Academics & Programs

Undergraduate Programs

We offer Bachelor’s Degrees that take advantage of RIT’s unique focus on high technology and career preparation.  Learn more about each of our programs below and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!  You can reach our Admissions Liaison, Amy Lyman, at axlgla@rit.edu or (585)475-4137.

Advertising & Public Relations

This program is one of the few in the country that combines the disciplines of advertising, public relations, and marketing in one undergraduate degree program.   Students learn to create persuasive messages for a variety of traditional and emerging media platforms, as well as to analyze audiences, write copy, select media, and manage campaigns.

Program Goals

  • To understand the role of advertising and public relations in the marketing process.
  • To conduct research effectively.
  • To speak publicly with a high level of proficiency.
  • To write proficiently.
  • To use visual communication and design effectively.
  • Provide opportunities for professional work experience.

 

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Communication

Develop practical communication skills grounded in sound theoretical knowledge and learn to apply those skills in a professional field.  Students in this program are given advanced education in the theory and practice of spoken, written, and technology-mediated communication.  Students also augment their education with a professional core in a complimentary technical or professional subject, such as photography, media design, or another area of interest.

Program Goals

  • Develop mastery of human communication theory and its practical applications.
  • Develop a sound theoretical understanding of and practical experience in a communication sub-discipline.
  • Develop Proficiency in quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Provide a theoretical understanding and practical application of communication law and ethics.
  • Provide opportunities for professional work experience.

 

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Criminal Justice

The criminal justice program offers students a broad education, preparing them for a wide range of careers in federal and local law enforcement, as well as offers a strong academic foundation for graduate or law school.  The curriculum is focused on promoting and maintaining justice, protecting human freedom and rights, increasing public safety and reducing violence, cyberlaw and computer crime, and the over-representation of racial and ethnic minorities in the criminal justice and juvenile justice systems.

Program Goals

  • Acquire historical and contemporary perspectives on the nature and extent of crime and policies related to crime and justice, with emphasis on implications for policy, race, class and gender both domestically and globally.
  • Develop foundational knowledge of history, philosophy, theory, processes and reform of police agencies, courts, corrections, and criminal justice policies.
  • Develop practical skills to research, integrate and apply analytic skills and knowledge to specific criminal justice issues.
  • Develop an understanding of and the ability to apply criminological theories in explaining the social, legal, and political processes by which behaviors are criminalized and the responses that arise to address such behaviors.
  • Identify ethical issues surrounding crime and crime policies.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts, policy issues, and legal and ethical issues surrounding crime and justice.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of organizational structures and functions of police agencies, courts, correctional institutions, and criminal justice policies and critical understanding of the impact of such on groups and society in the U.S. and globally.
  • Identify, locate and apply social, legal and other professional resources materials.
  • Apply critical thinking skills in order to apply existing knowledge to existing social issues surrounding crime and criminal justice policies.

 

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Digital Humanities & Social Sciences

Digital Humanities & Social Sciences is an innovative, interdisciplinary major that combines the liberal arts with information science and technologies. By collaborating across colleges and disciplines, we can use emerging technologies to experiment with new research and pedagogy in the humanities and social sciences. DHSS rethinks liberal arts traditions, exploring innovation across the changing landscape of technology and considering what it means to be human in today’s technology-driven world. The field not only examines possible technical limitations or improvements, but also takes into account a larger political economy and cultural context.

Program Goals

  • Determine the broad social, legal, and ethical questions and concerns surrounding digital media and contemporary culture.
    • Analyze the value of digital methods to the cultural record by thinking critically about tools, their uses, and limitations.
    • Interrogate digital information and evidence for validity, relevance, and best practices for attribution and transparency.
  • Employ a range of computational tools for humanities or social science scholarship.
    • Use computational approaches including information visualization, web design, markup, and social networking software.
    • Apply computational tools and methodologies in humanities or social science-based inquiry.
  • Produce multi-authored media using interdisciplinary methodologies.
    • Identify the development stages of a media project and meet the needs and priorities in each stage of the project life-cycle.
    • Produce a completed functional prototype and publication, giving appropriate intellectual credit.
    • Recognize multiple audiences, academic and non-academic, to determine the authority of digital work.
  • Integrate data from multiple sources with humanities or social sciences research to invent new expression, creation, and engagement.
    • Formulate a humanities-based inquiry and determine a digital platform or tool that will address the line of inquiry.
    • Explore notions of production, reception, circulation, and preservation of digital scholarship.
    • Assess participation in the “digital culture”: inclusion and exclusion, coercion and restriction.

 

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Economics

The economics program emphasizes the quantitative analytical approach to dealing with economic problems in both the public and private sectors, providing students with marketable skills and the intellectual foundation for career growth.

Program Goals

  • Provide a basic understanding of microeconomic and macroeconomic theory.
  • Introduce students to economic statistics and their applications.
  • Provide a basic understanding of quantitative methods used by economists.
  • Introduce students to a range of contemporary global economic issues.
  • Provide an understanding of how economic models are developed and applied in a policy/decision making setting.

 

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International & Global Studies

The International & Global Studies program provides the conceptual and methodological tools for analyzing global change across societies and in different world communities.  The core curriculum includes a repertoire of courses from anthropology, political science, and economics, including global studies, human right in global perspective, comparative economic systems, and culture and globalization.

Program Goals

  • Provide historical, ethnographic, and theoretical perspectives on globalization.
  • Provide practical and effective communication and intercultural skills for a globalizing world.
  • Provide opportunities for experiential learning and cross-cultural competence in a global context.
  • Develop grounding in the methods for the empirical and scientific analyses of international and global processes.
  • Develop knowledge of ethical principles in theory and practice that incorporate respect for persons, human rights, and cultural value systems.
  • Equip students with the ability to identify and analyze the impacts of global and international processes on world regions, populations, and societal systems.

 

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Journalism

The journalism program offers a unique and multifaceted educational experience that prepares students to gather, critically analyze, and synthesize verbal and visual information to communicate accurate and clear news stories across multiple media platforms. In addition to writing and reporting, students learn to prepare audio and visual content for dissemination in a variety of media, making them a valuable asset to any future employer specializing in news reporting and factual storytelling.

Program Goals

  • Understand the role of the press in society:  its history, impact, laws, and ethics.
  • Understand and conduct research and evaluate information by methods appropriate to the Journalism industry.
  • Understand and develop writing skills that are clearly in forms and styles appropriate for the communications professions, audiences and purposes they serve.
  • Understand and apply design capabilities needed for effective visual communication in the Journalism industry.
  • Have the skills and ability to achieve job mobility as journalists.

 

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Museum Studies

The museum studies program is an innovative, interdisciplinary, technically-based program that prepares students for careers in museums, archives, photo collections, and libraries. The program includes a set of introductory and advanced core courses to familiarize students with the fundamentals of museum studies, including the history, theory, and practice of institutional collecting, conservation, and the technical investigation of art.

Program Goals

  • Provide historical and theoretical perspectives on museums and collecting, in the local, national, and international contexts, with emphasis on differing institutional practices, the practices of historical and contemporary exhibition and museum education, the relationship between collecting and cultural ideologies/national identity, and contemporary legal and ethical concerns.
  • Develop an understanding of the materials, techniques, and processes used by artists/artisans in making art and historical objects in different historical periods and cultures, and to demonstrate an ability to recreate them.
  • Develop an understanding of the history, ethics and methodologies of art conservation and preservation, a familiarity with artists’ materials and techniques, and an overview of deterioration characteristics and conservation strategies.
  • Develop practical knowledge, skills and strategies for, and familiarity with, contemporary/ innovative approaches to fundraising, grant writing, collections management and care, and display and exhibition design.
  • Provide opportunities for experiential learning in museums, historical societies, and other cultural institutions.

 

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Philosophy

Philosophy students are taught to evaluate complex problems, identify and examine underlying principles, investigate issues from diverse perspectives, and communicate clearly in both written and oral forms.  Students combine philosophy with a core competence (or even a double major) in another discipline, encouraging them to creatively pursue cross-disciplinary relationships.

Program Goals

  • Develop foundational knowledge of the major thinkers and traditions in the history of philosophy.
  • Analyze value-oriented issues and questions.
  • Develop critical skills characteristic of philosophic analysis, including the ability to assess, critically yet fairly, arguments from multiple perspectives.
  • Develop scholarly research skills.
  • To promote opportunities for integrating philosophy with a professional/technical discipline.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to specialize in a particular sub-field of philosophy.

 

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Political Science

The political science program tightly integrates the traditional fields of American government and international relations in order to prepare students for a life and career in an increasingly globalized world. Moreover, the program includes tracks of courses in three areas: politics and life sciences, digital politics and the information age, and political institutions. The program prepares principled leaders and responsible citizens for fruitful careers in the public and private sectors.

Program Goals

  • American Government: To prepare students for careers in government and the private sector that requires an understanding of American government and politics as well as the impact of globalization on the democratic process and the political community.
    • To prepare students for careers in government and the private sector that requires an understanding of American government and politics, as well as the impact of globalization on the democratic process and the political community.
    • Describe the function and development of US political institutions (legislature, executive, judiciary, and bureaucracy) and their role in determining domestic and international policy of the country.
    • Evaluate the respective strengths and weaknesses of the American political order, both at home and abroad.
    • Describe the unique institution of American federalism and the division of political power between the national, state and local governments.
  • International Relations: To prepare students for careers in a world that is increasingly globalized and where the demarcation of international and domestic politics is blurred.
    • Critically assess the theory and practice of international relations and the influence of globalization on relations between nation-states and the role of international law and organizations in regulating these relations.
    • Critically assess the development and impact of American foreign policy in world politics, especially, in a world characterized by integration and convergence.
  • Digital Democracy: To understand the impact and influence of social computing on the political process and on social and political life.
    • Critically assess the effects of information technology and social computing on democratic self-government and on social and political life.
    • Construct websites, manage blogs and develop wikis as vehicles for the presentation of political information and the conduct of political activity.
  • Politics and the Life Sciences: To prepare students through a rigorous interdisciplinary politics and life sciences program, to consider political questions in creative and innovative ways.
    • Apply and evaluate the strengths and limitations of biological and evolutionary reasoning to contemporary political questions and problems.
    • Critically assess the political impact and implications of the biotechnical revolution.
    • Critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of evolutionary explanations of law & constitutionalism.
  • Life-Long Learning: To prepare students through a rigorous interdisciplinary program that includes the study of politics, the life sciences and information technology, for a life of learning and future graduate work.
    • Communicate clearly, orally, visually, and in writing, about political policy matters, both domestic and international.
    • Connect and integrate the knowledge, principles and methods of analysis acquired in the program.

 

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Psychology

Psychology studies two critical relationships: one between brain function and behavior, and another between the environment and behavior. The Psychology program at RIT provides a strong background in Psychology with substantial training in a technical/professional field. The unique mix prepares students with a curriculum that leads to the achievement of definite career goals.

Program Goals

  • Provide historical and theoretical perspectives on psychology, with an overview of the central subfields, an emphasis on the scientific approach and identification of ethical questions. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to think critically about theories and results in psychology.
  • Be able to conduct a literature search, and succinctly summarize literature related to a topic in psychology.
  • Demonstrate effective written communication skills.
  • Demonstrate effective oral, or signed (as appropriate) communication skills.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the behavior of individuals and small groups.
  • Able to use appropriate quantitative tools to explore and understand behavioral data.
  • Demonstrate ability to define a research problem, apply appropriate research methods and analysis and communicate the results to a broad audience.
  • Provide opportunities for professional work experience and career exploration.

 

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Public Policy

The public policy program explores the intersection of public policy, technology, and our natural world. The program provides students with an opportunity to integrate their interests in science, technology, government, economics, and other social science fields. Through the program, students acquire policy analysis skills, with particular attention on analyzing policies that emerge in a technology-based society.

Program Goals

  • Explain key elements of public policy and the policy analysis field (e.g., what public policy is, the policy process, why policy is needed, use of policy mechanisms, what a policy analyst does, and various approaches to policy analysis).
  • Apply a variety of quantitative techniques for analyzing public policy (e.g., cost-benefit analysis, decision analysis, systems thinking, forecasting).
  • Apply a variety of qualitative techniques for analyzing public policy (e.g., surveying, stakeholder analysis, observational studies).
  • Demonstrate high level of communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Explain how public policy affects scientific and technological endeavors and how science and technology create the need for various public policies.
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply policy analysis methods to a particular "policy domain" area.
  • Demonstrate the ability to define a research problem, conduct appropriate research methods and analysis, and communicate results to a broad audience.

 

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Sociology & Anthropology

The program focuses on understanding and appreciating social and cultural complexity and diversity. Critical issues examined in the degree include the economy, politics, society, gender, ethnicity, and culture. Through exposure to a wide range of theoretical perspectives and research skills, as well as an integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum, students in the Sociology and Anthropology degree are provided with the strong foundation necessary to pursue a wide range of career options both in the United States and abroad.

Program Goals

  • Recognize the interplay between society and the individual.
  • Analyze regional and cultural diversity in the organization of human societies.
  • Identify the roots of and mechanisms for the perpetuation of social inequalities.
  • Examine the interplay between global and local social and cultural processes.
  • Appraise classical and contemporary theories about society and culture.
  • Assess and appropriately use qualitative and quantitative methods in the study of social and cultural phenomena.
  • Describe how the perspectives, theories, methods, and accumulated knowledge within sociology, anthropology, or urban studies may be utilized to address contemporary social problems.

 

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Liberal Arts Exploration

The liberal arts exploration program is an undeclared option designed to allow students to complete liberal arts, mathematics and science required courses while actively pursuing career exploration and receiving individualized academic advising. Students may stay in the program for up to two years or 60 credit hours before they choose a major. This option offers students the flexibility and time to explore a variety of majors within the College of Liberal Arts without delaying their graduation.

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