RIT Degree Requirements
Undergraduate degree program curricula:
- Degree program requirements must comply with NYSED regulations. This includes following the credit hour definition that both NYSED and Middle States requires.(MSCHE Degrees and Credits).
- Undergraduate degree programs must be designed using a 5 x 3 semester model, must maximize student success, and allow students to complete programs with:
- a minimum of 120 to a maximum of 128 required semester credit hours;
- a minimum of 40 courses where there is a minimum of 32, 3 credit hour courses and a maximum of 8, 4 credit hour courses; and
- an expected semester load of 15 or 16 credit hours with the understanding that some programs may find it necessary to occasionally extend this upper limit to 17 credit hours.
In rare circumstances and with the approval of the Provost, exceptions to the parameters listed in #2 will be allowed; e.g., those programs that require a substantial number of year long sequence courses and lab-based courses.
- Every RIT undergraduate degree program will have at least 60 credit hours of “general education” (GE). Every RIT undergraduate B.F.A. degree program will have at least 30 credit hours of GE. Any associate degree program will have at least 30 credit hours of GE.
- Students in BFA degree programs are required to take two courses (for total credit hours ranging between 6 and 8 credit hours) that map into the general education outcome category of “Scientific, Mathematical, and Technological Literacy.” Depending on programmatic design and need, these courses can come from approved general education courses and count toward the required 30 credit hours in General Education or be taken within the program or from another RIT academic unit and be part of the required program core.
- A typical semester load for undergraduate students will be between 15 and 17 credit hours.
- The university remains committed to and supportive of career-oriented education and programs with required co-op experiences. Any undergraduate degree program must demonstrate that students are able to complete the program of study in no more than four years. For those programs that require a co-op or some other experiential learning component, students must be able to complete the program of study in no more than five years. In particular, students should be able to complete any co-op or experiential learning experience in no more than 52 weeks.
- All undergraduate degree programs will contain at least 6 credit hours of entirely open electives within the degree program’s distribution requirements; these credits can be used to take courses anywhere within RIT for which the student qualifies.
- Curricular requirements for the bachelor’s degree should have sufficient flexibility to permit students to earn a 15 credit minor. Due to prerequisites for courses in some minors, students may not be able to complete every minor within the minimum credit hours required for their major program. Nonetheless, faculty are expected to accommodate minors in the degree programs to the fullest extent possible.
- Students who choose to take double majors or two or more minors may need to add credits above the maximum of 128 credits needed for graduation.
- Every undergraduate degree program is required to have a program level student learning outcomes assessment plan.
- All programs must comply with RIT’s Academic Program Profile.
- Undergraduate degree programs are expected to comply with RIT’s writing across the curriculum program requirements. This includes one designated writing intensive course in the student’s program to be completed prior to graduation.
General education curricula:
- General education (GE) must comply with NYSED regulations.
- To accommodate courses with substantial lab components and those math and science year-long sequence courses, only math, science, language and some social science lab-based courses in the general education curriculum can be offered as 4 credit hour courses. All other GE courses must be 3 credit hours.
- The general education program is expected to comply with RIT’s writing across the curriculum program requirements. This includes one designated writing intensive course in the first year and one required writing intensive course in general education to be taken by the end of a student’s third year.
- Students in B.S. degree programs are required to take four GE courses (for a total credit hours ranging between 12 and 16 credit hours) that collectively map onto the RIT General Education Learning Outcomes in the category of “Scientific, Mathematical, and Technological Literacy."
- The General Education Learning Outcomes and the General Education Assessment plan will be integrated and embedded in the GE curriculum.
- Faculty should plan that there will be a required 3 credit hour foundational GE course offered in the first year as part of the required 60 credit hours of GE (30 credit hours for BFA programs). This course replaces the Freshman Seminar Course that was originally part of the GE Framework.
Graduate degree program curricula:
- Masters level programs will normally require a minimum of 30 credit hours and a maximum of 36 credit hours. Other graduate degrees, including Ph.D. programs, may require more credit hours if required or normally expected for external accreditation, professional licensure and/or professional practice.
- All master’s thesis will be a minimum of 6 semester credit hours.
- No more than 20% of the courses taken in a masters level degree program can be graduate courses that are cross-listed with undergraduate courses. Cross-listed studio courses do not count towards this limit. In certain cases, the Provost may allow exceptions to this rule provided there is sufficient justification.
- If an undergraduate and graduate course is to be cross-listed, the undergraduate course must be at the 500 level or higher and the graduate course must be at the 600 level. Additional advanced level learning outcomes and educational experience designed expressly for graduate students (content, instruction, and workload) are required in any graduate level course that is dual-listed with an undergraduate course.
- Every graduate degree program is required to have a program level student learning outcomes assessment plan.
- All programs must comply with RIT’s Academic Program Profile, where appropriate.