Additional messaging guidance

RISD stands out for being a freestanding art and design college known for its:

  • extraordinary faculty, who are deeply invested in student success (with studio faculty members adept at balancing professional art and design practice with teaching and mentoring)
  • liberal arts courses that expand curiosity, empathy and the understanding of human life in all of its complexity
  • low student to faculty ratio (10:1)
  • rigorous interdisciplinary foundation program in which all first-year students learn to question assumptions, challenge their own ideas and begin to develop a new visual vocabulary
  • true commitment to thoughtful creative process and conceptual rigor in the production of all studio work
  • shared respect for materials-based research and making, along with exceptional craftsmanship
  • breadth of discrete majors / deep disciplinary approach to making
  • broad-minded, global community of highly motivated students who challenge, inspire and encourage each other
  • close, reciprocal relationship with Brown University
  • career center expertise in supporting emerging and established artists and designers at every point in their careers, helping them pursue creative opportunities in almost any field imaginable
  • strong, supportive network of alumni, parents and friends leading in a broad range of sectors around the globe
  • edgy tradition of experimentation, starting with its founding by women in the 19th century
  • eclectic, historic campus with extraordinary facilities for creative research and discovery
    • RISD Museum, the third largest college/university art museum in the US and an important regional amenity with a collection of more than 100,000 works of art from around the world and representing all periods and genres—all accessible to students for direct, hands-on learning
    • Nature Lab, a studio-lab offering unmediated access to more than 80,000 authentic natural history specimens, while also fostering creative inquiry into biomimetics, biophilic design, ecology and climate change
    • Co-Works, an interdisciplinary fabrication lab for exploring new and emerging technologies and enhancing cross-disciplinary learning
    • Fleet Library at RISD, a source for 150,000 circulating books, along with specialized collections for research in art and design and a Materials Resource Center that supports studio research and experimentation
    • 14 campus galleries for exhibiting student work
  • location in Providence, an accessible city with a vibrant creative community and proximity to Boston and NYC

Qualities of special interest to graduate students include:

  • an inspiring community of creative practitioners—from fellow students to area alumni to exceptional faculty members who bring expertise in professional practice to their teaching and mentoring
  • a global, open-minded community of scholars/thinkers/makers
  • a low student/faculty ratio (10:1) and small class sizes, allowing for especially fruitful relationships between grad students and faculty
  • opportunities to propose and teach new courses
  • a required final thesis project that entails both exhibiting and writing about a body of new work
  • a real commitment to process and conceptual rigor in all studio work produced
  • shared respect for materials-based research and making, along with exceptional craftsmanship
  • the breadth of discrete majors and deep disciplinary approach to making
  • knowledge and understanding of the demands of professional practice in specific fields
  • opportunities for interdisciplinary research and/or collaborative project-based learning
  • a close, reciprocal relationship with Brown University (including its resources and scholarly community)
  • RISD’s strong reputation in the world of art and design
  • specific departments and faculty members known as leaders in their fields
  • studying/living in Providence, an affordable city with a vibrant creative community and proximity to Boston and NYC

RISD is:

  • about both deep disciplinary focus and interdisciplinary learning
  • a place for open experimentation and materials research
  • a haven for deep personal reflection and creative exploration
  • a space where the joy of making is wonderfully contagious
  • a place for inspiring creative collaboration
  • a global community of artists and designers with shared interest in progressive ideas
  • a supportive community committed to sparking change
  • an inspiring community of critical thinker-makers
  • an internationally recognized leader in art and design education
  • the top choice of college for most of the students who matriculate
  • a top source for employers looking for the best and brightest creative talent

RISD looks for students who are:

  • thinkers, tinkerers and makers willing to get their hands dirty / take risks / fail
  • inquisitive / broadly curious / intellectually agile / nimble
  • hungry to make things / passionate / highly motivated
  • curious / open-minded / entrepreneurial / self-directed
  • skeptical / ready to question the status quo and assumptions
  • excited about throwing themselves into an immersive studio learning environment
  • focused / disciplined / ready to have fun by working hard
  • interested in art as a cultural phenomenon / means of communication
  • open to exchanging ideas and engaging in critique
  • interested in clearly articulating ideas verbally and visually
  • interested in learning to think and problem solve across a range of disciplines
  • looking for a pathway to a meaningful life

Committed to diversity and inclusion, we strive to make RISD accessible to all deserving students by:

  • keeping tuition increases as low as possible while maintaining top-quality educational standards
  • increasing access through scholarships
  • assisting first-generation college students through special programming
  • offering financial support for internships
  • providing additional funding to help students pay for studio materials and take advantage of travel opportunities
  • seeking opportunities to operate as leanly as possible while still offering generous and fair benefits for all employees