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Professional Studies MS

Program overview

The professional studies program is specifically designed to enable the mature learner to create an individualized plan of graduate study tailored to their personal and professional goals. This degree offers students the opportunity to draw on more than 50 graduate programs in order to gain the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to respond successfully to new and emerging career opportunities.

For example, students interested in integrating sustainability into their career as a facilities manager might combine courses from the sustainability and facility manangement programs. Educators may be interested in combining courses from the school psychology and secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing programs to improve their knowledge of special learning populations and the social issues students face in today's educational environments. Communication professionals interested in employment in government offices might choose concentrations in communication and media technologies and public policy to enhance their knowledge of media relations, public relations, government operations, and policy formation. There are a wide range of concentrations that can be created based on each student's professional career aspirations.

The degree also includes a capstone project. This applied, hands-on project is directly related to the student’s individualized plan of study.

Concentration areas

Students create two or three concentrations with courses selected from a wide range of graduate programs at RIT. Some common concentration areas include:

Applied and Computational Mathematics
Applied Statistics/Quality
Bioinformatics
Business (Marketing, Management, etc.)
Chemistry
Color Science
Communication and Media Technology
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Criminal Justice
Electrical Engineering
Environmental, Health and Safety Management
Facilities Management
Health Systems Administration
Human Resource Development
Imaging Science
Industrial and Systems Engineering Industrial Design
Information Sciences and Technologies
Microelectronics Manufacturing Engineering
Packaging Science
Product Development and Design
Project Management
Public Policy
School Psychology
Secondary Education of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Service Management
Software Development
Software Engineering
Sustainability
Training, Design and Assessment
Visual Communication Design

Curriculum

The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours and can be completed through full or part-time study. Students begin their studies with Contexts and Trends (PROF-705), the program’s foundation course. Throughout this course students explore their personal career objectives and research RIT’s many graduate programs to identify courses that best match their professional and personal goals.

Students create two or three concentrations that make up their required course work for the degree program. Each concentration is a selection of courses drawn from existing RIT graduate programs and can range from 9 to 15 credit hours. Graduate credits earned in other programs may be used in completing a concentration, upon approval.

Credit hours not required to fulfill a concentration area may be used for electives. All elective and transferred graduate courses need to be integrated into the proposed plan of study. With certain concentrations, the degree may be completed entirely through online learning.

Required courses

Context and Trends (PROF-705)

This course introduces students to interdisciplinary thinking, personal self-assessment, problem solving, goal setting, and research techniques using electronic information resources. Students work toward selecting concentrations and finalizing a plan of study for their graduate program.

The Capstone Project (PROF-775)

This course is a supervised, hands-on experience in which students apply the skills and knowledge developed through their individualized plans of study, concluding with oral and written presentations.

Professional studies, MS degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PROF-705 Context and Trends 3
  Concentration A courses 9
  Concentration B courses 6
Second Year
  Concentration A or elective courses 6
  Concentration B course 3
  Concentration B or elective course 3
PROF-775 Capstone Project 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 33

Admission requirements

To be considered for the MS program in professional studies, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree at a regionally accredited college or university,
  • Have a minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (or superior endorsements),
  • Submit letters of reference from two individuals who have served recently as either the applicant’s supervisor or instructor,
  • Submit a statement of career objectives and a description of the skills and knowledge sought through graduate study,
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Submit a current resume, and
  • Complete a graduate application.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language. Minimum scores of 550 (paper-based) or 79 (Internet-based) are required. Scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. Minimum acceptable scores will vary; however, the absolute minimum score for an unconditional acceptance is 6.5. The TOEFL requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting educational transcripts and diplomas from American colleges and universities.

All applicants are urged to discuss their course ideas with a professional studies graduate adviser before submitting a formal application.


Additional Program Information

Common Concentration Areas:
  • Applied & Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Statistics/Quality
  • Bioinformatics
  • Business (Marketing, Management, etc.)
  • Chemistry
  • Color Science
  • Communication & Media Technology
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental, Health & Safety Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Health Systems Administration
  • Human Resource Development
  • Imaging Science
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial Design
  • Information Sciences & Technologies
  • Microelectronics Manufacturing Engineering
  • Packaging Science
  • Print Media
  • Product Development & Design
  • Project Management
  • Public Policy
  • School Psychology
  • Secondary Education of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Service Management
  • Software Development
  • Software Engineering
  • Sustainability
  • Telecommunications Engineering
  • Training, Design & Assessment
  • Visual Communications Design

Here are just a few examples of potentially powerful concentration combinations - fashion your own!
  • Facilities Management & Sustainability - set yourself up to transform a company’s facilities and operations to be more sustainable!
  • Communication & Media Technology & Public Policy - most government organizations and elected officials have communications officers - you could be one of them.
  • Information Sciences & Technologies and Training, Design & Assessment - learn to develop computer-based training programs that you can market for yourself or your employer.
  • Color Science and Print Media - contribute to cutting-edge research in color reproduction and optimization for printing.
  • School Psychology and Secondary Education of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing - become a specialist in providing psychological services in school settings to individuals who are deaf.
  • Product Development and Project Management - build on engineering skills to move into leadership positions in your organization.

    Admission Requirements

    No GMAT or GRE required!

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