! Advanced Program Online: Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 enrollment now open

Student Life

Life at RISD

Pre-College is designed to help you both work like a college student, and live like one. Because what goes on outside of the studio is just as important as what goes on inside. In addition to immersing yourself in your schoolwork, you’ll be encouraged to attend supervised weekend and evening trips to museums, art galleries, beaches, and excursions to nearby cities. You’re also given the freedom to explore the RISD neighborhood—and all that Providence has to offer—on your own.


Many Pre-College students opt to live on campus in the residence halls. Residence Life provides safe, social and inclusive opportunities throughout the program. Live-in professional staff and student resident advisors (RAs) supervise the residence halls as well as mentor and support you along the way.

Students will have the opportunity to live in single-sex rooms within mixed-gender floors, gender inclusive floors and single-gender floors. Single, double and triple rooms are available. There will be an opportunity in the housing application process for students to indicate their housing preference. If you’re interested in gender-inclusive housing options, please email the Residence Life office, precollegehousing@risd.edu. Once accepted, you’ll receive instructions on how to complete the online housing application.

If you need specific housing accommodations due to medical needs, you’ll be asked to fill out a request as well as provide a letter from your physician at the same time you apply for housing.

Residential students are expected to remain on campus throughout the duration of the program with the exception of an approved “Weekend Away,” to be arranged before the start of the program through the Student LifePortal.

If you have any other questions regarding Pre-College housing, please contact RISD’s Residence Life office, precollegehousing@risd.edu.


An important part of the Pre-College experience is getting to meet new friends in a new environment; that’s why we don’t give the option of requesting a specific roommate. Roommates are assigned based on your answers to questions about lifestyle preferences included in the online housing application. Due to the short nature of the program, room change requests will not be available.

Cars on Campus

Students living in the residence halls may not operate motor vehicles (including scooters and motorcycles) while in residence on campus.


Many Pre-College students choose to commute to the program, often finding it strikes a good balance between college life and support systems at home. You may find–as many past commuting students have reported–that you’re able to stay even more focused on your work by working both in the studio and at home.

If you commute, you’ll need to consider how to balance home and work life with developing new friendships and staying an engaged member of the RISD community. To help with that, commuting students are encouraged to attend all Pre-College events and weekend trips. You’re also welcome to visit with residential students (within the visitor guidelines) and work in the common studio work spaces in the residence halls whenever you need to.

On-street parking is available but can be limited on RISD’s campus. If no on-street parking is available, you may park in garages or municipal lots nearby. Unfortunately RISD parking stickers are not available to Pre-College students.

For more information and commuter student requirements please review the Student Handbook.

Dining Services

Using the freshest ingredients, RISD’s Dining and Catering professionals serve nutritious and delicious meal options throughout your time at Pre-College. Our chefs and kitchen crews take great care and pride in preparing organic, locally sourced food. The Metcalf Dining Center (“The Met”) features a sandwich station, salad bar, as well as a vegetarian/vegan bar, daily soups, a miso station, and traditional entrées.

The full dining contract is required for all residential students. The commuter cost includes a 25-meal dining plan.

If you have further questions about dining plans, please contact Dining Services at 401 454-6642.

Health and Wellness

We recognize the importance of recharging physically, emotionally and psychologically; that’s why throughout the summer you’ll have access to campus services to support your overall health and wellness whenever you need it.

Fitness Center

The Catanzaro Student Fitness Center is home to two cardio and weight rooms, two group fitness rooms, space to stretch, locker rooms and more. To use the Student Fitness Center facilities, you must have a waiver signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Health Services

RISD Health Services is a medical clinic staffed by licensed healthcare providers, nurses and office administrators. Access to Health Services is included in the cost of the program and is available regardless of your personal insurance. A US-based health insurance plan, however, is required for any medical services needed outside of Health Services, including laboratory testing. Please ensure that your health insurance plan covers care in Rhode Island, including Urgent Care visits.

Disability Support Services

The office of Disability Support Services (DSS) assists students who have cognitive (learning), psychological, physical, and chronic medical disabilities. If you need accommodations to participate in any class, program or event offered during Pre-College, please contact Disability Support Services prior to submitting your application to learn what accommodations can and cannot be provided during the program. Any accommodations requested less than two weeks before the start of the program cannot be guaranteed. Please note that modifications cannot be made to the program structure, academic requirements or course curriculum.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Therapists in RISD’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office are available to meet for individual counseling (parent/guardian consent is required if you’re under age 18). CAPS may also provide emergency evaluations, urgent assessment, and triage for Pre-College students experiencing a psychological emergency. If off-campus care is needed/desired, Pre-College therapists can help you connect to local mental health resources. CAPS does not have on-site psychiatric medication services available during the summer; however, staff can share recommendations for local medication providers if needed.

Students are responsible for any transportation costs to clinicians off-campus, as well as any psychological services received off-campus. For more information please contact RISD Counseling and Psychological Services at 401 454-6637.


Given its relatively small footprint, Providence is comfortable and easy to navigate, with seven colleges and universities making it very student-focused. A vibrant community of artists and designers—including many alumni who choose to stay in the area—adds to the flavor, as do the city’s eclectic neighborhoods, which offer a variety of lifestyles, restaurants and entertainment options.

RISD is located right in the center of the city. Known as the “Creative Capital,” the city has undergone a dramatic revival over the past 50 years, with a thriving arts scene, vibrant neighborhoods, world-class hotels, renowned restaurants and tons of things to see and do.

On weekends you’ll have the opportunity to explore all Rhode Island has to offer including museums, art galleries, and miles and miles of beautiful beaches.

Public Safety

RISD’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) works with the Providence Police and Brown University Police departments to maintain a safe campus environment and support the educational mission of the college. Patrolling campus on foot, bike and in distinctively marked cruisers, members of RISD’s Public Safety team–also trained as EMTs–work 24/7 to maintain a safe environment for RISD students. 

From RISD phones, dial ext. 6666 or from the outdoor blue emergency phones, simply pick up the receiver to be connected to Public Safety.