About Pre-College

A teenage girl drapes fabric on a dress form.

Program dates

  • Sat, June 29, 2024

    Check-In Day
    For international and students traveling long distances, see Early Arrival option.

  • Mon, July 1, 2024

    First day of classes

  • Fri, August 2, 2024

    Last day of classes

  • Sat, August 3, 2024

    Check-Out Day; move out by 12 noon

Program description

RISD Pre-College offers rising high school juniors and seniors the chance to experience life as a RISD undergrad. For five weeks you’ll follow a college-level curriculum with day-long studio classes, critiques and 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.

About Rhode Island School of Design

RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) is a creative community founded in 1877 in Providence, Rhode Island. Today, we enroll 2,620 students hailing from 59 countries. Led by a committed faculty, they are engaged in 44 full-time bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and supported by a worldwide network of over 31,000 alumni who demonstrate the vital role artists and designers play in today’s society.

Beyond facts and figures, what is the spirit of this community? Through a cross-disciplinary curriculum of studio-based learning and rigorous study in the liberal arts, RISD students are encouraged to develop their own personal creative processes, but they are united by one guiding principle: in order to create, one must question. In cultivating expansive and elastic thinking, RISD seeks to activate a critical exchange that empowers artists, designers and scholars to generate and challenge the ideas that shape our world.

RISD’s mission, at both the college and museum, is not only to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, but to transmit that knowledge and make global contributions.

50+ Unforgettable Summers of RISD Pre-College

RISD’s first Pre-College summer program started in 1971 (pictured above!) with a few dozen students in just one building. Now, celebrating more than 50 unforgettable summers of Pre-College, roughly 550 students experience RISD’s campus each summer—representing nearly every state in the US, 84 different countries, and boasting more than 10,500 alumni since 1971.


Info sessions and fairs

Info session webinar (recording)

This webinar is ideal for students interested in RISD Pre-Collegiate Programs and potentially applying to Rhode Island School of Design. Join RISD Admissions and Pre-College teams for this hour-long presentation and Q&A session. Learn about the basics of a RISD education and get an in-depth look at RISD Pre-College and Advanced Program Online.

Hear from alumni & instructors

Find out more about RISD Pre-College from those with first-hand experience, including Pre-College alumni and instructors.


Johnny Adimando

From first-generation college student to Pre-College instructor, Johnny Adimando shares what it’s like to be part of a community where everyone takes their own creative lead.


Ruihan Lee

Pre-College helped prepare Ruihan Lee for her first year at RISD. Ruihan went on to earn her BFA in Industrial Design in 2022.


Matthew Kane

Alum Matthew Kane shares his journey into men’s and women’s fashion and how the program gave him the confidence he needed while applying to liberal arts colleges.


“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

“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

“I would make sure your child is committed to the arts before attending. My daughter was in the studio working on projects at all hours (and she loved every minute of it). The completed work my daughter came home with was beyond impressive and it gave her confidence in her ability and direction for her future plans. She also made a ton of friends from all over the country.”
– Alyssa (parent/guardian), New Jersey

“If our daughter had said after the program ‘this is not for me,’ that would have been okay. We would have seen it as equally beneficial for her to learn that art school wasn’t for her before starting to apply to undergraduate colleges. But it was quite the opposite. It’s worth it. It’s a life-building and lifelong experience that’s going to stick with a young person forever.”
– Robert (parent/guardian), New Jersey