Roger Williams University - School Of Architecture, Art And Historic Preservation

The principles and philosophies carried throughout the University date back to our namesake. Founder of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, Roger Williams was the first major figure in colonial America to forcefully argue the need for democracy, religious freedom and understanding of America's native cultures.

The University’s roots date to 1919, when Northeastern University opened a branch campus at the Broad Street Providence YMCA. In 1940, the YMCA Board of Directors took over the school, and after closing it briefly during World War II, the YMCA Institute granted its first associate’s degrees in 1948. In February 1956, the Institute received a state charter to become a two-year, degree-granting institution under the name of Roger Williams Junior College. During the 1960s, the school, then called Roger Williams College, began granting bachelor’s degrees and quickly outgrew the YMCA building. The College purchased 80 acres of waterfront land in Bristol and, in 1969, completed construction of its new campus. In 1992, Roger Williams College became Roger Williams University, and the University c... [ Read All ]


United States

One Old Ferry Road
RI 02809-2921
Phone: (401) 254-3605

College Photos (5)

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Our Aims

Mission & Core Values

Roger Williams University is an independent liberal arts University that combines the unique strengths of small liberal arts colleges and those of larger comprehensive universities and where liberal and professional education are enhanced by their integration and the recognition of their unity.

At the foundation of the institution is a set of core values that play a central role in guiding a respectful, diverse and intellectually vibrant university community:

Love of learning as an intrinsic value
Preparation for careers and future study
Collaboration of students and faculty in research
Commitment to community service
Appreciation of global perspectives
The Roger Williams University Education
The University strives to educate all students to become productive citizens of the social and professional communities in which they will live and build their careers. To participate in a lifetime of such citizenship, it is the goal of Roger Williams University to prepare our students to:

Communicate clearly in a variety of formats
Appreciate the ability of the humanities to stir the soul
Advoca...  [ Read All ]

Location and Getting there  

Department and information about the department

The School of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation at Roger Williams University brings diverse individuals together into an educational community dedicated to the creation and stewardship of the built and cultural environments.

The School exists to prepare students from many backgrounds and experiences for a variety of roles within a global society, with its continuing need for educated citizens who have the knowledge, skills and commitment to improve our surroundings.

We are committed to balance, between creation and conservation, aesthetic and technical pursuits, national and international perspectives, individual exploration and community involvement, classroom and lifelong learning.

We work to achieve this balance through a variety of teaching situations--studios, lectures, seminars, internships, study abroad, field work, tutorials, public forums, required community service--which engage students, faculty, and those active in the field in close relationships.

The School encourages the complementary pursuits of learning and practice, reflection and action, of accessibility and flexibility; along with a sens...  [ Read All ]

Academic Staff and Description

We have dedicated full-time teaching faculty of 28, many with interdisciplinary teaching experience across Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation. Thirty-five practicing architects, artists, and preservation professionals enrich the School as adjunct faculty.

Faculty include 4 Fulbright Scholars, and many with national and international practice experience and publications. Collective faculty teaching experience includes MIT, Harvard, Princeton, California/Berkeley, Columbia, Virginia, Wellesley, Connecticut College, Hobart and William Smith, Cornell, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Washington University, Yale, Rice, Syracuse, Iowa State, RISD, Savannah College of Art and Design, St. Olaf, Minnesota, Buenos Aires, Middle East Technical University, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, BAC, Boston University  

News and Events  

Information For  Undergraduates

As an undergraduate at Roger Williams, you will be part of a warm and cohesive community; you will be surrounded by a competitive peer set; and you will be right in the mix of leadership development opportunities.  

Information For  Postgraduates

As part of a continuing effort to develop a wide range of engaging, practical academic programs at the graduate level, Roger Williams offers a number of advanced degrees. With fewer than 1000 graduate students at the University, you are sure to get the personal attention and support required to enter the working world or advanced academic study with confidence.  

Information For  International Students

Roger Williams University welcomes students from around the world. Ninety students from forty different countries are currently enrolled at the Bristol undergraduate campus.

International students are eligible to apply to the undergraduate program of RWU if they have completed the equivalent of a United States secondary school education (approximately twelve years of formal education) and have the appropriate diplomas or satisfactory results on leaving examinations.  


Student Facilities

SAAHP Facilities are located in Bristol, Rhode Island and Florence, Italy.

The Bristol facilities include an award-winning 45,000 square foot building that opened in 1987, which has been expanded between 2003-2005 in two phases of a planned three-phase expansion by an additional 20,000 square feet.

The architects of the original building, Kite-Palmer Associates, Providence, R.I., were selected to design the building through a national competition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts. William Kite Architects were again selected to design the expansion in 2003.

In Florence, the Roger Williams University Study Abroad facilities include a dedicated Architecture Design Studio for 26 students at the Palazzo Alamanni, with classroom and design review space at the Palazzo Rucellai, a landmark of the Renaissance.

Facilities in Bristol include:

Design Studios
Review and Seminar Rooms
Design Computing Laboratory
Architecture Library
Photography Studio and Darkroom
Woodworking Studio/Model Shop
Exhibition Gallery
The phased expansion that has been completed has added the following features:

Grad...  [ Read All ]

Student Support

At Roger Williams, one of the perks of being part of an intimate community is having immediate access to such resources as the Counseling Center or Health Services—because we want to ensure you stay healthy in mind and body during your years at the University.

The Department of Public Safety provides safety, security and crime prevention services 24 hours a day; the Women’s Center offers support and resources for all students; and the Student Affairs Office provides students with effective communication, reasoning and leadership skills. These services and more help our students stay safe, happy and healthy all year long.  

Student Life

The Student Affairs Division is especially committed to facilitating student leadership, personal development, self-responsibility, good citizenship, and participatory engagement both in and out of the classroom.

That commitment is achieved through delivery of intentional programs and services by dedicated, professional staff that assists students in identifying concerns and solving problems independently.

Student Affairs administrators enjoy collaborative relationships with other administrators on campus as well as Student Senate and Academic Affairs. Departments within the division include: Athletics & Recreation, Career Services, Counseling & Student Development, Dining, Health Services, Housing, Intercultural Center, Student Conduct & Community Standards, Student Programs & Leadership, Special Events, Conferences & Orientation, Residence Life and Wellness.  


Perhaps just as important to a successful college experience is life outside the classroom. At Roger Williams, your quality of life begins with where you live. From spectacular waterfront views, to private, individual units, to living, learning communities and special interest housing, our residence halls provide you with the comfort you need to feel just at home.  

How To Apply  

Visit us (open days)

Visit our waterfront campus this summer and see for yourself why so many students decide to call Roger Williams University "home".

Located on a breathtaking, 140-acre waterfront campus in the historic town of Bristol, Rhode Island, Roger Williams University is nestled on Narragansett Bay. Our modern, safe campus make this location one you will never forget, and never want to leave. Roger Williams University is located about 30 minutes from the state capital of Providence, and just minutes from the famous historic seaport of Newport.

We hope you will take the time to visit us and tour our campus soon!  

Request a prospectus (Number, e-mail or follow link)

Office of Undergraduate Admission
Roger Williams University
One Old Ferry Road
Bristol, RI 02809
Phone: (401) 254-3500
Toll-free: 1-800-458-7144 ext. 3500