Housing Selection and Application Process

Find answers to your questions about applying for housing, selecting your room, general residence policies and more, as well as how to use our online housing portal.

The housing portal

Our convenient online portal is a one-stop destination for you to complete several RISD housing and residence life processes, including:

applying for on-campus housing
requesting medical housing accommodations
completing dining forms
registering to live off campus (if eligible)

Go to my housing portal

On-campus housing application

Incoming and returning students apply for housing and room selection each year via the housing portal. Returning students begin this two-part process in February; for incoming students, the housing selection window opens sometime in early May.

The first step is to sign the housing and dining license from within the housing portal ahead of the current-year deadline. After submitting your completed license, you will receive a time slot for room selection, which is the second step in the housing selection process.

Please note that if you do not sign the housing and dining license by the current year deadline, you will not receive a room selection time slot. Instead, you will be assigned a room.

Medical housing accommodations

If you have special or medical needs that should be taken into account during the housing selection process, you should complete a medical accommodation form.

If you need to request an accommodation as part of the room selection process for the coming academic year, do so by that year’s deadline to ensure full consideration of your request.

For students currently in RISD housing, requests for new or updated accommodations are reviewed monthly. To ensure timely review, submit your request prior to the first of the month.

Documentation guidelines

To accurately and equitably evaluate accommodation requests, you need to submit documentation from a medical professional that outlines the condition requiring housing accommodations. Complete our official medical provider form and submit via the housing portal when making your accommodation request. We will not accept other documents in lieu of the official form.

Factors we consider

We carefully review requests and supporting documentation on a case-by-case basis using the criterial below. Be aware that, in certain instances, a member of Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services might follow up with the treating professional.

  • severity of condition
  • ability for student to live in RISD housing with or without accommodations
  • potentially permanent health impacts or threat to life
  • importance of accommodation to overall treatment of the condition(s)
  • impact on academic and/or social experience

Timing of request

In evaluating medical accommodation requests, we take into account whether we receive the request:

  • prior to the housing accommodation deadline.
  • as soon as possible after identifying need for accommodation(s).
  • before or after you receive your housing assignment or a change in diagnosis, etc.

Emotional support animal (ESA) / service animal policy

You may be allowed to have an emotional support animal or service animal in RISD housing facilities if you meet the following criteria:

  • You provide valid medical accommodation supporting your need for an emotional support or service animal.
  • You comply with conditions outlined in RISD’s official service and emotional support animal policy.

Since not all campus housing is suitable for animals, we reserve the right to relocate you to properly accommodating housing.

If we approve your request, you will need to submit an animal registration form along with all vaccination records. We permit only one animal per student with approved accommodations, and only one animal per living environment. A relocation will be required if more than one student in a shared space is approved to keep an emotional support or service animal on campus.

Residency waiver

RISD generally requires undergraduate students to live on campus during their first two years of attendance. However, you can request we waive this requirement if you meet one of the following qualifications:

  • you are married (valid marriage certificate required)
  • you are 21 years of age or older prior to the start of your first fall semester
  • you live at home with a parent or legal guardian

If you indicate that you live with a parent or guardian as the basis for a residency waiver, you will need to produce one of the following:

  • A proof of residency document that includes your parent or guardian’s name. This can be:
    • a copy of your lease
    • a landlord/leasing company letter (on letterhead) stating that your parent or guardian is the primary tenant
    • a mortgage statement
    • a utility bill, property tax statement, home insurance bill, etc.
  • driver’s license
  • A signed and notarized letter from your legal parent or guardian indicating that you will reside with them while you attend RISD. The letter must include:
    • the local address where you will live with your legal parent or guardian
    • your parent/guardian’s email address and phone number

Contact Residence Life

four students stand inside a college dorm room, in front of two closets with many clothing items visibly hanging


Mon–Fri: 8:30 am–4:30 pm (main office)


South Hall, 1st floor

30 Waterman Street

Providence, RI 02903

401 454-6650