VII. Academic Policies and Procedures
The complete RIT policies and procedures are published online in two documents:
Procedures specific to your program may be found in your college or program guidelines or manual. Some of these are available online; others are distributed by programs during orientation or are available in college offices. Check with your program staff to be sure that you have access your program’s current official document.
Important policies that apply to all graduate students are provided here.
You are responsible for course registration each quarter. Online registration takes place during each preceding quarter. Fall quarter registration opens during the preceding spring quarter. Entering students usually register by July or early August of the summer prior to their first year; after admission, an e-mail will be sent with instructions regarding registration procedures and with specific course requirements as well as other important information. It is your responsibility to contact your faculty adviser or, if an adviser has not yet been assigned, with the academic coordinator and/or graduate coordinator, at the time of early registration to facilitate course substitutions, elective requests, and possible transfer credit requests.
You may enroll in no more than 18 credit hours per quarter; overloads require the approval of your graduate coordinator. Students are charged per credit hour for each credit exceeding 18 hours. The director or the graduate coordinator of your program may propose to limit the total number of credit hours you may take per quarter if you are having difficulty. Teaching and research assistants may not register for more than 16 course credits plus one research credit without prior approval of the graduate coordinator.
Cooperative Education registration
If you expect to participate in a co-op as part of your graduate program, contact the Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services. It, along with your program adviser and coordinator, will work with you to identify relevant experiences, and to help you through the process of registering your co-op. The office is located on the main floor of the Bausch & Lomb Center (Bldg. 77). Phone: (585) 475-2301; (585) 475-6905 (tty). http://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce/.
Schedule Verification and Changes
Following early registration, you will receive a schedule verification form from the Registrar’s Office. The schedule includes all courses for which you are registered as of the date of issue. You may change your schedule at any time up to the end of the first six days of class (add/drop period), following the procedure outlined by the RIT Registrar: http://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/registrar/forms.html. We encourage you to consult with your academic coordinator and/or graduate coordinator before adding or dropping classes. Changes in a course schedule through this process are not reflected on your quarterly grade report or permanent record. However, they could affect your ability to graduate on time.
Some programs allow non-matriculated students to take a limited number of courses. If you have not applied through the Admissions Office, you are considered a non-matriculated student. (Those who are accepted by Admissions are considered matriculated). Non-matriculated students may register for classes with permission from the graduate program coordinators and/or the graduate committee or dean of the college. To take courses as a non-matriculated student, you will need to provide proof that you completed your bachelor’s degree, and any necessary prerequisites. Matriculated students will generally be given preference in course registration. For more specific requirements, refer to the program to which you wish to apply.
The date of your graduation may be affected by the frequency with which courses in your program are offered. Work with a program adviser, especially if you are a part-time or international student, to be sure that you complete your course work in a timely fashion.
If you wish to stop participating in a class following the six-day add/drop period, you must officially withdraw from the course and you will receive a grade of W. This grade will be reflected on your grade report and permanent record. Withdrawals may affect full-time status and need to be discussed with your adviser. International students need to see the International Student Office to see if a withdrawal will impact immigration status.
Course Withdrawal forms are available from your college’s Student Services Office or online. In most programs, you have until the end of the eighth week of the quarter to withdraw from a course without permissions from the course instructor, the program chair or graduate coordinator, and the dean’s office. After the eighth week, in addition to your signature, the form requires the signature of the faculty member teaching the course and that of the graduate coordinator.
Graduate courses may not be repeated to improve a grade.
Up to 9 quarter hours may be accepted as transfer credit. To be considered for credit, a course must be at the graduate level from an accredited institution. A minimum grade of “B” is required. The decision to apply courses as transfer credit is at the discretion of each graduate program coordinator. To have your courses considered for credit, send an official copy of your transcript to Graduate Enrollment Services, Rochester Institute of Technology, 58 Lomb Memorial Drive,
Rochester NY 14623.
Credit by Examination
With the approval of the graduate coordinator of your program, you may, under special circumstances, appeal to receive credit by examination for a graduate course. A Credit by Examination form must be completed and filed with the bursar (with $50 per credit hour fee) prior to taking the exam. The exam is pass/fail. The notation on a student’s permanent record is (examination) credit only and does not affect the RIT grade point average.
An instructor may recommend approval of a course requirement exemption based upon previous experience or course work. However, this exemption does not alter the total credit requirement for the degree program. You must initiate a request in writing to the graduate coordinator of your program. Approval of the request is subject to graduate faculty consensus in your program or college.
Maintaining your RIT Records
Schedule of Record
The Office of the Registrar issues your final course schedule approximately three weeks following the first day of class each quarter. Check this information carefully. Inaccurate information must be reported to your academic coordinator for a correction to be made. Checking the accuracy of this information will save confusion at a later time. Official registration for a course you do not attend could result in course overload, “F” grades, and loss of funding. Likewise, if you are not registered for a course that you attend, you will not receive credit for the course.
Student records are housed in the Student Services Office of the college in which your program is housed. Administrative support is available through these offices in areas of registration, course selection, scheduling, records, and program advisement. Answers to questions are often available on a walk-in basis, and most forms are available in the office. If you need more specific help, you should make an appointment with the academic coordinator, or the coordinators of the relevant graduate program.
In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (commonly known as the Buckley Amendment), you have the right to inspect, review, and challenge the accuracy of official educational records. RIT policy ensures that only proper use is made of such records. With the exception of copies made for internal use (provided by the registrar for advising purposes), copies of your permanent record (transcript) or non-public information from your records will not be released without your written consent.
Directory information may be released at any time to persons or agencies indicating a legitimate interest. Directory information includes a student’s name, mailing address and telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation records in official RIT activities and sports, weight and height if a member of an athletic team, dates of attendance at RIT, degrees and awards received.
Academic Probation and Suspension
If you fail to maintain a “B” average (3.0 cumulative GPA) after you complete at least 12 credits, you will be placed on academic probation. Once on probation, you must bring the GPA up to 3.0. Conditions for reinstatement to good standing will depend on the program in which you are matriculated.
Failure to raise your GPA will result in your suspension. The typical term of suspension is one academic year, after which you may apply for readmission. The decision to readmit is in the hands of the dean of your college. See the RIT Graduate Bulletin for more information.
International students on probation or suspension should contact the International Student Office immediately to discuss implications on their immigration status.
If you have been absent from RIT classes for an extended period, for academic, medical, or personal reasons, and wish to return, contact your department chair or the Office of Graduate Studies. If you have not completed a course in four consecutive quarters, or have withdrawn from RIT, university policy requires that you reapply for admission. Information on readmission is available through the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services.
Seven-Year Rule for Completion of Course Work
All courses needed for graduation must be completed within seven years from the date of matriculation. In other words, the last course you take cannot be more than seven years after the first course you took. This includes all required and elective courses, but not bridge courses or prerequisites. Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the program coordinator, the dean of your college, and the dean of graduate studies on behalf of the Graduate Council. The appeals process is designed only for extenuating circumstances beyond your control.
Below is a brief outline of the process for appealing for an extension of time:
- Contact your graduate program coordinator PRIOR to the end of the seven-year period.
- Assemble documentation specified by the program coordinator for submission of the appeal. This typically includes:
- a list of expired courses
- proof of “current knowledge” of the course material, as determined by the program coordinator
- an explanation of why the uncompleted courses were not completed in the seven-year timeframe
- a detailed completion plan
- letters of support from the dean and program coordinator
- your RIT transcript
- a current résumé
- The graduate program coordinator may then file an appeal on your behalf to the dean of your college. The decision to send the appeal forward to the dean of graduate studies is at the discretion of the program coordinator and the dean of your college.
- The dean of graduate studies will review the appeal and submit a final decision to the program coordinator and to the registrar if reinstatement is recommended.
Application to Graduate
A student must submit the application for graduation two quarters before expecting to complete course work toward a degree. Applications are available in the Student Services Office of your respective college or can be found online at http://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/registrar/forms.html.
Once an application is submitted, you will be contacted by the Student Services Office to schedule a review of your requirements.
Requirements for Graduation
- Completion of all courses required in the program as specified in the curriculum.
- Completion of any bridge courses noted on your plan of study
- Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0
- Grade of A, B, or C in each course needed for graduation. “D,” “F,” “I,” or “W” grades will NOT be accepted.
RIT Honor Code
Students, faculty, and administrators at RIT maintain high expectations for students’ academic integrity, and therefore have instituted an RIT Honor Code. Because the code is brief and important to the spirit of the university, we produce it for you here:
Integrity and strong moral character are valued and expected within and outside the RIT community. As members of the RIT campus community, including students, trustees, faculty, staff, and administrators, we will:
- Demonstrate civility, respect, decency, and sensitivity toward our fellow members of the RIT community, and recognize that all individuals at this university are part of the larger RIT family, and as such are entitled to that support and mutual respect, which they deserve.
- Conduct ourselves with the highest standards of moral and ethical behavior. Such behavior includes taking responsibility for our own personal choices, decisions, and academic and professional work.
- Affirm through the daily demonstration of these ideals that RIT is a university devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and a free exchange of ideas in an open and respectful climate.
The RIT Honor Code encompasses other RIT policies and procedures that include:
- RIT Core Values
- RIT Diversity Statement
- Research Oversight Policy (C1.0)
- Misconduct in Research and Scholarship (C2.0)
- Intellectual Property Policy (C3.0)
- Conflict of Interest Policy Pertaining to Externally Funded Projects (C4.0)
- Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research (C5.0)
- Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Harassment (C6.0)
- Code of Conduct for Computer and Network Use (C8.0)
- Policy with Respect to Demonstrations on Campus (C11.0)
- Drug and Alcohol Policies (C15.1 – Student; C15.2 – Faculty/Staff)
- Illegal Conduct (C18.0)
- Academic Honesty Policy (D8.0)
- Academic Conduct and Appeals Procedures (D17.0)
- RIT Student Conduct Process (D18.0)
- RIT Expectations for Community Behavior (found in Student Rights and Responsibilities)
Approved October 11, 2006
For the explanation of the code, go to: http://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/policiesmanual/sectionC/C0.html
In the meantime we highlight two areas that are particularly important to graduate students.
In the spirit of the Honor Code, RIT will not condone any form of academic dishonesty. Any act of improperly representing another person’s work as one’s own is considered an act of academic dishonesty. These acts include, but are not limited to, plagiarism in any form, including the use of all or parts of computer programs created by others, or the use of information and materials not authorized by the instructor during an examination. If a faculty member judges a student to be guilty of some form of academic dishonesty, the student may be given a failing grade for that piece of work or for the course, depending upon the severity of the misconduct. If the student believes the action taken by the instructor to be incorrect or the penalty too severe, appeal may be made to the Academic Conduct Committee of the college in which the course is offered.
Discrimination and Harassment Policy
The RIT community is committed to a diverse and dynamic learning, working, and living environment. RIT will not discriminate in terms and conditions of employment, admission, and participation in programs or residential life. RIT prohibits discrimination and harassment on campus, or at any RIT activity off campus, by its administrators, faculty, staff, students, and student organizations, as well as external organizations and individuals in their operations with RIT.
RIT defines “discrimination” as behavior that uses age, citizenship, color, creed, culture, disabilities, gender, marital status, national origin, political affiliation or preference, race, or sexual orientation as a basis for:
• making hiring or admissions decisions at RIT,
• determining participation in programs at RIT or sponsored by RIT,
• academic standing, or access to any benefit or privilege at RIT,
• administering disciplinary processes, except where distinctions are bona fide or otherwise permitted or required by law.
RIT defines “harassment” as unwelcome physical contact, conduct, or communication that has the purpose or effect of:
• unreasonably interfering with an employee’s or student’s work, academic activities, or residential life at RIT, or participation in RIT-sponsored programs or events,
• creating an intimidating, hostile, or abusive environment for an employee or student at RIT or in RIT-sponsored programs or events, as determined by RIT policy.
RIT is committed to an environment that encourages, promotes, and protects free inquiry and free expression. Members of the RIT community have the right to hold, express vigorously, defend, and openly promote their ideas and opinions. The RIT policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment is not intended to restrict freedom of speech or any form of artistic or visual expression.
The policy is also not intended to restrict discussion and debate in the classroom or academic forum. Protecting these values does not include protecting acts of discrimination or harassment. Making an intentionally false charge of discrimination or harassment or retaliating against someone who has made a charge is as serious an offense as discrimination or harassment and is prohibited.
External Fellowship Policy for Students in RIT’s Doctoral Programs
Graduate Students are strongly encouraged to seek external fellowships to help fund the expenses of their academic program. The award of such fellowships is a mark of distinction and can provide significant additional funding for the successful applicant.
RIT’s policy on external fellowships applies to doctoral students who are receiving financial support from the University during the academic year.
Students who win awards of $5,000 or less may retain the funds in full. RIT’s External Fellowship Policy will not apply.
Students who win external fellowships and other awards of more than $5,000 should inform the Office of Graduate Studies immediately. RIT’s External Fellowship Policy will then be applied.
Students who receive a personal external award may receive a supplement from RIT that amounts to the standard stipend offered at the time of admission, or the standard stipend in their program, and an additional $5,000. If the sum of the external award and RIT’s stipend exceeds this total, then RIT’s portion will be reduced accordingly*.
Students who receive an external award that covers part or all of their tuition expenses may expect that RIT will reduce its tuition support by an equivalent amount.
Should the external awards include provision for health insurance, this will replace RIT’s health insurance award.
Students should note that all RIT offers of support beyond the first year are contingent upon the availability of funds.
- A student at admission receives a stipend award of $20,000. The student wins an external award of $3,000. The student retains the external award and also existing RIT support in full, as the External Fellowship Policy will not apply.
- A student at admission receives a stipend award of $20,000. The student wins an external award that provides a stipend of $15,000. Under the External Fellowship Policy, the student will keep the $15,000 external award and also receive $10,000 from RIT (replacing the original $20,000), for a total of $25,000.
- A student at admission receives a stipend award of $20,000. The student wins an external award that provides a stipend of $27,000. Under the External Fellowship Policy, the student will keep the $27,000 external award. RIT will withdraw its stipend award of $20,000 for the duration of the external award.