Overview

Your senior year at RISD marks a major milestone, as most students prepare to complete coursework and final projects on their way to receiving a BFA degree at Commencement.

To stay on track to graduate, keep informed and in regular contact with your advisor about your academic progress, outstanding requirements and post-graduation planning.

Highlights of this year include:

  • completion of all degree requirements, including Liberal Arts and non-major studio electives. If you do not complete all requirements you will not graduate
  • discussions about professional goals and next steps after graduation with your advisor, relevant faculty and other support offices, including RISD Careers
  • participating in RISD Careers-hosted portfolio reviews

If you intend to complete your degree requirements before spring of your senior year, your department head will need to provide written validation to the registrar.

In your senior year you will complete 30 credits (for a total of 126 credits), as follows:

  • Degree program: 18 credits
  • Non-major studio elective: 3 credits
  • Liberal Arts: 9 credits

If you plan to take fewer than 12 credits in a given semester, or if you need to elect summer credits (up to six) in order to complete your degree requirements, you need to apply for an exception to academic policy.

Note that any changes you make to your course/credit load during the academic year may impact financial aid or visa status for international students.

Consult the academic calendar or click timeline links for dates and details.

Find your advisor

Senior-year timeline

September

  • Fall add/drop registration period—(first seven days of the semester, starting on the first day of classes; consult your advisor if you have questions about adding and/or dropping a class)
  • Email notification from Liberal Arts identifying outstanding requirements needed before graduation—monitor your RISD inbox regularly for this important email
  • Meeting with advisor to review program evaluation, progress toward spring graduation and opportunities to participate in RISD Global programs during the spring

October

  • Advisor check-in to review program evaluation and plan Wintersession schedule—schedule asap
  • Deadline to resolve incomplete grades assigned in the previous spring semester (or summer)
  • Mid-semester warnings of unsatisfactory progress via RISD email—contact your advisor asap if you receive a warning

November

  • Advisor check-in to plan spring schedule and review portfolio and program evaluation
  • Course withdrawal period: During this period students may withdraw from a course and receive a "W" grade

January

  • Wintersession add/drop registration period—(first seven days of the semester, starting on the first day of classes; consult your advisor if you have questions about adding and/or dropping a class)

February

  • Spring add/drop registration period—(first seven days of the semester, starting on the first day of classes; consult your advisor if you have questions about adding and/or dropping a class)
  • Deadline to resolve incomplete grades assigned in the previous fall semester

March

April

  • Major and Liberal Arts advisor check-ins—schedule both asap
  • Course withdrawal period: During this period students may withdraw from a course and receive a "W" grade
  • Mid-semester warnings of unsatisfactory progress via RISD email—contact your advisor asap if you receive a warning

June