Location
Providence, RI
Undergrads
1,971
Tuition
$41,332
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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Reviews 397 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Junior

Computers: Great computers, extremely up to date hardware and fully loaded with the latest software for every major. Printing is mediocre when it should be excellent considering color is an important factor in the assessment of homework.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Weather: I Like It. It's actually really beautiful here most of the year. I'm from Pennsylvania and remember counting days where the sky had no clouds in fall, in amazement. Winter can get a bit cold and gross though--snow doesn't stick, but it's icy and nasty. There are ski trips to vermont every weekend during winter session. Class rarely gets canceled, maybe once a year. People from California complain that it's cold, but to me, it's a lot more mild than when you're not by the coast.

3 College Freshman

Drug Safety: Drinking Over Drugs – The Drug Policy is very very strict. Most students drink, but on campus you have to be very very careful. If you're underage, you will get kicked out if they find alcohol in your dorm room. Brown Frats will freely give you alcohol if you walk into a party and say you go to risd. Some people prefer Pot to alcohol. I know people who don't drink here and still do fine socially, though. There is no real "outcast" at risd, no matter who you are nightlife wise.

3 College Freshman

Nightlife: Go to Brown or Downtown – There are lots of parties at Brown, which are fun. They don't care who you are, as long as you give them 3 dollars at the door.

Also, you can easily walk 10 minutes to get to clubs downtown, and there are several that let in 18-year-olds. There are gay clubs too. We usually take a taxi to a club; the fare will cost about 5 dollars for one way. Club entry can be free for girls, or it may be 10 dollars.

You'll be working much more than partying though.

2 College Freshman

Athletics: Haha... What? Hahaha. Athletics? Barely. It's more of a joke. There is a Hockey team and a basketball team. There is intermural soccer. Fans are crazy in the stands, even if we're losing really really badly. It's a fun crowd, but sports are not the main focus at risd.

4 College Freshman

Computers: Everyone seems to have a new Mac Book Pro. There is wireless internet, and it's pretty good once you figure out how to log onto the network. There are lots of computer labs, but most students have their own computers due to laptop programs for their majors. A lot of people have printers, though you can print in the labs or at the library. Labs are never over crowded, because we spend most of our time in studio, not typing..

4 College Freshman

Transportation: Really Great. You get free access to RIPTA buses, which can take you anywhere in providence for free, including Newport Beaches on weekend. It's really useful and the bus system is huge. Totally free with your student ID. Also, train and bus stations are very close to campus. I can get to Boston for 7 dollars, and New York for about 20. The bus to the airport is free as well.

2 College Freshman

Parking: Freshmen can't have cars, and parking is very limited in the city.

1 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Attractive, but No Guys.. The guy/girl ratio is a bit disappointing, which is understandable since it is an art school. Almost 70% girls, and 30% guys; a considerable number of gay guys. We're known to have a "VERY ATTRACTIVE" student body, especially on the girls side. People know how to dress. A lot of them have the money to look good, no matter what. Then, most of us are so absorbed in school work that dating just becomes ridiculous and a hassle. I have a lot of girl friends who meet boyfriends at Brown because there are "no guys" at RISD. Some guys also complain that the number of girls can get overwhelming....

College Freshman

Greek Life: There is no greek life. At all. But Brown University is across the street, and they have plenty of Frat Parties every weekend, and a lot of students end up going to these parties if you're interested in that kind of thing.

2 College Freshman

Diversity: Most of RISD's students are inherently from wealthy backgrounds. There is not much financial aid, especially for international students, who tend to pay full price. (RISD is close to 1/3 international). African American, Hispanic and Indian students are rare, and the majority of the student body is either White or Korean. The Korean "subculture" at RISD is huge--a large majority of the international students are korean, and this can turn into a cultural and social clique. Religion seems not be play a big factor on campus at all, though the Korean student body seems almost universally Christian. Other than that, most students are outgoing, friendly, liberal, and accepting to all beliefs, backgrounds, religions and sexual orientations. The most alienating trait would probably be to be poor.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Campus Housing: The Rhode Island School of Design housing system is certainly unique. During the initial year, most students live in the "Quad" which is a compound comprised of four dormitory buildings and a large dining hall in the center between the buildings. Because of the increased admittance in the past few years, the school has added freshman housing in the form of houses along the hill in which the "Quad" resides. These houses are themed: The Carpenter House is a music themed dormitory and the Pardon-Miller House is centered upon health consciousness. Housing is required for students during their freshman and sophomore years. During sophomore year, students have the option of more houses on the "hill" which are preserved homes of 18th century Providence, the Colonial Apartments - an apartment complex consisting of efficiencies, studios and 3-bedroom apartments, Charles Landing apartments-an apartment complex that is available to RISD students as well as to the public. Finally, the school offers apartments in the downtown area of Providence, in which I live. "15 West" as it is commonly referred to, is a high rise building in the heart of the financial district. This building houses RISD Library and another dining hall entitled "The Portfolio". At one time, this building was the home of the Rhode Island Trust Company and the high ceilings and recesses in the rooms truly adhere to their previous vault purpose. Our dormitories are known to be spacious, especially the sophomore housing apartments. Each dormitory room in each of the housing formats comes with a work surface, a desk, storage units and workrooms on each floor of the buildings, each equipped with proper ventilation systems for art supply fumes.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Facilities: Modern, Artistic and Green. The Rhode Island School of Design facilities are certainly up-to-date technologically and aesthetically. The school utilizes energy saving techniques with their electricity in all of the studio workspaces. A new implementation in all of the RISD buildings throughout campus is the "RISD Water" system. This system is comprised of purified water fountains meant to be used by students and faculty for filling their reusable water bottles. The studio spaces themselves are more than adequate providing for the 15-20 student to one professor ratio. Our campus library is absolutely beautiful architecturally. The resources available to the students are infinite, including an image library, special collections library, a plethora of online databases and original copies of texts, artifacts, paintings,drawings, etchings, etc on reserve. Also on campus is our immaculate Rhode Island School of Design museum. This museum is open to the public and used as another resource for the students as well with over 25,000 artworks, artifacts, textiles and apparel on display or in storage available by appointment.

5 College Junior

Academics: The Rhode Island School of Design is first and foremost and institution for learning fine arts and design. Within the initial year, students will learn the basic principals of art: Drawing, Two-dimensional design, and Three-dimensional design. These courses are offered in 8-hour long studio format, three days a week with liberal arts dispersed intermittently throughout the 5-day a week schedule. The liberal arts program is an intense curriculum consisting of English studies, history of art and visual culture, and history of philosophy and the social sciences. The professors attempt to gear the courses toward art-related topics to keep the studies relevant to the nature of the college. Upon the second through fourth or fifth year of enrollment, students will take courses in their desired majors. The workload at RISD can certainly be described as substantial. Sometimes the school's acronym - RISD, has been altered into "Reason I am Sleep Deprived". This school is meant for the arduous, goal-oriented student. Students will quickly learn to utilize the art of critique and understand how significant and useful this method of evaluation will be in the professional art world.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Artist Community – Rhode Island School of Design is a great environment for artists. The people that surround you everyday are all different and creative which inspires individual creativity and motivation. Everyone is passionate about what they do and work so hard, our work is our life.

2 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: No Tolerance – Rhode Island School of Design has a zero tolerance policy with drugs and alcohol. First time offenders get a letter sent home and third time offenders risk suspension.

3 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Very Safe – Rhode Island School of Design's campus security is run by Public Safety. They have emergency call stations spread throughout campus and also monitor the campus personally. I have never felt unsafe on campus.

5 College Student

Campus Dining: Taste of the World – There are new food to try everyday. Almost unlimited choices and combination of food choices, even for the vegetarians!

5 College Senior

Facilities: Unlike other Art Colleges, Rhode Island School of Design has a very, physically active extracurricular life for students to get involved with! One in my particular interests (being the Martial Arts) would be Aikido.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: A Buffet to Big for a Glutton – Nearby the RISD Campus is Thayer street, the nightlife and restaurant area for college students, and those traveling to Rhode Island for leisure.

There the food choices range from Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Vegetarian and many more, giving anyone the option to eat almost anything for a college student, friendly cost.

5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: The Perfect Place for a Peaceful Painter – The scenery of Rhode Island School of Design, is composed of downtown Providence, Rhode Island, and the Brown University Campus as well as students. While on a steep hill, the atmosphere is peaceful, while students trek back and fourth, up and down the steep inclines and declines, or, take the bus.

Being in such a lively, young, and rich metropolitan area, it's easy for an artist to get and feel inspired by just waking up in the morning, and looking outside of a dormitory or apartment window.

Niche User

Overall Experience: The academics at RISD are great, challenging, and demanding. I've learned a lot. The teachers and student body are very helpful and helped me to grow as a person and in my ideas and work. The location is great for a balance of fun and work. I definitely got what I was looking for and what I've expected about RISD.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: Punishments by Residence Life is not harsh at all.

Niche User

Campus Strictness: Public Safety is very strict compared to other schools. They feel they need to catch kids up to no good. But how Public Safety deals with the consequences and punishments can be questioned because it is impractical.

Niche User

Guys & Girls: In general, both guys and girls have a charm and are unique.

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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Helen Koh
Hometown
Chicago, IL
Major
Graphic Design/Painting
View all previous student authors

Many students love and hate RISD at the same time. The workload may be extremely demanding, but RISD students are not coming to receive the typical college experience. They are coming to get in touch with a community of artists that will enrich their understanding of art as a medium. RISD students come to gain access to an amazing amount of resources and equipment, which enable them to push their art form as much as possible. They aren’t looking for the big party school or a Greek scene—they are coming here to find themselves, to be individuals, and excel in their individual talents.

RISD students work very hard and are rewarded in the end. Many feel they are prepared to enter some sort of job or pursue a way to become active professionals in their field. In many ways, RISD is like boot camp for art, but it’s also an amazing opportunity for students to make the work that they want, while learning about themselves and their surroundings in the process. Once students let go of any ideas of what college is supposed to be, they will realize that RISD is not only a completely unique and exhilarating experience, but also provides a degree that holds a lot of weight in the professional world and skills that will serve students for their entire lives. Ask any RISD student, and they will say that as much as they complain, they would never go anywhere else.

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