In addition to declaring a studio major and completing the required 42 Liberal Arts credits needed to graduate, all RISD students have the option of choosing a concentration in one of three Liberal Arts departments: History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC); History, Philosophy and the Social Sciences (HPSS); or Literary Arts and Studies (LAS).
In History, Philosophy and the Social Sciences faculty teach and conduct research in a broad range of humanities and social sciences fields. All courses in the department emphasize critical thinking and the development of writing and research skills. Undergraduate students who wish to complement their studio major with an in-depth study in a field supported by the department's curriculum may elect to pursue a concentration in HPSS. The concentration can be completed as part of a typical 4- or 5-year degree program and is open to all RISD BFA candidates. Such study enables students to fully explore the department's course offerings while fulfilling Liberal Arts requirements in a way that is most meaningful to them. Working across the disciplines of HPSS requires intellectual curiosity, excellent communication skills and the ability to bring together disparate methods and approaches. Such qualities are essential to both the creative work of artists and designers and for growth and success in everyday life.
“An HPSS concentration takes advantage of the multidisciplinary nature of our department, offering students an opportunity to organize their HPSS and Liberal Arts elective requirements around a substantive theme, which they approach from a number of disciplinary angles. Although we work from a core set of common themes, each student’s concentration is individually tailored to their interests. This encourages exploration around motivating concerns and promotes the discovery of connections across disciplines.”
Each concentrator shapes an individual course of study around one of the department’s 10 established tracks, which build on faculty teaching and research strengths and represent a key intersection of one or more of the core disciplines in HPSS.
Apparel DesignArchitectureCeramicsDigital + MediaExperimental and Foundation StudiesFilm/Animation/VideoFurniture DesignGlassGraphic DesignHistory of Art + Visual CultureHistory, Philosophy + the Social SciencesIllustrationIndustrial DesignInterior ArchitectureJewelry + MetalsmithingLandscape ArchitectureLiterary Arts + StudiesPaintingPhotographyPrintmakingSculptureTeaching + Learning in Art + DesignTextiles