RISD Admissions, Rhode Island School of Design

Applying to RISD: Advice from Antonio Peters in Admissions

RISD offered an admission session for parents of pre-college students this year. Antonio Peters led this informative session. I’ve condensed the one hour session into fourteen minutes in the video below.

RISD Admissions, Rhode Island School of Design

RISD Admissions Presentation for Pre-College Parents. How to apply and get into RISD by Antonio Peters, Assistant Director of Admissions.

Some pertinent information:

  • Show growth in your portfolio and be sure to label the circumstances in which the piece was created. Show timeframe of when piece was created … high school versus pre-college program. In class assignment versus private art teacher versus something I did at home for myself.
  • Show what you bring to the table. Much of the learning is collaborative through classmates. Demonstrate what you can contribute.
  • Show risk taking. Show failure. Combine mediums.
  • Grades and Scores. NO SET GPA. Strive for 3.0 weighted GPA and 660/800 for SAT verbal and math or 1320/1600.
  • RISD Assignment: Follow the directions. Think outside the box. Do not use Barbie if you choose plastic.
  • RISD strongly advises applicants to come to portfolio day. See RISD website for their schedule. However, if there is no Portfolio Day near you, use online option. Note that you can get portfolio advice more than once!!
  • Show process on 1-3 projects in your portfolio.
  • Do not include in your portfolio: No fan art, Naruto, Voltron, master copies, Steven Universe. No plastic Barbie.
  • Edit your portfolio to 12-20 images. Show your best work. Show process; can combine more than one image on page to show this.
  • Sending in completed application early does not affect acceptance. But also don’t wait until last second to upload images to Slideshow. Balance your time!!
  • Note the different dates for applications. Early Decision is binding even if financial aid is not what family is expecting.211 apply early decision. 100 are accepted. 30 are waitlisted and go to Regular Decision. The wait listed applicants are no longer bound by Early DecisionAround 3500 apply regular decision. 800 accepted. Total number accepted is 900. 170 are waitlisted. A fair amount come off wait list.Note: it is the same level of difficulty applying Early Decision vs Regular Decision. It is NOT “harder” to get accepted Early Decision.
  • Do not wait until last day to upload your portfolio to Slideroom. It WILL upload very slowly the closer to application deadline. Take the time to write captions to your pieces. Indicate origin of assignment such as RISD Pre-College Drawing Foundation class or in class assignment in high school art class or piece created at home independently.You can upload pieces of your application and portfolio long before you actually submit.Do not procrastinate uploading until the last second!!!
  • 1) You can mark up to three majors on your application OR put undecided
    2) You are not committed to this major if you go to RISD
    3) RISD expects students to change their mind about major after they complete foundation year
    4) RISD is only asking for your choices just to generally see interests.
    5) Choosing one particular major over another does not help or hurt admission chances.
    6) Do not make your portfolio over emphasize your major that your checked. Let it reflect foundation year instead.
  • 1) Portfolio should reflect foundation year classes
    2) Cross fertilization of liberal arts and art portfolio samples GOOD
    3) Show process of how your piece evolved. What inspired it. How you developed idea.

More resources:

RISD Admissions Website Applying to RISD; visiting RISD; admissions deadlines; contact info.
Online Portfolio Review Get personalized portfolio feedback online from member colleges of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art + Design.
National Portfolio Day Attend an in-person portfolio review at locations throughout the US and in Canada.
RISD Admissions Blog Helpful tips and advice; RISD news; Ask an Admissions Officer.
RISD Admissions Instagram Get an inside look at RISD campus life, current student work, and events.

Questions? Ask Antonio Peters, Assistant Director, Admissions.
401 454-6302 apeters@risd.edu

connect with RISD admissions

p.s. More about Art Colleges from our college tours:

RISD Pre-College Program

Visiting Pratt

Top Art and Design Colleges

Applying to Art School: School of Visual Arts

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Please check out my art board in which I save art ideas for my arty daughter. It has 64,000 followers!


By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom

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