Make a well informed decision when deciding (or re-deciding) on a college major. University Studies offers a step by step, systematic process for students to learn about themselves and their options for a major at RIT. This takes time and effort and a bit of energy and enthusiasm, but the results will be worth it.
Start your exploration now by clicking on the topics below.
University Studies students are assigned an advisor who will assist them every step of the way through the exploration process. This advisor will know his or her students personally as they transition through college and discover their final major.
Role of the Academic Advisor:
Role of the Student Advisees:
This required, one-credit hour course focuses on individual/personal assessment. Students explore their interests, values and skills through career inventories including the Strong Interest Inventory and the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, as well as other self-guided worksheets on personal values and skills analysis.
Through class led discussions, reflective activities, and individual appointments, students use their assessment findings to research potential RIT majors and career fields.
Sample Syllabus for Career Exploration Seminar:
|DATE||CAREER EXPLORATION SEMINAR - CONTENT||UNIVERSITY STUDIES ADVISOR - CONTENT|
|Week 1||Introduction to Course||
Why we (University Studies) are here!
Information Grid Exercise
Complete the Assessments:
1) Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
2) Strong Interest Inventory
|Review the University Studies Advising Syllabus & Advising Expectations|
|Week 3||Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Interpretation||
Steps to the Major Exploration Process
Discuss the RIT Academic Alert System
|Week 4||Strong Interest Inventory Interpretation||
Introduce the RIT Undergraduate Bulletin- Majors, Minors and Immersions
Online Career Resources
Meet in Library
|Review majors in the College of Liberal Arts|
|Week 6||Values Exercise and Discussion||Review majors in the College of Science and the College of Health Sciences and Technology|
|Week 7||Skills and Abilities||
Review majors in the College of Applied Science and Technology and the Kate Gleason College of Engineering
Sign up for Enrollment Appointments
Integrating Occupational Information and Personal Information
Review majors in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
What are the differences between a BS and BFA degree?
World of Work
Preparing an Elevator Speech
|Review majors in the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences|
Visit the RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education: Majors, Co-ops, Internships and Careers
What Employers want you to learn
Review majors in the Saunders College of Business and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Discuss the School of Individualized Study option
|Week 11||No Class –Meet one-on-one with Instructor||No Class|
|Week 12||Personal Portfolio/Resume||
Career Services & Cooperative Education Resources: Salary and Career Information
Decision Making and Goal Setting
Preparing for the Major Application Process, Deadlines and Supplemental Needs/ Change of Major Form
Preparing for the Departmental Meetings and Professional Email Communication
|Week 14||Planned Happenstance||
How to Calculate Your GPA and Possible Outcomes
Bumps in the Road and Alternate Planning
Final Paper Due
Exit Survey from USP if Changing Majors Spring
Transitioning into a New College, New Advisor, Etc.
One of the most important components of deciding on a major is experiencing the major or a content area through "sample courses". Here is what a sample schedule of an exploring University Studies student looking at programs across three colleges might look like and why.
Sampling three majors that span three colleges:
Possible Sample Options:
University Studies advisors get to know their student advisees well and this one-on-one relationship helps the advisors select sample courses that best fit their advisees’ interests. Many sample courses also satisfy university general education requirements.
Once students translate their career assessments into possible RIT majors, students will start their major research by identifying majors of interest in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Completing a "Pros/Cons" worksheet for top three majors of interest helps guide a student through a process of exploring what they may like and dislike about a program, often leading to a list of questions for a department chairperson such as "What type of job will I have with a degree in Motion Picture Science or Environmental Sustainability, Health and Safety?"
Once students have narrowed down their interests, identified a few programs of study, and completed a Pros/Cons or Department Meeting Prep Sheet, meeting with departments will help clarify and validate interests. This referral to a department gives students the opportunity to ask questions about careers, program requirements, and the process for changing into that college major.
In most cases, when students are ready to apply to a major it involves completing one simple form, a change of program form, which they then submit directly to their academic advisor in University Studies. There are a few majors that do require supplemental application materials or they may have artistic portfolio requirements as well. A very small number of majors may also mandate fall starts. The advisors in University Studies are all aware of these details and effectively communicate them to their student advisees. It should be noted that students are also advised to research a “Plan B” major should they not be qualified for and accepted into their first choice major.