Policy Number: D02.0

Policy Name: ADMISSION

The Rochester Institute of Technology bases its admissions decisions upon the academic qualifications of applicants. RIT will admit qualified individuals regardless of race, color, creed, age, marital status, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, veteran status, or disability. The compliance officers are the provost, Jeremy Haefner, and the senior vice president for Finance and Administration, James Watters. The standards for admission depend upon the particular program being considered; the underlying principle for acceptance, though, is a demonstration of ability to complete the desired program successfully.

All applications for undergraduate admission are processed through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. All applications for graduate admission are processed through the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services. The applicant's record will include an RIT application, previous college or secondary school records, applicable test scores, recommendations (if required) and other documents that may support admission of the candidate. All applicants are notified of admission or rejection by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services.

If a previously admitted and registered student has been discontinued (has not completed a course in three terms, including summer but not including intersession) or has withdrawn from RIT, university policy requires the student to reapply for admission.

I. UNDERGRADUATE

Admission decisions on undergraduate applicants are made by the admissions staff with appropriate consultation of the college concerned.

  1. Transfer Credit

Evaluation of transfer credit is made by the academic school or department in question and the College of Liberal Arts. Official transcripts from each college or university attended must be sent to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Transfer credit at the undergraduate level will usually be granted for those courses completed with a grade of "C" or better in other regionally accredited colleges or universities and specific armed services course work which parallel courses in the program (including options, if any) for which the student is applying or is currently registered. However, if the program (or option) which the student finally chooses to pursue does not include any or all of the courses evaluated, they will not be credited toward requirements for a degree.

Degree-seeking RIT students who wish to take courses at other accredited institutions and receive transfer credit towards their RIT degrees need to secure the prior written approval of the dean(s), or their designee, of their home college or, if their program is housed outside the college structure, the approval of the director or director's designee. In order to assure appropriateness of the course content and course level for Liberal Arts courses, academic units should consult with the College of Liberal Arts as needed. Transfer credit must meet residency requirements as noted in Policy D12.0.2.C-Graduation Requirements.

In the event that transfer credit is given as elective credit for courses that do not parallel any courses given at RIT, such credit will be recorded on the student's academic record.

Under no circumstances can a recipient of a two-year associate's degree from another institution receive more than two years' transfer credit for that degree. However, applicable courses successfully completed beyond the associate's degree at the upper division or equivalent level may transfer to the student's intended program. RIT residency requirements must be satisfied. (See Policy D.12)

  1. Credit for Advanced Placement Tests

The university participates in the College Entrance Examination Board's Advanced Placement Program under which students may receive credit at the university for completion of advanced placement courses taken in a secondary school. Such students must take the CEEB's Advanced Placement Tests prior to enrollment. At the time they take these examinations, students should request that their test scores be sent directly to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Decisions as to whether advanced credit can be given for these courses will depend upon the scores and upon their relevance to the student's program at the university. Generally, a score of 3 or higher is considered for credit provided the course is applicable to the student's program. If credit is approved, the title and course number of the specific course, the number of credit hours and the grade of "X" will be recorded on the student's academic record after matriculation. Students granted advanced credit are encouraged to take elective courses to enrich their programs.

  1. International Undergraduate Students

The U.S. Government expects international students to prove competency in the English language prior to their acceptance to an American college or university. In keeping with this expectation, students whose native language is not English and who’s secondary or higher education was completed in a non-native English speaking country must take a test of English language proficiency. Students must achieve the following minimum scores prior to consideration for admission: 550 paper-based or 79 internet-based on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or 58 on the Pearson Test of English-Academic.

Applicants whose test results fall below the minimum scores for admission but who otherwise meet academic requirements will be referred to the English Language Center. They will not be admitted to academic programs until they meet proficiency criteria established by the English Language Center.

II. GRADUATE

Admission decisions for graduate applicants are made by the department or college offering the program upon receipt of a completed application folder from the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services.

  1. Requirements

The basic entry requirements for graduate degree candidates include the completion of a baccalaureate degree and whatever other evidence of the applicant's potential to complete graduate studies may be required by the particular program. Rare exceptions to the baccalaureate requirement can be made in the case of candidates who have demonstrated unusual competence in their field of specialization. For these exceptions the recommendation of the department chairperson or director and the approval of the appropriate dean and the Graduate Council are required.

  1. External (non-RIT) Transfer Credit

Transfer credit at the graduate level may be granted for those graduate courses completed with a grade of "B" or better under the same stipulations stated above for undergraduate transfer credit. A maximum of 20% of the program degree credits as published in the RIT Bulletin may be awarded as transfer credit from other institutions. Waived courses will be recorded for graduate students on an individual course basis. Waived courses are those eliminated from the list of requirements that a graduate student must take to graduate. For a complete definition see the policy on "Grades" (D5.0).The total combined amount of credit applied through external (non-RIT) transfer credit, waived courses, and credit by competency may not exceed 20% of the total credits in the graduate program as published in the RIT bulletin.

Academic units may informally advise non-degree students, but no formal program of study can be approved prior to admission.

The formal program is laid out by the dean's designee (department head, coordinator or program director, etc.) and is the one that must be followed by all students applying for admission or readmission in that program.

In certain cases graduate students may be admitted prior to but conditional upon completion of the baccalaureate degree. Applicants should not be considered for admission prior to the start of their final year of undergraduate study. The student must present a final transcript signifying successful completion of their baccalaureate degree by the end of the first term they are enrolled in the graduate program.

Graduate applicants who do not fully satisfy all admission criteria as to grades, test scores or other credentials, but do show sufficient promise to qualify for a trial period of graduate study may be admitted on probation to the university. Such students must achieve a 3.00 ("B") program grade point average by the end of their first 9 credit hours of graduate study. Those students who do not meet this criterion will be suspended. Responsibility for specific requirements and maintenance of the student's appropriate status rests with the academic unit in consultation with the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services and the Office of the Registrar.

  1. International Graduate Students

The U.S. Government expects international students to prove competency in the English language prior to their acceptance to an American college or university. In keeping with this expectation, students whose native language is not English and their secondary or higher education was completed in a non-native English speaking country must take a test of English language proficiency. Students must achieve the following minimum scores prior to consideration for admission into graduate studies: 550 paper-based, or 79 internet-based on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or 58 on the Pearson Test of English-Academic. Individual academic units may require higher standards or additional requirements.

Applicants whose test results fall below the minimum scores for admission but who otherwise meet academic requirements will be referred to the English Language Center. They will not be admitted to academic programs until they meet proficiency criteria established by the English Language Center.

  1. Readmission of Graduate Student

Students who leave a graduate program, or have a lapse in enrollment greater than or equal to three terms, including summer but not including intersession, and wish to return to that program must reapply through the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services. All student applications are subject to admissions standards at the time of reapplication. The program of study shall be subject to review and may be rewritten. Previous waiver and/or transfer credit may be lost, and program deficiencies may need to be made up.

Each college has the responsibility, upon a student's readmission, of determining which previous courses if any, are applicable toward the degree. Be aware that standards and degree requirements may have changed and previous waiver, transfer or competency credit may be lost and program deficiencies may need to be made up. All readmission decisions are made by the academic unit. Readmission is not guaranteed.

Graduate students must complete the graduate program within seven years of the date of the oldest course counted toward their program. This does not apply to prerequisites, bridge program courses or similar requirements. See policy D12.0 - Graduation requirements.

III. STUDENT CLASSIFICATION

  1. Active Students

This status refers to a student who is currently in process of applying for acceptance or re-applying (from discontinued or non-degree-seeking status) for acceptance to the university is currently a degree-seeking student, or is a non-degree-seeking student taking courses in the current term.

  1. Discontinued Students

This status refers to students who will be classified as discontinued if there is no enrollment activity during the term specified in the acceptance procedure, if the student shows no enrollment activity in three terms, including summer but not including intersession, if the student has graduated in a normally terminal program, or if the student officially withdraws or is suspended from the university.

  1. Degree-Seeking Students

This status applies to students who have been formally accepted as certificate, diploma, or degree candidates through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services.

  1. Non-Degree-Seeking Students

This status refers to students who are not candidates for a certificate, diploma or degree of the university and are taking courses for their own benefit on a space-available basis. Courses taken by a non-degree-seeking student may, or may not, be applied to a program once admission as a degree-seeking student has been attained.

  1. Full-Time Students

A full-time undergraduate student is a degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking student carrying 12 or more credit hours per term. A full-time graduate student is a degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking student carrying 9 or more credit hours per term. Any student taking more than 18 credit hours per semester must have the permission of an advisor, department head or school director. Additional tuition will be charged for more than 18 credits at the current credit hour rate.

  1. Part-Time Students

A part-time undergraduate student is a degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking student carrying fewer than 12 credit hours per term. A part-time graduate student is a degree-seeking or non-degree-seeking student carrying fewer than 9 credit hours per term. Such students pay tuition at the current rate per term credit hour.

IV. STUDENT CHANGE PROCESSES

  1. Entry to Active Status

    1. Degree-seeking Students: To become a degree-seeking active student, the individual must re-apply through the Office of Undergraduate Admission or the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services. No application fee is required of those students for whom it can be demonstrated that the fee has been paid previously.

    2. Non-degree-seeking Students: Non-degree-seeking status is entered by following the prescribed registration procedures for which the course in which enrollment is planned. No attempt is made to reserve classroom space for non-degree-seeking students. They are served on a space-available basis.

  2. Discontinued Status

Both degree-seeking and non-degree-seeking students become discontinued by default through lack of academic activity, official withdrawal, or suspension, or by graduation in a normal terminal program.

  1. Re-entry into Active Status

    1. Degree-seeking Students: To become a degree-seeking active student, the individual must re-apply through the academic unit. No application fee is required of those students for whom it can be demonstrated that the fee has been paid previously.

    2. Non-degree-seeking Students: The student follows the prescribed admission/registration procedures for the academic unit in which enrollment is planned. No attempt is made to reserve classroom space for non-degree-seeking students. They are served on a space-available basis.

V. PROGRAM/PLAN CHANGE

Program/Plan change implies a change in an active student’s program, department, academic unit or college. All program/plan changes (i.e., college, department and program) must be completed by the end of the add/drop period (Policy D 3.0) in a given term. Changes requested after this time will be effective in the ensuing term. All changes must be processed through the Registrar’s Office. The procedures are as follows:

  1. Change of Program/Plan Within a Department

This type of change will be accomplished by the student in consultation with advisor, with certification by the academic unit and with notification to the Registrar’s Office on the Change of Program/Plan Form.

  1. Change of Program/Plan to Another School or Department

The student initiates the application, in consultation with advisor, on a Change of Program/Plan Form. With clearance of the "home" academic unit (housing the student’s current program), the request is forwarded to the "new" academic unit (housing the "new" program) with the student's records. If the decision is negative, the new academic unit notifies the student of the decision and returns the change form and records to the "home" academic unit. If the decision is positive and a reevaluation of transfer credit is accomplished, the "new" academic unit notifies the "home" academic unit, so that they may clear their records and inform the student's advisor. The "new" academic unit forwards the Change of Program/Plan Form and the reevaluation of transfer credit to the Registrar's Office. The "new" academic unit retains the student's records.

VI. LEAVE OF ABSENCE

There are two types of student leave of absence: voluntary and involuntary. See policy D2.1 for further information.

VII. ACADEMIC STANDING

An RIT student is in good academic standing and is maintaining satisfactory progress if accepted into a program of study (degree-seeking) and currently enrolled at this institution.

VIII. GUIDE TO YEAR CLASSIFICATION OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

The following guide is designed to assist in obtaining a uniform year classification through the various colleges, schools, departments and other academic units of the university. This guide will aid both the degree-seeking student transferring to RIT, and those who began their collegiate career at RIT, to determine how they are progressing toward their degree.

  1. Year Classification determined as follows:

Credit hours applied toward a degree:

4 Year Programs

0-26 credit hours - Year or Level 1

27-55 credit hours - Year or Level 2

56-84 credit hours - Year or Level 3

85 & above credit hours - Year or Level 4

5 Year Programs

0-26 credit hours - Year or Level 1

27-55 credit hours - Year or Level 2

56-75 credit hours - Year or Level 3

76-95 credit hours - Year or Level 4

96 & above credit hours - Year or Level 5

NOTE: Students meeting only the minimum full-time enrollment standards may require additional time to complete degree requirements.

  1. Exceptions

Due to the sequential nature of some programs, the following table should be substituted for the credit hour table in order to estimate progress toward a degree:

Estimated number of terms at RIT to earn a Degree*

12-11 - Year or Phase Classification 1

10-9-8 - Year or Phase Classification 2

7-6-5 - Year or Phase Classification 3

4-3 - Year or Phase Classification 4

*Determine the estimated number of terms required to earn a bachelor's degree with the following formula:


Number of terms estimated to earn a bachelor's degree

=

(Total credit for degree minus Total transfer credit and/or earned credit)

/

Average number of credits that can reasonably be scheduled for each term

_______________(divided by)___________________

IX. CREDIT BY EXAMINATION

  1. External

It is the policy of the university to grant credit for satisfactory performance on various external examinations, such as CLEP or New York State Proficiency Examinations, provided such examinations cover or parallel the objectives and content of the courses for which credit is being sought, and are in advance of credit already earned in the subject matter concerned. (In order to raise a "D" grade or to remove a failure, the course must be repeated by retaking the course at the university.) Undergraduate students will be eligible for receiving credit (up to a maximum of 24 credit hours) only if they are degree-seeking students of the university.

The student is responsible for having results of the examinations forwarded to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will have the records evaluated in concert with the academic unit concerned, and notify the student of credit granted. The course will be posted to the student's academic record with the grade of "X." Unsuccessful attempts will not be recorded.

  1. RIT Credit by Examination

Matriculated students may wish to establish credit in a defined area of competence through a challenge examination process.

The student must contact the academic unit responsible for the course to request approval to challenge the course by examination. If the department approves the request, then the department will specify the method by which the examination will be administered and the grade assigned. Credit by Examination may not be used to raise a grade or to remove a failure. In these cases, the course in question must be repeated. The amount of credit to be earned by challenge must be specified as part of the enrollment process. If the examination process is appropriate, the student will pay a fee to the university through Student Financial Services for each examination and receive a receipt for presentation to the instructor. With this acknowledgment of payment the process can proceed.

If the student is successful, the instructor responsible will complete the Credit by Exam/Credit by Experience form indicating the title and course number of the specific course, the number of credit hours, and the grade of "X." The form must be signed by the head of the department responsible for the course. The form is then forwarded by the academic unit to the registrar for posting to the student’s academic record. Unsuccessful attempts will not be recorded.

For graduate students, the combined total amount of credit applied through external (non-RIT) transfer credit, waived courses, and credit by competency may not exceed 20% of the total credits in the graduate program as noted in the RIT catalog. For further information see policy D12.0-Graduation Requirements.

X. CONTINUING EDUCATION UNIT

The Continuing Education Unit is designed to facilitate communication about continuing education from one person to another, from one institution to another, from employee to employer, and from one time period to another.

Specifically the Continuing Education Unit is defined as "Ten contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. Continuing education, for the purpose of this definition, includes all institutional and organizational learning experiences in organized formats that impart non-credit education at post-secondary levels."

Any continuing education non-credit instructional program at RIT which meets the following six criteria may be submitted for CEU approval to the provost or his or her designee:

  1. The activity is a continuing education learning experience.

  2. There is evidence of pre-planning which includes a written statement of objectives and/or rationale and a description of the program content and instructional methodology.

  3. Content is organized and presented in sequential manner.

  4. The program development and planning includes information and/or advice, which is significant to the resulting program, from any two of the following:
    1. Representation from the population to be served;

    2. RIT personnel with content expertise in the program area;

    3. Non-RIT personnel with content expertise in the program area.
  1. There is a provision for registration and certification for individual participants.
  1. Minimum attendance and participation requirements will be specified for each program.

No person shall be granted both degree/diploma credit and CEU’s for participation in a single program although that program may be approved for both degree/diploma credit and CEU’s.

XI. CREDIT FOR NON-TRADITIONAL LEARNING

Undergraduate students

The evaluation of credits for non-traditional studies or learning acquired from experience should apply the same academic standard as used for traditional course evaluation. It is important that this evaluation be done by the faculty in the academic unit who are knowledgeable in the course area. Such credit requests would normally be directed toward a specified required course or toward an existing free/professional elective in the proposed area of study. An allowed exception would be where the learning acquired would be acceptable as a free or professional elective by the academic unit in which the student seeks admission or is currently enrolled but does not fit a specific elective presently offered. Provisions should be made to accept and evaluate both kinds of credit requests.

Credit obtained for non-traditional learning will be indicated on the student's transcript as "credit by examination" and must be assigned in advance of any credit received through enrollment for the indicated course.

  1. Evaluation Procedure

    1. Non-traditional courses - A student who has completed a defined course of study outside the normal academic sphere may apply for appropriate course credits. Entering students would provide the Office of Undergraduate Admissions with the necessary supportive documents defining the learning acquired and this material would be forwarded to the academic unit in the normal path that conventional transfer credits follow. The options for evaluation include the following:

      1. Awarding credits for in-plant courses using guides available from the Armed Forces and the New York State Board of Regents.

      2. Awarding credits based upon the documentation provided by the student when in-plant courses are not defined in (a).

      3. Requiring the student to take an examination in the course for which credit is sought.

      4. If the course involved is in a sequence of courses, the student may be permitted to take the next course in the sequence, with credit for the previous course withheld until the student completes the second course with a grade of “C” or better. Students already in a program would follow the same procedure except that the request for credit would go directly to the department.
    1. Credit for learning acquired by work experience

      1. Existing courses at RIT - When no standard course work is involved, an entering student may request credit for specific courses through learning acquired from other experiences. To assist in organizing the documentation, the student should work in consultation with his/her academic unit to complete the Credit by Examination/Experience form available from the Registrar’s Office.

      2. Courses not presently offered at RIT - Requests for credits in the area of “free” or “professional” electives where no existing course at RIT matches the student’s experiential learning should follow the guidelines provided on the Credit by Examination/Experience form.

      These materials would be collected by the student’s primary academic department/unit that in turn would check them for completeness. An evaluation would be done. Again, credit would be approved or denied based upon the judgment of the academic unit.

    2. Requests for such credits by students already in a program would be submitted directly to the primary academic department/unit by the student. Awarding or denying the credit would be the judgment of the department. Whatever evaluation tools (including an examination) that are deemed necessary would be applied.

    3. Additional Procedures and Requirements

      1. Although the above procedure ensures that those requesting experiential learning credits are directed to the appropriate people, there is no assurance that a uniform standard of evaluation will be used throughout the departments of a college.

      2. Therefore, each dean will establish a committee to formulate policies and standards and to review periodically experiential learning credit requests. The structure of the committee will be such that uniform treatment of these requests will occur throughout the college. When a student is denied credits and wishes to contest the department’s decision, such a request should be directed to the appropriate dean for action.

      3. Students in RIT programs that include co-op as a normal part of their curriculum may not apply for credit for this work experience.

      4. An applicant should be made aware that the amount of credit that can be given is limited by the university residency requirements and by limits on this type of credit that may be established by the university or by the colleges concerned.

      5. The student will submit the appropriate fee to the Office of Student Financial Services once the amount of credit to be awarded has been determined.

Graduate students

Graduate students may request to receive credit by competency. The total combined amount of credit applied through external (non-RIT) transfer credit, waived courses, and credit by competency may not exceed 20% of the total credits in the graduate program as noted in the RIT catalog.

Credit by competency may be earned through:

Credit by exam as outlined in section IX.B, or
Credit by review - The review must include a portfolio and oral review with the candidate

A. Evaluation Procedures and Requirements

The evaluation of credits by competency should apply the same academic standard as used for traditional course evaluation. This evaluation must be done by the faculty in the academic unit who have expertise in the course area. Application of Credit by Competency to degree requirements must be approved by the academic unit in which the student is seeking the degree. Credit by Competency is not guaranteed.

  1. Credit by exam: Students should work in consultation with their graduate program director to explore the possibility of Credit by Exam. See policy IX.B for the detailed process.

  2. Credit by Review: Students should work in consultation with their graduate program director to determine if Credit by Review is possible and for guidance in organizing the portfolio and documentation.

  3. Students should be informed that the total combined amount of credit applied through external (non-RIT) transfer credit, waived courses, and credit by competency may not exceed 20% of the total credits in the graduate program.

  4. The amount of credit by competency that can be given is limited by university requirements. Additional limits on this type of credit may be established by the programs/colleges/academic units concerned.

  5. Credit by competency will be indicated on the student's transcript as an "X" grade and must be assigned in advance of any credit received through enrollment for the indicated course.

  6. The student will submit the appropriate fee to the Office of Financial Student Services once the amount of credit to be awarded has been determined.
The dean of each college or in situations where the program is housed outside the college structure, the director of the academic unit, will establish a committee to formulate policies and standards and to periodically review Credit by Competency requests. Uniform procedures to review these requests will be implemented throughout the college.

When a student is denied credits, and wishes to contest the decision, the request should be directed to their graduate program director for action.

XII. OVERLAPPING CREDIT FOR SECOND DEGREE

Careful consideration must be given to designing a second RIT baccalaureate or second RIT graduate degree program since large numbers of credits may be used to satisfy both degree requirements. The following criteria, should be used in advising students regarding work towards second degrees. There must be careful planning of the academic requirements of both programs.

Undergraduate students:

For information about dual degrees and double majors, refer to policies D1.2 and D1.3.

Graduate Students:

At the discretion of the graduate committee in the specific degree area, a maximum of 20% of previous RIT master's degree hours can normally be applied toward satisfying requirements for a subsequent master's degree. The use of a given course in two different programs can be allowed only if the course which applied for credit toward the first master's degree is a required course for the second degree, and if use is made in both programs during a period not in excess of five years from the first to the last usage. In no case shall the second degree require less than the minimum 30 credit hours of study. [Where duplication of required courses causes a student to go below the 30 hour limit in the second degree program, the student would be exempted from these courses but be required to replace the credit hours with appropriately approved courses.]

Responsible Offices
Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Office of Graduate Enrollment Services, and the Academic Senate. Inquiries can be directed to:

Academic Senate:
asenate@rit.edu
(585)475-2016

Effective Date: Approved September 1958

Policy History:
Last revised April 20, 2005
Edited August 2010
Revised April 25, 2013