Brown University Cross-Registration

Cross-registration Arrangement with Brown University

As a result of a long-standing cooperative agreement between the two institutions, all upperclass students of RISD (undergraduate sophomore and above, as well as graduate), may enroll in courses at Brown University as part of their RISD tuition. RISD first year students must have prior approval from the Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies, although this permission is not often given due to the workload and other factors affecting first years. Additionally, visiting students and exchange students enrolled at RISD for a full time credit load, may take advantage of this agreement.This opportunity is not open to non-matriculating part-time students enrolled through the ‘special student’ program.

Courses at Brown must be applicable toward RISD degree requirements or they will not be approved. Brown University is the only college or university with which RISD has a reciprocal cross-registration agreement for the fall and spring semesters.

Brown | RISD Dual Degree students do not follow the cross-registration process (registration details are provided during initial enrollment).

Enrollment at Brown is on a space-available basis and is subject to written permission of the Brown professor and the Brown Registrar. Brown University courses taken by RISD students will be recorded by RISD as three credit courses with the appropriate RISD subject followed by a course number of 8800 (e.g. LAEL-8800), and will be calculated with that credit value and all RISD credit load calculations.

Fall/Spring cross-registration courses at Brown are recorded on the RISD transcript as identified in the grading grid below, unless the course is dropped with the RISD Registrar and Brown Registrar prior to the RISD deadline for dropping courses. Course withdrawals must be done within the deadline set on the RISD academic calendar. RISD students must follow RISD academic deadlines.

Fall and Spring semester courses may be taken under this cross-registration arrangement. Summer and Wintersession are not a part of the cross-registration agreement between the schools; however, at present, Brown students may take courses at RISD over Wintersession.Brown has a Wintersession pilot program that is not currently available to RISD students.For Summer, if RISD students register for a summer course at Brown, they must pay Brown directly, and they must receive prior approval from the appropriate RISD department to transfer the course to RISD.Summer courses at Brown are recorded on the RISD transcript as transfer credit.

Classes at Brown for Fall 2017 begin on September 6; Spring 2018 classes begin on January 24. RISD students may register for Brown courses no earlier than the first day of Brown’s classes. Brown students who wish to take courses at RISD may not register prior to the first day of RISD classes.

For more information, refer to the Brown | RISD cross-registration forms and instructions on the RISD Registrar’s Office website, which also provides a link to an instructional cross-registration video. Brown students cross-registering at RISD are responsible to pay any associated RISD course fees at the time of registration.Only credit card payments are accepted.Brown students interested in registering for a RISD independent study must register with a RISD full time faculty member though the cross-registration paperwork.

Cross-registration Grading

System Options for RISD students taking courses at Brown:

Grade Earned at Brown Grade Recorded on RISD Academic Record
Grade Option 1: RISD Pass/Fail
A or B or C or S
P (Credit earned but not calculated in GPA)
No Credit
Incomplete I (must be completed following RISD deadlines)
Grade Option 2: RISD Letter Grades
A or B or C or No Credit
A, B, C or NC
Incomplete I (must be completed following RISD deadlines

In selecting a grading option, students are reminded that:

  • Credits graded “P” do not apply toward the minimum of 12 required for consideration for semester Honors.
  • The grade option selection will not be changed after the RISD Add/Drop deadline or the Brown deadline, whichever is earlier.
  • Brown courses that contain the designation “S/NC” at the end of the Brown course description are mandatory “S/NC” and may only be taken with that grade option.