About Pre-College

RISD Pre-College isn’t just an education—it’s an experience.

Studens on campus

Program Description

Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (or “RIZ-dee” for the acronym RISD) is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S. RISD has consistently upheld its mission to educate the public about the vital role of art and design in society.

RISD Pre-College offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to access life as a RISD student and experience college culture. For six weeks, you’ll live like a college student and follow a college-level studio curriculum. Not only will you build confidence in yourself as an artist and as an individual, but you’ll get to master a range of tools, materials and techniques, study with award-winning faculty in our art studios, create supplementary pieces for your college admission portfolio, and forge the kind of friendships that last a lifetime.

You’ll learn from award-winning faculty of more than 50 artists, designers, and educators, some of whom also teach degree-program classes. Pre-College students also have access to RISD’s well-equipped and internationally renowned studio facilities. Housed in over 40 buildings, they include computer labs, darkrooms, kilns, woodworking shops, textile, and printmaking studios.

Build your portfolio yes, but you’ll focus on the process of conceptual thinking and making. Step out of your comfort zone, dive deep beyond your initial concepts and immerse yourself in a critique culture that will inspire you and your peers.

Live in RISD residence halls and have the freedom to explore all the sights Rhode Island has to offer including museums, art galleries, beaches, and other cultural attractions. With more than 500 high-school students expected to enroll in this year’s program, you’ll join a large body of students that have one thing in common—a passion for creativity.

Students interacting in classroom

Pre-View Event

Registration for the March 3, 2018 Pre-College Pre-View (in-person) event is closed. If you have questions about the RISD Pre-College program, please contact Continuing Education at 401.454.6200

SEE Pre-College student artwork from past years.
HEAR relevant information from Pre-College staff, faculty, and alumni.
TAKE a campus tour led by RISD undergraduate students.
MEET us at an optional brunch featuring outstanding vegan, vegetarian and mainstream options.

  • 9:00am-9:30am

    Check-In + Refreshments

  • 9:30am-11:00am

    Pre-College Presentation

  • 11:30am-3:00pm


  • 11:30am

    Campus Tour for participants NOT attending RISD Admissions Information Program

  • 1:00pm

    RISD Admissions Information Program + Campus Tour

    *If you plan to attend the admissions information program + campus tour, you MUST register separately by following this link: RISD Admissions Information Program + Campus Tour