My daughter is a fine artist with a specific interest in set design. She did not want a conservatory or a dual degree program. She was accepted to all the major art schools, Cornell AAP and Brown. She’s down to three choices, RISD, Cornell AAP and Brown. She likes them equally for different reasons. She likes Providence but she’s fine with Ithaca as well. We have family there so she’s familiar with the area and the weather…lol. Which would you choose and why?
RISD. Reputation in the arts & she would have opportunities to take classes at Brown if she wants, they have some sort of a program.
While I know absolutely nothing about the Cornell, I can speak to RISD and Brown and strongly recommend both. My eldest is a dual degree there and it has been an incredible experience on both sides. However I would be reluctant to say one over the other as I’m not sure what your daughter is seeking.
for example the fact she didn’t want a conservatory but applied and is considering art schools seems counter intuitive. NOT judging- mentioning asking because reviewing why might make more of a difference in her decision making than much else. for example, Is she looking for a liberal arts education with strong theatre/performance experience and a bit of fine arts or does she want to spend bulk of time on her work, gain the technical skills that a foundation year would incorporate before she moves on to concentrate on set design?
In our case, focus was on schools with strong enough art departments as we wanted the breath of undergraduate liberal arts programs. Luckily she’s been able to have both. But
I truly can see that being the case without dual degree. The drawback to any liberal arts program would have been the lack of a foundation year experience, I certainly did not preciate that prior to her start and now I understand how transforming an experience that is to young artists. And RISD’s is certainly top in that department.
we did not spend much time considering Brown solo so I can’t give balanced take. But I am confident it is a great education with plenty of opportunity given how much our daughter is loving her Brown courses and the open curriculum.
The only warning I share - and this might be anecdotal - is that whilst students are entitled to take classes at either school, in practice it seems that is easier for RISD students to manage. It sounds like it can be frustrating for Brown students as they have a capped number of courses they can take at RISD and with the smaller numbers for studios, it is not always easy to get a spot in the class they are interested. If she’s leaning Brown with thought to take a lot of RISD classes, it might be worth getting more info so she can weigh the differences.
Either way she’s got some exciting options and will be off to a wonderful start whereever she goes. Best of luck
Thank you for the response. She chose Cornell. AAP is looking like a good fit so far. She’s happy and looks forward to applying to RISD for her MFA.