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 will greatly change on-campus living for the 2020–21 academic year. Please see our related pages on the new RISDxCOVID-19 site for the most current information available.
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 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 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 risdbucks.risd.edu. 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.