RISD Commencement 2018

Saturday, June 2 | 10:30 am

Rhode Island Convention Center
One Sabin Street
Providence, RI

Family members and friends are invited to join the entire RISD community in celebrating the Class of 2018 at this joyous event.

Bookmark this page for more in the coming weeks about this year’s ceremony, related events and other helpful information.


deadline for reserving tickets, caps and gowns


first day of senior week


graduate hooding ceremony + special receptions


Commencement 2018

Doors open at 9:30 am. Admission is free but tickets are required to enter the convention hall. Students may reserve up to six tickets for their families in early spring. Event seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The ceremony generally runs until approximately 1 pm.

For families

If you’re coming to RISD from out of state or out of the country, you’ll need to consider various transportation options, which are spelled out below. It’s also important to book a place to stay as early as possible since hotels in and around Providence tend to fill quickly.

For those unfamiliar with campus, RISD is located just off of I‑95 and I‑195 in the College Hill neighborhood of Providence. Our official address is Two College Street.

Information for international families + friends

If you are coming from outside the US and require a visa, you will need an official letter of invitation from RISD. Graduating students should contact the Office of International Student Services (OISS) to initiate the invitation process.

Featured Hotels

The Dean Hotel

122 Fountain Street
Providence, RI 02903
+1 401 455-DEAN

The Hampton Inn & Suites

58 Weybosset Street
Providence, RI 02903
+1 401 608-3500

The Hotel Providence

311 Westminster Street
Providence, RI 02903
+1 401 861-8000

Book here or call + 1 401 861-8000 and reference RISD Commencement Room Block for a special rate.

The Marriott—Providence Downtown

One Orms Street
Providence, RI 02904
+1 866 807-2171

Book here for the RISD Graduation group rate.

Omni Providence Hotel

One West Exchange Street
Providence, RI 02903
+1 800 THE-OMNI

To book, call +1 800 THE-OMNI and reference RISD Commencement Room Block for a special rate.

The Providence Biltmore

11 Dorrance Street
Providence, RI 02903
+1 401 421–0700

Book here for the RISDCO group rate.

Providence Courtyard by Marriott

32 Exchange Terrace
Providence, RI 02903
+1 401 272-1191

Providence Hilton

21 Atwells Avenue
Providence, RI 02903
+1 401 709-0335

Call +1 800 HILTONS (+1 800 445-8667) and reference RISD Commencement for a special group rate. Rooms are limited and must be booked prior to April 3.

Renaissance Providence Downtown

5 Avenue of the Arts
Providence, RI 02903
+1 866 630-0704

Book here or call +1 866 630-0704 for a special rate. Please use RISD Graduation Block when booking your stay.

Find more hotel options in and around Providence on hotels.com, tripadvisor.com and other travel + hospitality sites.


Guests can rent short-term accommodations in Providence through Airbnb, the global hospitality marketplace founded by RISD alumni Brian Chesky 04 ID and Joe Gebbia 05 GD/ID.



If you are planning to arrive in Providence by train, you can find schedules and fares at amtrak.com or 1 800 USA-RAIL (1 800 872-7245). Information concerning service between Providence and Boston on the Attleboro/Stoughton Line can be found at mbta.com and 1 800 392-6100.


Providence is about a 15-minute cab ride from T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in Warwick, RI. You can find information on flights at pvdairport.com. Airport information: 1 888 268-7222; in Rhode Island: 401 737-8222.

Once you are at the airport, you can take the shuttle to your hotel.

If you are flying into Logan International Airport in Boston, MA (BOS), you can find flight information at massport.com/logan and 1 800 23-LOGAN. Logan is about an hour’s drive from Providence, depending on traffic.


Peter Pan bus company offers daily express service to Logan Airport in Boston and T.F. Green Airport in Warwick, RI, as well as to major metro areas such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Schedules are available online or by calling 1 888 751-8800 (toll-free) or locally, 401 751-8800.

Greyhound bus schedules and fares are available online or by calling 1 800 229-9424, +1 402 330-8552 (if you’re calling from abroad without toll-free access), 1 800 752-4841 (for assistance for passengers with disabilities) or 1 800 345-3109 (TDD).

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) offers local bus service for easy and inexpensive transportation within Rhode Island, including Providence/Newport ferries.


For information and schedules for Block Island ferry service from Point Judith and Newport, RI and New London, CT, follow this link: blockislandferry.com. Schedules vary seasonally.

For Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Island ferry service from Woods Hole, MA; Hyannis, MA; and New Bedford, MA, follow this link: islandferry.com. Schedules vary seasonally.

Rental cars

Alamo | +1 800 651-1223

Avis | +1 800 633-3469

Budget | +1 800 218-7992


Dollar | +1 800 800-4000

Hertz | +1 800 704-4473

National | +1 800 222-9058

Thrifty | +1 800 847-4389

Ridesharing and car-sharing

On-demand transportation is available through Uber and Lyft, and at dozens of zipcar locations on or near campus.


Restaurants in Providence feature a wide variety of cuisines and dining experiences, many within a short walk of RISD’s College Hill campus and the downtown area surrounding the Commencement venue. Just a short drive away, the historic Federal Hill and eclectic West End neighborhoods offer even more popular dining options. Tables fill up fast throughout the city during Commencement week, so be sure to plan ahead as soon as possible.

Graduating students

RISD Commencement is more festive, informal and colorful than most commencement ceremonies. You may embellish your cap and gown however you’d like or wear whatever feels most appropriate for celebrating this major milestone.


Graduating students will receive an email in early March with information about reserving tickets for Commencement. Students can reserve up to six tickets, with the option of requesting more. (Based on demand, extra tickets will be allocated closer to the time of the event.)

Caps + gowns

Students will need to reserve their caps and gowns online. An order link will be sent by email in early March.


Please email csi@risd.edu with any questions with any questions about this year's student-designed RISD Yearbook.

Class rings

RISD does not offer an official class ring, but several alternative options are available at RISD WORKS.

Undergraduate + graduate student speakers

Graduating students may apply to address their class as this year’s undergraduate or graduate speaker. In early March all graduating students will receive an email inviting them to propose a speech.


Commencement questions?

please contact Institutional Engagement

Katie Bullock

+1 401 454-6776 commencement@risd.edu

RISD’s main phone number

Registrar's Office

degree requirements / academic status

Diane Walker or Brianna Smith

+1 401 454-6151​ registrar@risd.edu

Student Accounts

billing questions / financial matters

+1 401 454-6445​ studentaccts@risd.edu

Alumni Relations