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.

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


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

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 risdstore, 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.

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.

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.

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. If you need accommodations to participate in any class, program or event, please contact Disability Support Services upon registration to learn what accommodations can and cannot be provided during the program. Any accommodations requested less than two weeks before the start of the program cannot be guaranteed. 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 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

RISD’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) works with the Providence Police and Brown University Police departments to maintain a safe campus environment and support the educational mission of the college. Patrolling campus on foot, bike and in distinctively marked cruisers, members of RISD’s Public Safety team–also trained as EMTs–work 24/7 to maintain a safe environment for RISD students.

From RISD phones, dial ext. 6666 or from the outdoor blue emergency phones, simply pick up the receiver to be connected to Public Safety.