Freshmen first year experience

For a lot of us here at RISD past or present, freshmen year was the most memorable and challenging time. That feeling of excitement and the overwhelming reality of starting one’s college life after high school. At RISD you will find that everyone’s journey is different but we all share the same common interest and that is the love of art.

Two of our current tour guides, Isabella Rodriguez (Painting ’16) and Deepti Menon (Film/ Video/ Animation ’16) spent some time with a few freshmen to get an inside scoop on what their experience has been so far. All the videos you see were filmed, interviewed, and edited by Deepti and Isabella.  Great job you two!

Also check out

Got a question? Feel free to contact us.

Antonio Peters • Assistant Director of Admissions • • Skype: RISD1877

RISD Creative Resources

Spend only a short amount of time on RISD’s campus and you’ll quickly discover the vast amount of resources available to our students. The Nature Lab, Museum of Art and Fleet Library provides students and the surrounding community with endless inspiration ranging from nature, science, history, and literary arts.

Each department at RISD has incredible facilities and studio spaces at their student’s disposal. You’ll find precision machining in Industrial Design, or hear buzzing of a CNC machine in the Furniture Design department. You can feel the heat in Glass department’s hot shop and hear hammers on anvils in Jewelry + Metalsmithing. You can also, explore nature on a cellular level with the electron microscope in foundation studies studio or see complex patterns emerge from the electronic jacquard loom in the Textiles.  There are 10 galleries on campus, where you can see work produced by students utilizing RISD’s amazing facilities.

Every resource at RISD aims to nurture the educational development of our students and to encourage exploration outside one’s major. If you are curious about a department? Check out different departments on our website.

facilitiesGot a question? Feel free to contact us.

Topher Gent •Admissions Officer • • 401-454-6310

Antonio Peters • Assistant Director of Admissions •

Freshman Decisions!

Freshman decisions are on their way!  Good luck everyone!


Thank you to everyone who applied.  We really enjoyed getting to know you through your artwork, writing, academics and everything else.  The hard work you showed by completing your RISD application is admirable, and will take you far in life!

All the best from all of us here in the RISD Admissions Office!

RISD Student Profile

It is crazy how time flies! One minute you’re a freshmen and the next you’re a senior about to graduate. Admissions have been fortunate to work with some amazing students as office assistance and campus tour guides over the years.

Both Alexandra Milan Jewelry & Metalsmithing ’14 and Max Farnham Graphic Design’ 14, have been working for us for some time now and they’ve been a huge help to our office.

I had the chance to set down with Alex and Max to ask them some questions about their experience at RISD. We wish you both much success after RISD!

Have more questions?  Feel free to email me!

Antonio Peters, Assistant Director of Admissions

Antonio Peters

Recruitment on RISD Campus

This past Thursday, at the Providence Convention Center, RISD Careers hosted over 140 employers to actively recruit from RISD’s current community of students. This event happens every year for every major. RISD Careers divides it into a Design Review and Fine Arts Review, with juniors, seniors and graduate students of any major able to attend each one.

To see a current listing of the employers who attended, click here.

One of the main goals of this event is to encourage students to interview and prepare for internships and future jobs. Students receive immediate feedback on their portfolios and presentation skills. It offers networking and valuable professional connections.

I asked a senior in Industrial Design how her day went, she said, “It was great, I got to meet with different employers that I also wanted to learn more about. I got a job offer from Kohler, and am thinking it over.”

Something that makes these recruitment events unique is that these companies are specifically interested in RISD students and graduates. These employers have opportunities that work well with our students skill sets, and therefore seek out RISD’s valuable critical thinkers and creative problem solvers. Our students know how to take risks and think outside of the box, which means that employers are excited to meet our students and see their work.

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If you’d like to see some of our student portfolios, click here.

For more information about RISD Careers, please contact,, 401.454.6614

Becky Fong
RISD Admissions

RISD Grad Studies: Graduate Profile Part 1

In this two part series I will be taking a look into the lives of some current grads in hopes of providing you with some insight into our graduate community at RISD.  This week I had the pleasure of meeting our first grad we will be profiling, Christina Webb.


Christina Webb

 The Facts 

Christina Webb is a first year student in our Graphic Design MFA program. Previously, Christina was living and working in Los Angeles, California when she decided to start applying to grad schools.  She received her undergraduate degree in Graphic Design from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington.


I asked Christina how she ended up here at RISD and about her decision making process and quickly realized this was a big question.  As many of you know there are a lot of options out there and there is no one answer on how to make this decision.

Christina always knew she wanted to go to grad school but took the time to build on her perspective as a designer before beginning the application process.  She had her choices of some top schools in the nation but for her it came down to her visits.  When she visited RISD she met with faculty and current students and it was those interactions that made up her mind.  After these thoughtful and authentic conversations she knew ultimately she would never second-guess this decision.  Her advice to any of you trying to make this decision is to visit the school and get a feel for the faculty and current students there. In the end, selecting a graduate program is an extremely individualized process.

On Campus

Christina is quite involved on campus, her background and interests lie in education, community and non-profit institutions and she has the work experience to back it up.  On campus, she works at the RISD Design Guild as a Grad Advisor to undergraduate students.  She advises them on best practices and studio working methods as well as managing clientele.  In order to add to their experience she organized a trip to Boston to visit design studios.


RISD Graduate Studies

I asked Christina if she was able to do any interdisciplinary work here since we don’t have “interdisciplinary” programs.  As seen in the world of art and design today, work is often interdisciplinary in nature, but there was no doubt after talking with Christina that interdisciplinary study happens at RISD, quite naturally.  She identified that the visiting designers and different perspectives they bring to the table promotes projects that manifest themselves in a very interdisciplinary way.  All of the facilities are available to you so no matter what department you are in, your education is what you make it.  Additionally, the three-year Graphic Design students come from diverse studio and cultural backgrounds, so they too add to an atmosphere of interdisciplinary culture.

Graduate school does not come without its challenges.  But I think that is what the ideal candidate seeks out.  Christina shared a story about a course that pushed her and challenged her in new ways.  She was pushed to think independently and learned how to be not just adaptable, but how to be confidently independent.  As a result of this she sought out a public installation site of her own. The installation is what she calls a “Typographic Intervention” and will be displayed in providence during the warmer months this year.

You can see Christina’s work on our Portfolio site:


Twitter: @konstrukta


We Can’t Wait for Pre-College!


Allen Chiu, PC12 Digital Photography (final project)
Winner, Smithsonian National Gallery Teen Portrait Competition

While waiting out the winter, it’s a good idea to look ahead to warmer months and upcoming excitement at RISD. With the summer, comes Pre-College, an intensive art program for high school students age 16-18. For six weeks from June to August they get the chance to see what it’s like to be a RISD student, with classes like Drawing Foundations, Design Foundations, and Critical Thinking in Art. Each student also pursues a concentration in one of these 20 majors:

Animation, Architecture, Ceramics, Comic Book Art, Drawing, Fashion Design, Film/Video, Furniture Design, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Interior Design, Jewelry, Painting, Photography: Digital, Photography: Traditional, Printmaking, Sculpture, Textile Design.


Betsy (Tianzi) Yang, PC12 Game Design (final project)
Recent Successful Kickstarter Campaign Raising $18k to develop new game

In Admissions, we’re particularly thrilled to meet these talented young artists, to see the amazing artwork they’re creating, and to offer any guidance in applying to RISD as a full time college student.


Furniture Design at the Majors Exhibition

Pre-College is facilitated by the Division of Continuing Education, who work hard to provide an action-packed introduction to RISD. Joy McLaughlin, the Pre-College + Summer Programs Coordinator, sheds more light on this program:

As RISD’s Pre-College + Summer Programs Coordinator, I have the unique experience of watching our Pre-College students transform from excited, nervous and a bit intimidated teens into students who confidently walk and talk as if they own the RISD campus–in only six short weeks.

Each summer, over 400 high school students from around the world come to RISD to immerse themselves in a comprehensive introduction to the college art school experience. The six-week residential Pre-College program (definitely not a summer arts camp) is focused, serious and challenging. Students experience the core elements of a RISD education: critical thinking and critical making.

Students who come to RISD’s Pre-College have varied backgrounds and choose the program for many reasons: to find out if the visual arts is the right choice for them, to further pursue their art or to build their portfolio for college applications. Most come for a combination of reasons, but whatever the case students attending Pre-College all have one thing in common: they are passionate about art and design and are seeking an incomparable arts education and summer experience.

The RISD Admissions Office plays a vital role for our Pre-College students. While on campus, students interested in attending an art college or pursuing a visual arts major at a university are able to meet with advisors, whether it be casually in the Met Dining Center during lunch, at a portfolio review appointment or at an evening lecture on how to apply to RISD. This gives our students the advantage of making the college application process much more manageable.

Pre-College students create life-long friendships that boast a common bond and they share a confident, critical language and thought process that influences all of their future endeavors–not to mention they create incredible artwork!


Textile Design work at the Majors Exhibition

If you’d like to learn more about RISD Pre-College, there will be a Pre-College PreView this Saturday, March 1st at 8:30am in our RISD Auditorium. For more information, click the link below or contact Continuing Education at 401.454.6200 or

Pre-College PreView Day

For more information about RISD in general, please feel free to contact the Admissions Office at 401.454.6300 or

~Marin Brennan, Admissions Officer,



Ready, Set, TRANSFER!

Not everyone comes to RISD right from high school.  Some take a different path to get here and apply as a Transfer student.  Transfer students add something a little different to the atmosphere on campus. They arrive to RISD with a variety of experiences and add texture to the fabric of the RISD community. They are, no doubt some of the most motivated students in class.

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If you’re thinking of applying to RISD as a Transfer applicant,  here are some application reminders and how-to’s:

APPLICATION DEADLINE :  March 15, 2014  

  • This is a received by date, so please make sure to get your application materials in before or by this date. This year our Transfer application deadline falls on a Saturday, so we will continue to process materials through the rest of the week.
  •  For a complete listing of application requirements visit our website. Transfer applicants should apply online using The Common Application, which allows you to save an application in process and return to it later. The Common App offers a direct link to Slideroom where you can upload your portfolio.  Just click “yes” on the Art Supplement question.
  • When you choose a start date on the application, please select Summer 2014.
  • Transfer applicants enroll directly into a RISD department, so when you apply, you will need to choose one of our 16 majors.
  • Portfolio: Applicants may include work relevant to their major of choice, but you can also choose other work that you feel shows your strengths as an artist or designer.RISD requires two additional home test drawing as part of the application. All Transfer applicants are asked to complete these and send them in their original format. Fold your drawings in half and then in half again to a finished size of 8″x 10″ (20cm x 25cm) and be sure to note your full name, date of birth and address on the back of each drawing. Drawings must be mailed to the Admissions Office in their original form, do not submit reproductions.

Drawing #1 | reference a bicycle 

Your bicycle drawing must be done using graphite pencil.

Drawing #2 | select one of the following options:

  • In the course of a single calendar day, draw 11 related images in a single visualization
  • Make a drawing that uses both sides of the sheet of paper
  • Create a drawing instrument. Make a drawing with the instrument you have created. Send the original drawing to us and upload an image of the instrument with your portfolio in SlideRoom.

For Drawing #2, you may use any dry (fixable) medium, a water-based medium (such as ink, watercolor or gouache) or a combination. Do not use any oil-based medium or collage. Remember that whatever medium(s) you choose, you must be able to fold the paper in order to mail it to our office.

You may approach these two drawings in any way you wish. Other than the stated requirements related to paper size (16″x 20″), subject (in the case of Drawing #1) and medium (graphite pencil), everything and anything else are up to you. Using photographs as a source for your drawings, however, is not recommended.

Most transfer students are required to begin their RISD education with the Summer Foundation Studies Program, a six-week session that runs from mid-June through the end of July. Modeled on the full-year Foundation Studies curriculum that all freshmen follow, the summer program is an integral part of the RISD learning experience, offering courses in drawing, design and spatial dynamics. Being in Providence during the Summer will help get you into the swing of things before the start of the Fall semester. It’s also a great convocation period to meet future classmates and roommates.

Visiting RISD is highly recommended to get a true feel for the atmosphere and the nature of our studio process.  We have regular information programs and tours, as well as open houses for admitted transfers after the decisions go out.

Financial Aid  Deadline: March 15th, 2014
We are dedicated to helping undergraduate students understand the financial aid process and how best to finance their education. Students should contact our Financial Aid office and view the website if they have any additional questions or concerns regarding financial aid.

  • The CSS Profile is used to award need-based financial aid from RISD.
  • The FAFSA is used to award all federal financial aid, including grants, work-study jobs and loans. Applicants wishing to apply for federal student aid exclusively should only complete a FAFSA application.

We look forward to receiving and reviewing your applications!  As always, if you have any questions please email us!

RISD Admissions,


Visiting RISD This Spring

I want to visit RISD.

It’s a great idea to visit the colleges you’re interested in before you apply. So you’re a junior in high school, or a sophomore? Great! This is an excellent time to visit! Spring semester is underway, and seniors are preparing their degree projects and senior shows.  You can literally feel the energy in the air!


So when can I visit?

This spring we will be hosting information programs in our office that are coupled with tours. These run two and sometimes three times during the week. We will also hold these events on five different Saturdays during March and April!

Information Programs start at 1PM, and then you’ll meet your tour guides and depart at 2PM. You can expect to be on campus for about 3 hours total.

Follow this link for a list of dates for Undergraduate Information Programs.

If you can’t make it during the spring semester, we have lots of opportunities to visit during the summer. I’m talking tours every weekday!

What can I expect during my visit?

An Information Program is a presentation hosted by one of our Admissions Officers. They are all RISD Alumni, and are experts on RISD and the application process. This is the perfect introduction to our school, and also gives you the opportunity to have any of your questions answered.

Your tour guides are all current students from virtually every department at RISD. Their fresh insight gives you a rather candid look at what it’s like to be a student at RISD. Your tour will give you a general overview of the school, its resources, and the Foundation Studies Studios, but you may also be able to visit specific departments that you may be interested in.

RISD's beach in spring(1)

Should I sign up in advance?

Yes! You should absolutely sign up in advance, and you may register yourself online using the calendar: here. Keep in mind that if an Information Program and Campus Tour are full, they will not show up on calendar.

Alright, I’ve signed up. Where do I go?

You’ll be joining us in our Admissions Office, on the second floor of the Woods Gerry Building.  That’s at 62 Prospect Street, Providence RI, 02903. Be sure to give yourself some extra time to browse through the gallery on the first floor!

View Larger Map

Any tips?

Arrive early! We don’t have any open parking lots for our students or visitors. You may decide to find a public lot (where you pay $5-10), but there is also plenty of street parking right around our office. I recommend choosing a 3-hour parking spot.

Wear comfortable shoes. RISD sits on college hill, so trust me – you’ll want them.

Be prepared: our tours run rain or shine, and New England weather can be unpredictable!

Bring questions! Have a running list prepared of things you’d like to have answered during your visit. This will ensure you’ve made the most of your experience.

Lastly, give yourself time to stop by the RISD Museum after your tour! Visitors of RISD Admissions receive complimentary admission to the museum!


Feel free to contact us!
Click here to register for an Information Program & Campus Tour.

See you around Campus!

_Topher Gent
Admissions Officer • • 401-454-6310

Alumni Profile : Jennifer Hom

image-1In late January, I had the great pleasure of meeting alumna, Jennifer Hom, Illustration 2009, at Google Headquarters. Jennifer has the great task of creating Google Doodles, Google’s homepage illustrations, using everything from pens and pencil to Pac-Man and puppets, all the while reminding the world that work should be fun. Jennifer has been with Google since graduating RISD in 2009. She works in a small team of 15 bringing art and design to the masses while celebrating great discoveries, inventions and accomplishments.

While eating lunch with Jennifer, I learned more about her journey to RISD and Google.

Jennifer always enjoyed making and drawing. She began illustrating early on, teaching herself computer skills and drawing on tablets. She found happiness in drawing fairies, unicorns, magical flying unicorns, princesses, and flowers. She grew up in the suburbs of Long Island, NY. She was interested in attending RISD but didn’t know a lot about the school or exactly what program to pursue. Luckily, she attended Pratt Portfolio Day and met our Assoc. Director, Lucy king. Lucy fondly remembers meeting Jennifer, reviewing her work and even saying, “You need to go into Illustration!” It was from that encouragement that Jennifer applied as a Transfer applicant to RISD.

Jennifer spoke fondly of her memories and friendships formed during her years at RISD. She loved the campus and Wintersession. She took every opportunity to intern each summer. One year, she was one of 12 interns with Dreamworks! Each internship she learned something new about herself and the industry.

Some great advice she shares: 1) Always follow up on your email. 2) Intern everywhere and anywhere. Since joining Google, Jennifer has helped bring 2 more young alumni into the Doodler team, Sophia Foster-Dimino and Kevin Laughlin. Google has numerous RISD alums working as UI/UX designers.

Here’s a video of Jennifer and colleagues sharing about their passionate work, Google Doodler Video.

She recently led the design for Valentine’s Day.