At RISD the exploration of both studio arts and liberal arts makes for a powerful experience. In fact, RISD stands out among art schools for its emphasis on liberal arts study, led by doctorate-level faculty in archaeology, anthropology, biology, cognitive science, creative writing, literature, history, art history, performance studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology and more.
Liberal Arts departments
All RISD students are required to take a third of their classes in liberal arts, a division that includes three departments:
Additional Liberal Arts electives, including Science for Art and Design Education Courses, may be used to fulfill liberal arts requirements.
In addition to offering a wide range of courses, each department also allows for a “concentration”—a more focused program of study for students interested in concentrating their liberal arts studies within one of the departments. Liberal Arts faculty are also open to working with students one-on-one through for-credit Independent Study Projects (ISPs).
The mission of the Liberal Arts division is threefold: to provide a strong general education, to offer possibilities for focused study, and to foster opportunities for deepening and enriching art and design practice. In Liberal Arts classes students learn to articulate ideas with independence and confidence; think creatively, critically and analytically; and develop a lifelong curiosity about the world.
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