Foundation Coursework & First-year Experience

Freshmen at RISD take the First-Year Program of Foundation Studies studios and Liberal Arts courses. The year long curriculum is outlined in the Course Announcement chapter entitled “Major Requirements–UG” on the page for “First-Year Program of Study”. The studio courses in this year long program are described in the chapter entitled “Foundation Studies”.  For information on the first year program in Liberal Arts, please go to: First-Year Program in Liberal Arts

Freshmen are not allowed to drop any courses on their own. Foundation courses are required of all first-year students. A student must see the Dean of Foundation Studies if they are considering a drop. The Dean will, after discussion with the student, disapprove or approve the request.
Transfer students fulfill the Foundation course work requirement by transfer of credit from another institution or by completion of the RISD Summer Foundation Studies along with transfer of credit. The Summer Foundation Studies consists of 9 credits and is usually taken in the Summer before admission. In a situation in which the student does not have sufficient Foundation credit even after transfer of credit and completion of the Summer Foundation Studies, the student must see the Dean of Foundation Studies. The total credit requirement for the degree (126/156) is never reduced. See the Admission Catalog for additional information.