Rhode Island School of Design (abbreviated RISD, pronounced /rɪzdiː/) is a fine arts and design college located in Providence, Rhode Island. It was founded in 1877. Located at the base of College Hill, the RISD campus is contiguous with the Brown University campus. The two institutions share social, academic, and community resources and offer joint courses. Applicants are required to complete RISD's infamous three-drawing "hometest", one of which involves the trademark RISD bicycle drawing. The school consistently ranks as the number one fine arts college in the United States.
It includes about 350 faculty and curators, and 400 staff members. About 1,880 undergraduates and 370 graduate students enroll from all over the United States and 50 other countries. It offers 16 undergraduate majors and 17 graduate majors. RISD is a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of thirty-six leading art schools in the United States. It also maintains over 80,000 works of art in the RISD Museum.
The Centennial Women were a group formed to raise funds for Rhode Island's exhibit at the Centennial Exposition in 1876. The group had $1,675 left over after the exposition, and, inspired by foreign exhibits on design and interior decorating, Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf persuaded the group to donate the money to found what would become the Rhode Island School of Design. The school was incorporated in 1877 and opened its doors the following fall. Metcalf directed the school until her death in 1895. Her daughter, Eliza Greene Metcalf Radeke, then took over until her death in 1931.