Frequently Asked Questions

When do the residence halls open in September?

Returning students may check in to their residence halls at 9 am on Monday, September 2, 2019.

Returning students who plan to take Brown University classes

Since Brown and RISD will be opening the same week and classes are starting the same week – there will be no Brown Early Arrival. Students looking to arrive early must participate in a student leadership position that permits them to move in early (RA, OLs, IOLs, RISD Muscles)

Incoming freshmen and any other NEW students, including international exchange students may check in to their residence halls at 8 am on Sunday, September 1, 2019.

New international students (full time degree students) may check in to their rooms at 8 am on Wednesday, August 28. These students should coordinate their arrival with the Office of Intercultural Student Engagement.

P.O.S.E (full time degree students) may check in to their rooms at 8 am on Wednesday, August 28. These students should coordinate their arrival with the Center for Student Involvement

Office Hours

The Residence Life Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30am until 4:30pm. Call us at (401) 454-6650, or email us at

When will I receive my user name and password?

Your email account will be created within 2 weeks after your enrollment deposit is received by the Admissions Office. Your user name and temporary password will be emailed to you at the email address submitted on the Admissions Application. Should you have difficulty logging into your email account, contact the help desk at

Where do first year students live? How about upper class students?

All freshmen (first year students) live together in one of six buildings: Homer, North, South or East Halls, or Carpenter and Pardon Miller Houses. After the first year, all housing is mixed with all class years.

Do I have to share a room?

We believe that the experience of sharing a room can be a valuable part of the learning that occurs in college. Also, many students appreciate it as an economical alternative. In first year housing there are some single rooms available, though they are very limited in number. Upperclass housing offers many different styles and options including shared rooms, private rooms, shared apartments (with and without private bedrooms) and completely private apartments.

May I sublet my room?

No, subletting RISD housing is not permitted.

Can freshmen or sophomores live off campus?

RISD expects all first and second year students to live on campus. Those students who are married, will turn 21 years of age before September 1st, or plan to live at home locally with their parent or legal guardian, may request a waiver of this requirement by contacting the Residence Life Office at We define “home” as the parent(s)’ place of legal domicile.

What should I bring when I come to school?

Going away to college is very exciting; it can also be overwhelming. Many questions arise during the summer months after school ends and RISD begins. Below you will find some information to help you decide what to bring with you. Remember, if you have a question; please do not hesitate to contact the Residence Life office at We’ll be more than happy to help you.

What we provide

All of the residence halls have:

  • Card access building and room entry locks
  • Fire detection and sprinkler systems
  • Wireless internet
  • Several electrical outlets
  • Card operated laundry facilities
  • Window shades or blinds

Each student space has:

  • Extra-long (80″) twin bed and mattress
  • Closet or Wardrobe
  • Bureau
  • Work desk and chair
  • Ceiling light
  • Wastebasket

What you should bring

  • Sheets — extra long (80″) twin size
  • Mattress pad
  • Blankets or Comforter
  • Towels
  • Pillow and pillowcases
  • Telephone (if you want a landline)
  • Desk/work lamp (no halogen bulbs)
  • Alarm clock
  • Art & general school supplies

Other things you may wish to consider

  • Area rug (room floors are tiled)
  • Laundry bag
  • Flip-flops/shower sandals
  • Shower caddy
  • Fan (most residence halls are NOT air-conditioned)
  • Posters and other items to decorate
  • Plants
  • Power strips
  • Other things to make you feel “at home”

What you should NOT bring

  • Waterbed
  • Loft unit
  • Large refrigerators (greater than 3 cubic feet) or more than one per room
  • Pets (except fish in tanks 10 gallons or less)
  • Candles or incense
  • Halogen or “lava” lamps
  • Cooking appliances such as a toaster, toaster oven, microwave oven, popcorn poppers, or anything with a heating coil. A coffee maker is OK. Microwaves in a Microfridge unit are permissible (available for rent at
  • Curtains or large tapestry/wall hanging
  • Paper lanterns
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Acetylene/Propane torches, oil lamps, or any open flame device
  • Space Heaters

May I bring in my own furniture?

You should bring additional items to make yourself comfortable such as lighting, fans, shelves, etc. While you are welcome to bring additional furniture, we do not remove or store any furniture from your room/unit. If you do bring furniture, it must be in good condition and it cannot be so large, or numerous, that it creates a fire hazard. All RISD furnishings must be in your unit when you check out at the end of the term/year.

May I loft my bed?

We do not typically allow lofting of beds. However, we do have a number of different styles of beds provided throughout RISD housing. Most are adjustable to various heights. Some may also be bunked.

For specific questions about your building, speak with your Area Coordinator.

May I bring an air conditioner?

No. Some buildings have A/C, some don’t. But individual air conditioning units are NOT ALLOWED. Please bring a fan instead.

Can I have a refrigerator, microwave oven or other electrical appliances in my room?

Students living in First Year Housing or Hill Houses may have one compact refrigerator of 3 cubic feet or less per room. You may bring your own, or rent one from our approved vendor.  The company monitors for duplicate orders from the same room. Additional refrigerators are not allowed in the apartments or suites.

In kitchen areas or in the Hill Houses or quad, microwaves as part of a combination microwave/refrigerator unit are allowed. These units are available through our approved vendor

Can I mail my boxes to RISD prior to arrival?

Please contact the RISD Mailroom ( with questions regarding shipping your belongings to campus prior to your arrival.

Can I paint or wallpaper my room?

Nope! One person’s warm, soothing red is another person’s blood curdling, depression inducing puce. It’s also a pain to scrape off the hello kitty border you put up so no wall paper either!!

How much “stuff” can I put on my walls?

For fire safety reasons, all students should keep at least 70% of their walls clear and free, that way, in the event of a fire, it will not travel from one side of the room to the other rapidly. And absolutely nothing can be applied or affixed to the ceiling or to any sprinkler pipes.

May I have candles, incense or any other open flame device?

Sorry, but no. This prohibition also includes hotplates and candle warmers. Try diffusers and air fresheners–they work wonders!

Do we have internet service and wireless internet in our rooms?

Yes, all of our facilities provide high-speed internet. The internet service at Charles Landing is provided through a local carrier. Though it is not part of the RISD network, it is high-speed service.

Do we get cable TV?

Cable service is provided to the living units of 15 West and Charles Landing. Colonial and Dwight residents may contract with the local provider for cable services, if desired. Hill Houses and the Quad have cable provided only in the TV Lounges.

How do I set up my wifi at Charles Landing?

To set up your wireless and cable follow instructions found here; How to Fix CLAN Wireless Router If you are missing a wire, please contact your RA or If you are unable to set your wifi up, please email or contact Residence Life before bringing the router into the office. We may be able to fix it remotely.

Do you offer a laundry service?

Yes, a laundry service is available through E & R Laundry. For more info please visit their website at

Is there a place for me to do messy work in my residence hall?

15 West (Apartment and Alcove Floors), Hill Houses, Colonial Apartments and the First Year Quad all have work rooms for those “messy” assignments. These are not studio spaces and work should not be left in the work room unattended.

What cleaning services should I expect?

Our Facilities staff maintains all of the common, public areas in our buildings such as corridors, stairwells and community lounges.

In the Quad and Hill Houses, RISD staff also maintains the shared bathroom and kitchens. Students living in 15 West, Benefit Street Apartments or Charles Landing clean their own apartment living areas. We do not supply toilet paper or any other cleaning supplies to students in apartments, lofts or alcove suites.

We expect ALL Students to bring their personal trash and recycling to the designated rooms in their respective building.

How do I get something in my room fixed?

Work requests may be submitted to the RISD Facilities Department at For emergencies, contact Public Safety at (401) 454-6666

Do I need rental insurance? 

We recommend all students to have insurance coverage for their personal belongings. Please understand that in the event of theft, floods, accidents, or other damaging circumstances, your personal property will not be covered!  Fortunately personal property or renters’ insurance is easy to obtain and affordable.  And unlike your family homeowner’s policy – which might cover you but require a large deductible to file a claim – policies aimed at students come with deductibles as low as $25.00.

RISD has partnered with College Student Insurance to provide students with excellent rates as low as $69 per year.  Signing up is easy with online quotes and instant coverage!

How do returning students choose rooms for the following year?

Each spring semester returning students have the opportunity to choose rooms to live in for the following school year. The Residence Life staff conducts a series of meetings and events that explain the entire process of room selection, offer an opportunity to see various rooms, and allow students to choose a room based upon several factors such as their class year, and their “room selection time slot.”

Room selection instructions are communicated to students and parents prior to the start of the room selection process each year. Announcements are sent via RISD email to all students.

When does room selection for returning students take place?

Room Selection process begins at the end of February. The days when room selection takes place are generally during the first two weeks of March.

How much is the housing deposit?

There are no Housing Deposits. However, once you have selected a time-slot you are required to select a room or Cancellation Fees apply. Please check the Housing and Dining Agreement for additional information.

Do residence halls close during school breaks?

Thanksgiving Break – All residence halls remain open for the Thanksgiving Break.

December Break – All housing closes for the break at the end of the fall semester.  All students in these residence halls must vacate the premises by Noon on Saturday, December 14, 2019. The residence halls re-open on TBD. Residents may be able to stay on campus for an additional fee if they have completed the Winter Break Stay Form by December 1st. Charles Landing Residents are able to stay for free if they complete the form by December 1st.

Winter Session break – All residence halls remain open between the end of Winter Session and the beginning of the spring term.

Spring Break – All residence halls remain open during spring break.

May I have guests?

Yes, as long as they are not under 16 years of age. All guests must be signed in at a public safety office, and can only stay for three nights in a seven day period. You must OK this with your roommate(s) prior to them arriving.

When are quiet hours?

Quiet hours are 11pm – 9am Sunday through Thursday, midnight – 10am on Friday and Saturday.

What are the policies on alcohol and smoking?

No alcohol or alcohol containers are allowed in any of the first-year areas regardless of a student’s age. Students who are of legal age may possess or consume alcohol in the upperclass buildings with certain restrictions. Please consult the Student Handbook for more information.

No one is permitted to smoke or burn tobacco in any RISD building

What’s an RA?

An RA, or Resident Advisor, is a student who lives in a residential facility and acts as a resource for the students on their floor, or in their area of the building. While they have some policy enforcement responsibility, they play a key role in creating an environment for students that is conducive to academic, personal and social growth.

How do I report problems with laundry equipment on campus?

Report laundry issues such as broken equipment and/or coin or card use problems to Card Services at:

Is parking on campus available to students?

Upperclass students, with a valid parking sticker, may park at the Charles Landing Apartment Complex located at Charles and North Main Streets. To request a sticker please complete the parking application on the housing portal.

Where can I learn about Transportation to Providence?

14 Comments on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does graduate housing in Charles Landing also provide the same furnishings as listed in above FAQ’s ? :

    Each student space has:
    Extra-long (80″) twin bed and mattress
    Closet or Wardrobe
    Work desk and chair
    Ceiling light


  2. How is the wireless internet paid and what are the costs for Charles Landing Hall? Is it included in the room & board bill?


  3. I’ll be living in a single at 15 West next year. Is there a way I can increase the size of my bed from a twin to a double?


  4. Can personal items be mailed or shipped to RISD residence halls close to when the residence halls open for new students? (maybe a day or two early depending on speed of UPS)


    • Hi Mark,

      Yes you can. Depending on your arrival date the mailing address will vary. Look out for our email around mif July with instructions!



  5. Hi enrolling this year. I’m a heavy smoker (cig). I noticed that I can’t smoke indoor, which is logical and very fine with me, but can I smoke anywhere outdoor near the residence hall? Or is there a specified region you can smoke with ashtray.


    • Hi Sean.
      Smoking is not permitted in any area in the quad, including outdoor areas in the quad. However students may smoke on the sidewalk and at least 50 feet away from all buildings.
      Hope this helps!


  6. Hi, I’m enrolling this year as a freshman. Due to some personal issue, I’ll have to move in around 28th of August. Is there any way to request for early move in?


    • Hi Fan-Chi! We’re excited to have you on campus for this upcoming fall! You will receive more information about the “opening application” in the next few weeks to your RISD email – at that point you will be able to request an early arrival.


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