First-Year Housing

Event at the Upper Quad

To build a strong foundation at RISD, all first-year students live in a group of buildings known as the first-year area (FYA).

In addition to residence halls, the FYA includes the Public Safety main office, the college’s fitness center, the Residence Life office and The Met, our main, all-you-care-to-eat dining facility.

First-year residences

The buildings that make up the FYA—also known as The Quad—are East Hall, Homer Hall, Nickerson Hall and North Hall. Room types in The Quad include single rooms and double and triple shared rooms.

East Hall

East Hall is the only first-year residence hall that offers a suite-style living environment. Located in the heart of the quad, it consists of double and single rooms around single occupancy restrooms, and houses a lounge, kitchen, laundry and work room. East Hall is also connected to Nickerson Hall, which gives you easy access to the large communal and work spaces located there.

Homer Hall

Newly renovated in 2021, Homer Hall is our largest first-year residence hall. It contains mostly double- and triple-occupancy rooms, as well as a few single rooms. A major first-year area hub, Homer Hall is home to a large communal lounge and work room, several meeting rooms, a meditation space and the Pride Room, a common space to affirm the identity of RISD’s LGBTQIA+ community and allies.

Nickerson Hall

Renovated in 2020, Nickerson Hall houses mostly double- and triple-occupancy residences as well as a few single rooms. It boasts a large communal work room that is open to all first-year students, in addition to lounges and a communal kitchen.

North Hall

Built in 2019, North Hall is our newest residential building. It consists of double and single rooms, as well as lounges, a kitchen and a large work room that is open to all first-year students. 


  • laundry facilities (machines take risdbucks)
  • shared kitchen (one per residence hall)
  • microfridge (combination refrigerator/microwave unit) in each room
  • furnished, TV-equipped social lounges and common rooms
  • work rooms, including spray booths in select residence halls (more information below)
  • extra-long twin bed for each student
  • dresser or closet space for each student
  • desk & chair for each student


First-year housing also includes the following dining allotment:

  • unlimited access to The Met, our “all you care to eat” dining facility
  • 225 dining points per semester for use in any RISD Dining venue
  • five (5) weekly cafe credits for use in most dining venues
  • three (3) guest meal credits
  • a one-time $50 RISD Bucks credit (can be used for dining venues and other purchases on campus)

Note that your dining plan is built into the cost of housing and cannot be removed.

Residential Experience

Your first year at RISD is an exciting time for making new friendships and exploring what it means to be an art and design student. Throughout the year, we collaborate with Student Affairs to provide a variety of residence hall experiences and programs, exclusively for first-year students. This programming complements the work you do in the classroom and helps you make connections, get involved on campus and learn about available resources.

Our team strives to make your first-year experience fun and full with new traditions, memories and personal growth. Stay on the lookout for emails from us throughout the year to learn about programming.

First-year work rooms

Studio work is integral to a RISD education and the first-year experience. During this time, students complete the college’s Experimental and Foundation Studies curriculum together.

To support community development and collaboration outside the classroom, students in first-year residence halls can access a variety of well-equipped work rooms. In these spaces students can draw, paint, sculpt, cut, spray and more.

Work room amenities

All work rooms come with a range of work tables, bulletin boards, seating, sinks and safe disposal receptacles.

The work rooms in North Hall and Nickerson Hall also include spray booths. Students should only use these spaces for work involving aerosol media (e.g. spray adhesive, spray paint, etc.).

Locations and size

All of the work rooms listed below are open to all first-year students. They are:

  • North Hall, first floor: large with spray booth
  • Nickerson Hall basement: extra large with spray booth
  • Homer Hall, second floor: large
  • East Hall, first floor: medium