Rhode Island School of Design

Continuing Education

A wide variety of creative adventures await adult students at RISD Continuing Education. Year-round, courses are available in a broad range of visual arts and design disciplines (both traditional and digital), as well as in topics related to art and design as integral parts of our lives and culture. Our faculty bring skills as practicing professionals, renowned local artists and art educators, and are eager to pass along their knowledge to our students.

Please read through the list below for a quick guide to the spectrum of courses and programs RISD/CE provides for the adult student.

"The professor was enthusiastic and supportive; she challenged
my thinking and pushed me in new directions.

- Former RISD/CE Student

RISD/CE offers non-credit courses, lectures and workshops in fine and applied art and design, at beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Most fall and spring courses meet once a week for twelve weeks, while winter and summer term courses are six-week intensives meeting twice each week. We also offer courses in a variety of formats, such as weekend workshops and technique intensives, single-session lectures, online courses and hybrid courses that combine online learning with studio sessions. Whatever your goal – personal enrichment or professional development – RISD/CE has a course to suit your needs.

Courses are offered in the following categories:

Fine Arts  •  Product Development + Design Studies  •  Digital Design
The Business of Art + Design  •  Art in Context (Art History + Appreciation)

Although any RISD/CE course may be taken for personal or professional enrichment, many may also be taken as part of a certificate program. Certificate programs are designed especially for adults who want a rigorous and comprehensive course of pre-professional and professional study on a part-time basis. Programs vary in length, but generally take two to four years to complete. These programs teach general design principles as well as provide instruction in a specific and cohesive body of knowledge. A background in art and design is helpful but not necessary for any of these programs.

Certificates are available in the following disciplines:

Advertising Design (AD)  •  Animation + Video (AV)  •  Apparel Design (AP)
Children's Book Illustration (CB)  •  Digital Photography (DI)  •  Drawing + Painting Studies (DS)
Graphic Design (GR)  •  Interior Design (ID)  •  Jewelry + Light Metals (JM)
    Natural Science Illustration (NS)  •  Product Development + Manufacturing (PM)  •  Web + Interactive Design (WE)

Complete program information, curriculum charts, and advisor biographies may be found on each program's individual page. Click here for the detailed list of all certificate programs for adults.

In addition to our year-round RISD/CE courses and certificate programs, we also offer several credit-bearing summer programs:

Summer Studies :: Courses in Visual Arts and Design encompass a wide spectrum of interests designed to meet the needs of beginning, intermediate and advanced students. Combining art and design concepts with cutting-edge technology, these six-week courses enable students to build competencies in balanced ways. Modular scheduling permits students to enroll in a combination of classes and activities tailored to their interests, or to concentrate in a single area.

RISD's Summer Institute for Graphic Design Studies is an unparalleled opportunity for students and professionals from numerous disciplines to immerse themselves in a broad range of graphic design topics, offered in a series of concentrated two-week courses.

The Textiles Summer Institute provides a unique opportunity for fine artists and designers to learn with renowned faculty members and outstanding facilities in a variety of six-week courses. The Institute’s courses allow individuals to develop their ideas through material investigations using RISD’s rarely accessible, world class equipment.

Create your own extraordinary experience at RISD this summer. Utilize RISD's renowned studios and distinctive critical thinking/critical making approach to add a new dimension to your art and design work. All of these summer programs offer open enrollment, and a variety of housing and dining options are available.