For the latest updates on RISD's response to COVID-19, please visit our Health and Wellness site.

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.

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 and the information you'll receive via email on RISD's laptop program will help you plan what to bring along as you get ready for your move. For items that you choose to ship you'll want to take a look at our incoming student shipping information for details. And our first-year, transfer and Brown | RISD Dual Degree incoming student calendars will let you know when to start shipping your belongings for summer and fall programs.

Room and roommate selection

You'll be asked to sign a housing contract in early May. After that you can start looking for a roommate (our roommate selection guide will help you get started). Later in May you'll receive an email with a randomly generated time-slot that indicates when you and your roommate can log on to the portal and pick your room. The room selection period is May 26–May 29.

RISD has a Gender Inclusive Housing Policy. Roommate pairings are not restricted based on sex, gender identity or gender expression so any student can mutually decide to live with another in a shared room. If you are interested in gender-inclusive housing we can provide you with a personal and confidential assessment of the available options.


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 students enroll in the Foundation Plan, which 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
  • $500 dining points per year ($250 points per semester; points roll over from semester to semester, but not year to year)
  • Three guest meals per semester
  • Two exchangeable to-go containers per semester
  • A complimentary celebration cake 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.