Division of Liberal Arts

A general education in the liberal arts is an important complement to art and design studies. The Division of Liberal Arts offers a wide range of courses in its three departments: Theory +History of Art + Design (THAD), Literary Arts and Studies (LAS), and History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences (HPSS). A full one third of the credits required for graduation at RISD must be taken in the Liberal Arts. The goals of RISD’s liberal arts programs are to develop and strengthen reading, writing, speaking and critical skills; to provide a broad background in art historical, historical, literary, cultural and social studies to augment and deepen a student’s professional studies; and to establish skills and habits of life-long learning.

In addition to overseeing courses offered in its area(s) of study, the Division offers Concentrations in LAS, HPSS, THAD, and Nature, Culture and Sustainability Studies (NCSS) for students interested in focusing their liberal arts study as well as MA programs in NCSS and Global Arts and Cultures (GAC).


Damian White, Dean
College Building 418 (Benefit Street entrance)
401-454-6580 | dwhite@risd.edu

Gail Hughes, Divisional Coordinator, Operations and Administration
401-454-6572 | ghughes@risd.edu


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