Rhode Island School of Design is a small fine arts and design school located in Providence, Rhode Island and is the perfect college for those with creative flair. Students have the opportunity to receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees in over fifteen different majors. Unique opportunities like the European Honors Program offered to juniors and seniors, where they can study in Rome for half a year, make this school amazing. With its own museum, a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with Brown University, and an intriguing academic program, RISD creates the optimum environment for those who want to be in the fine arts, design, and architecture fields. At RISD the opportunities are endless and a great start to a promising future in the arts.
Rhode Island School of Design has an interesting academic approach based on the world renowned Bauhaus method, which is a German word that simply translates to “School of Building.” The idea is that all art forms will come together to create absolute art including architecture. It is now one of the most influential methods, and is still used today at many art and culture institutes including RISD. At Rhode Island School of Design all freshmen participate in the same core studies, which prepares them to enter their sophomore year when they start their separate studio majors.
A key reason Rhode Island School of Design stands out among other art schools is its emphasis on liberal arts studies delivered by their esteemed doctorate-level faculty. This also goes hand-in-hand with the cross collaboration between their neighbors at Brown University where students at either college can take classes at the other with no extra cost to them. Another highlight of the relationship between Brown and RISD is the dual degree program where motivated students can get both a Bachelor of Arts degree as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. You pursue each major at the respective college that offers it; this a large undertaking, but well worth it for the opportunities.
Along with taking courses at Brown, students from Rhode Island School of Design can also utilize their athletic facilities. Among them are various athletics courts, gyms, a pool, and an ice skating rink to name a few. While they may not be able to attend them all, many of Brown’s lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical productions are available to RISD students. Community outreach is important at RISD; both students and faculty engage the community in public health, environmental sustainability, and art & design education. With the dynamic educational experience and devotion to enriching themselves and their community, RISD students graduate as well-rounded individuals with the tools to change the world.
Campus life at Rhode Island School of Design is just as unique as the college itself, starting with the housing options. Most upper-classmen can live in the Historic Hill houses, Charles Landing, and 15 West, while first years will live in the First Year Quad. No matter which area you call home, the entire campus is designed to bring all students together encouraging community. The campus dining services provide places like The Met, a campus social hub where students can get late-night brain food and utilize community meeting spaces. RISD has multiple dining options including Rosie, the campus food truck, where students can find any style of food to tantalize their taste buds while collaborating with one another.
Many clubs and organizations are offered to students at RISD; most fall into cultural, common interest, and community engagement categories. There are several student- run services offered, as well as a student government, to continually make Rhode Island School of Design a better place for all who attend. While students can utilize Brown for their athletic facilities, RISD also has over a dozen athletic clubs and fitness facilities for students. They can compete in basketball, soccer, and hockey clubs, which are usually played against other art colleges; or fun in-house athletic intramurals such as ping pong, volleyball, and flag football.
For those who enjoy athletic activities, but shy away from competition, check out their yoga classes, or rock climbing and wilderness clubs, among others. The arts are the main aspect of RISD so it’s no surprise there are several art galleries and exhibitions for students to enjoy. Campus life at RISD is dynamic, educational, and fun; there is never a dull moment. This is the perfect college for individuals who want to have a future in fine arts, design, and architecture, with the opportunity to also immerse themselves in liberal arts studies, and a traditional college experience.
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By Colleen Hill