Rhode Island School Of Design - [RISD], Rhode Island, Providence - Admission

    Providence, Rhode IslandLocation
    SchoolSchool type
    Estd 1877established year

    Rhode Island School of Design 2020-2021 Admissions: Acceptance Rate, Requirements, Deadlines, Application Process

    Hitaishi Bhatia's profile photo

    Hitaishi Bhatia

    Study Abroad Expert

    Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has an acceptance rate of 26.5%, making the admission process quite competitive. RISD offers admissions under various undergraduate, graduate, and certification programs. The school has a total enrollment of 2,544 out of which 2,051 are undergraduate students and 493 are enrolled in different graduate courses. Founded in 1877, RISD is considered among the oldest art and design schools to study in the US.

    It offers bachelor's and master's degrees across 21 versatile majors to over 2,500 students each year. It has an international student population of 37%, making it one of the most accepting and multicultural places in the US .

    Rhode Island School of Design is pretty selective and has stringent admission requirements. During 2019-2020 admissions, it had an acceptance rate of 20% for its undergraduate courses and 33% for its graduate admissions. This means the academic background of the student needs to be quite strong in order to get admission in the college.

    • The school offers admission on an early decision and regular decision basis. Early decision is a binding agreement.
    • The GPA score required for admission is 3.73 on the 4.0 scale. 
    • Accepted freshmen had an average SAT math and Evidence-based reading writing score of 688 and 655, which is competitive.
    • RISD has a graduation rate of 89%
    • Its immersive studio-based study pattern is evident by its retention rate of 92%
    • Applicants need to submit their portfolio via slideroom.


    Application Portal UG – Common application
    PG –RISD Online Application
    Application fee UG – No fee charged
    PG – 60 USD
    Acceptance Rate (freshman) 20%
    Acceptance Rate (graduate) 33%
    Graduation rate 89%
    Retention rate 92%
    Student of Faculty ratio 9:1
    International student percentage 36% from 69 countries
    School code SAT/TOEFL - 3726
    ACT - 003812
    SAT Score 1298
    ACT Score 28
    Academic Calendar Semester
    Intake Seasons Fall/Spring
    Interview Required after selection of application
    International Admissions RISD Admissions

    Rhode Island School of Design Admission Deadlines

    The admission begins either during the Fall or Spring season. The deadline is the same for both undergraduate and graduate programs are usually same at the institute. The table below shows the deadline for admission.

    Type of Deadline Application Deadline
    Early action application November 1
    Early action decision Mid-December
    Regular action application February 1
    Regular action decision Mid-march

    Rhode Island School of Design International Admissions

    International applicants have to fulfil some additional requirements in comparison to Domestic applicants. The requirements are given below:

    Application Portal: Common Application (Online portal application)

    Application Fee: 60 USD

    Admission requirements

    • Official transcripts of all academic secondary work translated into English.
    • SAT/ACT scores.
    • Grade IB lever 5,6 or 7 accepted by RISD.
    • English Proficiency test scores.
    • Portfolio with 10-12 examples of sample work.
    • Complete assignment to be submitted in slide room format.
    • College essay with a word limit of 650 words to be submitted.
    • 1-3 letters of recommendation are required. 
    • A minimum GPA of 3.0 required.

    English Proficiency Requirements for International Students

    The minimum requirements for undergraduate and graduate programs are given below -

    Test Minimum scores
    TOEFL 93
    IELTS 6.5
    Duolingo 63

    Visa requirements for international students

    After the student is selected for admission, the university will email the Certificate of Eligibility for a Student Visa (Form I-20 A/B). Once received, all the details should be checked carefully. This form is essential for obtaining an American student visa to study at RISD.

    • Completed non-immigration visa application form (DS-156) with passport size photo.
    • A valid passport.
    • Receipt of visa application fee.
    • Evidence of SEVIS fee payment (I-901 receipt)

    Rhode Island School of Design Undergraduate Admissions

    The School offers bachelor’s courses in the field of Furniture Design, Architecture, Glass, Painting, sculpture, Photography, Textiles, Graphic Design and illustration. To apply for admission, the applicant has to fulfil the following requirements -

    Basic Admission requirements -

    • Academic transcripts
    • ACT/SAT scores
    • Portfolio
      • The applicant also needs to upload a portfolio, where about 12-20 recent projects need to be described that the applicant has done recently. 
      • This needs to be uploaded with the common application.
    • Writing Sample
      • A writing sample also needs to be submitted. 
      • The word limit is 650 words. 
      • The prompts for the writing are given in the personal essay section of the common application.
    • Letters of recommendation (optional)
    • The assignment
      • The applicants also need to complete an assignment. Details of the assignment are given on their website.

    Rhode Island School of Design Graduate Admissions

    RISD offers graduate courses in the field of Architecture, Furniture Design, Ceramics, Industrial Design, Textile, Printmaking and Painting. To apply for admission the applicant has to fulfill the following requirements -

    Admission requirements -

    • Bachelor’s degree in the relevant field
    • Undergraduate coursework
    • Application form
    • Academic transcripts
    • English language proficiency
    • Portfolio
      • Graduate applicants need to provide 10-20 examples of previous projects that they were involved in as a part of their portfolio.
    • Statement of purpose
    • Writing sample
    • Three Letters of recommendation
    • CV/resume 

    Admission in Rhode Island School of Design is highly competitive, with thousands of students applying each semester.. Although, if the applicants have a strong academic background and the passion for arts then that would give them an upper hand in the selection process.

    For early decision the admission decision will be released in the second week of December, however, the notification for regular decision will be released in the third week of March.

    Similar Colleges

    New England Conservatory of Music

    New England Conservatory of Music

    Boston, Massachusetts
    B.A/B.Sc $ 47.90 K
    New York Film Academy

    New York Film Academy

    Burbank, California
    M.A $ 43.43 K
    The Medical University of South Carolina

    The Medical University of South Carolina

    Charleston, South Carolina
    B.A Management $ 55.22 K
    School of Art Institute of Chicago
    M.A $ 51.90 K
    John Marshall Law School

    John Marshall Law School

    Chicago, Illinois
    L.L.M $ 46.95 K
    Claremont School of Theology

    Claremont School of Theology

    Claremont, California
    Ph.D $ 35.76 K
    Keck Graduate Institute

    Keck Graduate Institute

    Claremont, California
    M.Eng $ 39.90 K
    The Conway School

    The Conway School

    Northampton, Massachusetts
    M.A $ 29.88 K