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First-year curriculum

You don’t need to worry about registering for classes in your first year at RISD—all new undergraduate students are pre-enrolled in the Experimental and Foundation Studies (EFS) program.

Please also visit the RISD COVID Plan for updated information about how RISD will adopt a blended pedagogy that combines in-person, hybrid, and online forms of delivery through the 2020–21 academic year.

First year at a glance

Your first-year schedule includes three EFS studios—Drawing, Design and Spatial Dynamics—and two introductory liberal arts classes per semester. Each studio class meets one full day per week, with students expected to work on an ongoing series of assignments outside of class time.

Transferring credits

RISD assesses AP, IB, A Levels and college credits that might count toward liberal arts credits. Please note that required liberal arts classes cannot be waived, so any credits granted go toward additional liberal arts classes needed to graduate. Students must request AP and IB scores and A Levels be sent to the Liberal Arts office. College coursework should be sent to Admissions in the form of official transcripts.

Provided supplies

Upon arrival all first-year students are issued a tool box that includes the following: 16-foot metric/inch tape measure, 6 3/4" coping saw, 6-1/2" coping saw blade, 8" slip joint pliers, 8" long nose pliers, 7" diagonal pliers, six-way screwdriver, 12" combination square, drill bit set, 16 oz claw hammer, Olfa BN-l knife, Olfa LB-5B blades, Ryoba compact saw, dust mask, safety glasses.

Some EFS faculty will send out specific supply lists a few weeks before classes start, while others will inform students of supply requirements when classes begin. Generally, these supplies and materials are available on or near campus.

Optional supplies

You're encouraged bring supplies and materials you already own. These might include: portfolio, sketch book, charcoal sticks, charcoal pencils, staple gun, brushes, markers, Conte crayons, erasers, newsprint pad, rubber cement, glue, fixative, masking tape, pencil sharpener, mat knife, push pins, scissors, metal clamps, woodcarving tools, large metal ruler, etc. (Feel free to include other items and don't feel that you must bring everything listed here).