Experimental and Foundation Studies

a student, facing the camera, draws on a large piece of newsprint next to a skeletal model and another drawing student

Based on the philosophy that all first-year undergraduate students benefit from a shared understanding of RISD’s approach to studio learning, freshmen follow the same studio curricula—known together as Experimental and Foundation Studies (EFS).

Each of the three programs meets one full day per week, with students also working on challenging assignments outside of class time. Faculty work closely with students, offering ongoing guidance and feedback. Group critiques help students learn to present their own work while supporting that of their peers.