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Rhode Island School of Design – Admissions, Rankings And Acceptance Rates

Oct 6, 2022

RISD, or Rhode Island School of Design, is a non-profit, private institution situated in Providence, Rhode Island. Founded in 1877, RISD is one of the oldest art and design schools in the U.S. Accepting students worldwide, RISD has more than 2,500 students enrolled in 22 major bachelor’s and master’s programs, while more than 5,800 adults and kids appear in RISD online and certificate courses. 

Rhode Island School of Design Summer programs and winter sessions are known for their global outreach, with graduates and undergraduates similarly taking up the challenges to grow their point of view as artists, designers, and global citizens. Rhode Island School of Design Summer programs welcome all art and design students to immerse in their credit-bearing, art-based problem-solving experience. RIDS winter sessions offer students various art, design, architecture, and culture experiences of other countries and the U.S. regions. The recent winter sessions have sent students to regions of Bali, Florance, Parise, Ghana, Cost Rica, and Europe Regions. 


Rhode Island School of Design tuition of $57,000 is higher than the national average cost of tuition in the U.S. To those exceptional students admitted to RIDS, they provide various financial aids to attend classes without financial troubles. Undergraduate students who find Rhode Island School of Design tuition a burden on their finances can avail scholarships, Federal/State grants, need-based loans, and work-study opportunities. RIDS also helps the financial struggles of Graduate students by granting them fellowships and assistantships, enriching their professional development experience while supporting them financially. 

Rhode Island School of Design ranking top among North regional colleges in the U.S and is one of the most innovative colleges boasting exceptional undergraduate teaching facilities is a dream college for many arts and design enthusiasts. For many aspirants of Rhode Island School of Design, acceptance rates are the main hurdle. 


If you are an aspirant looking for admission to this prestigious school, then, fortunately, you have landed on the right page. This page will provide the necessary information regarding the Rhode Island School of Design tuition, admission criteria, rankings, and acceptance rates. 

RISD Admission 

First, we will discuss various admission criteria and procedures at the Rhode Island School of Design. The candidates should know that the Rhode Island School of Design’s Acceptance rate is one of the lowest among U.S. private institutions. With less than 3,000 seats for graduates and undergraduates combined, RISD takes its admission benchmarks very seriously, filtering out the best of the best from hundreds and thousands of applications yearly. 


There are 22 majors, and various other elective courses available at RIDS aspirants can apply for these courses through online platforms making the admissions process a lot faster. At RISD, applicants can opt for single degree programs or BROWN|RISD dual degree programs of their choice, but if you are an early decision applicant, you may only choose one of the two options. The Combined dual degree program from Brown University and RISD offers more comprehensive academic achievements for its students. 

RIDS undergrad admissions require a prerequisite of Highschool graduation or a Highschool equivalency diploma. As an art and design college, RIDS anticipates certain creative achievements from its applicants, urging them to attend studio art, art history, and maths and science sequence courses as college preparatory programs if possible. 


Applicants should note that RISD allows enrollment for only those courses opted in the application, so you must fill out applications only after serious consideration. If you wish to apply for RIDS, here are some crucial steps you have to take to ensure that your application is submitted correctly. 

  • Complete online application through Common App (Application Fee $60)
  • Submit the required online portfolio through Slide Room (Submission fee $10)
  • Apply for a fee waiver if eligible through Common App or email request to RISD admission cell.
  • Submit all prior academic transcripts in English through your institution/counselor ( Common App, Parchment, Email, or Mail)
  • Submit Standardised test scores from ACT/SAT (optional)
  • Submit IB credits (transfer applicants)
  • Submit language proficiency test scores of TOEFL/IELTS/ DuoLingo (International applicants)
  • Complete Common Application personal essay (650 words)
  • Professional Letter(s) of Recommendation (1-3)

The official website of RISD provides detailed timelines for applications, webinars on how to make portfolios, and even personal admission counselors for RISD. 


RISD Ranking 

Looking at Rhode Island School of design rankings by various educational organizations is enough for us to understand the standing of this college among its various contemporaries. U.S. News & World Report, a renowned educational review platform in the United States, ranked RISD as # 3 among North Regional Universities and # 26 in Best value colleges in the U.S.  

Rhode Island School of Design rankings talk a lot about its curriculum and faculty. It is one of the top 3 most innovative schools and the top 25 among Best Undergraduate teaching; no one can deny the quality of RISD education. 


Rhodes Island School of Design ranking of its Graduate Schools is also in the top 10 in their specializations. Ranking among the best Fine Arts programs, RISD courses maintain the top positions in their specified fields. RISD maintains its #1 position in graphic design while printmaking and Painting/Drawing ranked #2, photography, sculpture, ceramics, and Time-based media/News media course hold on to their top 10 rankings. 

RISD Acceptance rates 

Rhode Island School of Design acceptance rates will be the last topic we will look into on this page. All aspirants of RISD must know there are stringent criteria for enrollment into this prestigious college. The admission cell of RISD considers an applicant’s high school GPA a crucial aspect of consideration. Addition of Online portfolios and Standardized test scores for SAT/ACT building up on their application profile. For the past few years, the Rhode Island School of Design acceptance rate has shown an enrolment hike in students having an average of 1310-1480 on SAT and 28-34 on ACT scores. 
In the year 2020/21, the Rhode Island School of Design Acceptance rate for First years has reached 20%, while for graduates and transfer students, it reached 33% and 22%, respectively. 


Students who aspire to enroll in RISD should ensure that they have the required academic as well as artistic qualifications. For students who scored below these criteria, there is no need to despair; there are cases when a quarter of applications accepted are above and below the preferred average. 

rhode island school of design


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