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 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 freshmen in the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program.

Freshmen are not allowed to drop any courses on their own. Experimental and Foundation 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, disapprove or approve the request.

Transfer students fulfill the required Experimental and Foundation (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 of the freshman year is the first time that 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. Students may not withdraw from any EFS courses without the written approval of the dean.



Biking is big at RISD – despite the killer hill.