StudentsReview :: The Rhode Island School of Design - Comments and Student Experiences
Search for Schools by Region

or within distance of city

Similar Schools
Pratt Institute -- Brooklyn, NY
Savannah College of Art and Design -- Savannah, GA
Columbia University in the City of New York -- New York, NY

  Who's got the Best?

Perceptual Rankings:
You Make 'Em.
We Post 'Em.
You Vote 'Em Up.
You Vote 'Em Down.
Aww yeah.

The Rhode Island School of Design

There are 8 Comments


Sort By: [Date] [Major] [Rating]

Select Comments:

Positive Negative Neutral Advice
Illustration major here, RISD's most popular and "famous"BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
Illustration major here, RISD's most popular and "famous" major. I am an introvert, kind of submissive, quiet, anxious, and very indecisive with huge decisions. I am unstructured, and go with the flow. However I am quick to cling to the rules, and a perfectionist.

I did not really know what specific career I wanted, like most new freshmen.
It's been a year since I graduated with a 4 yr BFA, and I can say it was pretty easy to go on the wrong path due to peer pressure.

Between all the nonstop fatigue and illust+foundation work, I had NO time to think about "who I truly am". But this is the most important part of art college.

It is more important than following rules, or even playing it safe for your future's sake.
But risd's notorious for being extra structured and extra stiff with the intellectual side of art. I knew I was already like that--but turns out, it was my flaw, not my strength.

I deeply love animation, but nervously went into illustration, because that major's claim to fame is that it's "flexible" and "broad". So I thought I could "make it my own" and do tons of animation stuff by myself by picking a variety of essential electives, while staying in illust.

Don't trust that opinion.
For animation specifically, that doesn't work very well, if you're unsure and indecisive like me. Interdisciplinary study was very hard between illust and animation, so you must pick a concrete path and pick it ASAP in your RISD career. Preferably before sophomore year.

Also, true for all majors: Everyone agrees they had to "Bullshit a project idea they didn't want or hated, as long as it could be quickly executed and satisfy the teacher" more often then they wished. This left no freedom to really explore who you are, without fear. Fear of judgement ruled students, especially in Illustration. This adds to the fact that my decision was swayed too easily.

Now, back to animation:
Animation is packed and barely any classes are available for people who "aren't sure what they want to focus on yet." It was a very exclusive major, and the spots for course registration run out very fast. If you go in the major, you'll get what you need, in terms of computer program training and basic principles.

But! The animation facilities are not that great. Other schools specialize much better in animation and are more well equipped.

RISD animation is very, very experimental. They don't force this, but again it is an unsaid "peer pressure". All students tend to make their work on the grandiose, abstract, and deep side. This does not exclude the animation dept. I felt RISD animation looked down upon commercial style (what you see in disney/pixar, cartoon network, and nickelodeon). I can say I personally would have hated it even if I chose animation, because I prefer to make art that is meant for entertainment--unpretentious, accessible, humorous, and fun, yet still meaningful as well.

I was not able to learn this about myself...until I left the fine-artsy, clique-ish, and highly critical atmosphere of RISD (this is not necessarily bad for everyone, but it does create an inescapable mindset and kind of heightens one's nervousness).

Bottom line:
Not the right college for someone who doesn't know EXACTLY what they want for their future right away. Even in freshman foundation, some teachers expected us to confidently state where we wanted to work.

Not good for people with anxiety. Not very forgiving towards nervous or worrisome types.
Remember, perfectionism is different from anxiety. If being perfect makes you feel happy or adventurous, it'll suit you. If it leaves you feeling more nervous than adventurous, seek more freedom in your education.

And if you're hoping and dreaming of a college to improve your self esteem and social skills, this is NOT the one.

Another thing worth noting:
It's hard to travel to buy basic amenities in providence. It rains all the time, windy, clammy, the town is often creepily empty looking, and grocery/dorm essential/appliance shopping is often more than 20-30 mins away on foot. Add in the steep hilly landscape and you'll wish there were just a simple hardware and grocery store were right near you.

This is seriously important, as art projects require you to buy weird supplies youd never imagine.

4th Year Female -- Class 2013
Innovation: A, Extracurricular Activities: F
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
If you are completely sure that art isQuite BrightFine Arts - Painting/Sculpture/Photography/etc
If you are completely sure that art is your path in life, RISD is the place to go. You will be pushed to your limit and grow substantially as an artist. RISD has a great reputation in the art world and many job connections for its graduates. Unfortunately, for those who are interested in art as well as academics, RISD lacks in the liberal arts division. Many art history classes are a waste of time and money. Personally, I feel like I have sacrificed a good academic education for a good art eduction. As an institution, RISD has its problems. Tuition is extremely high and financial aid is sparse. RISD is not very organized throughout the departments and always manages to bill the students for mysterious costs and charges.
1st Year Female -- Class 2014
Useful Schoolwork: A, Social Life: F
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful
Art & Design Department
Everybody is so effing wierd.
i thought it wouldn't matter since i sort of went to a highschool like risd.
however, i feel too "normal" to really fit in with people there are no blacks. the only minority represented is asian....
Male -- Class 2000
Rate this comment:
Useless (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Helpful

StudentsReview Advice!

• What is a good school?
• Statistical Significance
• How to choose a Major
• How to choose your Career
• What you make of it?
• How Ivy League Admissions works
• On the Student/Faculty Ratio

• FAFSA: Who is a Parent?
• FAFSA: Parent Contribution
• FAFSA: Dream out of reach

• College Financial Planning
• Survive College and Graduate
• Sniffing Out Commuter Schools
• Preparing for College: A HS Roadmap
• Talking to Your Parents about College.
• Is a top college worth it?
• Why is college hard?
• Why Kids Aren't Happy in Traditional Schools
• Essential College Tips
Ah, college. Considered by many to be the time of a young person's lif... more→
• Cost of College Increasing Faster Than Inflation
According to NPR, the cost of college... more→
• For parents filling out the FAFSA and PROFILE (from a veteran paper slinger)
Just so you know, filling out these forms is a lot more than penciling... more→
• How to choose the right college?
My name is Esteban Correa. I am currently a second year INTERNATIONAL ... more→
• Create The Right Career Habits Now
Getting ahead in your career can be easier if you make the choice to b... more→

• Senior Year (Tips and experience)
It's the end of junior year and everyone is anticipating the arrival o... more→
• Informational Overload! What Should I Look For in a College or University?
We are in an instant information age, where you can find almost anythi... more→
• Personality Type and College Choice
Personality type is something very important to consider when deciding... more→
• A Free Application is a Good Application
As a senior finishing her scholastic year, I feel that it is my duty ... more→

• College Academic Survival Guide
The leap from high school to college academics is not an insignificant... more→
• Getting Involved: The Key to College Happiness
As a tour guide, the absolute, most frequently asked question I got wa... more→
• Choose a Path, Not a Major
Unless you're one of the fortunate souls who's already found their cal... more→
• The Scoop on State Schools
A recent college graduate, I vividly remember touring campuses as a p... more→

• The Purpose of a Higher Education
You are one of the millions of people this year applying for admission... more→
• The Importance of Choosing the Right College Major (2012)
One of the most important academic choices you'll make while in colleg... more→
• How to choose a college major
I was not sure what college major to choose. When you are in your late... more→
• How to guarantee your acceptance to many colleges
Are your grades are not what you think they should be from high school... more→

• Nailing the College Application Process
College applications seem to always be put on top of students procrast... more→
• What to do for a Successful Interview
Interviews seem to become more commonplace in every facet of life as o... more→
• I Don't Know Where to Start (General College Advice)
Preparing for college is a difficult time for every student and it?s o... more→
• Attitude and Dress Code for an Interview (General College Advice)
An interview is something we all have to go through when we get a job... more→

• Starting College (General College Advice)
College is a huge milestone in your life. You?ve seen the castle like ... more→