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Science, Technology and Public Policy MS

Program overview

This innovative master of science degree in science, technology and public policy enables students to work at the intersection of engineering, science, and public policy. The program builds on RIT’s strengths as a technological university, enabling students to interact with faculty members and researchers who are working on scientific developments and technological innovations that drive new public policy considerations.

The program is interdisciplinary and draws significantly from disciplines and courses of study in RIT’s colleges of Applied Science and Technology, Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts, and Science. The program is geared toward producing graduates who will make significant contributions in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

All students take a set of policy core courses that emphasize analysis, problem solving, and interdisciplinary approaches. Students work with an adviser to choose electives that focus their policy studies in a particular area, such as environmental policy, climate change policy, healthcare policy, STEM education policy, telecommunications policy, or energy policy. Typical students include those with science or engineering backgrounds seeking to broaden their career opportunities in government or business settings, as well as those with liberal arts undergraduate degrees (e.g., economics) interested in science, technology, and policy issues. Full-time students can typically finish the program in one to two years. The program prides itself on working one-on-one with students to ensure that their educational needs and academic goals are attained.


A minimum of 30 semester credit hours are required for completion of the program. The program consists of five required core courses, three elective courses, and a thesis, which allows students to work with a faculty adviser on an independent research project in their area of interest.


Students choose three elective courses based on their interests and career goals. Courses may be offered in various colleges throughout the university, including the colleges of Applied Science and Technology, Business, Engineering, and Science. Course selection is completed jointly with a faculty adviser and typically aims at developing a specialized area of interest for the student (e.g., biotechnology policy, environmental policy, energy policy, communications policy, etc.).

Science, technology and public policy, MS degree, typical course sequence

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PUBL-700 Readings 3
PUBL-701 Graduate Policy Analysis 3
STSO-710 Science and Technology Policy Seminar 3
PUBL-702 Graduate Decision Analysis 3
PUBL-703 Program Evaluation and Research Design 3
  Graduate Electives 9
PUBL-790 Thesis 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in science, technology and public policy, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university,
  • Have a minimum 3.0 overall GPA,
  • Submit two writing samples, one of which should be a statement of interest,
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE),
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work,
  • Have completed course work in calculus and statistics (students may be required to take a data analysis or statistics course and an introductory calculus course, if not taken previously),
  • Submit two formal letters of reference, 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 TOEFL). Minimum scores of 570 (paper-based) or 88 (Internet-based) are required.

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