Visual Art

For Prospective Students and Visitors

Visit the Department

Prospective students are welcome to visit our facilities in the List Art Building for a self-guided or student-led tour. Student-led tours can be arranged during the academic year. Student-led tours depend on the availability of our student guides and should be arranged for in advance. The List Art Building is open from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Book a tour of our facilities

Additional campus tours and information sessions are available to prospective students through Undergraduate Admission.

Building Locations:

List Art Building
64 College Street
Providence, RI 02912

Walter Feldman Book Arts Studio
Basement of the John Hay Library
20 Prospect Street
Providence, RI 02912

Apply to the Undergraduate Program

Students applying to Brown should not submit the Common Application Arts Supplement. Information about submitting a portfolio as a supplement to your application to Brown can be found on the Undergraduate Admission website. Portfolios will be reviewed as part of the admissions process. Our faculty are not able to meet individually with prospective students for portfolio reviews.

Portfolios should include recent work and each piece should be clearly labeled with your name and the title, medium, dimensions, and date of the work. Include work that indicates your skill level in a variety of media. Remember that this is not a requirement for your admissions application; it is a supplement.

A strong foundation in high school art will help you with any class you take at Brown. AP credits may not take the place of the VISA0100 course requirement. This foundation level course is required for students wishing to take a class at RISD as well as for many other VISA courses.

Additionally, the Visual Art Department does not grant credit for advanced placement Art History taken in high school. However, it is possible to take another History of Art and Architecture course in lieu of this requirement with your VA Concentration Advisor's approval.

The Brown/RISD Dual Degree Program draws on the complementary strengths of two world-class institutions and offers students the opportunity to develop and integrate diverse spheres of academic and artistic interests by pursuing degrees at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design over five years.

To learn more about this program, contact or one of Brown’s program coordinators.

RISD’s Program Coordinator is Brown RISD Dual Degree Advisor Assistant Cassie Bower (, 401-863-9800).

Students at Brown may obtain cross-registration forms either in person or online at the Brown Registrar’s Office. Permission of the RISD instructor and VISA0100 is required for cross-registration.

More information about RISD cross-registration

When students intend to enroll in four or more courses at RISD or if they wish to enroll in a RISD course that satisfies RISD’s Liberal Arts requirements, they must file a petition. RISD's academic calendar is different from Brown's, so scheduling this with Brown can be a little tricky. It is possible, but taking the course should be carefully planned with your Brown course load, dorm schedule, etc.

Winter Session can provide a nice opportunity for Brown students to have an intensive studio experience.

Taking VISA0100, Studio Foundations early (semesters level 01, 02, and 03) is beneficial. It is one of the most popular courses at Brown, a prerequisite for the majority of non-foundation level VISA courses, and a requirement for students interested in taking courses at RISD. You can register for the VISA0100 lottery as soon as you have email address.

During pre-registration, the Department of Visual Art will run a lottery to set enrollment for the course. All students who enter the lottery will receive an email from the Department informing them whether they have been successfully placed and to then request an override code. Placed students will then be instructed to request an override code to confirm their placement. Override codes will not be issued until the first day of classes in the Spring. All students who are placed into a section must attend the first day of class to secure their spot. Instructors will approve override codes after the first day of class. All students who are placed into a section must attend the first day of class to secure their spot. Instructors will approve override codes after the first day of class.

If you enter your name into the lottery for VISA0100 and do not get placed, we strongly encourage you to attend the first day of any section that works with your schedule. The two week shopping period at Brown, combined with the online registration system, means that class rosters are very fluid at the beginning of the semester. Seats often open up on the first or second day of class. Students who do not attend the first day are often dropped from the roster. Instructors will have a sign-in sheet and a waiting list for each class. Priority is given to students who intend to concentrate in Visual Art.

Each section of VISA0100 is slightly different. Basic ideas are common across sections, but projects and expectations are unique to the instructor.

Fall 2024 Lottery Form