Policies + Disclosures

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Experimental and Foundation Course Work and First-Year Experience (Undergraduates Only)

Freshmen at RISD take the first-year program of Experimental and Foundation Studies studios and Liberal Arts courses. The year-long curriculum is outlined in the Experimental and Foundation Studies section of the course announcement. If you are a freshman, including freshmen in the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, review this section.

Freshmen are not allowed to drop any courses on their own. Experimental and Foundation Studies courses are required of all first-year students. A student must see the Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies if they are considering a drop. The dean will, after discussion with the student, approve or deny the request.

Transfer students fulfill the required Experimental and Foundation Studies (EFS) course work by transfer of credit from another institution or by completion of the RISD Summer Experimental and Foundation Studies program, along with transfer of credit. This nine-credit summer program is usually taken the summer before admission. If a student does not have sufficient EFS credit even after transfer of credit and completion of the summer program, he or she must see the Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies. The total credit requirement for the degree (126/156) is never reduced. See the Experimental and Foundation Studies page for more information.

Registration for the Foundation Year

The offices of Experimental and Foundation Studies and Liberal Arts pre-register first-semester freshmen for all required courses. Wintersession is the first time that freshmen select their own course(s). In spring, freshmen are assigned studios but they select their own Liberal Arts courses from a special group of choices. Students may not withdraw from any EFS courses without the written approval of the dean.

Biking is big at RISD – despite the killer hill.