Rhode Island College


A medium-sized school on a suburban campus about a five-minute drive from downtown Providence, Rhode Island College is the oldest public college in the state.  Founded as a teacher’s college, RIC now has 7,300 undergraduates and 90 different majors.  RIC is best-known for education, nursing and social work, but also has strong business/management and fine and performing arts programs.

Average class size at RIC is 20, and most classes are capped at 30, with just two introductory courses, psychology and biology, having lecture classes. Programs in education (including elementary, secondary and special ed), nursing, social work, business and the performing arts (students can specialize in behind-the-scenes/technical aspects of theatre as well as performance) are strong at RIC. Psychology and communication are the most popular majors; there is a really interesting specialization in the psych department in chemical addiction and dependency studies.

RIC does a good job of providing activities and trips for students (“Boston for a buck” sounded fun!) My tour guide Travis said that RIC is a great place for students who throw themselves into activities; he also recommended that students take advantage of how accessible professors here are.

While most of Rhode Island College’s students are from the home state, there are a good number of students from New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut. Twenty percent of students are from out-of-state (higher than many other public colleges/universities).

RIC is one of the rare public liberal arts colleges, and tuition/room and board for out-of-state students is about $28,000.  RIC provides many opportunities for merit scholarships, as well as an honors college for students ranked in the top 20% of their class (or scoring 1200 on the Critical Reading and Math sections of the SAT combined). This means that California students can get a liberal arts education at a medium-sized college for less than a UC.

RIC has a comfortable-feeling campus – not too big, not too small, and is a good choice for a B/B- student looking for an east coast college experience.

Admissions stats: Mid-50% SAT Critical Reading 420-520; Math 420-520; Writing 420-520. Apply by December 15 for presidential scholarship consideration.

You can see all of my photos from my visit to Rhode Island College here.

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