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Not Accepted to Your First Choice Program? What to Do Next

(April 08 2011) Written by: Mariah McLane in Admissions Process

At RIT, we have what is known as differential admissions, meaning the admissions requirements may differ from one program to another. That’s why we ask you on the application to select a specific academic program as part of our admissions process. So, if you applied to RIT and didn’t get admitted into your first choice program, you may have been placed on a wait list. Several of our highly competitive programs have limited space to offer students, and they often fill to capacity.

         If you’ve been wait listed for your program of choice, you’re most likely wondering what this means. First, please keep in mind that students placed on a wait list actually ARE admissible to their top choice major! However, there simply isn’t enough space available to accommodate all the qualified candidates who applied to our most competitive programs. We currently have a student to faculty ratio of 14 to 1 and an average class size of 25 students, and we want to keep our classes nice and small. This enables students to have more personal interactions with and attention from their professors. You may also be wondering, “Where do I rank on the wait list?” or “When will I find out if I’m chosen off the wait list?” We don’t rank the students on our wait list unless we have to pull students from it, and some students may find out before the May 1 deposit deadline while others find out afterward. It will all depend on how many students decide to enroll and whether or not space becomes available in your particular program.

        So, what should you do now? I would recommend doing some research on your accepted program to see if it’s a field that interests you. One great way to learn about your major is to contact the department directly and speak with a faculty member about your future career goals. They can provide excellent insight into your potential field of study and answer any questions you may have. You can also speak with an admissions counselor about alternative options, such as being reviewed for another program. One of the best parts about RIT is the diverse academic portfolio we offer, so please take another look and see what other options may be available to you.

        I encourage you to explore your options during this exciting last stage of your college search process. Remember, we are here to help, so please feel free to contact the admissions office anytime at 585-475-6631 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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