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Rhode Island School of Design Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 07/11/2009

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    33 out of 35 people found this review useful. 1 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    For those that can't stop sketching in their sketchbooks.. For those that must try out new ideas and enjoy challenging themselves.. For those that think of creative designs and ideas 24/7.. For those that love to share similar thoughts with people who share similar ideas.. For those that want to pursue in something a bit more different than the average kid.. For those that LOVE art and design. Seriously. :)

    Tips for prospective students

    1. Rhode Island School of Design isn't for EVERYONE. But most people I know love it here and wouldn't want to go anywhere else. So make sure you visit the campus and know all that there is to know about this school. 2. Be prepared to work your butt off 24/7, especially during foundation year. You have studio classes every week as well as two liberal arts classes in between. Although you do have a week between each individual studio class to finish homework, one should know that art takes long periods of time. Don't waste any minute, cause every minute is precious. 3. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. I am a hypocrite of this, I must admit. However, it must be done. 4. Don't be shy, go out and have fun. RISD is a great school filled with various people and connections will always help you in the long run.

    Bang for the buck

    It's definitely worth it to come to RISD if you know you want to proceed through your future through art and design. However, RISD can get quite expensive. It is a private school and tuition is pretty high up there in numbers. Each year, expect to pay a little over 40k. Also, art supplies can get somewhat pricey. I would definitely recommend this school if you know you can afford it. There are always ways to get the money - scholarships, grants, loans, etc. So if you're set on coming here, do your best to save money and work your butt off. Don't waste your parents' money by coming and slacking off. RISD is competitive and it is an honor to learn from the best.

    Am enjoying being here

    Sure, the state of Rhode Island can be quite boring sometimes. It's a small state and there isn't much you can do. However, while attending Rhode Island School of Design, you're usually too caught up with studio work and liberal arts homework, that you usually don't get the time to do anything else. Yeah, I guess that sounds somewhat bad, but if you enjoy art then it really shouldn't matter. You meet many new friends that will have similar interests as you, even some from Brown University! The food is quite delicious since students from Johnson & Wales come to help serve it up. You're also not too far from Boston and can even take a bus to New York time to time. But besides all those, if you enjoy creating art, experimenting and challenging yourself, you will definitely enjoy attending this school.

    Am learning a lot

    If you enjoy art and design, this is the school for you. Foundation year you take studios such as Drawing, 2D and 3D. The hours of those studios are long, however, you learn so much and the professors are great. You can get lucky or sometimes unlucky with the different professors you get, but usually no matter how their styles or teaching techniques are, you will gain a lot of experience.

  • 03/29/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 2 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very very good. The officers are everywhere, and RISDrides is super convenient.

    Greek Life

    HAHAHA NO.

    Clubs and Activities

    Good, but harder to break into as a freshman.

    Great for these types of students

    self-driven, open-minded, willing to try anything

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Scrotie. That is all.

    Bang for the buck

    For me, it's perfect. I doubt any other art school will prepare you as thoroughly for being a professional artist than this place does, and the doors RISD opens up are worth the money on their own.

    Food and Dining

    The food is generally good here, the big cafeteria gets dull by the end of the year but otherwise it's fine. The freshman meal plan is awesome.

    Dorm Life

    Freshman year is cozy enough. You will be in a double, almost guaranteed, but the rooms are big and the furniture isn't bad. The bathrooms are well cared for and distributed at comfortable ratios.

    Academic Rigor

    It's just plain difficult. The studio classes will be your hardest classes, liberal arts and other academic classes end up being the break

    Tips for prospective students

    Work hard and show off that you worked hard. Rely on your eccentricities and outlying interests. Expect to work, don't come here if you're planning to glide through college, and be honest with yourself.

    In three sentences

    RISD is competitive, everyone is expected to be self-motivated and self-reliant. Asking for help is strongly encouraged and freely given, but you have to self advocate. The school is small but the resources available are without equal.

  • 01/26/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 3 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    RISD Greek life doesn't exist but you can rush Brown fraternities and Sororities

    What to do for fun

    Most of the time students are working in the studio so free time is sparse but when it exists there are tons of activities to do at Brown.

    Food and Dining

    Coming from the Bay Area in California, I knew the food wasn't going to be like anything at home. The food here is fine if you don't really mind or haven't experienced top notch dining. There are some quality restaurants in the area though.

    Dorm Life

    I haven't experienced much of dorm life at other schools but I know that RISD students all live in the freshman quad their first year and this creates an environment where students are really able to bond with each other and create strong relationships that last.

    Academic Rigor

    As I mentioned earlier, this school is rigorous but not unnecessarily so. You wil be challenged in all aspects of learning, however the liberal arts aspects of this school seem to be lacking a little bit. There is an opportunity to take classes at Brown which is an easy solution to this problem.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure art and design is what you want to do. This school offers an incredible amount of opportunities to succeed but will seriously challenge every individual who steps over the threshold into the art and design world.

    In three sentences

    This school is an incredibly challenging school, however the ability to grow as an artist and a designer is limitless. The amount of talent and dedication here is something that doesn't exist at other schools and is something that forces a student to perform to their upmost ability. However, the intensity level is sometimes too high and seems like it has the potential to burn students out.

  • 09/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 out of 4 people found this review useful. 1 person found it offensive. 4 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Public Safety is good at their job and located at two major dormitory locations. There is also a late night shuttle service that goes to different areas that students work at or live in. There are reports of suspicious characters every so often especially in the downtown areas, but as long as you remember your common sense and street smarts you'll be just fine.

    Greek Life

    Non-existent.

    Clubs and Activities

    A good mixture of hobby clubs with focuses ranging from growing edible plants, anime, martial arts, boating, culture, to community service. You also have access to Brown University clubs such as their competitive sport teams (something that RISD greatly lacks although we have a few teams like hockey or basketball that play against other art schools) or Native American cultural club. Unfortunately we don't have many nation-wide honor societies or career associations at the moment.

    Great for these types of students

    Motivated, patient, passionate, bright, humorous, shy, outgoing, gifted, dreamer and so on. There are areas for handicap access although it isn't plentiful, also the teachers and students are quite understanding of language barriers although it would be best if your English is good so you can get the most out of your education and relationships.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    During finals week RISD and Brown University hold Zombie Day where RISD students go wreak havoc on the surrounding Brown campus as zombies and Brown students work as zombie hunters.

    Bang for the buck

    The tuition is really very expensive even if the environment is great. It's up to you to organize your priorities even if you do manage to snag one of the rare scholarships.

    What to do for fun

    You can visit the RISD museum, go to the mall, or see the animals at the zoo, ride a bus to New York or Boston to shop, eat and play, go to the beach, visit mansions, explore the old buildings, volunteer in some Rhode Island organization like the Children's Museum, feed the swans, keep an eye out for life in the river (it exists), and hang out with your zany friends whether they be from RISD, Brown, or Johnson and Wales.

    Food and Dining

    I personally think the food served tastes good even after a few years. Vegan, pizza, soups, fruits, cereal, pastries, sandwiches, sushi, you name it. The grill options are the tastiest, and the ethnic foods are among the worst, except for the Mediterranean sample dish. However, if people do get tired of eating RISD food there are many good breakfast stores on Wickendon Street as well as restaurants on Thayer Street and downtown near 15 West (with good, varied ethnic foods, there are a lot of Koreans in town so you can look forward to kimchi and bibimbap). Every so often the multi-cultural clubs will hold events that feature native foods too, the Made in Taiwan club had yummy sausages, noodles and tea during their night market. Oh, and there's a Chipotle, Johnny Rockets, and Ben and Jerry's if you miss mainstream food.

    Dorm Life

    Freshmen live in the Quad and Hill Houses which are both nice, you have access to washing machines and dryers. The houses on the hill are cozy and co-ed, the regular freshman dorms are co-ed and connected in a circle (Great for grabbing late night snacks and traveling around during the winter.) Each hall in the quad is equipped with a shared bathroom and often the halls have interesting decorations on them made by the residents. One of the best themes I've seen was Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Oh, and it's comforting to know that the Nurse's Office is within easy reach downstairs. As an upperclassman you'll have the option of living on or off campus the last two or three years (if you're in Architecture). I know some people who were able to find and share a house with friends right across from their department studio (so convenient and lucky!) at a reasonable price, so it's not impossible even though RI is small. But a lot of people choose to stay in 15 Westminister or Charles Landing due to convenience or living preferences. At 15 West you'll have access to a small small gym, community space for TV or ping pong, washing machines and dryers, a cafeteria and grill downstairs, public security, library, and the nearby bus station plaza. People living on higher floors also have ovens in addition to stoves. I hear that at Charles Landing one can keep pets and cars. Oftentimes the cheaper options mean that you must share your room, but having a roommate can be fun especially if you're in different majors so you can have updates on what other departments are doing :)

    Academic Rigor

    If you're crazy about learning different art disciplines or focusing in on one, RISD is perfect. (Sure, there are exceptions to what I have to say BUT...) There are many skilled and passionate students here, so there is an encouraging and motivating atmosphere. During Wintersession, which is about a month and a half long, students have opportunities to focus on other interests like weaving, traveling abroad to learn about classic painting techniques or glass blowing. Art school is not easy, actually I think we tend to be busier than the many Brown students who sleep on the green lawns of their campus. Probably because RISD emphasizes details and perfection in craft, and the teachers are as intense as the students are. There is a wonderful library of art references (and a few unexpected titles) right under one of the upperclassmen dorm options. Also, if you miss racking your brains with the usual high school subjects you can apply for classes at the neighboring Brown University.

    Tips for prospective students

    - Keep a sketchbook, no matter what major you decide to go into, everyone at RISD is expected to be able to draw. Your foundation year will go easier if you've practiced your skills with realistic drawings. - Consider taking a course or pre-college program (RISD offers one) in the art major you wish to pursue before committing to a university focused on art. Perhaps you'll miss your math and sciences.

    In three sentences

    One of the most respected art and design schools in America. Many of its students are sleep deprived, but have vibrant lives and love working towards becoming artists and designers who will contribute to society in meaningful and novel ways. However, there are some who have difficulty adjusting to the culture and hate it.

  • 07/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 5 of 14

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Go to the recycling center for cheap materials. Go to Savers and the Salvation Army for weird things and cheap clothes. Go to shows and concerts around Providence. Host a party.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of everything you have access to there and manage your time well so that you can get as much as you can done. Also, be open minded and allow things to happen and surprise you.

    In three sentences

    RISD is a community of students pursuing art and design. The aspirations and expectations of individuals affect one another.

  • 03/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 2 people found this review useful. 6 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    non existant

    What to do for fun

    go to shows

    Academic Rigor

    studios challenging, some liberal arts are some are lacking

    Tips for prospective students

    Get used to minimal sleep, save money for artsupplies, shop at thrift stores

    In three sentences

    AMAZING facilities, very stressful, hard work

  • 07/30/2012

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 7 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    It's a college town so everyone on campus is either a teacher, student, or parent. It's nice and safe.

    Clubs and Activities

    There's everything from the anime club to the RISD yogis. Whatever your interest is, you can be sure someone else here will share it.

    Great for these types of students

    Hardworking, creative, focused, and self motivated.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Our mascot is very unusual to say the least. Also there's The Beach: it's a grassy hill located in the front of the main building. A few years ago students filled it with sand, hence the name, but it all got washed out by the rain.

    Bang for the buck

    Like any art school, RISD is on the upper scale cost wise. I feel the education they will give me will be well worth it though.

    What to do for fun

    There are numerous things to do for fun. There is the artist's ball in the fall (costume party/dance) as well as hundreds of clubs. Around Providence there are many restaurants, shops, and places to hang out.

    Food and Dining

    The food is amazing. On a campus visit they gave us meal tickets. Everything is organic, freshly grown, and delicious. There are options for vegans, vegetarians, and the chef accommodates all food allergies.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are small at best and are completely stark white. There's not much room to do anything in your room at all.

    Academic Rigor

    I've heard from many students the courses are challenging, and the professors are demanding. But that's what makes a good artist.

    Tips for prospective students

    I'm a prospective student, and tips I've gotten are bring LOTS of charcoal, be prepared to work harder than you ever have, but try to have fun.

    In three sentences

    Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is on a beautiful campus. Their facilities are endless, and the professors are very accomplished. It's definitely a place I can see myself spending four years in.

  • 05/15/2011

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    0 out of 4 people found this review useful. 2 people found it offensive. 2 people found this inaccurate. 8 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Does the school offer any scholarships?

    Will enjoy being here

    How friendly are the students and teachers?

    Will learn a lot

    How large are classrooms? How many students are typically in a classroom?

  • 06/26/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 of 14

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    Extremely challenging and hard, but completely worth it. The standards hold true about the immense workload, but the teachers and classmates are some of the most talented people you'll ever meet. It holds up to its impressive reputation.

  • 12/31/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has not been to campus.

    10 of 14

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    RISD has been my first choice for a year now, but I have some doubts about my artistic ability and RISD's high standards. I have been taking art classes at my high school, but because of how small the town I live in is, the program leaves much to be desired. I would appreciate any suggestion as to how I can improve my artistic skills in such a small community, thanks.

  • 02/01/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    11 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Its a city, but I always feel safe and Public Safety really cares about the safety of all students.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a ton of clubs to participate in, such as the adventure club, the knitting club, even the Pigeon club. Plus, you are free to come up with your own clubs as well

    Great for these types of students

    Hardworking! Determined!

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Our mascot and sports team..

    Bang for the buck

    Again, I know its steep. But its worth it when you are offered more internships and high paying jobs in the end

    What to do for fun

    Your artwork

    Food and Dining

    The food is ok, but compared to Brown University, the food is pretty good and a lot of the chefs are either current students or graduates from Johnson and Wales Culinary School

    Dorm Life

    Theyre not anything special, especially for first year students, but to me its not as important as the education

    Academic Rigor

    RISD is extremely hard, but time management helps keep stress levels down

    Tips for prospective students

    Get your work done. If you let things pile up, you will drown under all of the work. Also, stay organized. Life will be a lot easier for you if you do

    In three sentences

    An amazing school with a good perspective on the importance of knowledge of art and design in the world, which they show through interwoven disciplines. This school gives you a great foundation to go off and be successful in whatever you want, if you work hard to get there. I love RISD and although the price is steep, I believe its worth it.

  • 05/19/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    On campus rarely has problems with safety.

    Clubs and Activities

    Taiko, sports, anime, your standard clubs plus some cool artistic ones

    Great for these types of students

    Truly dedicated students.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The hockey team. The RISD beach, which is a plot of grass The Farm, which is a beach

    Bang for the buck

    A pricey program, but you walk away with a really broad skill set

    What to do for fun

    Thayer street and providence mall, but honestly you're going to be spending most of your time in studio

    Food and Dining

    Good food on campus, best I've seen.

    Dorm Life

    The freshmen year dorms are wonderful, and the on campus housing is quite spacious compared to other colleges

    Academic Rigor

    Freshmen year is truly bootcamp, with 8 hour classes and a homework load second only to MIT, it is a real challenge.

    Tips for prospective students

    A good portfolio is essential. Just because you don't come in with the necessary skill doesn't mean you wont get in, you just need to show that you can think, and you learn the technique while enrolled.

    In three sentences

    Creative education for students willing to risk sleepless nights in the name of their artistic and design potential.

  • 11/13/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    13 of 14

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus Safety is always driving around, and as it is a compact campus, they can be there quickly if you need help. There are blue lights around campus that have alarms attached to them if you have a problem and you can call campus security for a ride back to your dorm late at night.

    Greek Life

    None

    Clubs and Activities

    Any you can think of, except sports really. There is a biking club and a couple sports teams, but it is not a huge part of campus life.

    Great for these types of students

    Artists, creative, architectural

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    RISD beach is a great place to sit and relax!

    Bang for the buck

    Make the most of your professors.....go to their readings and shows. They have much insight and knowledge to offer.

    What to do for fun

    Anything in Providence....walk to Thayer St, walk downtown, go to Waterfire, go to an art show, a movie, a club, dinner. There is always something fun to do.

    Food and Dining

    The food is amazing with great options, especially vegetarian. They stress locally grown, fresh produce so everything tastes great. Also, you can use your dining card in some restaurants off campus, which is also great. Or, you can go to one of the many restaurants in the area.

    Dorm Life

    Dorms are great! Providence is a wonderful city and easy to walk. The dorms are clean and close to all RISD buildings. Some dorms are old, historical houses. They are amazing to live in since the whole area surrounding RISD is very old with interesting, beautiful architecture. Another building, 15 West, is a giant old bank in the middle of the city, but still close to classrooms. There are restaurants and activities nearby, including a library in the bank building.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic classes, as well as the art classes, are extremely challenging. Professors are always willing to help, but you need to put in the work as well.

    Tips for prospective students

    Draw, draw, draw!! Admission is mostly about your artistic talent and abilities. Keep your grades up and write interesting essays. They are looking at your artwork and grades mostly, so concentrate on them during junior and senior year!

    In three sentences

    RISD is a challenging school that will help you to look at art in new and interesting ways. The professors are amazing and always willing to help. The diverse cultural and artistic styles help to stir creativity.

  • 12/25/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    14 of 14

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Providence is quite a boring place. Be aware of this. If you are a total metropolitan person and cannot live in a rural environment, consider going to another school.

    Food and Dining

    Cafeteria food is quite good compared to other schools. Quite a variety of choices of menus and also for vegetarian.

    Dorm Life

    15 Westminister dorm is sanitary, quite, and close to classes. RA's are also helpful and nice.

    Academic Rigor

    Once you are in, expect spending a lot of time working on your projects. Projects given in classes are meant to inspire you and designed to make you think critically. It is pretty hard to make A's in classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    I assume that my essays helped me the most to get into this school. RISD also cares about your high school GPA so don't get lazy on getting good grades.

    In three sentences

    RISD is a diverse community. RISD is well known for its strong academics. Students are very talented and enthusiastic about art in general.