Application Info

A teenage girl with gloves on hands works on a printmaking art project.

Summer 2024 application now open


Eligibility

Each year more than 500 students from all over the world participate in RISD Pre-College. To be eligible to attend, you must have finished your 10th or 11th year of high school (or equivalent) and be between 16 and 18 years old (born between August 2, 2005 and June 29, 2008).  Students who are rising juniors and will be 16 years old by October 1, 2024 may still apply.

Beyond that, RISD Pre-College is open to all, regardless of your training or skill level in art. All applicants who demonstrate the ability and desire to contribute positively and benefit from the program in their application materials are accepted. There are no admission tests or portfolio requirements. 

That said, this is not an art camp. Be prepared to be in day-long classes and work long hours outside of the classroom refining your concepts and projects. The majority of students who apply to the program are highly committed to visual art and see Pre-College as an opportunity to decide whether or not they want to pursue art and design at the undergraduate level.



Application requirements

Requirements for applicants

All applications must include all of the below requirements in order to be reviewed for admission. Each application is dated and reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and incomplete applications cannot be processed for review. Students interested in applying to the program must submit the following:

  • A completed application with electronic signatures from both you and a parent/guardian
  • $60 non-refundable application fee
  • Proof of English proficiency, if English is not your primary language
  • A 200-250 word response to each of the following questions:
    • What artistic and academic goals do you hope to achieve by attending RISD Pre-College? Share what you’ve participated in and/or what barriers you’ve faced in your arts learning journey.
    • Describe a challenging time when you had to be self-motivated to work through and complete a project or task. What are the personal skills that helped you and what personal skill sets would you like to improve upon at RISD Pre-College?
    • RISD is committed to providing a safe and inclusive community. What do you hope to see in an inclusive environment? What do you think you could contribute and/or gain?

Non-US citizens and non-US permanent residents also require:

  • Copy of passport*

*For additional information, see visas (below).

Visas

If you do not hold US citizenship or US permanent residency, you must have or obtain an appropriate visa. For the pre-college program, the most appropriate visa is the B2 Recreational Study visa since it is a non-matriculating program and avocational. Refer to this document for more information: 9 FAM 402.5 (U) STUDENTS AND EXCHANGE VISITORS – F, M, AND J VISAS.

If you have any questions, please contact International Student and Scholar Affairs.

Payments

Students who are accepted to the program will receive a decision letter with information on how to submit a deposit. A $1,000 non-refundable deposit is due within five business days after acceptance to the program. The remaining payment balance is due by April 30, 2024. Students applying after this date must pay all tuition and fees in full within five business days after acceptance. Visit Tuition and Fees for full tuition information.

International students will have the option to pay via FlyWire (wire transfer – recommended method), credit card, or check (from a domestic bank account). Visit Tuition and Fees for full tuition information.

English proficiency

All applicants who speak English as a second language, including US citizens, must submit results from any one of these three options: TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or Duolingo* (an online English test). Since proficiency in English is a prerequisite for acceptance, applicants must attain an acceptable score on their chosen test; RISD requires a minimum result of 93 on the TOEFL, 115 on Duolingo or 6.5 on the IELTS.

*Applicants using Duolingo should select “Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Continuing Education” as the receiving institution.

Creating an account

To apply you’ll need to create an account on our Application Dashboard. Interested students, use your email address as the primary email address. Parents/guardians are required to provide electronic consent at each step.

We communicate by email with you directly—not with your parents or other third parties. Be sure to check your email daily. However, valid email addresses for both you and your parent/guardian are required to attend the program.

Choosing a major

As you decide on your first, second and third choice for your major, consider trying something that will add variety to your portfolio. Having a broad range of work can increase your college acceptance chances. For example, if you always work in 2D, think about trying something 3D such as sculpture or glass. Pre-College is an opportunity to challenge yourself and grow, so think outside the box.

Space in majors is limited and placement is on a first-come, first-served basis. Remember, your major is only one component of Pre-College. You will still have two additional studio classes. No matter your major, you’ll come away with a depth of experience, advancement and artwork.

If your desired major is full at the time you apply, you can opt to be added to the waitlist before being prompted to select an alternate major that is still open. If a space in the waitlisted major becomes available, you’ll be notified via email.



Scholarships

Scholarship eligibility

Each year, a limited number of full and partial scholarships are awarded to those applicants able to demonstrate all of the following:

  • Significant financial need
  • Passion and dedication to art and design
  • Interest and commitment to the program
  • United States citizenship or permanent resident status

Scholarship financial eligibility

In recent years, recipients typically come from families reporting a collective income of approximately $55,000 annually. The application requires documentation demonstrating all forms of income, including an outline of significant assets and other financial benefits (Social Security, unemployment, etc.). Although the application does not require a qualifying income, we encourage only those students who feel they have faced significant financial hardship to submit a scholarship application. Individual household circumstances are taken into consideration.

How to apply for a scholarship

Within the application, indicate that you’d like to apply to the program as a scholarship student via the ‘Program Information’ tab. The $60 application fee will be waived.

If you plan to attend the program despite the outcome of aid, we encourage you to apply through the regular application and forego the request for a scholarship review. That’s because scholarship applications aren’t reviewed prior to the scholarship application deadline, and if you aren’t awarded a scholarship, your major and/or space in the program may be filled before you’re able to re-apply as a non-scholarship student.

Scholarship application requirements

  • A completed application with electronic signatures from both you and a parent/guardian
  • A letter of recommendation from a guidance counselor, teacher or a mentor within the field of art and design
  • Proof of English proficiency, if English is not your primary language
  • A 200-250 word response to each of the following questions:
    • What artistic and academic goals do you hope to achieve by attending RISD Pre-College? Share what you’ve participated in and/or what barriers you’ve faced in your arts learning journey.
    • Describe a challenging time when you had to be self-motivated to work through and complete a project or task. What are the personal skills that helped you and what personal skill sets would you like to improve upon at RISD Pre-College?
    • RISD is committed to providing a safe and inclusive community. What do you hope to see in an inclusive environment? What do you think you could contribute and/or gain?
  • 2022 Income Tax 1040 (If a 1040 was not filed, include a 1099-G, SSI or other documentation of income)
  • Most recent pay advice for each parent/guardian
  • Unofficial transcript

Scholarship application deadline

Thursday, February 8 at 5 pm ET
Applicants will be notified of the outcome of the scholarship review by February 28, 2024.



Application timeline (2024)


November 14, 2023

  1. Application opens

Late January, 2024

  1. Admission decisions begin to be released

February 8, 2024

  1. Scholarship application deadline

February 28, 2024

  1. Scholarship application review notification

April 30, 2024

  1. Payment in full due
    All balances are due for all students. If you apply after this date, you must pay full tuition and fees within five business days after acceptance.



Disability support

We attempt to make our classes, programs, events and services accessible by providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations whenever possible. If you need accommodations to participate in any class, program or event contact Disability Support Services (DSS) prior to submitting your application to learn more about what accommodations can be made.

Requests for accommodations should be made at the time the student is accepted into the Pre-College program and at least two weeks prior to the start of the program. Arrangements for all accommodations requested less than two weeks before the start of the program/course(s) cannot be guaranteed, as most accommodations take time to arrange. Failure to make formal requests as early as possible may limit the ability to meet your needs and accommodations are not retroactive. Modifications cannot be made to the program structure, academic requirements or course curriculum.

If you need to access the RISD Continuing Education office, contact an enrollment specialist: risdce@risd.edu or 401 454-6200.