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Adult & Continuing Education Part-time Study

Applied Arts & Science

RIT’s Center for Multidisciplinary Studies (CMS) understands that traditional college programs may not be the answer for adult/non-traditional learners. The Applied Arts & Science Degree, housed in CMS, is frequently chosen by many adult learners as their desired program due to several key components: numerous plan of study options, on-campus and online course capabilities, one-on-one academic advising and transfer-credit friendly curriculums.

It’s a proven fact that the right education can pay off in career success – combine RIT’s global recognition along with a flexible, multidisciplinary program and you have a recipe for success right here in Rochester, NY. In the Applied Arts & Science program students follow plans of study tailored to their individual interests, made up of courses from the center or other RIT departments. This program is ideal for individuals who have previous college-level learning as well as those who want to advance career skills and expertise in specific content areas.

Degree Completion

The AAS degree requires completion of at least 90 quarter credit hours (this is equivalent to a 60 semester-based AAS degree). The 90 quarter credit hours area made up of 52 credit hours in general education along with 38 credit hours in one to two areas of professional concentrations.

The BS degree requires completion of at least 180 quarter credit hours (this is equivalent to 120 semester hours). The 180 quarter credit hours are made up of 94 credit hours in general education along with 86 credit hours in two to four areas of professional concentrations.

Each concentration is customized by the student and their academic advisor. A professional concentration is at least 20 credit hours and can be designed from most programs on campus.

Transfer Credits

The Applied Arts & Science program does allow transfer credit from other accredited institutions. When any student matriculates into a specific program, a complete evaluation is made of prior academic work. The student will know how much transfer credit is awarded and what courses are needed to earn a specific degree.

Additional sources of course credit may be obtained through CLEP exams, ACE, Armed Forces training, and credit for life experience.


The application for part-time study varies slightly then full-time undergraduate students in recognition of the fact that many adult learners have not been in high-school or college for some time prior to submitting an RIT application. A complete application will include the following:

  • RIT application (obtained online or at the Office of Graduate & Part-Time Enrollment) including $50 application fee
  • Records of work experience including resume, military service and any other college-level education and training documentation.
  • Statement of educational and career goals
  • Official Transcripts
    • If you have never attended a college or university, we require a high school transcript or copy of your GED or other high school equivalency document.
    • If you have earned more than 30 semester college credits or 45 quarter credits you are required to send college transcripts only.

Concentration Options

You and your advisor will discuss the number of concentrations needed for your plan-of-study, the available areas of study, and the possible courses within those areas. If you are designing your own area(s) of concentration, notify your advisor of the courses you have chosen for your plan-of-study. Typically, there are 1-2 concentration areas in an AAS and 2-4 in a BS. A professional concentration is at least 20 credit hours and can be designed from most programs on campus. Some concentration examples are listed below, but the options are endless:

One-on-One advising

Getting started can be difficult, that is why a CMS advisor will develop a plan-of-study with you and discuss your career and educational goals. If you have unofficial transcripts from colleges you attended, your advisor will do a draft evaluation of your transfer credit (an official evaluation of your transfer credit is done after your program is approved and your application for RIT admissions is completed).