Academic Policies

Requirements + Prerequisites

Many RISD CE programs do not have formal entrance requirements, but some advanced courses require prerequisites, such as certain coursework or equivalent experience. See specific course descriptions for details. Certificate students must follow the prerequisites outlined in the Certificate Program Guide (click on a specific program to view the Program Guide).

Grading System

A  4.0
A- 3.7
B+  3.3
B  3.0

B-  2.7
C+  2.3
C  2.0
C-  1.7

D+  1.3
D  1.0
F  0.0


Incomplete (I): A grade of “I” is assigned only when coursework is not completed due to extenuating circumstances, and it is given only at the request of the student and at the discretion of the instructor. The time allowed for completion of work may not exceed four weeks after the end of the semester in which the course was taken. Work not completed within this period receives a final grade of “F.”

Student grades are recorded for courses meeting 18 hours or more (or for Young Adult courses, 15 hours or more), but grades are mailed only to certificate students (four to six weeks after classes end) to the student address on file. Students who are not in a certificate program may request their grades (unofficial transcript) by email at or fax their written request to 401-454-6218; or visit the CE office (with a photo ID) to request their grades in person. All requests require the student’s signature.

Grade Review + Change

For guidelines regarding requests for an academic grade review, please contact RISD CE at 401 454-6200. Please note that after one semester following the completion of the course in question, grades become part of the permanent academic record and cannot be changed.


RISD CE now uses Parchment to process transcript requests. You may order paper transcripts or e-transcripts with this service. To order official transcripts, please visit the Parchment Transcript Request page. IMPORTANT NOTICE: RISD Continuing Education has upgraded to a new Parchment platform. If you have requested transcripts via Parchment for RISD Continuing Education prior to August 1, 2018, you will be required to create a new username and password.

Please note: Visit the RISD Registrar’s office to request a transcript for a degree program.

RI Department of Education Professional Development credits may be available for some courses. Teachers seeking such credits should contact Rhode Island Department of Education’s Office of Teacher Certification at 401 222-4600, ext. 2251.

Notice of Student Rights with Respect to Education Records (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords you certain rights with respect to your education records.

These rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review your education records (with certain limited exceptions) within 45 days of the day RISD receives your request for access. You should submit any such request to Continuing Education in writing, identifying the records you wish to inspect. Continuing Education will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Records that are customarily open for student inspection will be accessible without written request.

2. The right to request the amendment of your education records if you believe them to be inaccurate. You should submit any such request to Continuing Education in writing, clearly identifying the records that you want to have amended and specifying the reasons you believe them to be inaccurate. Continuing Education will notify you of its decision and, if the decision is negative, of your right to a hearing regarding your request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you at that time.

3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One such exception permits disclosure to “school officials” with “legitimate educational interests.” A “school official” is any person employed by RISD in any administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including public safety and health services staff); any person or company with whom RISD has contracted to provide a service to or on behalf of RISD (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); any person serving on RISD’s Board of Trustees; or any student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a “legitimate educational interest” if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill the official’s professional responsibility.

Another such exception permits RISD to disclose your “directory information”, consisting of your name; local, home, and e-mail addresses; local and home telephone number; enrollment status/rank; dates of attendance; certificates received; student ID number, user ID, or other unique personal identifier used by the student for purposes of accessing or communicating in electronic systems; most recent educational agency or institution attended; and photograph, to anyone within the RISD community and to the general public.

Students who wish to have their directory information withheld must notify Continuing Education in writing. Please note that such a notification will prevent Continuing Education from providing your directory information to your friends, prospective employers, arts organizations, and others with whom you may wish us to share such information, so make your decision carefully. You may give such notification at any time, but it will be effective only prospectively.

Upon request, RISD also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or where the student is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer. Information on other such exceptions is available through Continuing Education.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by RISD to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.