Policies + Disclosures

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

Freshmen at RISD take the First-Year Program of Foundation Studies studios and Liberal Arts courses. The year-long curriculum is outlined in the course announcement section of the First-Year Program of Study Curriculum Requirements. It is important for you to review this section if you are a freshman, including freshman in the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program.

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

Transfer students fulfill the Foundation course work requirement by transfer of credit from another institution or by completion of the RISD Summer Foundation Studies along with transfer of credit. The Summer Foundation Studies consists of 9 credits and is usually taken in the summer before admission. In a situation in which the student does not have sufficient Foundation credit even after transfer of credit and completion of the Summer Foundation Studies, the student must see the dean of Foundation Studies. The total credit requirement for the degree (126/156) is never reduced. See the Foundation Studies page for more information.

Registration for the Foundation Year

The offices of Foundation Studies and Liberal Arts pre-register first semester freshmen for all required Foundation and Liberal Arts courses. Wintersession of the freshman year is the first time that Foundation students 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. Foundation students may not withdraw from any of the Foundation year courses without the written approval of the dean of Foundation Studies.



Biking is big at RISD – despite the killer hill.