RISD’s 17th President

As a designer, maker, professor and academic leader, Rosanne Somerson has been committed to furthering RISD’s mission since she was a student here in the 1970s.

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RISD’s strategic partnerships offer unparalleled benefits to everyone involved.

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Founded in 1877, Rhode Island School of Design (or “RIZ-dee” for the acronym RISD) is one of the oldest and best-known colleges of art and design in the U.S. Each year approximately 2,300 students from around the world pursue a creative, studio-based education at RISD, which offers rigorous bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in 19 architecture, design, fine arts and art education majors. The college is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which offers its own vibrant art scene and is conveniently located between two other major cultural centers: Boston and New York.

Facts + FAQs

RISD is among the oldest colleges of art and design in the country, and offers more majors than most, too. But since more than half of its undergrad degree programs are in the fine arts, why is it called a school of design?

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RISD has a long history of offering Saturday and after-school classes for children and teens, as this photo from c. 1910 confirms.