Liberal Arts

Liberal Arts

Dean: Daniel Cavicchi

At RISD the exploration of both studio arts and liberal arts makes for a powerful experience. In fact, RISD stands out among art schools for its emphasis on liberal arts study, led by doctorate-level faculty in archeology, anthropology, biology, cognitive science, creative writing, literature, history, art history, performance studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology and more.

The mission of the Liberal Arts division is threefold: to provide a strong general education, to offer possibilities for focused study, and to foster opportunities for deepening and enriching art and design practice. In Liberal Arts classes students learn to articulate ideas with independence and confidence; think creatively, critically and analytically; and develop a lifelong curiosity about the world.

“In ancient Greece and Rome, the liberal arts comprised skills and attainments that were neither mechanical nor mundane but rather enabled free men to participate fully in public life. The role of Liberal Arts at RISD is similarly based on the principle that serious engagement with the world of scholarship provides the foundation for truly critical, ethical and transformative work.” - Daniel Cavicchi, Dean


Browse the Liberal Arts Collections:

Contemporary Aesthetics

Questioning Aesthetics

RISD Cabaret 1987-2000