« back to list
A double major represents the completion of work in two areas but for
one degree. For example, a student who majors in graphic design and
industrial design will receive only one BFA. It is rare for a student to
double-major at RISD due mainly to the amount of extra work involved.
It requires at least one extra year of study, often more than that.
Students interested in pursuing two majors should first meet with
someone in Student Affairs or Registrar to assess the feasibility of
this pursuit. Then, the student meets with both academic department
heads to gain their written permission to formally declare both majors.
One major will be designated “primary” and the other “secondary”.
Students generally pursue both majors simultaneously rather than
sequentially, hence the intention to double major must be declared by
the middle of the junior year. Both majors must be completed before the
degree can be earned unless the student formally “undeclares” their
desire to double major. A student may withdraw their double major
declaration by notice to the Registrar’s Office. Double majors who
receive financial aid should seek counseling early from the Financial
Aid Office, particularly in regard to aid eligibility in the fifth year
A double major is different from a double degree. Students in
five-year programs, such as Architecture, receive two degrees because
they are in formally approved and structured dual-degree programs. At
present, there is a Brown/RISD dual-degree program which is only open to students directly admitted to that program, and a RISD dual-degree program in Architecture (BFA/B. Arch).