Providence, Rhode IslandLocation
    SchoolSchool type
    EStd 1877established year

    Rhode Island School of Design: Rankings, Courses, Admissions, Tuition Fee, Cost of Attendance & Scholarships

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    Supriya Sarkar

    Study Abroad Expert

    Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design is a non-profit private art institution based in Providence, Rhode Island. It is known to be one of the first colleges in Providence to offer art and design programs independently and currently offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across 21 majors. The campus is right next to Brown University and the two institutions offer a combined joint-degree program where students are also free to cross-register for courses.

    Rhode Island School of Design Campus

    The graphic design program of the school of design is ranked 1st in the country in the U.S. News and World Report 2021. As per the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the institution ranks 140th among U.S. institutions. QS Top Universities by subject rankings places the institution at the 3rd position in Art and Design in 2021

    Rhode Island School of Design Rankings

    Rhode Island School of Design is a coveted design institution of the U.S. education system. The school has been conferred the following ranks in the list of some of the popular ranking agencies:

    • 140th in U.S. College Rankings 2021
    • U.S. News and World Report 2021 (Program and specialty ranking)
      • #5 in Best Fine Arts Program
      • #1 in Graphic Design
      • #2 in Painting/ Drawing
      • #2 in Printmaking
      • #3 in Photography
      • #4 in Sculpture
      • #4 in Ceramics
      • #7 in New Media/ Time-Based Media


    University Type Private
    Establishment Year 1877
    Location Providence, Rhode Island
    Campus Setting Urban
    Annual Endowment 351.1 million USD
    Tuition Fee 53,820 USD
    Mode of Program Full-time
    Total enrollment 2,501
    Total faculty members 196 (full-time); 421 (part-time)
    Student-faculty ratio 9:1
    Average class size 14
    Campus accommodation Available
    Mode of Application Online
    Work-study Available
    Financial Aid Not available for international students

    Rhode Island School of Design Campus

    • Rhode Island School of Design has a midsize campus with an urban setting in Providence, Rhode Island.
    • The college campus features the RISD Museum building which is open for the public to visit and has multiple art galleries and studios.
    • It also has on-campus stores, two auditoriums, and multiple design studios for students and faculty to use.
    • The Centre for Student Involvement (CSI) manages more than 70 student clubs and organizations that all students are open to being part of.
    • Undergraduate and graduate students can explore opportunities in leadership by attending the RISD LEADS workshop and certificate program.
    • Providence is easy to navigate in the area with 7 colleges and universities in the neighborhood making it very student-friendly. Getting around the city is convenient with buses, trains, ridesharing, and Zipcar’s. It is well connected to Boston and New York where students usually plan day trips.

    Rhode Island School of Design Residence

    • Students are free to choose from the three different housing options that Rhode Island School of Design offers which are - Essential RISD, Suite Experience, and Apartment Experience.
    • All rooms come with basic facilities such as internet and laundry, social lounge, entry locks, wardrobes, lights, and desk space. The amenities vary across single, double, and shared rooms.
    • Students requiring special assistance due to medical conditions must submit medical records to the Residence Life Office. The required documentation is decided on a case-to-case basis.
    • The school follows a gender-inclusive housing policy where identity is not the criteria based on which pairings are chosen.

    Rhode Island School of Design Courses

    • Rhode Island School of Design offers 16 programs at the undergraduate level, 18 programs on the postgraduate level, an experimental and foundation program for first-year students, and 1 certificate program.
    • Students also have the option of choosing a specific inter-disciplinary subject of concentration to build on their course experience.
    • Some of the most popular majors among students are fine arts, graphic design, sculpture, printmaking, time-based media, photography, painting, and ceramics.
    • The RISD Global Exchange program allows students to study off-campus and get an opportunity to study across 43 universities and colleges across the world.
    • The college also offers summer and winter foundation level programs for graduates and undergraduates every year. These programs can be accessed online and on-campus.
    • BRDD, a one-of-its-kind program in the country, is a dual degree program offered jointly by RISD and Brown that lets students earn a Bachelor of Arts (AB) degree from Brown and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree from RISD simultaneously.
    • A Masters of Arts in Design and Architecture (MADE) is offered through a partnership between RISD’s Architecture + Design division and Brown's School of Engineering.
    • All students applying for master’s courses are required to submit a writing sample representing strong critical and analytical reasoning and send the application by January to be considered for admissions.

    Rhode Island School of Design Application Process

    Rhode Island School of Design admissions is extremely competitive. The school has a very selective admission procedure with an acceptance rate of only 20% for undergraduates and 33% for graduates.

    How to Apply?

    The process for admission to Rhode Island School of Design is discussed below:

    Application Portal: UG: Common Application; PG: RISD Application

    Application Fee: 60 USD

    Application Deadline: UG: Early decision – November 1; Regular decision – February 1; PG: February 1

    Admission Requirements: The following documents must be submitted along with the application for admission:

    • Official high school/ college transcripts
    • English proficiency test scores
    • A portfolio with 10-12 samples of their work
    • Completed assignment to be submitted on Slideroom
    • A personal essay of up to 650 words
    • Minimum of one letter of recommendation for undergraduate courses
    • Three letters of recommendation for graduate programs.
    • Students applying for graduate courses need to have a minimum GPA of 3.0
    • A statement of purpose that is up to 750 words
    • All portfolios are to be submitted using the Slideroom portal

    Note: Starting from students applying in 2021, the school does not require SAT or ACT scores for admission.

    English Language Requirements

    The minimum English language proficiency test score requirements are as follows:

    Test Minimum Requirements
    TOEFL 93
    IELTS 6.5
    Duolingo English Test 115

    Rhode Island School of Design Cost of Attendance

    The estimated cost of attendance of Rhode Insland School of Design is as listed below:

    Expense Undergraduate Graduate
    Tuition Fee 53,820 USD 53,820 USD
    Activity Fee 270 USD 270 USD
    Academic Fee 800 USD 800 USD
    Estimated Housing and Dining Fee 14,430 USD 18,420 USD
    Books and Supplies 2,700 USD 3,965 USD
    Transportation 1,000 USD 1,550 USD
    Others 2,500 USD 2,575 USD

    Rhode Island School of Design Scholarships

    • Rhode Island School of Design is not offering any scholarships to international undergraduate students currently.
    • International students are supposed to bear the complete cost of education for attending the university.
    • There are several scholarship opportunities for studying in the U.S. for international students. Some of these have been specifically designed to offer scholarships to Indian students.
    • Students can refer to websites like IEFA, eduPASS, Fullbright, EducationUSA, International Scholarships Online, etc.
    • International students may also opt for work-study to finance their education. Students are authorized to work only on-campus. To work off-campus, students must acquire an Employment Authorization.

    Rhode Island School of Design Alumni Network

    • Rhode Island School of Design has a 30,465 member strong alumni network.
    • Members of the RISD Alumni Association are entitled to receive several benefits from their membership. These include:
      • Discounted membership to the RISD museum
      • Free access to the Fleet Library at RISD
      • Receive a 20% discount to enroll in RISD summer programs
      • 10% discount on continuing education programs
      • Free access to unique trips around the world that are curated for the RISD Alumni.
      • A professional network and platform to receive career opportunities and display your work.
    • Some notable alumni from RISD are:
      • Nicole Miller - American Fashion Designer
      • Seth MacFarlane - American Producer
      • James Franco - Actor

    Rhode Island School of Design Placements

    RISD and Brown University organize a joint career fair annually to allow students to discover internship and job opportunities after graduation. The major subjects across which placements are offered are in Arts, Graphic Design, Architecture, and Fine Arts. The school also organizes various workshops across the year which are open to undergraduate and graduate students to polish their skills. The RISD career center offers potential employers to hire students through the online portal where students can showcase their work and apply for jobs.

    According to Payscale, the average salary of Rhode Island graduates is 70,121 USD, while the early career salary of graduates with less than 5 years of experience was 57,300 USD.

    99% of the recent graduates were professionally engaged after graduation in full-time, part-time jobs, internships, or freelance. Over 350 companies participated in career fairs. Some of these include Ralph and Lauren, USAA, ESPN, Harvard University, Kohler, Adidas, Bose, Airbnb, etc.


    Ques. What is the acceptance rate of Rhode Island School of Design?

    Ans.The admission acceptance rate of Rhode Island School of Design in term 2020-21 for freshmen, transfer students, and graduate students respectively are 20%, 22%, and 33%.

    Ques. What GPA is required for admission to Rhode Island School of Design?

    Ans.An average GPA of 3.6 is required for admission to Rhode Island School of Design.

    Ques. What is the average SAT score required for Rhode Island School of Design admissions?

    Ans.The average SAT score for Mathematics is 688 and 655 for evidence-based reading & writing for admissions at Rhode Island School of Design.

    Ques. Does Rhode Island School of Design provide residential facilities to its admitted students?

    Ans.Yes. About 60% of total admitted students live on campus while 40% live out of campus.

    Ques. What is the tuition fee for Rhode Island School of Design?

    Ans.The tuition fee for the Rhode Island School of Design is 53,820 USD.

    Ques. Does Rhode Island School of Design offer a scholarship opportunity to its students?

    Ans.Yes. About 36% of total admitted students receive need-based financial aid at Rhode Island School of Design.

    Ques. Is Rhode Island School of Design a good school in the U.S.?

    Ans.Rhode Island School of Design is the world’s preeminent college of arts and design. Several courses of RISD have been ranked in the top by U.S. News and QS World Ranking. Yes. It is a very good college for students who want to study arts & design.

    Ques. What is the total enrolment of Rhode Island School of Design?

    Ans.The total enrolment of students is 2,227 while undergraduate enrolment is 1736 out of the total in a session of 2020-21.

    Ques. What are some major courses offered at Rhode Island School of Design?

    Ans.Some major courses offered here are painting, printmaking, photography, design, fine arts, sculpture, graphics design, and film/video making, etc.

    Ques. As an international student, will I feel comfortable in the study environment at Rhode Island School of Design?

    Ans. Rhode Island School of Design is very diverse in terms of the student population. About 37% of the total population are international students. There are several students from Asia. It has a student presence from more than 60 countries.

    $ 51,8001st YEAR

    5 years

    Course Duration

    $ 51,8001st YEAR

    2 years

    Course Duration

    $ 51,8001st YEAR

    2 years

    Course Duration

    $ 51,8001st YEAR

    4 years

    Course Duration

    $ 51,8001st YEAR

    4 years

    Course Duration

    Rhode Island School of Design Overview

    Insitution type
    Private (Not for Profit)
    Student Population
    FAFSA Code
    Application Cost
    Average Cost of Attendance
    $51,800 / Year
    Student : Faculty Ratio
    1 : 1

    Admission & dates

    Early Action Deadlines

    November 1

    Application deadline

    April 1

    Application results

    Regular Decision Deadlines

    January 15

    Application deadline

    April 1

    Application results

    Test Scores For International Applicants

    ExamsAvg. ScoreMin ScoreMax. Score%Submitted
    SAT Check Detailed Score12501130137068
    Evidence-Based Reading and Writing615570660-
    ACT Check Detailed Score28253137

    Rhode Island School of Design Acceptance Rate

    31.9 %

    acceptance rate


    total applicants


    total enrolled






    Undergraduate Programs
    Total Applicants
    Total Enrolled
    Graduate Programs
    Total Applicants
    Total Enrolled

    Rhode Island School of Design enrollment

    Rhode Island School of Design Enrollment
    Undergraduate Enrollment
    Graduate Enrollment
    Graduation Rate
    Average Graduation Rate

    Attendance Cost


    attendance cost

    The table shows average yearly cost of attendance for international students. Amount may vary with the course opted, nature of accommodation, and personal spending habits of a candidate. Check Program wise Fees

    Tuition fees
    Undergraduate Programs
    $51,800 / Year
    Post Graduate Program
    $51,800 / Year
    On Campus
    Books & Supplies
    $2,700 / Year
    On campus, Room & Board
    $13,050 / Year
    On Campus, Other Expenses
    $3,500 / Year
    Off Campus
    Off campus (not with family), Room & Board
    $13,050 / Year
    Off campus (not with family), Other Expenses
    $3,500 / Year
    Off campus (with family), Room & Board
    $4,496 / Year
    Off campus (with family), Other Expenses
    $4,496 / Year

    Top Accreditations [Institutional & Program Wise]

    Institutional accreditations
    National Association of Schools of Art and Design
    New England Association of Schools and Colleges


    total facultyfull timepart timegraduate assistants


    QS World University logo

    QS World University

    RANKED #4

    Design (International)

    College Rating

    Based on 7 Students Rating

    8.5 out of 10
    8.8/10Social Life


    8.2 /10

    Reputation, faculty, rankings, location, exposure to people and job opportunities through networking

    Course Curriculum :

    Since the design is always changing and evolving the course and curriculum are required to do the same. With COVID learning has definitely been changed

    10 /10 academic/food
    9 /10 faculty
    10 /10 infrastructure
    10 /10 accomodation
    10 /10 placement
    7.2 /10

    Best programs in the world. Small classes. Great community, amazing connections.

    Course Curriculum :

    Focused yet broad. Comprehensive, learn a lot of skills.

    9 /10 academic/food
    10 /10 faculty
    8 /10 infrastructure
    6 /10 accomodation
    10 /10 placement
    8.3 /10

    I have an interest in designing and also done some works related to this area in high school. So, I have suggested by one of my high school teachers to pursue my career in Graphic design as I have a creative mindset. Meanwhile, I have decided to go with graphic design and choose this college. I have applied to this college by attaching all the important requirements with an application fee of $60.

    Course Curriculum :

    The core curriculum in Graphic Design builds a range of analytical, formal, sensory and technical design experiences. It includes Conceptual thinking in areas such as communication theory, visual systems and information design and visual principles of form, image, color and typography.

    9 /10 academic/food
    8 /10 faculty
    8 /10 infrastructure
    8 /10 accomodation
    9 /10 placement
    8 /10 extracurricular
    9.0 /10

    I was in search of the best design college in the USA as I always wanted to pursue my master's from the USA. After researching different colleges, I found Rhode Island the best option for me to complete my Masters. I applied for this college online and paid around $60 as an application fee.

    Course Curriculum :

    My study required lots of knowledge of design, patterns, heritage. Subjects that are included in my curriculum are Architectural analysis, the making of design principles, advanced studio, integrated building systems, and an open elective. The course provided me with a lot of creativity and also gave me enough knowledge about professional ethics and technology. I got ideas about different designs through actual production.

    9 /10 academic/food
    9 /10 faculty
    8 /10 infrastructure
    9 /10 accomodation
    9 /10 placement
    10 /10 extracurricular
    9.3 /10

    I wanted to work in live-action, animation and also I wanted to produce films in a wide variety of genres. Thus I researched and for the various colleges and universities. Then I applied online to the Rhode Island School of Design. The design school helped me to develop my knowledge as well as my skills. The Common application cost me $60.

    Course Curriculum :

    I am being introduced to a series of short assignments designed to provide me a basic technical foundation in film, video, animation, and digital media. The curriculum further helped me to develop my skills in live-action, animation, and open media as well. More ambitious projects that involve the cinematography, lighting, sound design, character design, digital editing, compositing, and producing is also included in the curriculum.

    10 /10 academic/food
    10 /10 faculty
    9 /10 infrastructure
    8 /10 accomodation
    9 /10 placement
    10 /10 extracurricular
    Two College Street, Providence, RI 02903-2784

    Nearby this campus

    • Restaurant
    • Shopping Mall
    • Book Store
    • Super Market
    • Airport


    Hemenway's Restaurant0.22 km
    Cafe Nuovo0.31 km
    Union Station Brewery0.55 km
    The Capital Grille0.59 km
    Show More

    Book Store

    Lovecraft Arts & Sciences0.36 km
    Christian Science Reading Room0.37 km
    Brown Bookstore0.59 km
    Cellar Stories Book Store0.71 km
    Show More


    A2 Global Shipping2.38 km
    Armin NDB AR 3564.82 km

    Shopping Mall

    The Arcade Providence0.35 km
    Arcade Farmer's Market0.36 km
    Sunglass Hut0.73 km
    Sunglass Hut at Macy's0.74 km
    Show More

    Super Market

    Whole Foods Market1.24 km
    Eastside Marketplace1.75 km
    Walmart2.29 km
    Price Rite of Providence2.52 km
    Show More

    *All distance are measured radially. Actual distance may vary

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