Rhode Island School of Design Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is a college and museum in Providence, RI, where curiosity and creativity spark progress. 

World-Renowned and One of the First Independent Art and Design Schools in the United States

Rhode Island School of Design


As one of the first independent colleges of art and design in the US - incorporated on March 22, 1877 as both a school and a museum - Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) has always stood out as something of a maverick. It was founded and nurtured by a small group of trailblazing women more than forty years before women in America gained the right to vote. 

By the time RISD began offering full bachelor's degree programs in the 1930s, it had already gained a reputation for vision and leadership in advanced studio-based higher education. 

Today RISD enrolls approximately 2,600 students from nearly 60 countries around the world. Led by a committed faculty, they are engaged in 44 full-time bachelor's and master's degree programs and supported by a worldwide network of over 31,000 alumni who demonstrate the vital role artists and designers play in today's society. Each year more than 5,800 children and adults also participate in RISD Continuing Education courses. 

Through a cross-disciplinary curriculum of studio-based learning and rigorous study in the liberal arts, RISD students are encouraged to develop their own personal creative processes, but they are united by one guiding principle: In order to create, one must question. In cultivating expansive and elastic thinking, RISD seeks to activate a critical exchange that empowers artists, designers and scholars to generate and challenge the ideas that shape our world. RISD's mission, at both the college and museum, is not only to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, but to transmit that knowledge and make global contributions. 

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