Rhode Island School of Design

Continuing Education

The six-week summer residential Pre-College Program offers 16- to 18-year-old high school students a comprehensive introduction to the college art school experience. Students follow a college-level studio curriculum and live in RISD residence halls, in a full-immersion encounter with art and design education at the highest level. The program is focused, serious and challenging, as students experience the core elements of a RISD education – critical thinking and artmaking – from foundation drawing and design courses, to critical studies in art, to focused concentration in one of 21 diverse majors. Throughout the program, students are expected to maintain a high level of initiative and responsibility regarding their work and behavior.

Request additional information, including the Pre-College catalog and email updates.

Find out all about the Pre-College program at our Pre-College Pre-View on  March 7, 2015, 8:30am-1:30pm.

The Pre-View day includes an informational session with the program manager and faculty, and members of RISD's Residence Life and Public Safety staffs. For more information and to RSVP, please visit the Pre-College Pre-View page.

Saturday, June 27 - Saturday, August 8, 2015

what are the goals of the Pre-College Program?

  • to broaden the artistic horizons of more than 400 high school students
  • to empower students as they begin to define themselves both socially and artistically
  • to expose students to a wide range of new techniques and media
  • to be relevant to both a future career and personal enrichment in the arts
  • to challenge students to strengthen both artistic techniques and critical thinking skills
  • to expose students to the work of first-rate, professional artists and the criticism of their peers

how does the Pre-College curriculum succeed?

  • imparting a strong foundation of drawing and design skills
  • developing abilities in critical analysis and expression through studies in art history
  • focusing on one of 21 majors in order to gain expertise with specialized techniques and materials
  • maintaining a structure that fosters independence while safeguarding students' security

who are the Pre-College faculty?

RISD Pre-College faculty is comprised of more than 50 artists, designers and educators, some of whom teach in the college’s degree program. Close to half of Pre-College faculty are RISD alumni.

how is multiculturalism fostered at RISD?

  • by exposing students to new and different ideas
  • special lectures by guest artists discussing the influence of culture upon their development as artists
  • critiques by guest artists in their areas of expertise
  • scholarships for outstanding students demonstrating financial need

  "There's an insane variety of teachers and classes that open you up to the art world."
- Former Pre-College Student

All applicants who meet the age requirements and demonstrate the ability and desire to benefit from the program, as evidenced by their application materials, are accepted. There are no admission tests or portfolio requirements.

Visit the Pre-College Registration page for a full description of application procedures and guidelines as well as program expenses and fees for the 2015 program.

The Pre-College Program is tailored towards high school students who have finished their sophomore year and are 16 to 18 years old. Our students are highly-motivated individuals who want to develop their visual arts and design skills, regardless of whether they have already decided to apply to an art school or traditional college. Many students have, in fact, said that they were much better equipped to decide their college plans once they had attended the Pre-College Program. Students may wish to apply to the Pre-College Program if they:

  • have a limited art background but a strong desire to expand their knowledge of art and design in a college setting
  • possess an extensive art background and are committed to an intensive schedule of college-like study
  • wish to expand their presentation materials for admission to visual arts colleges
  • wish to experience life in a residential New England college setting
  • live in the geographic area of the campus and wish to commute
  • live abroad and seek an educational experience at a highly ranked arts institution in the United States
  • to develop a strong foundation of art and design skills
  • to participate in a college-level curriculum in the visual arts
  • to study under the direction of a highly specialized arts faculty
  • to build confidence in oneself as an artist, a student, and simply as an individual
  • to become adept at using a variety of tools, materials and techniques—from traditional to cutting-edge—in one of 21 different art and design disciplines
  • to create additional pieces that may help enhance your college admissions portfolio
  • to experience art as part of an intense but short-term program before investing time, effort and money in a college program
  • to gather letters of recommendation from a notable arts faculty
  • to forge strong bonds with a diverse group of students who share an enthusiasm for art and design

The Pre-College Program strengthens your ability to observe, conceptualize, analyze and create. Whether courses are selected for personal exploration or as a fast track to college-level study in art and design, a balanced schedule and all-day studio classes allow for creative problem solving as well as artistic experimentation. In addition, studio critiques encourage you to talk about both your own work and that of your classmates.

One of the hallmarks of a RISD undergraduate education is the Foundation Studies program, a year-long immersion in rigorous visual and critical inquiry, designed to encourage experimentation and the challenging of ideas, motivations and assumptions. At RISD, foundation work is as crucial to a student's overall development as the major. It is no different for the Pre-College Program, where you are introduced to the RISD curricular concept through three foundation courses (described below): Drawing Foundations, Design Foundations, and Critical Studies in Art. These courses help you sharpen your powers of observation, gain experience with various tools, materials and techniques, and learn to analyze and discuss works of art.

An essential element of the learning process at RISD is the studio critique. As you learn to present and discuss your work in front of faculty, guests and fellow students, you grow more comfortable with talking about and articulating your goals. Critiques, or "crits" as they're more commonly known, take place from time to time throughout the course of each class, and serve as important guideposts as you refine your work and prepare final projects.

The summer culminates with the annual Pre-College Exhibitions – four events held in four separate exhibition spaces on the RISD campus. The Majors Exhibition showcases hundreds of pieces produced in the studios of all 21 majors; the Fashion Majors Show highlights wearable art created by fashion design students; the Design and Drawing Exhibition presents work from Drawing Foundations and Design Foundations classes; and screenings show the work of Film/Video and Animation majors.

make it yours
As in a college-level art and design education, choosing a major is also an essential part of one's experience, and this, too, is an important element of the Pre-College Program. Majors provide the opportunity to immerse yourself in focused effort within one particular design or fine art field; major classes are scheduled for two full days each week, allowing you to explore one of the 21 available disciplines (described below) in depth. RISD stresses that foundation studies are as important as major work, so equal emphasis is placed in both areas and effort is balanced between the two during the week.

Click on the names of the Foundation Studies courses and majors listed below for a full description.

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    Drawing Foundations

    The ability to observe and the skill of translating these observations into visual expression are fundamental to an artist's education. Students in this course first develop their power of observation and strengthen their ability to think and express themselves visually on paper. They learn techniques for working from the human figure, forms in nature, landscapes, interior spaces and still-life setups. Traditional and nontraditional materials are used throughout to investigate line, value, form and composition.

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    Design Foundations

    Design is critical to all visual expression. This course introduces students to the formal elements of design—line, shape, color, texture and space. Through challenging exercises, students are encouraged to explore traditional methods of visual organization and to discover new solutions on their own. Projects may include both two- and three-dimensional design concepts.

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    Critical Studies in Art

    Critical analysis—the ability to thoroughly examine, analyze and respond to creative concepts and ideas, both verbally and in writing—is an essential tool in an art and design education. In this foundation course, historical and contemporary art (both two- and three-dimensional) is presented in relationship to a specific theme. Students develop an approach to critical analysis by delving into the historical context of the artwork. Course work is enhanced by visits to the RISD Museum of Art, where students explore the collections and examine original artwork in an intimate setting.


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    Animation—the study of art in motion—is a constantly evolving art form. This major introduces students to the rich traditions of frame-by-frame nonlinear movie construction, and to recent developments in the field. Using a variety of rendering techniques, students focus on the development of unique characters and compelling narratives. In order to produce impactful visual elements, emphasis is placed on studio projects—such as flipbooks, storyboard, cutouts and stop-motion film—that develop strong perception and drawing skills. Students are introduced to basic technical skills in computer distortion, timing, exaggeration, sound and sequencing, and also view noteworthy animated films and discuss ways in which they relate to their own work. NOTE: While not required, students may wish to bring a high-capacity storage device such as an external hard drive or flash memory device.

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    Students profit from the dynamic relationship between learning basic architectural concepts and physically employing them in the construction of prototypes. As an introductory architectural design studio, important architectural principles are presented through studio exercises, slide lectures and demonstrations. Students implement these principles through both drawing and model-building to develop an understanding of scale, form and spatial relationships. This intense study provides the framework for the process of analysis and synthesis that is critical to further architectural pursuits.

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    Clay has long been respected as the medium of choice for relief and sculptural portraiture, and has been used throughout history in many varieties of functional ware. Its plasticity and versatility are increasingly appreciated in works that transcend traditional boundaries, so that today, ceramic media are also associated with contemporary sculptural possibilities. Accordingly, students learn basic construction and finishing techniques, including hand-building, wheel-throwing, methods of surface design, glazing and kiln firing, and are also encouraged to experiment with both functional and sculptural ideas.

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    Comic Book Art

    Comic books are pure pop-culture adrenaline—influencing novels, movies, fashion and even the web—and have become an essential element of our popular media consciousness. This major provides students with the expertise needed to combine words and pictures into compelling visual narratives for strips, comic books, or graphic novels. Students learn the creative and technical aspects of this idiosyncratic art form, including its unique characteristics and limitations. Classes include a survey of selected comics, in-class demonstrations of scriptwriting and drawing techniques, and studio assignments that encourage participants to develop original comic stories of their own. Beyond comic books themselves, the skills acquired also apply to children's books, film and television production and video games.

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    This major allows students who wish to immerse themselves in drawing to expand significantly upon skills and techniques introduced in Drawing Foundations. Students confront demanding technical exercises and explore imaginative, descriptive and conceptual imagery on paper. All the critical technical elements of drawing—line, tone, composition and color—are employed as tools that facilitate extensive experimentation, discipline, and an environment of intense inquiry.

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    Fashion Design

    Students in this major examine the fashion design process from sketchbook to consumer. Initial exercises focus on developing the visual communication skills necessary to illustrate a fashion concept. Merchandising and construction methods come to the forefront as students gain an understanding of color interaction, form and proportion. In the process, students begin to appreciate how fashion tastes and styles both reflect and contribute to contemporary culture. Ultimately, students design and construct fashion pieces out of alternative materials to be shown as part of the Pre-College Exhibitions at the end of the program. Note: Prior sewing skills are not required. Click here to view images from the 2011 Pre-College Fashion Show.

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    Using video as a means for studying basic techniques of filmmaking, students develop universal skills of expression and storytelling, and the fundamental language and processes of motion pictures, from concept to final edit. Students learn basic digital video filming techniques and nonlinear editing with Final Cut Pro software as they shoot and edit a series of short individual and team projects. Experimental, documentary and narrative genres are all explored, and select student work is viewed and analyzed in class. (Previous experience with video editing software, such as iMovie or Adobe Premiere, is helpful but not required.) Note: Video cameras are provided for use during class hours only. Students may bring their own video cameras, provided they have manual controls and record to a digital format, and should be equipped with FireWire (IEEE 1394) or USB ports.

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    Furniture Design

    You use it every day. You live with it and you can't get along without it. But have you ever really examined furniture? Have you ever admired the form of a table or scrutinized the function of a chair? Midway between sculpture and industrial design, the vital discipline of furniture design directly impacts human interaction and well-being. Through drawings and modeling, furniture design students explore key aspects of three-dimensional design, incorporating the aesthetics of form and function to articulate their design ideas. They learn to use traditional furniture-making skills, including joinery and the time-honored techniques of hand and power tools, ultimately building one of their own designs.

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    Game Design

    The game designer is a Jack of all trades: artist, engineer, psychologist and storyteller; but most of all, a creator of fun. This course provides aspiring game makers with practical experience creating tabletop games, and also familiarizes them with the theory and vocabulary of the industry. Through play-testing, group critique and prototyping, students hone projects using ideas discussed in class – including character design and game mechanics – that encompass board, social, didactic, roleplaying and world building games. Students explore digital tools for design purposes, and aspects of computer-based video games are covered; however, all projects are delivered as real, physical objects. Students produce a portfolio of original games that highlights critical thinking skills, setting them apart from their peers. Game industry designers and developers serve as guest critics. NOTE: While not required, students may wish to bring a high-capacity storage device to save any computer-based work.

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    Producing glass is one of the most unique, exciting and immediate art experiences offering a wide variety of creative possibilities. Students learn to work directly with hot glass and explore the potential of glass as a conceptual material. Introductory glass offers students both traditional and nontraditional techniques of glass blowing, where students develop a working vocabulary of hot and cold glass processes while becoming familiar with tools, techniques and safe working practices. Cold working, sandcasting and mold making are elements in a comprehensive exploration of glass as a fine art medium. Students problem solve through research and sketches in and out of class while building on ongoing assignments. “Sketching” with the material and investigating historical and contemporary sources is encouraged. Note: For health and safety purposes this course will be offered during the hours of 7:30am-2:30pm. Students who are not normally early risers should consider this carefully before listing this major as a preference on their application.

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    Graphic Design

    Graphic Design majors explore various combinations of traditional and digital design tools through a series of intensive classroom exercises. This regimen enables them to integrate diverse techniques with the design elements of color, form, typography and composition. Projects allow students to combine these tools and techniques in such creative applications as corporate identification, publications, posters, packaging and/or signage. Students also learn to recognize the principles of good graphic design as they integrate text and imagery (drawn from various media) into seamless, finished communications.

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    This major is an ideal choice for students with a strong drawing background who desire the added discipline of working with both text and visual imagery. Indeed, the critical component of this major involves learning the best ways to combine words, images and ideas. Students explore books, magazines and short stories, seeking models for manipulating content, design elements, materials and techniques in order to express ideas effectively. These exercises allow students to explore a panoply of styles and to use various techniques and materials as they develop a personal visual vocabulary.

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    Industrial Design

    From the creation of a handheld electronic device to the configuration of a satellite, industrial design is a steadily growing field that affects every aspect of our daily lives. This major is dedicated to instilling the conviction that fine aesthetics and mechanics reinforce one another in producing exemplary products for industry. Students work on design solutions for social, physical and ecological needs, and develop a working vocabulary in the language of two- and three-dimensional design. Three-dimensional drawing and model-making skills are therefore emphasized throughout the course.

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    Interior Design

    Students in this major gain a strong foundation in the process of designing interior spaces. They develop a visual vocabulary in order to explore the relationships between interior components and movement within the space. Color, texture, fabric, lighting and other elements are investigated in a creative environment that encourages participants to express their own sense of design. Discussions and critiques help students understand the elements and principles of interior design as they develop project solutions.

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    Designing and constructing jewelry is an ideal discipline for developing an understanding of the structural underpinnings of all kinds of sculpture. Many skills learned in this major, if expanded in scale, are readily transferable to other modes of metalwork because they familiarize students with the properties of various metals and related materials, as well as with commonly used methods of joining. Techniques are learned through numerous demonstrations and structured exercises in the studio, enabling students to complete jewelry objects of their own choosing by the end of the course.

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    Painting majors are introduced to both traditional and contemporary concepts and techniques in painting. They learn to create and organize forms, colors, textures and tones while experimenting with various methods of application. Initially, students work from the figure, still-life setups and diverse landscapes. They then seek to create more personalized imagery by adapting lessons from the studio. Lectures, demonstrations and critiques reveal how others have tackled similar painting issues in the past, so that students can discover their own style.

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    Photography: Digital

    Professional photography is fully immersed in digital workflow, and anyone using a camera these days must have an understanding of digital tools. Students in this major develop technical and aesthetic skills in photography, with an emphasis on digital imaging and its potential applications in print and electronic form. Coursework focuses on camera techniques, lighting methods, and the use of computer software (Adobe Photoshop) for enhancing and refining images, and for presentation. RISD cameras are used during class time, but students are encouraged to bring their own digital cameras for flexibility in capturing images outside of class.

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    Photography: Traditional

    Traditional Photography students learn how to see and compose images through the camera's eye, and are encouraged to develop personal concepts by solving fundamental visual problems specific to the photographic image. They explore black-and-white photographic tools and techniques, including operation of the single-lens reflex camera, how to determine proper exposures, and the chemical process for developing 35mm negatives and prints. Presentation methods and archival preservation are also demonstrated and discussed throughout the course. Both the experienced and the inexperienced photographer are welcome, but each student must have access to a 35mm camera with full manual exposure control capability.

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    This major is an excellent choice for students who want to expand upon previous drawing experience by exploring a tactile, process-oriented medium that offers many options for rich visual effects. Lessons in plate and paper preparation, registration and preservation enable students to explore diverse intaglio techniques such as pochoir, dry point, and hard- and soft-ground etching in both large and small formats. Surface printing techniques are also explored, including monoprinting, Chine colle and xerographic transfer. As students begin to master these techniques, they are given the opportunity to demonstrate both their facility and their developing personal imagery by producing a series of related small-format prints for final portfolio presentation.

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    In this major, students engage in a traditional approach to sculpture by exploring a range of three-dimensional concepts, skills and processes. Emphasis is placed on producing realistic structures based on human, animal and plant anatomy. Students select materials and methods that allow them to best address issues of form, space, expression, context and scale; in past years, projects have included constructing with wire, paper, fabric and found objects. Assignments encourage students to create well-crafted, conceptually sound and structurally durable sculptures. Information is provided and discussed regarding the expansive field of contemporary sculpture, including conceptual art, public art, installations, memorials and site-specific work.

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    Textile Design

    Students working with textiles have the opportunity to explore how fabric and fibers can be manipulated to produce a wide variety of surface designs and expressive ideas. By mastering the basic elements of silkscreen printing and assorted dyeing methods, students learn to experiment with elements of layering, transparency and repeating patterns. Emphasis is placed on the creative use of color, and on drawing unique narratives and motifs, resulting in finished designs on fabric yardage. Discussions regarding the myriad ways contemporary textiles are created for fashion, home decor, architectural materials and original fine art augment studio work.


The faculty work in teams so that the major, Drawing Foundations and Design Foundations curricula are consistent, and Pre-College students study with the same classmates and teachers throughout the session. Critical Studies in Art courses, on the other hand, bring students of differing majors together to add a more varied perspective to class discussions.

Each week's schedule is structured as follows:

drawing foundations
1 six-hour day
(6 contact hours per week)

design foundations
1 six-hour day
(6 contact hours per week)

critical studies in art
partial day
(2 contact hours per week)

2 six-hour days
(12 contact hours per week)

26 contact hours per week

Class time consists of critiques, discussions and lectures, as well as technique and skill development. Students are given outside assignments that require a substantial investment of time and energy. Typically, these independent projects are due by the next class.

Please note: Course schedules, syllabi and instructor information are not available prior to Check-In.

During the six-week program, Pre-College students study in three foundation-level courses as well as focus their efforts in one of 21 diverse major disciplines. The slideshow above is a sampling of work created throughout the program.

Click here to see an example of an animation project created by a 2007 Pre-College Animation major.

campus housing
Co-curricular life is an important aspect of the Pre-College experience. For you, that may include living on campus. The residence halls and dining facilities offer a great environment to learn from other students and swap classroom experiences in a casual and social setting.

The Residence Life professional staff members work hard to create an extensive residential program that provides safe, social, inclusive and educational opportunities to enhance your overall student experience. Live-in professional staff and student resident advisors (RAs) assigned to each floor supervise the residence halls, as well as mentor and support Pre-College students.

Directions for completing the online campus housing application will be sent via email by the Residence Life Office in May and we encourage you to submit your application a promptly as possible. Rooms will be assigned and confirmed with students in June, prior to the beginning of the Pre-College Program. Specific roommate requests must be mutually confirmed in the online campus housing application. Any student needing a housing accommodation due to medical need must fill out a request accompanied by a letter from the attending physician. Any student interested in gender-inclusive housing options can email Joshua Peipock at jpeipock@risd.edu. For housing costs, please see Program Expenses + Fees.

If you have questions regarding summer housing that are not covered here, please contact RISD's Residence Life office at rlo@risd.edu or 401 454-6650 between 8:30am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday.

RISD Pre-College welcomes commuting students. You're invited to particpate in all Residence Life activities, as well as weekend events. You'll also have access to the workrooms in the residence halls, whenever residential students have access.

dining services
The Metcalf Dining Center, also known as The Met, features a sandwich station, salad and pasta bars, a Wood Stone pizza oven, as well as a vegetarian/vegan bar and traditional entrees. The Portfolio Café, located in the lobby of 15 West, features a continental breakfast for residents.

The RISD Dining Services staff is sensitive to the dietary needs and preferences of a student body representing cultures and religious traditions from all over the world.

The full dining contract is required for all Pre-College boarding students, who may dine at either The Met or the Portfolio Café. Payment for the dining plan is nonrefundable.

Commuting students may elect to purchase blocks of 5 meals at a time by contacting Dining Services at 401 454-6642, or are welcome to purchase individual meals on a cash basis.

If you have further questions about dining plans, please contact Dining Services at 401 454-6642. For questions about special dietary needs call 401 454-6362.

art supply stores
The RISD Store, located on the main floor of the Design Center, in the heart of the campus, carries a wide range of art supplies and materials, books, paints, paper, film and photographic items. The RISD Store 3D is in the Bank Building, across the street from the Design Center. Supplies include hardware, sculpting and ceramics supplies, lumber and other materials primarily aimed toward meeting the needs of 3D courses.

RISD Pre-College students receive a 10 percent discount at both stores. In addition, academic supply purchases are sales tax-exempt.

Parents/guardians may add funds to risdbucks, an optional prepaid debit account linked with the student ID card. risdbucks may be used to pay for art supply purchases at the RISD Store and/or the RISD Store 3D, as well as printing and laundry. Information about risdbucks and log-in credentials will be sent to the primary email address indicated on the Pre-College application form.

Pre-College students living in RISD residence halls may not operate motor vehicles (including scooters and motorcycles) while in residence on campus. Commuters are advised that parking is severely limited in the campus area. They may park in garages or municipal lots nearby, or on the street. RISD parking stickers are not available to Pre-College students.

RISD’s comprehensive studio facilities and extensive equipment have an excellent international reputation. Facilities in over 40 buildings include highly specialized computer labs, darkrooms, kilns, printmaking studios, jacquard and computer design looms, woodworking shops devoted to industrial design, furniture design and sculpture, and the Edna Lawrence Nature Laboratory, a repository of more than 90,000 natural specimens.

Visit our On Campus page for more information on RISD resources, including the RISD Museum of Art, the Fleet Library at RISD, art supply stores, and parking.

neighborhood + surrounding area
College Hill, on Providence’s historic East Side, is one of the most picturesque sections of the city, home to the expansive campuses of RISD and neighboring Brown University. The main RISD campus, situated at the center of the historic district, is famous for its narrow streets lined with restored Colonial homes and fine examples of early Federal and 19th-century architecture. RISD’s extensive facilities span Providence’s central rivers — home to Waterplace Park and WaterFire, a recurring after-dark festival of light and music — and include several notably restored historic buildings in the city’s vibrant downtown.

RISD’s neighborhood offers a variety of restaurants, cafés, shops, bookstores and art cinemas. If you like music and theater, you can enjoy great performances at popular local venues, including the nationally acclaimed Trinity Repertory Company and the Providence Performing Arts Center. Local restaurants range from ethnically rich neighborhood eateries to world-renowned, five-star dining establishments. All of these options are within walking distance of the college.

While Rhode Island is only 48 miles long and 37 miles wide, it is blessed with almost 500 miles of enchanting coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and Narragansett Bay. Rhode Island is also convenient to such popular summer destinations as Newport, Block Island, Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, which makes it an ideal jumping-off point for family vacations, or a perfect vacation destination in itself. Traversable in little more than an hour, the state offers both a welcome retreat from the bustle of Boston and New York, and easy access to these cities by road, rail, bus and airplane. In short, it’s a great place to be — especially in the summer.

student conduct
RISD Pre-College encourages artistic and intellectual freedom, but also offers a structured campus environment. Most students live in campus residence halls, which are accessible only by authorized ID cards. Special rules apply to Pre-College students, which include but are not limited to evening curfew and the need for parental and/or guardian permission to leave campus overnight. The Division of Continuing Education and the Residence Life Office plan all social, artistic and educational activities.

Parents, Please Note: RISD’s Pre-College Program is oriented toward independent young people. The student needs to take initiative both in and outside of the classroom including prioritizing their schedule to accommodate extensive homework assignments. Attendance in all classes (including Finals Critique Week) is required in order to complete the program. If parents and their children are seeking a somewhat sheltered environment, they should consider the nature of this program very carefully before applying.

Further details of conduct expectations, attendance and curfew policies are included in the Student Handbook, which is provided to students after acceptance into the program.

NOTE: Violations of college policies and regulations may result in such sanctions as a warning, probation or dismissal. All policy materials must be read and acknowledged prior to the start of the program.

program attendance
In order to be considered for successful program completion, students are required to attend the entire six weeks of the program, until Check-Out Day. The last week of class consists of final critiques and presentations and student exhibitions and shows, in which student work is exhibited throughout the campus. Participation in Finals Critique Week (all classes) and the Student Exhibitions and Shows is required in order to complete the program and receive transcripts. Students should plan on being on campus through the end of the day on Friday, August 7, 2015 in order to attend their last class and collect their artwork from the exhibitions. Students, parents, guardians and family members should plan their travel arrangements accordingly.

For additional details about RISD policies and services, please refer to the Pre-College Student Handbook included in the program forms and documentation.

withdrawal + refund policy
To officially withdraw from the Pre-College Program, submit written notification to the CE Associate Director for Student Operations + Services in the RISD|CE office, in person or by mail or fax. Failure to properly withdraw from the program results in a permanent grade of ‘F’ on the student’s record.

RISD refunds tuition and fee payments in full for applications that are not accepted, or if registration is closed. Refunds for voluntary withdrawal after the student has been accepted into the program are granted – minus $350 deposit for tuition and $150 deposit for housing and dining, if applicable – according to the following schedule:

Written withdrawal     Percentage of fees
received in the            refunded, minus
CE office by:                applicable deposit(s)

June 1                            100%

June 2-22                       80%

June 23-29                     60%

June 30-July 6               40%

after July 6                     no refund

IMPORTANT: No tuition or other fees are refunded to a student who is asked to leave the program for a violation of school policies or regulations. The Pre-College Student Handbook, included in the program forms and documentation, more fully describes these regulations. At Check-In, students and their parents or guardians are required to sign a statement affirming that this information has been read.

Please note: Refunds take six weeks to process. Refunds for payments made by MasterCard or VISA are credited to the account.

Please contact RISD/CE for more information or for advising about the Pre-College Program.

March 7

Pre-College Pre-View* | 8:30am-1:30pm
RSVP by Friday, February 27. Please note: The Pre-View is not mandatory for students who have already decided to attend the Pre-College Program.

June 27

Check-In Day | 9am-2:30pm
Student Orientation (students only) | 3pm

Check-in and Orientation are mandatory for all students.

June 29

Classes Begin

July 3

Independence Day Holiday, observed

Offices closed; no classes held

July 9

Summer Faculty Exhibition Opening Reception | 5-7pm

August 3-7

Finals Critique Week

Student attendance is mandatory.

August 5

Pre-College Exhibitions Opening + Fashion Show | 5-8pm

Exhibitions continue through Friday, August 7, 2:30pm.

August 6

Pre-College Film/Video and Animation Screenings | 5:30-8:30pm

August 8

Check-Out Day

*The Pre-View day includes an informational session with the program manager and faculty, and members of RISD's Residence Life and Public Safety staffs. For more information, please visit the Pre-College Pre-View page.