 
  •  Oscar-nominated filmmaker, Gus Van Sant 
  •  Neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer 
  •  Conceptual artist Glenn Ligon 
  • Author and illustrator Brian Selznick 
  •  Designer and street artist, Shepard Fairey 
  •  Contemporary artist Kara Walker 
  •  Contemporary painter Julie Mehretu 
  •  Actor, writer, and producer, Seth MacFarlane 
  •  CEO and co-founder of Airbnb, Brian Chesky 
  •  Glass sculptor Dale Chihuly 
  •  David Byrne of Talking Heads

University infrastructure & services


Earlier, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) mostly buildings were located at the western edge of College Hill, between the Brown University campus and the Providence River. Now, RISD has built buildings on the downslope near the river, or in the Downtown Providence just on the other side of the waterway. Buildings like- main library, undergraduate dormitories, Museum, Nature Lab and graduate studios of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are now located downtown.


In 1878, Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design was founded. It is an important part of the educational experience and an invaluable resource for students, faculty, staff, and alumni, but also for the broad community. It is one of the country's oldest independent art college libraries. The library offers a wide range of books and other materials and services to support academic studies and enhance research work at Rhode Island School of Design. The library has a vast collection of books, e-journals and e-books etc. The library has a collection of 150,000 books. University libraries are focused to provide high-quality library resources, programs, and services to the students. The library provides flexible and well-equipped surroundings to everyone’s research and learning needs. The library supports the student learning experience, creation and administration of knowledge, and also contributes to advancements in teaching and research programs.

Housing services-

On-campus- Rhode Island School of Design’s Residence Life program offers residential communities, where students from all over the country and the world live, learn and grow together. Students have an option to reside in the residence halls, suites and apartments. There are many residence halls present on campus- East Hall, Homer Hall, Nickerson Hall, Hill Houses, South Hall,15 West Alcove Suites, 15 West Apartments + Lofts Colonial Apartments and North Hall. The Rhode Island School of Design’s residential halls and apartments offer support and convenience, as well as opportunities for personal growth, cultural exploration, and interaction with all facilities and staff. The university’s residence halls are perfect for comfortable housing.  Students can select the room of their choice based on costs, hall facilities, location, availability. Through university’s affinity housing students can live in groups of like-minded students who share the same love for sports, literature, film and course. The various services offered in university’s residence halls are-

  •  Fully furnished rooms
  •  Large lounges with kitchens
  •  All-inclusive utilities
  •  Free Wi-Fi and cable TV
  •  Free laundry facilities
  •  Residence Life staff support
  •  Programming created around a residential curriculum
  •  24-hour security and on-call housing staff

Off-campus- Rhode Island School of Design assists students in finding off-campus housing near university’s campus. Students are allowed to live off-campus only after completing their second year at the university. They provide convenient housing to students, faculty and staff nearby university.

Medical services-

Rhode Island School of Design’s Health Center provides medical services to students. The Health Services encourage students to live a healthy lifestyle in order to achieve their personal, academic and career goals. They also maintain an emergency response team which responds immediately to any accidents or injuries involving any person on campus. Primary and urgent healthcare, health clearances, routine women’s healthcare, emergency response and wellness education are all part of the services provided. The staff consists of certified physicians and nurses who are dedicated towards their work and provide high quality medical care to students. Students should make an appointment by calling 401-454-6625 before walking into the center unless it is very urgent.

Student’s clubs-

Rhode Island School of Design offers more than 70 students’ clubs and organization which provide wide range of opportunities for students to engross themselves. The university offers everything students need to stay active on campus. Some of the clubs at Rhode Island School of Design are-

  •  Book Club
  •  Anime Manga Illustration Club
  •  Concept Art Club
  •  Figure Skating Club
  •  Mango Street Club
  •  RISD Food Lab
  •  RISD Golf Club
  •  RISD Photo Society
  • RISD Rock Climbing
  • RISD Space Design

These are just a few clubs and organizations listed above. There are many options available to choose from. Joining a club or an organization is the best way to engross yourself on-campus.

University location

2 College St, Providence, RI 02903, United States of America

Top Landmarks-

  •  The Stephen Hopkins House
  •  Providence Athenæum
  •  Thayer Street
  •  Roger Williams National Memorial
  •  Prospect Terrace
  •  First Baptist Church in America
  •  Nightingale Brown House
  •  The Old State House

International student’s info

Courses Offered-

Rhode Island School of Design offers Undergraduate programs and Graduate programs. Some of the courses are-

  •  Architecture
  •  Fine Arts
  •  Apparel Design
  •  Ceramics
  •  Film / Animation / Video
  •  Furniture Design
  •  Glass
  •  Graphic Design
  •  Illustration
  •  Industrial Design
  •  Interior Architecture
  •  Jewelry + Metalsmithing
  •  Painting

Student Support-

 The International Student Services Office at Rhode Island School of Design provides international educational exchange via its services. It serves as the primary administrative, programming, and advising office for the international community. The office provides various services like-

  •  immigration assistance and support to international students and exchange visitors through advising, programs, workshops and events.
  •  serve as a guide for academic and administrative units in the collaboration, hiring and sponsorship of international students and exchange visitors.
  •  provides on-going orientation and support services in a welcoming environment designed to help students in cultural adjustment.

Visa and Immigration Support-

Only people who are enrolled full time in classes or are obtaining a degree are considered to be students for visa purposes. Individual will probably have one of two types of non-immigrant status:

 F-1 status: Most of the students are in F-1 status. It is student’s responsibility to maintain their immigration visa status while they are in USA

 J-1 status: J-1 status is primarily for students who come to the United States during an exchange program, generally for a year or less.

International Student Contact-

Office address- 210 Benefit Street, Room 304

Providence, RI 02903

E-mail- [email protected]

Contact- Tel- 401.277.4957, Fax -401.454.6605

Student life

student society-

Rhode Island School of Design’s student organizations or clubs are one of the best ideas to get involved in the campus. Organizations are assembled under an arrangement of causes, identities, and interests. Student organizations at the Rhode Island School of Design put on some of the most highly awaited campus events and offer a wide range of opportunities for involvement and leadership every year. Rhode Island School of Design has over 70+ student organizations, so there is something for each student.

sports and fitness-

The Fitness Center at Rhode Island School of Design provides activities that promote healthy lifestyles and fitness for a huge population of students, faculty and staff. The university provides various sports activities and fitness rooms to keep students fit and healthy. The university offers fitness and cardio rooms.

Health & Wellbeing-

Health and Wellness at the Rhode Island School of Design is to highlight the active process of change and growth that involves building resilience, persistence, and positivity in the phase of provocations. It is the initiative dedicated to help students incorporate in an overall well-being experience across campus. They allow students to actively indulge in well-being activities that provide support to a holistic lifestyle. Through this initiative, students will learn and understand resources and they will also learn how to help others in need.

Residential Life-

On-campus housing at the Rhode Island School of Design can easily accommodate a huge population of students. The residence halls include - East Hall, Homer Hall, Nickerson Hall, Hill Houses, South Hall,15 West Alcove Suites, 15 West Apartments + Lofts Colonial Apartments and North Hall. The on-campus housing offers Residential Based Learning Communities on designated floors, areas or buildings where students request to live near others that share an interest in a particular social cause or academic area.

food & drink-

The Met at Rhode Island School of Design is the largest dining Hall in the heart of campus. Dining is open to students, faculty, and staff. Dining plan offers different dining options which includes special dietary menus such as vegetarian and low-fat food. The plans are designed to fit the busy schedule of students, the plan assists all dietary preferences by providing a wide range of dining options and healthy food options. There are a number of cafes and restaurants available on-campus which provides a huge variety to students.

Short term getaways, weekend getaways

There are many short-term getaways near the Rhode Island School of Design to have fun like-

  •  Market square
  •  Water fire
  •  Benefit Street
  •  Providence Athenæum
  •  Thayer Street
  •  Roger Williams National Memorial
  •  Prospect Terrace
  •  First Baptist Church in America
  •  Nightingale Brown House
  •  The Old State House

and there are many other options also available to spend holidays and weekends.

Student Safety

Crime Around the area-

Rhode Island School of Design keeps safety at priority. University’s Police Department provides 24/7 assistance to deter crime, and to increase personal safety and building security. A security desk is located in the lobby of each residence hall, which assists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to ensure the safety and identification of those entering and leaving the campus buildings. Students can call an officer to escort them anywhere on campus 24/7. The University is committed towards providing a safe, secure living and learning environment for all students, faculty and staff.

Famous courses

The famous courses at Rhode Island School of Design are-

  •  Architecture
  •  Fine Arts
  •  Apparel Design
  •  Ceramics
  •  Film / Animation / Video
  •  Furniture Design
  •  Glass
  •  Graphic Design

Campus recruitment


The Career Team at Rhode Island School of Design has an award-winning placement team that is dedicated to supporting students throughout their placement search. The university hosts recruitment events to provide jobs and internships to students.

Famous companies who recruit directly from Rhode Island School of Design –

  •  Style Careers
  •  Business of Fashion
  •  24Seven
  •  Coroflot
  •  Malakye
  •  AIA
  •  Boston Society of Architects
  •  Words of Mouth
  •  Dezeen
  •  National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts
  •  Ceramics Now
  •  American Alliance of Museums
  •  Dice
  •  Uncubed
  •  Motionographer
  • Krop
  • Remote Tech Jobs

Application Requirements

  • Create a new account
  • Completed Application Form
  • Submit required support documents
  •  Academic Records
  •  English proficiency test
  • Pay the application fee 
  •  Statement of Purpose
  •  Recommendations
  •  Standardized Test Scores

Rhode Island School of Design Programs

Tuition Fees
Standard Test

Rhode Island School of Design Application Requirements

Acceptance Rate

IELTS score requirements

A strong proficiency in the English language is essential for admission into universities in United States of America. To be able to get a successful admission in Rhode Island School of Design in United States of America students need to complete IELTS with a minimum score of 6.5.

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Rhode Island School of Design Cost of studies


Bachelors: $51,800

Fees vary for each program. Please visit program page for specific fees.

Rhode Island School of Design Deadlines

Undergraduate: February 1

Graduate: January 10

Deadlines vary for each program. Please visit program page for specific deadlines.

Rhode Island School of Design Rankings


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2 College Street,United States of America

[email protected]

(401) 454-6300