Academics

Location
Undergrads
1,971
Tuition
$42,932
Admission Difficulty
Hard
More statistics . . .
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: Even if the workload is at first scary, you will be able to manage your time as you go.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: For Industrial Design the facilities are good and teachers are professionals in their field.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Great liberal arts curriculum. The professors are challenging, knowledgeable and interesting.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: The programs and classes are great. Most professors are good but not all are great just like most other colleges. Most classes offered at RISD are interesting and worth taking. The school offers 'Internship Connect' which is designed to help the students make connections with quite a number of companies.

4 College Junior

Academics: They are mostly great and live up to the school reputation.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 87th
    Smartest Professors
  • 160th
    Best Technology in the Classroom
  • 173rd
    Best Course Variety
  • 225th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 262nd
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Academics at RISD are based on a number of variables, two being what major you choose and whether you decide to “concentrate” in a liberal-arts field. The differences in majors have to do with departmental budgets and resources, individual faculty members, and overall departmental philosophy. Each major has a different number of required major credits, with some allowing students to take more classes outside their major and others almost taking up a student’s entire studio course load. Regardless of major, studio classes are almost always challenging and enriching, and they demand all of a student’s resources to complete them successfully.

The faculty is the driving force behind RISD’s strenuous and exciting classes. It is safe to say that while there may be the odd professor that does not meet what the high-standard students expect from their faculty, professors at RISD are professional, knowledgeable, and dedicated to their students and their field. When it comes to liberal arts, students may “concentrate,” which is similar to having a minor, in English, art history, or HPSS (history, philosophy,and social science). These concentrators, which put more effort into their liberal-arts experience, tend to produce students who come away more satisfied with their classes because their academic study interacts more with their studio study, bringing it to a higher level. While it’s true that some liberal-arts courses may not be as rigorous, nearly all seminar courses, among others, are just as challenging as an equivalent class at almost any liberal arts university.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
9:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
148
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
394
Total FT Faculty
148
Faculty with Terminal Degree
85%
Average Faculty Salary
$91,606
Full-Time Retention Rate
95%
Graduation Rate
86%
Programs/Majors Offered
19
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 78%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 22%
  • 50 or More Students: 0%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • School of Design
  • School of Fine Art
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Architecture: 7%
  • Graphic Design: 5%
  • Illustration: 7%
  • Industrial and Product Design: 5%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Fleet Library
  • Local caf├ęs
  • Rockefeller Library (Brown University)
Tips to Succeed
  • Balance fun with work but remember priorities.
  • Experiment and expand ideas for projects.
  • Know your resources.
  • Really appreciate the professors (although it's sometimes difficult to understand them) and given studio hours.
  • Take critiques seriously, and if a harsh critique is given, use to to progress and improve.
Did You Know?
  • RISD students may register for classes at Brown University.
  • Among other study abroad programs, RISD has a European Honors Program that allows students to study in Rome for a year.
  • RISD has a mini-semester in January, called Wintersession, during which students are offered experimental courses, travel courses, and internship opportunities.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 15 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 14 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

Photos

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