Readmission to RISD after a voluntary or involuntary leave requires completion of the Application for Readmission Form. See the details and requirements below regarding return from specific leaves of absence.

The deadline for filing for readmission is:

Fall semester entry: April 1 (undergraduates) and January 15 (graduates) Wintersession and Spring semester entry: October 1

Readmission Instructions:

Undergraduate Students

Graduate Students

Readmission decisions are made on an individual basis and are subject to availability of space in your designated program. Applications received after the deadline are not guaranteed review.  If a late application is reviewed, it is done after new transfers have been accepted, which may reduce or eliminate available seats in the program.

The Application for Readmission and any required accompanying documents should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline dates for application.  Medical documentation submission is detailed below under  Applying to Return After a Medical Leave.

Applying to Return After an Academic Dismissal:

Readmission applications by students who were academically dismissed should address the problems which led to the academic dismissal and put forth the case for the student’s success upon returning to RISD. The student should attach to their readmission form a letter stating the following:

– A statement describing how the time away has been spent, addressing the problems which led to the dismissal and explaining how those problems will not occur if readmission to RISD is granted.
– Other materials which were required at the time of dismissal that may be relevant to the dismissal.

These documents must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the deadline dates for application and should accompany the Application for Readmission Form.

Applying to Return After a Dismissal Related to Conduct:

Readmission applications by students who were dismissed for conduct reasons should complete the Application for Readmission and attach any relevant information that was requested at the time of the leave.

Applying to Return After a Medical Leave: 

Students who take voluntary medical leave must apply for readmission through the medical leave readmission process. This process is designed to confirm that the student is sufficiently recovered to return to campus and participate successfully in the rigorous academic program and unsupervised student environment of RISD, work autonomously and up to potential without undue strain and without disruption of others in the college community.  In addition to the guidelines below, readmission is dependent on space availability in the student’s academic department.

To apply for readmission from a medical leave, the following steps need to be completed by the deadlines indicated:

1. Student letterThis letter should include: The student’s wish to return from medical leave, how the student has addressed the symptoms leading to the medical leave,  how the student has spent his/her time while on leave, the student’s ability to return to the rigors of academic study and the social demands of RISD.

The student’s letter must be received by:

April 1 for a Fall return

October 1 for a Wintersession return

November 1 for a Spring return

And should be sent to: Associate Dean of Health and Wellness, Rhode Island School of Design, Office of the Dean of Students, Two College St, Providence, RI 02903

2. Clinician’s letterThis letter must be on the clinician’s letterhead and must include: 1. Medical or psychiatric diagnosis 2. Length of the student’s treatment and frequency of visits 3. Treatment goals and the student’s attainment of the treatment goals 4. Clinician’s opinion regarding the student’s readiness to return to the academic and social demands of RISD and the evidence s/he has to support that opinion 5. Whether or not medication has been part of the treatment plan and the purpose, dosage and anticipated duration of this medication 6. Treatment recommendations upon return to RISD and the plans/arrangements that have been made toward that end

The clinician’s letter(s) must be received by: July 1st for a Fall return. December 1st for a Wintersession or Spring return

If the medical leave was due to psychological health issues, the clinician’s letter should be sent to: Director of Student Development and Counseling, Rhode Island School of Design, Two College St., Providence, RI 02903

If the medical leave was due to physical health issues, the clinician’s letter should be sent to: Director of Health Services, Rhode Island School of Design, Two College St., Providence, RI 02903

3. Interview: Once the student has confirmed that his/her clinician(s) have sent the required documentation, the student must contact the following individuals to schedule a readmission interview:

If the medical leave was due to psychological issues, contact the Director of Student Development and Counseling (401.454.6639)

If the medical leave was due to physical health issues, contact the Director of Health Services (401.454.6625).

At RISD’s discretion, these procedures may be supplemented or modified, as appropriate to the situation.

Payment Upon Acceptance:   Upon notification of acceptance, the readmitted student will be billed for a matriculation fee of $150.00 (nonrefundable after July 15) or for full tuition, depending upon the date of acceptance. Bills are payable to the Student Accounts Office (x6445). The matriculation fee is credited to the student’s account upon enrollment.

Financial Aid: If you intend to apply for Financial Aid upon your return to RISD, submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 1 of the year you are planning to return. Financial aid funding cannot be guaranteed upon readmission. You should speak with the Financial Aid Office should you have any questions at 401-454-6661 or

Residential Housing: For students wishing to live on campus, a completed housing contract must be submitted to Residence Life. Undergraduates who are considered first-year or second-year students must live on campus. You need not wait to hear the status of your readmission application. Residence Life can be reached at 401-454-6650.

Health Forms: A complete and updated Health Form must be on file in Health Services before readmission will be approved. Health Services can be contacted at 401-454-6625.

Graduation Requirements:   RISD may not approve a return after a student’s leave of absence has expired. A student who is granted readmission after being away from RISD for four years or more will be required to satisfy the graduation requirements in effect at the time of their return.

Transfer of credits taken while on leave:   Students should seek permission up front if they intend to request transfer credit for courses completed while on leave. The maximum number of credits to transfer back to RISD upon readmittance is twelve. That is, after a leave from RISD a student will be granted no more than 12 credits in transfer for coursework taken while on leave. See Transfer Credit Limitations after Initial Enrollment  for more information.