Q. How many credits are required for RISD’s undergraduate degree?
Q. How many transfer credits are allowed, and what restrictions apply?
Q. What are the minimum and maximum enrollment requirements?
Q. Can I take a reduced load if I have a special circumstance?
Q. Does tuition change if I’m taking a reduced course load?
Q. How can I add or drop a course?
Q. Can I pursue a double major/secondary major?
Q. How can I earn academic credit outside of courses?
Q. What other options do I have for interdisciplinary study?
Q. How can I take a course at Brown?
A: 126 Total Credits Required
54 Major Program
12 Non-Major Studio Electives
42 Liberal Arts
A. While pursuing a RISD degree, you may take some courses at other schools. You may transfer a maximum of 12 credits from other accredited institutions after RISD matriculation.
A. The recommended course credit load is:
15 credits in the Fall, 3 in Wintersession, and 15 in the Spring
CAUTION: If you want to take more than 15 credits in either Fall or Spring you must get approval from their advisor and/or Department Head. Consult the Department Coordinator for more information.
CAUTION: If you do not attempt the minimum 12 credits in Fall and Spring and 3 credits in Wintersession you will be placed on academic probation and that may jeopardize scholarships or financial aid. International Students will be in violation of their immigration status and may need to leave the U.S.
A. Taking less than 12 credits in Fall or Spring or less than 3 credits in Wintersession requires advanced approval by the Academic Standing Committee. Address queries to the Registrar (email@example.com).
You may be eligible for reduced course loads if you:
are registered with Disability Support Services
have a documented medical condition
have legitimate academic reasons determined by the Academic
If you meet the criteria for reduced course loads you must:
complete an Exception to Academic Policy Form (available from the Registrar’s Office)
obtain any required approvals and signatures PRIOR TO the beginning of the relevant semester
confirm that attending RISD on a reduced credit load will not adversely affect your financial aid or scholarships
seek advice from the Office of International Student Services if you are attending RISD on a visa PRIOR TO dropping below full-time.
A. Students are typically charged the full-time tuition fee even when authorized to attend on reduced load. Exceptions to this requirement may be made in the case of medical or disability-related reductions. For further information, contact the Student Accounts office.
A. NOTE: First-Year students must consult with the Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies.
All other students may follow these guidelines.
If you are still within the add/drop period:
Adding a course? Register online through WebAdvisor or if necessary obtain the signed permission of the instructor on the official Add/ Drop form. The form must be submitted to the Registrar.
Dropping a course? Signatures are NOT required for dropping a course during the Add/ Drop period. Students may drop courses on WebAdvisor if they registered themselves, or they can submit an Add/Drop form to the Registrar’s Office. The student’s major department can drop courses that were registered by the department.
CAUTION! Failing to submit an Add/Drop form or to add or drop a course via WebAdvisor will result in an “F” on your academic record or will result in you being considered “unregistered” and therefore you will not be graded, recorded or credited for the course.
If the add/drop period has ended:
Adding a course? You must follow the Exception to Policy procedure (Visit Registrar’s Office).
Dropping a course?
If you have your instructor’s approval and the course withdrawal deadline hasn’t passed you must get a Course Withdrawal form from the Registrar’s Office, obtain the signature of the instructor, and return the form to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline for Course Withdrawal date on the Academic Calendar. The letter “W” (for withdrawn) is recorded on your academic record along with the course title and semester. “W”s remain on your transcript but do not adversely affect the grade point average (GPA).
If you do not have your instructor’s approval and the course withdrawal deadline has passed you cannot withdraw from a course. An “F” will be recorded on your academic record.
CAUTION! If you stop attending a course without permission from the instructor, the instructor will either enter an Unofficial Withdrawal (UW) grade or a failing grade (F) on your academic record.
A. A double major represents the completion of work in two areas for one degree. As double majoring is not an official policy at RISD, evaluation and approval of student requests to pursue a double major are handled on a case-by-case basis. A student interested in a double major must meet with both department heads to gain written permission to formally declare both majors based on a feasible plan. One major will be designated “primary” and the other “secondary.” Students generally pursue both majors simultaneously rather than sequentially; hence the intention to double major must be declared by the middle of the junior year. A student declaring a double major should expect to remain at RISD for an extra year. Both majors must be completed before the degree can be earned unless you formally “undeclare” your double major. You may withdraw a double major declaration by notice to advisors and heads of the departments concerned, as well as the Registrar’s Office.
A. Independent Study Projects (ISPs) allow you to complete a supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest to supplement the established curriculum. Collaborative Study Projects (CSPs) allow two students to work collaboratively to complete a supervised project of independent study. Each ISP or CSP receives 3 credits. A combined total of 9 credits of ISP/CSP may be undertaken toward your degree. ISPs and CSPs are available Fall, Wintersession, and Spring. They may not be taken during the summer.
Students interested in an ISP or CSP must:
have a GPA of 3.00 or above
request the guidance of an appropriate faculty member(s) in planning and pursuit of the project prepare a thorough proposal outlining the purpose and scope of the project
complete an application (available on the Registrar's site)
submit the completed application according to the instructions on the form before the end of the Add/Drop period of the Fall, Wintersession, or Spring semester.*
A. The Interdisciplinary Study Option (ISO) permits students to augment their major with credits earned outside their department. Between 3 and 12 ISO credits may be counted for major credit.
Students interested in the ISO must:
3-credit INTERNSHIPS are permitted in the Fall, Wintersession, and Spring semesters, and over the summer. Students interested in an internship:
*NOTE: Some departments require an earlier submission
A. Through a long-standing agreement between the two institutions, RISD degree candidates may enroll in courses at Brown University and vice versa. In order to enroll and for credit to be granted for a course taken at Brown, the course must be approved using the cross-registration form by the student’s department head or the Dean of Liberal Arts and meet the student’s degree requirements.