Transferring to RISD from MICA

Hello everyone.

I recently got rejected from my dream school, RISD. However, I got into MICA. The story is, I never realized I wanted to study art because I always viewed it as fine art. Turns out, I am immensely interested in design (graphic and industrial/product). Therefor, I hadn’t taken any art classes in high school, until now in my senior year. When I realized RISD would be an amazing school for me (since I am from RI, and it is an awesome school), it was late junior year. I figured that the only way I would get a chance of admittance was attending RISD pre-college, so I did. Unfortunately, my major (4th choice) was furniture design, and it did not help build my portfolio to the extent I wished it had because we only had 1 big project which was to build a bench. This led to me essentially building my entire portfolio by myself with only a smidgen of technical training in the span of a few months.

While I am very grateful for my admittance to MICA considering my circumstances, I am still really wondering if I can do better. I am planning on attending MICA and if I fall in love with it there than I’ll stay, but I am not committed to that idea 100% yet.

What I want to know is if anyone has transferred from MICA to RISD. Are the freshman foundation years similar enough to where RISD won’t make you repeat/ take the summer course upon transferring? Does RISD view MICA as a good school and accept the credits? If anyone has transferred from MICA to RISD, or has been in my position, what was the outcome and how are you doing now? My other option is going to MassArt, where I would attempt to transfer to RISD as well, which school would be a wiser use of my time?

Thank you for your time.

MICA is a fabulous art school in it’s own right. If RISD is the “Harvard of art schools”, then MICA is certainly right up there. It tends to me more flexible and interdisciplinary than RISD, from what I know, and many people prefer it. I would go there with an open mind.


hey MICA is a great graphic design school. In many ways much better than RISD . Don’t get caught up in some name,
and if you really want to transfer for curriculum I would suggest you consider a school like VCUARTS , but nothing wrong at all with MICA.

I’d vote for giving MICA a fair chance too. My oldest is a sophomore at RISD and while she’s happy in her major of illustration it IS rigid in what you can and can’t take. In fact she considered dual majoring in Industrial Design and it’s just not possible (they literally have no more room in the major and she’s on a waiting list if one opens and that would add a year or more…ughh). With that said, my daughter does prefer the structure and rigidity…ie she is really being drilled on her illustration skills and feels it’s a good fit…BUT…

Her younger brother who’s also looking at schools wants to be able to explore more mediums of art/do more interdisciplinary work and so MICA is one of his top picks for applying. He’s not even going to consider RISD & I’m glad because he already knows via his sister’s experience it’s not a good fit for exploring different fields. Whereas everything I know about MICA (several visits, interviews, discussions at NPDs etc with both my kids) is that their whole selling point is they understand many creative people nowadays make their living by being innovative and adaptable and that’s their general approach to education there. So if you’re interested in both graphic and industrial design, the school seems like a really good fit for you academically.

I hope this help and wish you all the best in your first year!

he should take a serious look at VCUARTS if he is interested in all kinds . They have one of the most diverse curriculums I know of and its a top art/design school.