Graduation Requirements for Undergraduates

Students are governed by the college-wide requirements in place when they enter RISD and follow departmental graduation requirements and policies in place and published when they declare a major. Readmitted students who have been away from RISD for four years or more will be required to satisfy the graduation requirements that are in effect at the time of their readmission.

Academic Evaluations, also known as Program Evaluations, show progress toward the degree. This form is available electronically to each student as well as to their departmental advisor at all times on WebAdvisor.

Changes and Exceptions to Graduation Requirements

Changes, substitutions, or waivers to any of the degree requirements must be approved in writing, using the Degree Requirement Substitution/Waiver Form.

Special Notes about Graduation Requirements for Transfer Students

Transfer students fulfill the Foundation Studies eighteen (18) credit requirement by transfer of credit from another institution or by completion of the RISD Summer Experimental and Foundation Studies Program (9 credits) along with transfer of credit.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 Dean of Experimental and Foundation Studies may grant permission to substitute comparable courses earned through extra RISD course work in any studio area of the College.The total credit requirement for the degree (126/156) is never reduced.

Liberal Arts Degree Requirements: Transfer students who have adequate academic experience in art history may be waived from HAVC-H102 and substitute an elective HAVC course. “Adequate academic experience” is defined as one of the following: passing the AP Art History exam with a grade of 4 or 5; passing (with a C or better) any 3 credit course in Art History at an accredited college or university; or taking an art history course as part of the International Baccalaureate degree. There are no waivers for HAVC-H101.Likewise, HPSS-S101 and LAS-E101 are required for all students. Entering transfer students admitted with credits applicable may be permitted to substitute these credits for HPSS-S101 or LAS-E101.See the transfer credit policy for more information.

Mid-Year Completion of Degree Requirements

The vast majority of RISD students complete their degree requirements at the end of the Spring semester by design of program curriculum. However, for select students off-track, they may be ready to complete requirements at the end of the Fall semester or after Wintersession, which is referred to as mid-year graduation. For mid-year graduation, students should declare their intentions to their department as well as the Registrar's Office by December 1.

Students who are confirmed for mid-year graduation will be eligible for a letter attesting to their completion of requirements, but the actual degree and diploma will not be conferred or available until the day of commencement in early June (or late May, depending on the academic calendar).

International students (F-1 visa) should see the Office of International Student Services if they plan to graduate mid-year. The program end date that is listed on the student's Form I-20 immigration document will need to be adjusted. At that meeting, OISS reviews options for international students after graduation. International students may stay enrolled at RISD only as long as needed to complete graduation requirements.