Health and safety is a priority at RISD. Please see

Housing and dining

The housing and dining teams promote a sense of shared community across campus. With their support you’ll discover that the people of RISD—from students to faculty to staff—share a passion for their work and surroundings and a curiosity about others.

RISD’s response to COVID-19 may change on-campus living for the 2021–22 academic year. Please see our related pages on the RISD COVID Plan website for the most current information available.

First-year housing

All first-year students stay in one of six buildings known as the "first-year area" (FYA). In addition to the residence halls, the FYA is where you'll find The Met (RISD's main dining facility), the Fitness Center, Public Safety and Residence Life offices. EMT-certified Public Safety officers, a ResLife staff member and an on-call CAPS counselor are available 24/7. Each of the first-year residences includes laundry facilities, access to a kitchen, shared bathrooms, work rooms and social lounges. As your move to RISD approaches you'll want to refer to Residence Life's new student move-in information, detailing all the specifics for your particular move-in day.

Packing and shipping

Our packing guide, as well as details you’ll receive via email about RISD’s laptop program, will help you plan for your move. If you need to ship items ahead, you'll want to take a look at our information about shipping to campus.

Room type selection

RISD is committed to planning a safe and successful fall semester even with the ongoing uncertainties we face with COVID-19. We are currently considering different housing scenarios to provide students with a residential experience that balances artistic and personal development with community, individual safety and adherence to public health guidelines. Given that we are in the midst of new plans with safety at the forefront, we have decided to delay room selection for new students until our plans are complete later this summer.

The application process will provide you the opportunity to indicate your desired room and residence hall type. It will also allow you to provide lifestyle preferences such as whether you like your room clean or messy, whether you are an early riser or love to stay up late.

While it is highly unlikely students will live in traditional configurations given new public health realities, we anticipate having some larger spaces that could accommodate more than one student and still provide for social distancing. The housing application will allow you to identify a desired roommate should one of these spaces be available and deemed appropriate. If you know now you prefer a single, you may also indicate that. You'll be contacted by email when the housing portal opens and if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out.


RISD Dining offers a variety of options across campus and our chefs and kitchen crews take great care in preparing creative, nutritious, locally sourced food. All first-year housing includes the following:

  • Unlimited meal swipes at The Met, RISD’s “all-you-care-to-eat” facility
  • One meal swipe per day at Portfolio Café, Watermark Café or Jolly Roger Deli
  • $350 dining points per year ($175 dining points per semester)
  • Three guest meals per semester
  • A complimentary celebration treat for birthdays or other celebrations


risdbucks is an optional prepaid debit account that enables you to purchase products and services both on and off campus (wherever you see the risdbucks logo) using your RISD ID card. Laundry facilities on campus only accept risdbucks. Students and parents or family members can easily add funds by visiting Students log in using RISD email username and password. Family members log in using the student's last name, ID number and date of birth.