In addition to declaring a studio major and completing the required 42 Liberal Arts credits needed to graduate, all RISD students have the option of choosing a concentration in one of three Liberal Arts departments: History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC); History, Philosophy and the Social Sciences (HPSS); or Literary Arts and Studies (LAS).
In History, Philosophy and the Social Sciences faculty teach and conduct research in a broad range of humanities and social sciences fields. All courses in the department emphasize critical thinking and the development of writing and research skills. Undergraduate students who wish to complement their studio major with an in-depth study in a field supported by the department's curriculum may elect to pursue a concentration in HPSS. The concentration can be completed as part of a typical 4- or 5-year degree program and is open to all RISD BFA candidates. Such study enables students to fully explore the department's course offerings while fulfilling Liberal Arts requirements in a way that is most meaningful to them. Working across the disciplines of HPSS requires intellectual curiosity, excellent communication skills and the ability to bring together disparate methods and approaches. Such qualities are essential to both the creative work of artists and designers and for growth and success in everyday life.
Concentrators are able to:
• approach issues critically, reflectively and with regard for cultural and historical context
• formulate informed, logically coherent arguments
• communicate orally in articulate, informed and persuasive ways
• write clear, accurate and grammatical prose
• explain the parameters and content of the core disciplines studied
• interpret current theories, methodologies and debates
• utilize standard research and bibliographic tools
• construct and defend arguments relating to the core disciplines
• identify and critique arguments within related scholarly literature
Each concentrator shapes an individual course of study around one of the department’s nine established tracks, which build on faculty teaching and research strengths and represent a key intersection of one or more of the core disciplines in HPSS.
"HPSS concentrations are organized around areas of topical
interest and – like the department itself – are deliberately multidisciplinary.
We encourage students to explore issues of particular concern to them through
classes in the humanities and a variety of social sciences. They build a
foundation in HPSS that supports informed and thoughtful social engagement
through art and design."
Apparel DesignArchitectureCeramicsDigital + MediaExperimental and Foundation StudiesFilm/Animation/VideoFurniture DesignGlassGraphic DesignHistory of Art + Visual CultureHistory, Philosophy + the Social SciencesIllustrationIndustrial DesignInterior ArchitectureJewelry + MetalsmithingLandscape ArchitectureLiterary Arts + StudiesPaintingPhotographyPrintmakingSculptureTeaching + Learning in Art + DesignTextiles