Skip to main content

Rhode Island School of Design

Rhode Island School of Design campus exterior. Photo: Jo Sittenfeld

Rhode Island School of Design campus exterior. Photo: Jo Sittenfeld

Location: Providence, Rhode Island, USA


Undergraduate: Apparel Design; Jewelry & Metalsmithing; Textiles

Graduate: Jewelry & Metalsmithing; Textiles

Annual Tuition: $49,900

Famous Alumni: Nicole Miller, Katie Gallagher, Marcia Patmos, Robert Geller and Sally LaPointe

Enrollment: 79

Growth in Enrollment Since 2017: 13%

Graduation Rate: 89%

Class Size: 20 students

Student/Teacher Ratio: 10:1

Classes are Taught in: English

Percentage of International Students: 33%

What the Students Say:

"RISD is not just a fashion-specializing school so there is opportunity to learn in other disciplines as well, which is nice."

"RISD is known to have a challenging curriculum, and our apparel department is no different. I chose RISD for its facilities and small class sizes. RISD encourages everyone to be their authentic selves so I usually feel supported. My only exception to a perfect experience is the unpredictability of the faculty: There are some who are amazing, encouraging and have valid comments/critiques and others who seem lost with giving direction and lack soul and passion. Overall, I'm glad I chose RISD apparel and I think anyone who wants an intimate experience learning fashion design should come here...but be prepared to face certain challenges the school presents."

"Yes, the workload may be hard, but it made me such a great time manager and a real hard worker."

The Bottom Line: This is one of the most respected design schools in the world, with a tiny undergraduate apparel design program of only 79 students. That means a lot of personalized attention from staff and visiting critics and recruiters. The relative proximity to New York, where students are encouraged to go for internships and design competitions, is also a draw. RISD even began holding a runway show on the official New York Fashion Week schedule a couple of years ago. In our survey, students and alumni tended to be less satisfied with the school's career services than they were at some other colleges, and many found the workload overwhelming.

More Info:

The 25 Best Fashion Schools in the World in 2018: See the full list.

Last updated December 2018.