Providence, RI
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Diversity is omnipresent at RISD, you will have friends from all around the globe.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: RISD promotes diversity of various things mentioned above; RISD often hold events for students with these diversities.

5 College Sophomore

Diversity: Everyone is welcoming of who you are and your sexual orientation. A lot of people come from different parts of the world, but as long as you have talent; the people will like you here no matter of your color, creed, or religion.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There is a great range of the diversity of students coming from many different cultural backgrounds, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and economic background. I think there are more students that are economically well off rather than not, however I know there are people coming from many different standings that attend this school. RISD is also very open in terms of culture and ethnicity and it is very easy for many different kinds of people to get along and feel comfortable in this environment that I feel doesn't exist in many places outside of the school.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Diversity: Large Asian Community – While white students are not so surprisingly the majority, Asian students are a close second. Other minorities seem to be few and far between but diversity is strong in other ways and you'll find a good range of ideas, beliefs, and creativity.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 161st
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 187th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1200th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Diversity at RISD is a tricky issue. It does not just mean non-white non-Americans, but a mix of students from different backgrounds, socio-economic status, culture, and race. The predominant theme that categorizes RISD is white, upper-middle class, Christian female. There is also a large population of Koreans on campus and several other Asian ethnicities, but in general, there is not a whole lot of diversity. On the positive side, students make the most of the diversity that does exist at RISD, and most benefit from learning about one another and how people from different cultures and artistic backgrounds approach art and design problems. Most studio classes are set up to allow all students in the class to participate in critiques. Of course, everyone gives their input based on their personal backgrounds, aesthetics, and beliefs, so by having a diverse range of students in these intimate situations, there is a great deal of aesthetic exchange, and many students are able to expand their understanding of what their art can be. Especially relevant conversations center on gender politics in art, cultural identity, and product design for a world market.

There are always continuous efforts to expand the diversity of students at RISD. Most recently, there was a special effort made to financially assist students coming from poorer countries. These small strides are fully supported and sometimes initiated by the students. As RISD continues to make it easier for students from different backgrounds to come together, the new mix of students will be welcomed with open arms. The international and minority students that are at RISD enrich all students’ experiences, and the students are happy to have one another.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Florida
  • Foreign countries
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 1%
18-19: 33%
20-21: 35%
22-24: 17%
25+: 14%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 2%
Asian American: 6%
Hispanic: 2%
International: 2%
Native American: 1%
White: 86%
Unknown: 1%
Gay Pride
The students at RISD are extremely proud of gay classmates, and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance is active on campus and sponsors a Freshman Outreach Program.
Political Activity
The majority of the student body is liberal and the rest are indifferent (at least regarding U.S. politics).
Economic Status
Most students come from a middle- to upper-class background.
Most Common Religions
Most students are atheist or agnostic, but within the bounds of religion students, most are Christian, Catholic, or Jewish.
Minority Clubs on Campus
The students on campus are integrated, and all of the parties and events thrown by minority clubs are open to all students, not just those of the club. Some minority clubs include: ACA (Asian Cultural Association), Latin Alliance, and Queer Student Union

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 12 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 17% Not sure
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 33% Moderate
  • 42% Liberal
  • 8% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 12 responses

  • 0% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 0% Conservative
  • 25% Moderate
  • 8% Not sure
  • 42% Liberal
  • 25% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 12 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 11 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 13 responses

  • 0% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 0% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 15% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 85% Very accepting.


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