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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—making it one of the first art and design schools in the US. 

Master's Programmes

Education & Training (2)
Engineering & Technology (2)
Applied Sciences & Professions (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.


The mission of Rhode Island School of Design, through its college and museum, is to educate its students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation.


Through RISD Research, faculty and students are provided with the resources, support and dialogue to guide faculty and students through a successful and insightful research process and develop their ideas into fundable projects. RISD Research offers:

  • Project Development
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Grant Writing
  • Lab Space
  • Budget Development
  • Collaborator Matching


RISD’s Career Center offers a comprehensive program of one-on-one counseling, portfolio reviews, seminars and other targeted events aimed at helping undergraduates, graduate students and alumni translate their creativity into meaningful and rewarding careers.

Global Student Satisfaction Awards 2019

GSSA 2019

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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

Founded in 1878, the RISD Library is one of the oldest independent art college libraries in the country. Begun in a bookcase in the Hoppin Homestead building, the books were moved to the Waterman Building when it opened in 1893, settling in a number of rooms before relocating to what is now the Nature Lab, a proper library with a librarian, Eliza Buffington in 1909. 

ICT services

Information Technology Services (ITS) partners with members of the RISD community to power creativity by contributing valuable technical services and solutions.

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.


RISD is accredited by two organizations: New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE, formerly NEASC) and National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Several programs have specialized accreditation: Architecture (National Architecture Accrediting Board), Landscape Architecture (Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board) and the Master of Art in Teaching (RI Department of Education). 

Student Reviews

Anonymous rated 1 out of 5 stars

RISD is a very prestigious university. Other people have nothing but good things to say about it. However, I did not feel it was a good fit for me as a painting student. Critiques did not feel helpful and I felt the professors I encountered did not have very open minds about what they wanted from students nor did they explain what they wanted well. This is just a personal...

Providence, Rhode Island, United States

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