Overview

Each first-year student is assigned an advisor from among the Experimental and Foundation Studies (EFS) faculty members who taught their specific section of DrawingDesign or Spatial Dynamics.

Highlights of your first year include:

By the end of your first year you will have completed 33 credits, as follows:

  • EFS: 18 credits
  • Wintersession exploratory elective (studio or elective): 3–6 credits
  • Liberal Arts: 12 credits

The following timeline lists important advising events and information for first-year students choosing majors. Consult the academic calendar or click timeline links for dates and details.

Find your advisor

First-year timeline

September

  • Introduction to your Experimental and Foundation Studies (EFS) faculty advisor
  • Beginning of EFS Advising course on Canvas for all first-year students—this course provides deadlines and important information about major selection

October

  • Mid-semester advisor check-in—schedule asap
  • Open Studios: An opportunity during RISD Weekend to explore academic departments and possible majors
  • Wintersession course exploration/selection: An opportunity to research courses of interest in your possible major
  • Mid-semester warnings of unsatisfactory progress via RISD email—contact your advisor asap if you receive a warning

November

  • Undergraduate open studios

December

  • Final crit week: A chance to check out academic departments and explore possible majors

January

  • Wintersession add/drop registration period—add and/or drop classes without penalty (first seven days of Wintersession, starting on the first day of classes)

February

  • Academic departments/programs presentations: This event is helpful for narrowing your choice of major
  • Deadline to resolve incomplete grades awarded in the previous fall semester

March

  • Early declaration of major: You must declare a major early in the spring semester, even if you noted a major of interest on your application for admission. If you did express interest in a major when applying, you are in no way committed to that choice—you can choose any major you'd like.
  • Department meetings for declared first-year students
  • Deadline to resolve incomplete grades awarded in the previous Wintersession

April

  • Final declaration of major: anyone choosing to change their declared major must go to the EFS office to complete required paperwork
  • Mid-semester academic advisor check-in
  • Mid-semester warnings of unsatisfactory progress via RISD email—contact your advisor asap if you receive a warning

May

  • Final crits: A last chance for first-year students to check out their declared major (EFS will send out a list of open crits)