Slideshow Partial - Academics Slides

  • In the Studio

    Tim Blaine (BRDD 2016) at work in the RISD Illustration studio.

  • Installation Work

    Jorge Palacios (BRDD 2020) prepares an installation project for the public reception of the BRDD exhibition.

  • Collaboration

    Minsoo Thigpen and Ying Cai, frequent collaborators and members of the BRDD Class of 2018, discuss their work after their individual Capstone presentations.

  • Capstone Discussion

    Isabel Sicat, Fred Mezidor, and Elise Mortensen, members of the BRDD Class of 2016, participate in a panel discussion after their individual Capstone presentations.

Curricular Requirements

Students are expected to finish both degrees within the allotted five years, or ten (fall/spring) semesters, of the program. Students in the program must complete at least 156 credit hours. Of those, at least 60 credit hours (15 course credits) must be taken at Brown during a fall/spring term.  Courses taken at Brown during a summer session, credits earned through a study abroad program, and shared credits from RISD do not count towards this requirement. In addition, students must complete curricular requirements at Brown, curricular requirements at RISD, and a Capstone requirement specific to the program.

Curricular Requirements at Brown:

  • Complete 40 enrollment units (including RISD courses) in 10 fall and spring semesters.
  • Take 15 courses in residence (does not include Brown study abroad programs)
  • Complete one WRIT course
  • Take five Brown courses during the Second Year
  • Declare Concentration in Fall of Third Year
  • Complete all Concentration Requirements

Curricular Requirements at RISD:

  • Complete Experimental and Foundation Studies Studio Curriculum in the First Year
  • Declare major in spring of First Year and confirm the declaration in spring of Second Year
  • Complete all Major requirements
  • Participate in Wintersession in First and Second Year
  • Complete:
    • four Theory and History of Art and Design (THAD) courses including THAD-H101 Theory and History of Art and Design 1 in the fall of the First Year
    • ten additional Liberal Arts courses at either RISD or Brown.  Courses must fall into one of the Liberal Arts categories at RISD - namely, Literary Arts and Studies (LAS), History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences (HPSS), Theory and History of Art and Design (THAD), or Liberal Arts Elective (LAEL)
    • Many RISD majors require a “History of” course that is listed as a LAEL course. Students who are in these majors, must complete this required course.within their Liberal Arts Electives.  Sometimes this course is counted as a THAD. (See RISD Course Catalogue for the requirements of specific majors.)  
    • Note that BRDD students are NOT required to complete Non-Major Student Electives (NMSEs) though they must take coursework to fulfill these 12 credits.

Not all combinations of a Brown concentration and a RISD major may be possible to achieve within these parameters. Both Brown concentrations and RISD majors require varying numbers of credits. Brown Concentration Requirements can be found on Focal Point or within Courses@Brown. Information on RISD Major requirements can be found on the department pages on Due to the time and logistical constraints inherent in the program, students who undertake more than one major or concentration at either institution or who consider Brown concentrations with more than 12 required courses will need to exercise considerable care in creating their plans for program completion.


Upon acceptance to the program after completion of secondary school, students will undertake a first year of Experimental and Foundation Studies at RISD and no more than three courses at Brown, including a First Year Seminar during their first semester.

During the first year, students live on RISD’s campus and follow the schedule below:

Fall Wintersession Spring

Drawing Studio

Design Studio

Spatial Dynamics (3D) Studio

Theory and History of Art and Design-H101

First-Year Seminar at Brown

RISD Elective

Drawing Studio

Design Studio

Spatial Dynamics (3D) Studio

RISD Liberal Arts or Brown Course

RISD Liberal Arts or Brown Course

During the second year, students complete at least five courses at Brown and courses at RISD dependent on their declared major. In all following years, students will schedule for coursework at both institutions in accordance with the requirements for their concentration and major. Throughout the program, students will work with the Dual Degree Advisor to develop and adjust a five-year plan to complete all requirements on time. Advisors on both campuses will also work with Dual Degree students to assist them in charting their plans for their respective academic programs at RISD and Brown.

Both of my areas of study are pretty demanding (Industrial Design and Computer Science), so I do spend a lot of my time working. But this is also how I make friends - by coding or working on projects together. I don't think I am "missing out" because I do have time to go to events/talks/etc happening on campus and the friendships I obtained from working can extend to social life or collaborations on projects. What this comes down to is planning your schedule and prioritizing what is important to you.

Jiaju Ma BRDD 2021, Industrial Design and Computer Science