Division of Liberal Arts

RISD distinguishes itself among art schools by emphasizing the value of liberal arts studies as a complement to studio work and by the excellence of its liberal arts programs.

The mission of the Division of Liberal Arts at RISD is threefold: to provide students with a strong general education in the liberal arts, to offer the possibility of focused liberal arts study, and to make available opportunities for deepening and enriching students' art and design practices through the liberal arts. To accomplish that mission, Liberal Arts offers a broad spectrum of courses in the humanities and social sciences as well as select courses in mathematics and the natural sciences. This curriculum is designed to complement RISD's art and design education by enhancing creative, critical and analytical abilities; enabling effective communication; and instilling cultural literacy and a lifelong curiosity about the world.

The Division of Liberal Arts includes three departments: History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC); History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences (HPSS); and Literary Arts and Studies (LAS). In addition to its courses, each department also offers a "concentration" - a more focused program of study for students interested in concentrating their liberal arts studies within one of the departments. Independent Study Projects (ISPs) are also available with Liberal Arts faculty.

Division of Liberal Arts Office
236 Benefit Street
College Building 418
Phone: 401 454-6572
Fax: 401 454-6586

Gail Hughes, Division Administrator, ghughes@risd.edu, 401 454-6572
Carrie Miller, Department Administrative Coordinator, cmiller02@risd.edu, 401 454-6569
Trish Sweeney, Curriculum and Enrollment Coordinator, tsweeney@risd.edu, 401 454-6570

Daniel Cavicchi

Daniel Cavicchi

Interim Dean
visit profile »

In the Painting studios students and faculty pause to consider works in progress.