Acceptance Rate

1180 - 1440

SAT Range

26 - 32

ACT Range

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Admissions

Being Globally acknowledged as one of the finest design schools, getting into the Rhode Island School of Design is very slim. Academically the eligibility requirements are kept intentionally high so as to grant admission to deserving candidates. In recent statistical studies, it has been found that out of 3,913 applicants, only 934 could make it to the RISD further admission process. For high school students, with a minimum grade of ‘B+’, and an average GPA of 3.5 and above is considered a deserving candidate. The average SAT/ACT test scores are also comparatively higher than other colleges in America.

In previous years:

  • Out of 2,942 female applicants,602 could make it to the further admission processes.

  • In the male category, 332 were selected out of 971 applicants.

  • Out of the total 934 students given admissions, some 473 are currently enrolled in some sort of graduate or undergraduate programs.

  • Thus, making the enrollment rate nearly 51%.

However, no matter how high the eligibility criteria is, getting into any Major program in Rhode Island School of Design is rewarding in all sense.

Admission Process

Ranked top at the ‘Best Design Schools in America’, Rhode Island School of Design located in Providence, Rhode Island is the epicenter for creativity. Keeping aside the fact that the cost of attending and the admission criteria both are pretty high, the graduates from RISD are known for their work and popularity in different walks of life. Being a design school, the admission process mainly focuses on the candidate’s creativity and logical ability. Let's look at some of the admission processes in the Rhode Island School of Design.

First-Year Admission Process

RISD gives special attention to the students undergoing the first-year admission program. According to the faculty, freshmen are usually full of energy and curious individuals who can inspire the world with their creativity when directed in the right direction. For applying for First-Year Admission Program, one must consider the following:

  • Admission in RISD is done through the Common Application portal where the candidate’s bio, financial status, and other specifics are verified by the college.

  • Submission of school transcript and ACT/SAT test scores are necessary. RISD’s institution code number for the SAT is 3726; for ACT the code number is 003812.

  • In the case of International students undergoing this process, English Proficiency test scores such as IELTS and TOEFL are mandated. A minimum of 93 scores and 6.5 bands are required in TOEFL and IELTS respectively.

  • The portfolio of your work of interest is important and must consist of 12-20 examples of your work. A portfolio is one of the rejection steps in the admission process.

  • Letter of Recommendation from any mentor or professor is taken as an advantage.

  • Completion of Assignment given by RISD within the given time period and finally

  • Submission of College Essay.

  • The entire verification and evaluation process can take up to weeks.

Transfer Admission Process

RISD encourages the swapping of subjects and their domain of study so as to explore all the possibilities. For Transfer students, all the aforesaid processes are exactly the same and they are expected to fulfill all those requirements with quite ease. Apart from these, a Transfer Admission undergoing student is bound to meet the following process criteria as well:

  • For the Fall term, the candidate is required to complete a year in any fashion institution with at least 27 credits.

  • For the Spring term, the candidate is required to expertise on his/her craft for at least 2 years.42 Liberal Arts credits are required with grades ranging from A to C

  • For transfer admissions, the portfolio must be exceptionally well.

  • One must have credits for Studio Courses and enrolled in the Summer Experimental and Foundation Studies (SEFS) program.

Graduate Admission Process

The Graduate Admission Process is exactly similar to that of a first-year admission process with minute changes.

  • In the academic transcript, details of the undergraduate course are necessary.

  • A CV should be attached with the application process.

For more information about Graduate Admissions, refer to the official website of RISD.

SAT Scores you need to get in

SAT Range The composite score range which the Institution consistently takes, below which admission should be considered a reach.

1180 - 1440

Applicants Submitting SAT Percentage of Students submitting SAT Scores.


SAT Reading 25th


SAT Math 25th


SAT Composite 25th


SAT Reading 75th


SAT Math 75th


SAT Composite 75th


Average SAT Score


RISD accepts both SAT and ACT test scores. The SAT test score should be around the 1180-1440 range. Almost 73% of students apply with SAT scores. Let’s find out what one needs to score in SAT sections: 

  • The 25th and 75th Reading score should be above 650

  • For Mathematics one needs to score above 580 and 750 in 25th and 75th categories respectively. 

  • The composite score for both the categories must be in the range, 1180-1440.

  • The average SAT score sum up to 1310.

ACT Scores you need to get in

ACT Range The composite score range which the Institution consistently takes, below which admission should be considered a reach.

26 - 32

Applicants Submitting ACT Percentage of Students submitting ACT Scores.


ACT Math 25th


ACT English 25th


ACT Composite 25th


ACT Math 75th


ACT English 75th


ACT Composite 75th


Average ACT Score


As for the ACT scores, an average score of 29 is needed to get accepted to Rhode Island School of Design. Notably, the composite ACT scores of most applicants who get accepted by Rhode Island School of Design are generally within the 26-32 range. However, a minimum ACT composite score of 26 is necessary to be considered for admission by the institution. Also, for admission consideration by the university, students must submit their ACT scores. The latest information shows that 19% of the applicants submit their ACT scores for admission to this institute.

Estimated GPA Requirements & Average GPA

Grade Points Average (GPA) The average high school GPA of the admitted students


Although the ACT and SAT eligibility criteria are moderate, the estimated GPA score is very high. The minimum GPA that is required to qualify the admission is 3.5 out of 4.00 GPA.

Admission Requirements

What Really Matters When Applying

High School GPA


High School Rank

Neither required nor recommended

High School Transcript


College Prep Courses






The University demands very high academic records. It has very high requirements for admission test scores, generally admitting students who score in the top 22 percent. The following are the general requirements for getting into RISD:

  • The application form must be filled at the official portal of CommonApp and the application fee for $60 must be paid beforehand. 

  • The SAT/ACT and average GPA must be as per the minimum aggregate requirement by the University.

  • Official High school transcripts must be submitted by the students.

  • In the case of international students, and Additional English Proficiency test like TOEFL/IELTS is compulsory.

  • Proof of participation in any pre-college courses should be mentioned while submitting documents for verification.

  • A Portfolio, letter of recommendation, College Essay, and College Assignment is needed to submit.

  • For postgraduate courses, one must submit proof of graduation.

  • AP and Dual credits are accepted as well.

  • Admission can be done both online and offline.


Admission Deadlines

Application Deadline Deadline for application submissions. Please contact the school for more details.

1st Feb

Application Fee Application fees may vary by program and may be waived for certain students. Please check with the school.


Early Decision Deadline


Early Action Deadline


Offer Action Deadline


Offers Early Decision


Application Website


Accepts Common App


Accepts Coalition App


RISD encourages applicants to take the prerequisite academic tests at least 2 months prior to the application deadline. The application deadline for early submission is 1st November and the latest by 1st February.

Acceptance Rate and Admission Statistics

Acceptance Rate20%34%24%
Percentage of admitted who Enrolled (Admission Yield)50%51%51%

RISD had a higher number of females apply to the University, although the percentage of applicants who enrolled is near-even between men and women. 

Women comprised more than 75% of the applicants at RISD. However, they only accounted for 64% of the applicants who were actually admitted to the University. Compared to men, more than three times the amount of women applied for admission. 

Even though 270 fewer men applied to the college, they had a higher chance of success, with an acceptance rate of 34%, compared to 20% for female applicants.

Ultimately, 304 women enrolled in the University. 

Although women outnumbered men as current students, men had a higher percentage of admitted applicants who actually enrolled (51%). This is known as admission yield, and it refers to the percentage of those admitted that actually end up attending. 

Women were close behind, with 50% of their accepted applicants enrolling in the University.

Other universities nearby did not have such a limited acceptance rate. 

Bryant University had a 76% acceptance rate, while the University of Rhode Island had a 69% acceptance rate. 

These two offer a stark contrast from RISD’s 24%, highlighting the competitiveness of applicants and limited student enrollment each year. Only 934 of the 3,913 who applied to RISD were accepted. Approximately half of those (51%) enrolled in the University.

Admission Statistics















Acceptance Rate














Percent of Admitted Who Enrolled (Admission Yield)







Credits Accepted

AP Credit


Dual Credit


Credit for Life Experiences


Many universities in the US incentivize students by assisting them to earn school credit by opting for certain courses available in high school. There are many such programs for the students, and some of the popular programs are AP Credit, CLEP (Credit for Life Experiences), and Dual Enrollment (also known as Dual Credit). Different colleges follow different policies regarding these credits. Such programs also have various benefits for the students; they include a higher GPA, increased chances of completing a degree, and a shorter time to obtain a degree. In order to avail CLEP and AP credits, students can visit the collegeboard.org website and request to submit the scores to the school of their choice.

Other Colleges In Rhode Island

Providence College
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Rhode Island College (RIC)
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Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University
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Other Colleges In Providence

Johnson & Wales University
Johnson & Wales University

Providence, Rhode Island

Other Private not-for-profit Colleges

Touro University Worldwide (TUW)
Touro University Worldwide (TUW)

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Keiser University
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