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Cross Disciplinary Committee

Charge: Determine and recommend [to the Director of Semester Conversion] resolutions for the full scope of cross-disciplinary issues created as a result of RIT's conversion to semesters such as: Credit hours, duplicate courses, transfer articulations and agreements, double majors, BS-MS, etc.

Committee Structure and Membership

The committee comprised of faculty from each of RIT's colleges, as well as the Office of the Registrar's, International Education Working Group and Graduate Council members will work collaboratively and quickly to resolve issue. The term is this committee will be for the duration of the semester conversion implementation project with the majority of work occurring in academic years 2010 and 2011.

Oversight will be provided by the Committee Chair and by the Semester Conversion Steering Committee. The committee Chair is also a member of the Semester Conversion Steering Committee.

Alignment with the work of the Curriculum Conversion Process Committee and the Scheduling Subcommittee is imperative. Recommendations from this group will also be critical to the work of the Advising committee and the Co-op /internship committee.


  • George Zion
  • Joe Loffredo
  • Scott Hawker
    Faculty GCCIS
  • Uli Linke
    Faculty COLA
  • Barb Cerio
    Faculty CAST
  • Matt Marshall
    Faculty KGCOE
  • John Tu
    Faculty SCB
  • Glenn Hintz
    Faculty CIAS
  • Marianne Gustafson
    Faculty NTID
  • Dawn Hollenbeck
    Faculty COS
  • Jim Myers
    International Education Working Group
  • Charlie Border
    Chair, ICC
  • Agememnon Crassadis
    Chair, Graduate Council
  • George Zion
    Chair, General Education Committee

Cross Disciplinary Committee


(other issues will emerge as a result of discussion)
    From 3/11 Senate minutes: The President said that has yet to be discussed, but he hopes for reasonable flexibility around preserving course diversity and the number of courses.
  1. Examine flexibility to offer 4 credit hours courses within the 5x3 model
    It has been suggested that:
    1. Four semester credit hours is particularly appropriate for lab based courses
    2. Three semester credit hours is particularly appropriate for a lecture
    3. One semester credit hour is particularly appropriate for an accompanying lab or  seminar
    4. Other special courses may be either one or two sch
  2. Make a legitimate distinction between the designations: Service Courses, General Education Courses, and Individual Program courses
    1.  Make best practice recommendation for the fair distribution of potentially (8) four credit courses between General Education, Service Courses and Individual Programs courses, allowing the maximum flexibility in assigning credit hours to each
    2. Will Gen Ed be flexible as well or will all be 3-hour courses?
    3. Will gen Ed courses be 1, 2 or 3 sch
  3. What types and how many courses/credits are required for a major?
    1. How many credits from a home department in a major?
    2. How many credit hours of institute electives will be required?
    3. What are the credit hour guidelines for a BS/MS degree?
    4. How many courses/credits can be double counted in a BS/MS degree?
    5. Can lab courses with a lecture be 4sch (3 for course/ 1 for lab)
    6. If so, should they be listed separately, independently
    7. What are the registration issues created/avoided in either case
    8. How can students have minimum 40 courses (120-128 sch) when science students will be taking multiple 4sch math and science courses (including labs)
  4. Recommend a course approvals process for courses that are either greater than, or less than three Semester credit hours (Sch)
    • 3-semester hours of credit normally means three contact hours, will it be possible to create 3-semester hour courses that meet for longer than 3 hours per week - as opposed to creating a 4-semester hour course?
      • If so, what criteria apply or what conditions might we have to state exist in order for us to put such a course on the books
  5. Make mask recommendation for core service courses required for the STEM programs

    Physics currently has students at (5 credit hours):  Track 1 students = 6 hrs/wk of contact per week for 2 quarters; Track 2 students = 8 hrs/wk of contact per week for 2 quarters plus 6 hrs/wk of contact during the 3rd quarter (for 4 credit hours) Total = 9 credit hours. However, a split to 4 credit hours/semester total = 8 credit hours

    1. How can Physics avoid losing 1 credit hour/year without losing intellectual rigor?

      Is a 75 minute interval flexible or unalterable? If not, potentially students would be required to take 6 or 6.5 contact hrs for 4 credits. The Scheduling Committee is examining this issue, as it is related to course scheduling

  6. Double Majors
    1. How many courses/credits constitute a double major?
  7. Examine internal transfer guidelines and articulation agreements from quarters to semesters
    1. Review RIT's existing internal transfer and articulation guidelines
    2. Revise RIT's internal transfer and articulation guidelines from quarters to semesters
    3. Recommend renegotiations for transferring existing internal articulations and transfer agreements
  8. What is the total minimum number of course credits mandated for a masters degree? 
    1. NYS sets some parameters, and Chris plans to talk to them directly about their requirements quite soon.  There is also the issue of the NYS expectation of the total number of credits expected for completion of a Ph.D. degree, a topic on which their official website offers little guidance.
  9. What is the recommended number of credits for a thesis - one that we should resolve ourselves?  It would certainly be helpful to take the opportunity of the conversion to establish a norm here. To that end, I am about to poll masters degree graduate program coordinators to learn from them their current expectations. That information will come in early next week, and I will pass it along.
  10. Several graduate program coordinators have raised another fundamental issue: How many credit hours should a graduate student take to count as full-time study. 
    1. The matter is important not only for our internal procedures but also because, among other concerns, it affects visa status for international students.  Our current rule is that 12 credit hours count as full-time study but in a number of programs, especially in engineering, a minimum of 8 has become acceptable, with other activities also taken into account.  Here I suggest a clear ruling is required that clarifies the present opaque set of understandings.