How to propose a Wintersession travel course

All RISD faculty, upon department head approval and TU confirmation, can propose a WS travel course for the following academic year, and submit a course proposal by the established course table process and deadline.

Guyana: Exploring Art and Science of Bio Diversity in Guyana
Surama, Guyana 2019
Italy: *Invisible Venice
Venice, Italy 2016

Application Process & Materials

  1. Faculty must submit to their department head the following package (this process must be followed for all travel courses including repeat offerings).
    1. Course proposal form (form for a 6-credit course here) (form for a 3-credit course here)
    2. draft syllabus (per the syllabus guidelines)
    3. draft itinerary
    4. draft budget
    5. draft syllabus for an on-campus alternate course (in the event that the travel course is underenrolled or canceled due to risk in the
      region of the travel course)
  2. In order to progress the proposal, the department head must sign and approve the course proposal and send the whole package to the division's office.
  3. The dean must sign and approve the course proposal and send the whole package to Academic Affairs.
  4. All course materials must be received, reviewed, and approved by Academic Administration, which approves the proposal based on available TU budget and contractual compliance confirmation.
  5. In the April meeting, the Wintersession Committee reviews and approves all travel courses. The review focuses on: eligibility, course proposal and its alignment with location/site of course, budget, and syllabus + itinerary.
  6. Wintersession Committee Chair communicates with faculty if the course is approved and, if not, the edits that need to be done to get the course approved. In copy: Academic Administration, RISD Global, WS Committee Support, Dept. Head & Dean.

For course proposals for Wintersession 2023, all signed and approved materials must be received by Academic Affairs as part of the regular course tables process and deadlines.

Once approved, the announcement + publicity phase begins (April onwards).

Registrar’s officially establishes all WS travel courses. RISD Global posts the course/studio on our website.

Faculty work with RISD Global to establish marketing and promotion strategy.


  • All full- and part-time faculty can propose to lead a WS travel course.
  • To submit the proposal, the faculty member must have an appropriate TU approval from their department head the following academic year.
  • It is strongly recommended that the faculty member proposing the course have a strong familiarity with the location, and preference is given to those applicants with demonstrated experience teaching students in a travel course environment.
  • All faculty who lead off-campus global learning courses must comply with RISD’s policy for off-campus teaching. Before submitting your proposal, please review the policy and ensure you are willing to comply with this policy.
  • Each travel course must be led by either two RISD faculty or a RISD faculty and graduate student TA. It is preferable that the faculty member partners with another faculty member (full- or part-time) in the Liberal Arts Division and/or a studio department to collaborate and propose a 6-credit WS travel course that combines studio and liberal arts, two liberal arts, two studio courses. In this case, for faculty new to leading a WS travel course, we encourage you to collaborate with a faculty who has such experience.

RISD Global's Role

  • Advises and supports faculty (upon request) on the location, organization, and details of travel courses and studios during the course preparation stages.
  • Promotes the course and supports faculty in outreach to students, student advising, and group info-sessions.
  • Supports faculty and students through the various application, selection, scholarships, and registration processes and steps.
  • After the course is fully registered and confirmed to run, works closely with the faculty and other offices on campus to support all travel arrangements and confirmations.
  • Co-develops and leads the pre-departure meetings for faculty + joins faculty-led pre-departure meetings for students.
  • Provides faculty/students with pre-departure materials and student forms, registers all students and faculty for mandatory health and safety insurance.
  • Ensures that the International Incident Response Team (IIRT), Public Safety, and Student Affairs are prepared to support these courses, students and faculty while off-campus.
  • Oversees, in collaboration with On-Call International and RISD Public Safety & Risk Management issues the response to issues that arise on the course while off-campus.
  • Presents documentation of the courses, when possible, to further promote and support these unique off-campus teaching and learning experiences.

Past Wintersession Travel Courses can be found here.

Faculty Advising

Have questions? The RISD Global team is available to meet for an advising session to help craft your application.

Schedule an appointment