About Pre-College

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



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. 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. 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.

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.

At Pre-College, you’ll face the same challenges as a RISD college student. That means you’ll need to work hard, exercise your initiative at every opportunity, and remain focused and on task—no matter what else crops up.




Pre-View Event

Join us to see what RISD Pre-College has to offer!

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

NOTE: The Pre-View is not mandatory.

Register below or sign up for more details:

Fill out my online form.