RIT Launches International Studies Degree Program in the College of Liberal Arts
Sept. 30, 2004
by Susan Gawlowicz
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Rochester Institute of Technology has launched a new, flexible bachelor's degree in international studies. Approved in July by New York state, the program has already attracted five transfer students. The program is accepting first-year students for the fall 2005 academic term.
Housed in the College of Liberal Arts, the multi-disciplinary program will tap courses and faculty in other RIT colleges to explore global problems, focusing on issues of scientific and technological change worldwide.
Unlike traditional international studies degrees, RIT's program allows students to specialize in one of three areas: a region of the world (East Asia, Latin America or Europe); international business; or science, technology and society. The program's unique emphasis on foreign language proficiency and statistically driven research will further give graduates a competitive edge.
“Globalization is emerging very fast—it's a worldwide phenomenon,” says Murli Sinha, chair of the departments of international studies and sociology and anthropology at RIT. “The international studies program at RIT will prepare students to be counted among the global experts.”
Students choosing the international business field may apply for the BS/MBA option in cooperation with the College of Business, while those pursuing the science, technology and society specialization can apply for the MS option in public policy. Both master's degree options can be completed in one additional year of study.
Foreign language skills are a unique aspect of the international studies degree at RIT.
“The international studies program is extremely heavy on foreign languages because of the fact that students can specialize in East Asia or Latin America or Europe,” Sinha says. “In order to do that they have to have a strong background in language. But language is required of every student irrespective of whatever track they pursue.”
Co-op experiences in foreign countries will stretch students' understanding and give them impressive resume bullets.
“Knowing another language is a privilege and an important skill that our students can use wherever they go,” Sinha says.