BusinessWeek Names RIT Among Top Design Programs

Follow RITNEWS on Twitter In its first-ever survey of “Best Design Schools,” BusinessWeek names Rochester Institute of Technology among the top programs in North America, Europe and Asia. The survey results appear in the magazine’s Oct. 9 issue.

RIT joins 33 other colleges and universities in the United States and Canada recognized by BusinessWeek for “graduating the innovators companies hunger for.” Criteria for selection included design programs that offer multidisciplinary studies, emphasize collaborative ventures with schools of business and engineering, and feature a hybrid of expertise.

RIT’s School of Design offers internationally recognized degree programs in graphic design, interior design, industrial design and new media design and imaging. Computer skills, design perspectives, career preparation, and exposure to the related areas of publishing, photography, engineering and information technology are integrated into the curriculum.

“The design workplace today demands that students are educated and that an important part of this be in interdisciplinary teams,” states R. Roger Remington, RIT’s Massimo and Lella Vignelli Distinguished Professor in Design. “These teams must include groups from different areas of competency that expose students to the give and take of the real world. Students need to have experience at problem solving from different professional perspectives, thus engaging them in fully collaborative efforts.”

Among RIT’s design-related academic partnerships, BusinessWeek highlighted the Program for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE). Founded last year as a university-wide organization to promote innovation-related activities, PIE enhances entrepreneurship across the RIT campus by facilitating business creation and product commercialization projects among business, creative and technology-oriented students.

Classes associated with the university’s entrepreneurship minor are administered through RIT’s E. Philip Saunders College of Business.

“These are unique hybrid programs that allow students to get an excellent education,” says Richard DeMartino, Saunders College associate professor of management and director of PIE’s academic component. “The new institute-wide undergraduate entrepreneurship minor enables students to integrate a broad variety of related coursework with an applied entrepreneurial experience.”

Brian Lio, a 2006 RIT graduate who participated in the PIE program, is also featured in the article. Lio now works as a product manager for Microsoft.

Other campus partners with the School of Design include the multidisciplinary senior design program in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the new media program in RIT’s B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences.

The BusinessWeek report on top design and innovation schools is available online at

NOTE: Rochester Institute of Technology is internationally recognized as a leader in computing, engineering, imaging technology, fine and applied arts, and education of the deaf. More than 15,300 full- and part-time students are enrolled in RIT’s 340 career-oriented and professional programs, and its cooperative education program is one of the oldest and largest in the nation.

For well over a decade, U.S. News and World Report has ranked RIT among the nation’s leading comprehensive universities. The Princeton Review recognizes RIT as one of America’s “Most Wired Campuses,” and the university is also featured in The Fiske Guide to Colleges and Barron’s Best Buys in Education.