Foundation Course Work, First-Year Program (Applies to Undergraduates Only)

Freshmen at RISD take the first-year program of Experimental and Foundation Studies studios and Liberal Arts courses. The year-long curriculum is outlined in the Experimental and Foundation Studies section of the course announcement. If you are a freshman, including freshmen in the Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program, review this section.

Freshmen are not allowed to drop any courses on their own. Courses in Foundation and in the three Liberal Arts departments (History of Art and Visual Culture; Literary Arts and Studies; and History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences) are required of all first-year students. A student must see the Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies if they are considering a drop. The Dean will, after discussion with the student, approve or deny the request.

Transfer students fulfill the 18 credits of Foundation course work requirement by transfer of credit from another institution or by completion of the RISD 'Summer Experimental and Foundation Studies' along with transfer of credit. The 'Summer Experimental and 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 program, the student must see the Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies. Transfer students fulfill required first year coursework in Liberal Arts by transfer of credit from another institution, or enrollment in required courses, as possible, and in consultation with the Division of Liberal Arts. H101 cannot be waived or substituted. The total credit requirement for the degree (126/156) is never reduced. See the Admission Catalog for additional information.


Registration for the Foundation Year

The offices of Experimental and Foundation Studies (EFS) and Liberal Arts pre-register first semester freshmen for all required Foundation and Liberal Arts courses. Wintersession is the first time that freshmen select their own course(s). In Spring, freshmen are assigned studios but they select their own Liberal Arts courses from a limited group of choices. Foundation students may not drop or withdraw from any First Year Program courses without the written approval of the Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies.