Index > Taking Liberal Arts Courses through Study Abroad

Taking Liberal Arts Courses through Study Abroad

RISD currently provides opportunities for students to study a semester abroad at 45 participating institutions in 26 countries. See RISD Global for more details. Liberal arts courses taken through these or other personally arranged programs may be used as transfer credits to satisfy RISD's Liberal Arts requirements if they satisfy the Liberal Arts transfer guidelines:

  1. The course must be on a liberal arts subject and taught from the point of view of one of the liberal arts disciplines. If you are uncertain whether a course you are interested in taking can receive RISD Liberal Arts credit, check with the Liberal Arts Dean.
  2. Credits in Liberal Arts are granted for courses in the humanities (history, art history and criticism, literary studies and writing, classics, philosophy, religious studies, theater studies, performance studies); the natural sciences; foreign languages; mathematics and computer science; and the social sciences (anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, sociology, etc.), as well as for interdisciplinary courses involving any of those disciplines (e.g., area studies, women's studies). Among courses not considered part of the Liberal Arts curriculum are courses in athletics, dance, instruction in musical instruments and/or musical performance, methods and practicum courses in education, business and secretarial training, computer applications, extracurricular activities and work or "life" experiences. Courses in education and business are acceptable if they are taught from a humanities or social science point of view. Non-visual art studio courses (e.g., music, dance) and academic courses not satisfying the above can now be counted as "non-major electives." See your Department Head for permission.

  3. The course must be worth at least three standard U.S. credits or meet at least 36 hours over the term. If you are uncertain about this, check with the Liberal Arts Dean.
  4. Transfer credits are accepted only from accredited colleges and universities.
  5. Credits from schools on the quarter system (rather than semester system) will be converted as follows:5 quarter credits = 3 semester credits. Credits will first be assigned towards the departmental distribution requirements. Any remaining credits will then be assigned to the Liberal Arts elective requirement.
  6. Credits are transferable only for courses in which a grade of "C" or better has been earned. "P" in a Pass/Fail system or other such notations are interpreted as "C" or better. Transfer credits are not calculated in the RISD GPA.
  7. RISD must receive official transcripts from each school attended. Credits are transferable only from the institutions where credits were earned. For example: A transcript from MIT can only be used for credits earned at that college and not credits earned at other institutions which appear on the MIT transcript as transfer credits