Nonmajor Studio Electives

Nonmajor Studio Electives
What are nonmajor studio electives(NMSE)?
RISD degree requirements are made up of four categories of coursework: Foundation Studios, Liberal Arts, coursework within the major, and courses taken in subject areas outside of one’s major. Studio courses taken outside one’s major are nonmajor studio electives (NMSE for short). For example, if a student is majoring in Illustration, any course taken outside of the Illustration department, except for courses in Liberal Arts (i.e. HAVC, LAS, HPSS, LAEL) will count toward fulfilling the nonmajor studio elective requirement

Which courses count as NMSE?
Any course offered by a department other than one’s major department may count as a NMSE, provided it is not offered under the subject codes of HAVC, LAS, HPSS or LAEL. For example, a student majoring in Industrial Design may use any course offered by another department to fulfill the NMSE requirement. In addition, any course offered in a subject or discipline different than one’s major discipline may count as a NMSE. For example, IDISC and NMSE courses are not based in a department and may be taken by all students in fulfillment of the NMSE requirement. Another situation involves cross-listed courses in which the course is offered under two different subject codes and the student may register for the class under the code area in which they wish to receive credit. For example, a Graphic Design major who wishes to register for a course for nonmajor studio credit that is cross-listed between GRAPH and ILLUS would sign up for the class using the ILLUS code.

Why are NMSEs required?
The RISD faculty have decided that the requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree should include not only depth of study in one discipline (the major) but breadth of study outside one’s major. The NMSE requirement offers the opportunity to take as many as 4 classes in studio areas outside the major.

How many credits of nonmajor studio electives are required for the BFA degree?

When are nonmajor studio electives taken?
Wintersession is the term when students have the most opportunity to take courses outside of their department. Most studio courses in Wintersession are open to all students, unlike Fall and Spring when most studio courses are restricted to majors. However, there are open nonmajor studios available in Fall and Spring, and many studios in Fall and Spring are available by permission of the instructor once classes begin, provided there is space and the student meets the requirements for entry to the class.

Why are so many studios in Fall and Spring not available via web registration?
Most studio courses are reserved for majors and students are registered by the department. The department controls supplementary access to these classes by requiring nonmajors to seek permission to register. During the Add period, which begins with the first day of classes, hat control often shifts to the individual instructor who permits registration by signing the paper Add form which the student then brings to the Registrar’s Office.

Must all NMSEs be studio courses?
With departmental permission, up to 6 credits that are used to fulfill the NMSE degree requirement may be in nonmajor electives that are not studio courses. Examples of such courses include studio department offerings that are a mix of studio and seminar/lecture or courses at Brown University that meet the educational goals of a student and do not qualify as liberal arts

Are there exceptions to fulfilling NMSE requirements through coursework outside the major?
Students wishing to fulfill the NMSE requirement in some other way should seek advice and counsel from their advisor or department head. On occasion, a department has been known to allow an internship course to fulfill a NMSE requirement.

Can Independent Study (ISP)or Collaborative Study (CSP) count for NMSE credit?
Absolutely. At the time of registration, the student indicates on the ISP or CSP application the type of credit. Based on this designation, when the application arrives in the Registrar’s Office, the student is registered using the number which indicates credit for a NMSE. For example, a student majoring in Painting who signs up for a NMSE is registered in PAINT 8820. A student majoring in Sculpture is registered into SCULP 8820, and so on. The 8820 number is used to indicate a NMSE ISP.

What happens if I change my major?
A course taken as a NMSE in one major will stay a NMSE unless the course was in the subject area of the new major, in which case the course will not fulfill the NMSE requirement unless the department head agrees to allow it to do so.

Ver 1.1 4.25.2013