About Pre-College

Program Dates

Due to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2021 RISD Pre-College program. 

RISD has developed a new online program designed for high school students interested in pursuing art and design in college and want to learn best practices in producing portfolio work: RISD Advanced Program for High School Students.

We hope you can join us online. 

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 country. RISD Pre-College offers rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to experience life as a RISD undergrad.

For six weeks you’ll follow a college-level curriculum with day-long studio classes, critiques and final projects. You’ll work alongside hundreds of other creative, highly motivated students from around the world who will challenge, inspire and encourage you to push your limits and produce your best work. You’ll live like a RISD student, access renowned resources and instructors, strengthen your portfolio and forever change the way you approach art and design.

Video: A look at RISD Pre-College

Hear From Alumni

Here’s what a few recent alumni had to say about their experience with RISD Pre-College.

“My friend experienced a tremendous amount of growth with your program here in the summer of 2017, and highly recommended that I apply. So far the program has totally changed my technicality and creativity for the better, and I can’t wait to see how much I will improve by the program’s end. RISD has given me the opportunity and creative freedom to present myself as an artist.”
– Hailey, Virginia

“Going into the RISD Pre-College program, I knew I was considering RISD as my top choice in my college application process, but I still wanted to get a better feel for the school’s environment and programs. The six weeks I spent at RISD this summer allowed RISD to feel like my home away from home and I fell even more in love with the school and everything it has to offer. The [foundation] classes and major classes pushed me to challenge myself and to think more creatively than ever before… The program also allowed me to grow as an artist and individual, improve my technical skills, and explore new mediums… The relationships you form with faculty members, friends, and classmates is unparalleled. RISD Pre-College 2018 was an unforgettable experience and I loved every second of it.”
– Izzy, New Jersey

“Went for animation this past year. Honest to goodness the best instruction and community I’ve had at any art program. Encouraging and prepared instructors, fun RAs and RD, creative classmates and kind and accepting floor-mates. Food is great too! The last day was a cry-fest because no one wanted to leave. Great program, can’t wait to apply for real next year.”
– Katherine, Massachusetts