RISD Acceptance Rate | Requirements, SAT/ACT Scores, GPA, & Admissions

If you want to go to RISD, you should consider the school’s transfer acceptance rate. 

In light of this, the acceptance rate for the private art and design school RISD is 26%. 

In addition to being strong students, applicants must show that they are good community members if they want to attend this school. 

This explains why the institution only accepts a small number of RISD transfer students. 

RISD takes pride in its extensive admissions process, like many Ivy League schools. 

Consequently, test results, grades, and transcripts are considered in addition to qualitative factors like teacher recommendations, extracurricular achievements, and community involvement. 

Notably, the admissions team at RISD is acutely aware that they get many more applications from qualified individuals than they can accept. 

They have an extremely difficult job as a result.

In addition, they look for students that perform exceptionally on tests, perform well in the most challenging classes they can find at their high school, and lead and flourish in extracurricular activities. 

Finally, do not let the RISD acceptance rate discourage you from demonstrating your abilities and academic strength in your application.

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What to know about RISD

The acceptance rate for the private art and design school Rhode Island School of Design is 26%. 

One of the best art institutions in the country is the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which is situated on College Hill in Providence. 

Students can apply to both schools to acquire a dual degree from Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design because they are neighboring institutions. 

In addition to offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 16 different fields of study, RISD has a studio-based program. 

The most common major among students is in the fine arts.

The Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, located on campus, is home to an extraordinary collection of more than 100,000 pieces of art. 

The Fleet Library, established in 1878 and having a circulating collection of more than 155,000 books, is also noteworthy.

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What is the RISD Acceptance Rate in 2023? 

Rhode Island School of Design (RISD)has a 26% acceptance rate for the 2018–19 admissions cycle. 

This indicates that 26 out of every 100 applicants were accepted, making the admissions procedure at RISD extremely tough. This also indicates how picky the school is. 

If your GPA, SAT/ACT scores, and other application requirements align with those of the Rhode Island School of Design, you stand a good chance of being admitted. 

Even if you meet all other admissions requirements, your chances of acceptance will be extremely slim if your GPA or SAT/ACT scores are below average.

What is RISD’s Transfer Acceptance Rate in 2023? 

The acceptance rate for transfer students at Rhode Island School of Design(RISD) is competitive at 24.73%. 

You need a current GPA of at least 3.6 and ideally around 3.74 to transfer to the Rhode Island School of Design. 

Additionally, you will be required to provide your test results.

The creative community at RISD welcomes transfer students from various backgrounds and experiences. 

Applicants should note that the Admissions staff is here to support them in taking the next step if they’re ready for a change and want to enhance their studio experience, develop new perspectives, and broaden their cultural awareness.

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Is RISD hard to get into? 

At RISD, acceptance rates are 27%. 

It has the second-lowest acceptance rate in Rhode Island and is ranked #77 nationally. 

Applicants that meet the prerequisites are less likely to be accepted to RISD because it is an extremely competitive school. 

Out of the 4,001 applications, 1,085 were accepted the previous year. 

Generally, students who score in the top 16 percent on the SAT and ACT (SAT 1250/1470; ACT 27/32) get admitted to the school due to its extraordinarily rigorous entrance standards. 

38% of those admitted chose to enroll in Rhode Island School of Design, which normally admits and draws “B+” average high school students with an average GPA of roughly 3.6. 

Applications must be submitted by February 1 with a $60 application fee to RISD.

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Does RISD Require Test Scores?

The Rhode Island School of Design does not require the submission of SAT or ACT scores for admission. 

Test results are optional; however, if you submit them with your application, they will be considered. 

To be considered for admission to the 2021–2022 school year, 73% of applicants submitted SAT results, and 27% submitted ACT scores.

RISD SAT Requirements

The Rhode Island School of Design often prefers applicants who score in the top 18% of SAT takers. 

The institution typically accepts SAT composite scores as low as 1250 on a 1600-point scale; anything less should be considered a stretch for admission. 

We predict that some students with SAT scores as low as 1140 may be accepted. 

The average freshman admissions SAT composite score is 1360 out of 1600. 

Regarding the greatest average SAT composite score, RISD is ranked #78 nationally and #2 in Rhode Island. 

Considering that 73% of applicants submit their SAT scores to the institution, having a competitive score is essential.

RISD ACT Requirements

RISD often accepts students with ACT scores of 27 and above, according to admissions data. 

Successful candidates often submit ACT scores within the top 15% of the nation. 

In some cases, we estimate that the lowest ACT composite score accepted by the school is around 24. 

With an ACT composite of 30 or higher, prospective students should be in the top half of applicants; those with a 32 or higher have excellent odds. 

Regarding the highest average ACT composite score, the school is ranked #125 in the United States and #3 in Rhode Island. 

Rhode Island School of Design receives ACT scores from 27% of applicants.

What are the Admission Requirements for RISD in 2023?

With a low acceptance percentage, Rhode Island School of Design has a very competitive admissions pool. 

Good grades and exam results alone won’t get applicants into RISD. 

Each applicant must prepare a creative assignment, write a personal essay, and submit a portfolio of 12 to 20 photos of their work. 

A maximum of three letters of recommendation from professors or other experts who are familiar with you should be submitted, according to RISD. 

Even if a student’s test results fall outside the normal range for RISD, they may still be given significant consideration if they have particularly noteworthy stories, accomplishments, or artistic talent.

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Transfer Requirements for RISD

  • Application 

Use the RISD Applicant Portal to submit your RISD application form and all necessary documentation. 

In addition to the $60 application cost, there is a $10 non-refundable fee for using SlideRoom to upload the required online portfolio. 

  • A transcript of grades 

Valid transcripts must accompany applications for the last three complete academic years. 

Included here should be a copy of your high school transcript and all your college transcripts. 

Your academic qualifications must be translated into English by a certified translator if you attend a school where English is not the primary language of instruction. 

School administrators can send transcripts via Parchment, eTranscript, email, or regular mail.

  • Optional tests, SAT and ACT 

All applicants—domestic and foreign—can have their applications examined without providing SAT or ACT scores.

By choosing this option in the RISD Application, students can choose to participate in this procedure. 

Students who opt to submit their test results will have their scores superscore, which takes into account the best outcomes from all of the exam dates. 

  • Purpose statement 

Give us a statement outlining your transfer motivations and the goals you aim to accomplish by joining us at RISD. 

  • Attestation letters 

Your application may benefit greatly from letters of recommendation. 

There must be one letter, though up to three may be submitted.

Letters of recommendation must be composed by instructors or other experts who know your artistic or academic achievements and are qualified to comment on your potential as a learner.

What GPA Do You Need To Get Into RISD? 

To get admitted to RISD, applicants must have earned very high GPAs in high school. 

The average high school GPA of the Rhode Island School of Design’s admitted freshmen class was 3.6 on a 4.0-point scale, showing that most B+ students are accepted and ultimately enroll. 

The school has the second-highest average GPA in Rhode Island. 

Admission to RISD will be difficult, even with a respectable GPA, as the institution rejects more candidates than it accepts.

Rhode Island School of Design needs its applicants to have a GPA of 3.6 and rank higher than most of their other high school classmates. 

A combination of A and B grades is required, preferably with more A grades than B.

Harder coursework, such as AP or IB courses, might make up for a low GPA. 

This will demonstrate that you are academically more capable than the ordinary high school student. 

Changing your GPA in time for college applications is challenging if you’re currently a junior or senior. 

Also, you will require a higher SAT or ACT score to make up for a GPA at or below the 3.6 school average. 

Moreover, thanks to this, you will be better able to compete with applicants with higher GPAs than yours.

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How to Apply to RISD

  • Use the Common Application to submit your application and writing sample. 
  • Request that your school mail or provide electronic (via the Common Application, Parchment, or email) official transcripts to the admissions office. 
  • Utilize SlideRoom to upload your portfolio. (Applicants cannot use their RISD SlideRoom account until they start the Common Application.) 
  • Through the Common Application, ask for letters of recommendation. 
  • The school prefers that applicants submit their credentials online through the aforementioned means. 
  • You can also transmit paper copies of your official test results, recommendations, and transcripts to the Rhode Island School of Design’s admissions office.

Alternatives to RISD

  • Pratt Institute Main
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Yale University 
  • Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
  • Syracuse University 
  • Harvard University 
  • Carnegie Mellon University 
  • Cornell University 
  • Savannah College of Art and Design
  • University of Delaware
  • New York University 
  • Boston University 
  • The New School
  • Tufts University 
  • Rochester Institute of Technology 
  • Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  • Drexel University 
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
  • Northeastern University 

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Frequently Asked Questions 

Can transfer students enroll at RISD? 

The RISD creative community is happy to accept transfer students from various backgrounds and experiences. 
The Admissions staff is here to support you in making the next move if you’re ready for a change and want to enrich your studio experience, cultivate new approaches, and broaden your cultural awareness.

RISD: Ivy League or not? 

Therefore, RISD is an elite design and art school and a hybrid Ivy League institution. 
Students from Brown also have access to RISD, although it should be noted that they do not receive RISD degrees and must meet the same baseline requirements for prerequisite courses and ability levels.

Is RISD a reputable institution? 

At the graduate level, RISD ranked first in the categories of graphic design, glass, and interior design; second in the category of industrial design; third in the category of metals/jewelry; and fourth in the category of ceramics, multimedia, painting, photography, and sculpture.

Is the RISD pre-college worthwhile? 

Yes! You will significantly enhance your talents and finish work for your portfolio if you put in the effort and successfully complete the program. 
You will also have the chance to have your portfolio evaluated by an admissions officer or another reviewer affiliated with RISD while enrolled in the program on Pre-College Portfolio Day.

For RISD, do you require a portfolio? 

By completing the Common Application, you’ll start and oversee your RISD application procedure. 
For this service, there is a $60 nonrefundable application charge and a $10 nonrefundable SlideRoom submission fee for the mandatory online portfolio.


In conclusion, a really strong academic performance is essential to raising your admissions prospects. 

You will have a good chance of admission to RISD if you can achieve an SAT or ACT score of 1440 or higher. 

Completing the rest of your application will also help, especially for a school as prestigious as the Rhode Island School of Design. 

Unfortunately, your chances of admission are slim if you apply with a SAT or ACT score below 1440 or 32. 

You have to compete against many other candidates with good applications and high SAT/ACT scores.


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