Student Life

Live at RISD

Many Summer Programs students opt to live on campus in the residence halls. Residential Life provides safe, social and inclusive opportunities throughout the program. Live-in professional staff and student resident advisors supervise the residence halls, as well as mentor and support you along the way.

RISD offers two housing styles and options for use during the summer:

  1. Shared Lofts, where two to three people share a common living/sleeping room with an adjacent bathroom, are the most economical choice. Shared lofts are single sex.
  2. Private Lofts cater to more independent living and offer a self-contained, private apartment with sleeping/living area, private bathroom and private kitchen.

Housing requests are granted based on availability. All buildings and floors are mixed gender. Special requests to accommodate medical or psychological needs require additional information. The medical accommodation form and all other information regarding housing and residence life will be sent via email by the Residence Life Office in May. In June, you will receive an email from the Residence Life Office with your housing assignment.

Gender Inclusive Housing Policy
We do not restrict roommate pairings based on sex, gender identity or gender expression. This means that any student can choose to live with one another, regardless of sex, gender identity or gender expression, in a shared room. However, the Residence Life Office will only honor a request mutually made by all parties. If you are interested in gender inclusive housing option we can provide you with a personal and confidential assessment of the available options. Please email Associate Director for Housing Operations Anu Meschisen at ameschis@risd.eduAdditional resources for LGBTQ students

Smoking in any building on the RISD campus is prohibited. Also, pets are not permitted in any RISD residential facility. All lofts are air-conditioned.

The lofts offer laundry facilities or you may contract for a professional linen and laundry service at additional cost; information on the latter is distributed via email by the Residence Life Office in May and at check-in.

What to bring
All accommodations provide:

  • Bed and mattress (extra-long 80-inch twin in shared and single rooms; full size in private apartments)
  • Desk and chair
  • Bureau
  • Closet and wardrobe

Residents must provide:

  • Linens
  • Blankets
  • Mattress covers
  • Towels
  • Pillows
  • Lamp
  • Fan
  • Other electronic or computer equipment

Residential Insurance
RISD does not assume responsibility, nor carry insurance for loss of, or damage to, personal/rented property of residents due to theft, fire, wind, flood or any other reason. Therefore, the college advises students to maintain their own insurance for coverage of personal/rented possessions.

Internet Service
There is wifi available in all Residence Halls. Additionally, each residence hall room receives one data connection for each resident. Residents must supply their own computer if they wish to use this option (though students may alternatively use the computers in CE computer labs). Information Technology Services (ITS) maintains, administers and services all data connections in residence halls. Problems with service should be reported to the ITS Help Desk at 401 454-6106.

Maintenance + Work Requests
All requests for routine maintenance to your room should be directed to the Facilities Department by submitting a work request at Emergency maintenance needs (broken windows, broken door locks, burst pipes, no heat, etc.) should be reported immediately to Public Safety.


Staying nearby? Many students choose to commute to the program. Commuters have access to all of the same academic resources as residential students, including access to work in classroom studio space (as available) and/or course-specific labs during non-class hours and program events. Dining plans are available.


Parking for all summer students–both residential and commuter–must be arranged through Residence Life, which leases space at the Charles Landing Apartments, a ten-minute walk from the center of campus. Summer rates are $10 per day, $40 per week or $200 for a six-week program. To reserve a space, or inquire about parking, contact RISD’s Residence Life Office at 401 454-6650 or

Visitor Information

Parents, relatives, and other adult visitors are welcome on campus. Guests may not attend classes and must abide by the same RISD rules as their hosts. Overnight guests are encouraged to book a hotel with one of RISD’s partner hotels through our campus travel portal.

Dining Services

Loft residents may choose from two dining options: a five-meal-a-week plan, or a full meal plan. However, because loft kitchens are not equipped with cooking/dining supplies, a five-meal plan per week is required (at a minimum).

Using the freshest ingredients, RISD’s dining and catering professionals serve nutritious and delicious meal options throughout your time at RISD. Our chefs and kitchen crews take great care and pride in preparing organic, locally sourced food. The Metcalf Dining Center (“The Met”) features a sandwich station, salad bar, vegetarian/vegan bar, daily soups, a miso station and traditional entrées. The Portfolio Café features a breakfast for residents, as well as entrées and lighter options for take-out or on-site dining.

The RISD Dining Services staff is sensitive to the dietary needs and preferences of a student body representing cultures and religious traditions from around the world. If you have further questions about meal plans, contact Dining Services at 401 454-6642.

risdbucks is an optional prepaid declining balance account developed to be a convenient way for you to buy products and services both on and off campus (wherever you see the risdbucks logo). risdbucks is also the only method of payment accepted for on-campus printing (including specialty printing) and laundry. Summer students who are not current RISD degree students may purchase risdbucks guest cards in increments of $10, $20 or $50 at the RISD Store, Portfolio Café and The Met.


RISD is home to countless exclusive resources that you will have access to as a Summer Programs student:

Studios + Facilities
RISD is recognized worldwide for its comprehensive studio facilities and extensive equipment. Facilities in over 40 buildings include highly specialized computer labs; jewelry, apparel, textile and printmaking studios; and woodworking shops devoted to industrial design, furniture design and sculpture.

Open Studios
Studio courses will end with the opportunity for you to show your work and see the work of other courses during “Open Studios”. Open Studios will be held on the last day of class from 4–6 pm in the primary classroom of each course. On the last day of the program, Friday, July 31, Open Studios will include hosted refreshments. Students should arrange travel and time on campus accordingly in order to participate in and invite guests to Open Studios.

Art + Design for Good Lecture Series
On several Wednesdays at noon, Summer Programs will host lectures featuring artists and designers whose practices seek to benefit our culture and world. Students and guest visitors from all areas of study are encouraged to attend these interdisciplinary lectures.

RISD Museum
The RISD Museum houses seven curatorial departments with approximately 100,000 objects dating from 3700 BCE to the present. Highlights include one of the country’s finest collections of costume and textiles, with more than 26,000 objects; the world’s largest collection of Gorham silver, housed in the first museum wing devoted to American decorative arts; a 12th-century seated Buddha, one of the largest Japanese statues in the US; and significant collections of ancient Egyptian objects, Impressionist paintings, contemporary British art and fine examples of 20th- and 21st-century design. Summer Programs students may visit the museum free of charge upon presenting their RISD ID.

Fleet Library
The RISD Library is one of the oldest independent art college libraries in the country. Its circulating collection of more than 150,000 volumes offers unusual depth and richness in the areas of art, architecture, design and photography. The collection provides strong historical and contemporary perspectives, and specialized materials in landscape architecture, ceramics, textiles and jewelry support upper-level research. RISD’s specialized library is also noted for its artists’ books collection, its rare books, some 400 periodical subscriptions and collections of outstanding visual resources.

Edna W. Lawrence Nature Lab
RISD’s Nature Lab is a unique resource for examining, exploring and understanding the patterns, structures and interactions of design in nature. Its collections—along with specialized microscopes and other equipment for studying them—include more than 80,000 specimens and other items of natural history. The Nature Lab also houses live animals and plants, a natural history reference library and clipping file, and archives of slides, tapes, videos and x-ray photographs. The Nature Lab is located on the first and ground floors of the Waterman Building.

RISD Store
The RISD Store carries a variety of art supplies, silkscreening, printmaking supplies, etching supplies, decorative papers, drawing papers, mounting boards and bookbinding supplies. The store also carries office supplies, digital supplies, film and video, photography, text and trade books and convenience Items, as well as a large selection of RISD-imprinted clothing and gifts.

RISD Store 3D
The RISD Store 3D stocks a variety of sculpture supplies as well as general hardware store items. The store sells sterling silver in various forms along with other jewelry supplies. Plywood, hardwood, plexiglass, glass, and metal rod can be cut to size for next-day pickup.

All students receive a 10% discount and pay no sales tax on course supplies in the RISD Store and RISD Store 3D.

Health + Wellness

We recognize the importance of recharging physically, emotionally and psychologically; that’s why throughout the summer you’ll have access to campus services to support your overall health and wellness whenever you need it.

Fitness Center
The newly remodeled Catanzaro Student Fitness Center is home to two cardio and weight rooms, two group fitness rooms, space to stretch, locker rooms and more.

Health Services
RISD Health Services is a medical clinic staffed by licensed healthcare providers, nursing and office administrators. Access to Health Services is available to residential Summer Programs students, is included with your tuition and is available regardless of your personal insurance. Insurance is required, however, for any medical services needed outside of Health Services.

Disability Support Services
The office of Disability Support Services (DSS) assists students who have cognitive (learning), psychological and physical disabilities. Requests for accommodations should be made shortly after enrolling in Summer Programs and at least two weeks prior to the start of the program. Arrangements for all accommodations requested less than two weeks before the start of the program/course(s) cannot be guaranteed, as most accommodations take time to arrange. Failure to make formal requests as early as possible may limit our ability to meet your needs. Please note that modifications cannot be made to the program structure, academic requirements or course curriculum.

Counseling + Psychological Services
Therapists in RISD’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) office are available to meet for individual counseling. CAPS may also provide emergency evaluations, urgent assessment, and triage for students experiencing a psychological emergency. If off-campus care is needed/desired, therapists can help you connect to local mental health resources. CAPS does not have on-site psychiatric medication services available during the summer; however, staff can share recommendations for local medication providers if needed. Students are responsible for any transportation costs to clinicians off-campus, as well as any psychological services received off-campus. For more information please contact RISD Counseling and Psychological Services at 401 454-6637.


Given its relatively small footprint, Providence is comfortable and easy to navigate, with seven colleges and universities making it very student-focused. A vibrant community of artists and designers—including many alumni who choose to stay in the area—adds to the flavor, as do the city’s eclectic neighborhoods, which offer a variety of lifestyles, restaurants and entertainment options.

RISD is located right in the center of the city. Known as the “Creative Capital,” the city has undergone a dramatic revival over the past 50 years, with a thriving arts scene, vibrant neighborhoods, world-class hotels, renowned restaurants and tons of things to see and do.

On weekends you’ll have the opportunity to explore all Rhode Island has to offer including museums, art galleries, and miles and miles of beautiful beaches.

Public Safety

The Department of Public Safety operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The Public Safety office, located on the ground floor of South Hall, 30 Waterman St., is open 24 hours a day. A Public Safety Monitor is also stationed 24 hours a day at the Public Safety Desk at the entrance to 15 West.

To review the annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report visit the Public Safety webpage.

Contact Public Safety for all safety and emergency medical concerns on campus (RISD Public Safety officers are Rhode Island EMTs). Uniformed Public Safety Officers patrol campus buildings and areas of the city around buildings in marked cruisers, on foot and on bicycles.

Public Safety can be reached at 401-454-6666. You’re encouraged to program this number into your phone.