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Transfer Credit (undergraduate)
Transfer credit for transfer students
Prior college transcripts for transfer students are automatically
reviewed for transferable credit in Foundation Studies and Liberal Arts.
Transfer students desiring transfer credit in their major or in
nonmajor studio electives must request consideration from their
department head during the first semester of their entering year.
Transfer credit from Summer Studies or from credits taken elsewhere while on leave
Students can pick up course credits during the summer or while on leave.
Nonmajor studio electives and liberal arts courses intended for
transfer back to RISD must be approved by the student’s department head
(studios) or the Dean of Liberal Arts, respectively, before the course
is taken. Information about Liberal Arts transfer credits is available here.
The Office of Continuing Education (RISD|CE) offers elective courses
over the summer for credit. Students must check with the Liberal Arts
Division Office to confirm that Liberal Arts credit will be granted for a
course in that area. RISD/CE summer courses must be transferred to a
student’s degree transcript. Only credits and not grades are
transferred. The credits and the grade are handled as if they were
transferred in from another school, with the grade recorded as a “T”
which does not count in the overall GPA calculation.
Transfer credit requirements
Transfer credit is awarded on the basis of credits earned at a
regionally accredited college or university and approved for transfer by
the student’s Department Head (for major courses or nonmajor studio
electives) or by the Dean of Liberal Arts (for liberal arts courses),
provided a grade of “C” or better was earned. For studio credit, the
course must also be considered equivalent in subject matter to
professional/nonmajor electives (for studio course credit) offered or
approved by Rhode Island School of Design. Formal written approval for
transfer credit must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office with
supporting transcripts or credit evaluations.
Credits for transfer courses will be adjusted to match the credit
system in effect at Rhode Island School of Design. Grades from
transferred courses are not recorded on a student’s RISD transcript nor
are they included in the calculation of the RISD GPA. Instead, like all
other transfer credit, a grade of “T”, for transfer credit, is assigned.
Credits earned at institutions outside the United States are
evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account all factors
deemed necessary, including appropriate national recognition of
The College’s policy on the transferability of credits after ten
years allows such credits to be accepted by the College provided that:
a) the institution from which credits are to be transferred was
regionally accredited at the time the credits were earned, and b) the
credit transfer is approved by the appropriate Rhode Island School of
Design Department Head (for studio courses) or the Dean of Liberal Arts
(for liberal arts courses.)
Transfer credit limitations
After initial enrollment at RISD, undergraduates may transfer up to
12 semester credits from another accredited institution. Students who
take a leave from RISD and attend another college should keep this
credit limitation in mind as they formulate their educational plans.
Courses taken during the Summer from RISD Continuing Education are
considered part of this limitation, and RISD CE summer credit is treated
as transfer credit in that the grades are not posted to the RISD degree
transcript. Instead, like all other transfer credit, a grade of “T”,
for transfer credit, is assigned.