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College of Art and Design

College of Art and Design

Visualize the future. Photographs, paintings, and illustrations are the standard, but digital technology has created a revolution in the imaging fields, opening the floodgates for new methods of visual communication and expression.

RIT is well known as one of the nation’s premier universities for art, design, film, photography, and crafts. The range of innovative programs offered in our College of Art and Design gives you a panoramic perspective that can be found nowhere else. Here you can create fine art using centuries-old methods or by pushing the boundaries of digital creativity.

An active, creative setting

This is a college where the lights are on 24 hours a day, where you can’t travel through the halls without pausing—to study an exhibit of photos by your fellow students, to marvel at the symmetry of the artisan’s bowl rising from a clay-spattered wheel, to glance into a computer lab at the animation or design projects, or to watch graphic media students operate millions of dollars’ worth of printing equipment like pros. This is a place where creativity and innovation merge to create exciting opportunities for students and faculty alike.

You’ll definitely be impressed by the resources available to you at RIT. Our specialized studios and wide range of equipment are among the most complete and current of any university’s in the world. Our faculty members are active professionals who can teach you both the art and the business of your major field of study. They’ll show you how to create, critique, reproduce, and display your work, and they’ll provide you with the support and insight you need to succeed.

School of Art

The School of Art offers professionally oriented degree programs in fine arts studio (painting, printmaking, sculpture, and new forms), illustration, and medical illustration. You’ll start with a foundation program that prepares you for your major concentration. Your BFA program will be studio-intensive, giving you plenty of time, space, and faculty support to help you develop as an artist. You can immerse yourself in your concentration, developing both technical and creative skills. The School of Art offers you tremendous opportunities to work with traditional media and to use these as bridges—with crafts, photography, digital media, and the Internet—to new forms of art and expression.

After graduation, you’ll have a solid foundation for a career as a professional artist—producing, marketing, and selling your work—or other opportunities such as teaching, consulting, new media development, or arts administration. Illustration graduates work for publishing companies, newspapers, advertising firms, and corporate art departments. Many choose freelance careers. Opportunities are abundant in multimedia production and website design. The specialized skills of medical illustration graduates are in demand by health care, publishing, and educational institutions. You may decide upon graduation to pursue a master’s degree in medical illustration, offered through RIT’s College of Health Sciences and Technology.

School of Design

Studio-intensive majors in the School of Design allow you to develop the technical, creative, and problem-solving skills you need to succeed as a designer—whether you specialize in graphic, interior, industrial, new media, or 3D digital design. A foundation program that prepares you to understand the conceptual, creative process underlying design disciplines is followed by courses that balance visual exploration, theory, applications, and technical design skills.

Throughout the program, you’ll have the personal attention of our talented faculty and the time and resources you need to concentrate on your design projects. A balance of visual exploration, theory, applied projects, and technical development will enable you to explore creative and effective design solutions and will lead you to exciting career opportunities. Our design graduates have found success in art and design studios, publishing houses, equipment and furniture manufacturers, architectural firms, advertising agencies, and packaging design firms.

School for American Crafts

The beauty and precision of hand-crafted art is the cornerstone of RIT’s School for American Crafts. This close-knit community within the college emphasizes the tradition of apprenticeship as faculty and students work together in small classes that allow individual instruction in ceramics, furniture design, glass, and metals and jewelry design. The school is famous for graduating students with impeccable craftsmanship and unique talents in artistic expression. Your professors will inspire and motivate you as they provide the keen eye and experiences that develop your creativity and technical mastery. You’ll learn to seek continual self-improvement in your work and gain an appreciation of not only the craft but also related arts.

School of Film and Animation

School of Film and AnimationBecause we offer more production experience than any other school in the country, the School of Film and Animation draws students from all over the world. We recognize the increasing interrelationships among film technology, video, animation, and the computer, so you gain hands-on experience in all areas while specializing in your medium of choice. In addition to a bachelor of science degree in motion picture science, the School of Film and Animation offers a bachelor of fine arts degree in film and animation, with options in animation and production.

You’ll begin shooting 16mm film during your first month on campus. Over the next four years, you’ll write scripts, recruit actors and crew, shoot on location, record soundtracks, edit every scene until it’s perfect, live through a critique—and then wait for the applause! By the end of your senior year, you will direct, shoot, write, edit, and produce your own senior thesis project. Graduates are fully qualified to enter careers in the industry and to create their own independent productions. The major is enhanced by a visiting filmmakers series and an active student association.

School of Media Sciences

Career opportunities abound in graphic communication, new media, printing, and publishing. RIT’s School of Media Sciences is the best-known school of its kind in the world, preparing people to manage the nation’s huge graphic communications industry. With our media arts and technology major, you can be at the forefront of a new media revolution, where electronic technology merges printing and publishing, graphic design, art, and photography. In our high-tech laboratories, you’ll learn the latest technologies for electronic publishing, new media publishing, and digital printing systems. Business courses will teach you the managerial skills you need to lead one of the country’s fastest growing industries, and you’ll gain important experience through cooperative education.
You’ll benefit from an academic environment featuring a 20,000-volume library of rare historical editions, more than $50 million worth of printing and publishing equipment in 14 laboratories, and close interaction with outstanding faculty members who are committed to teaching and applied research.

School of Photographic Arts and Sciences

School of Photographic Arts and SciencesWith award-winning alumni; more than 30 full-time faculty devoted to photography; six majors to choose from; and top-notch studios, darkroom facilities, and equipment, RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences is an internationally acknowledged leader in professional photographic education.

Our majors—advertising photography, fine art photography, photojournalism, and visual media—are special because students master both the creative and the technical fundamentals of photography, then explore their individual interests in a specialized area. Our unique option in biomedical photographic communications is ideal for students who enjoy both photography and science. The option in imaging and photographic technology may lead to joining our graduates analyzing images from space at NASA.

Significantly larger than most photo schools, RIT offers more—and more varied—photography courses and has more faculty members with a wider range of interests than most similar schools. More than 200 courses cover everything from nature photography to digital photography, advertising concepts to high-speed/time-lapse photography.

Guest lectures and touring exhibits by famous photographers such as Annie Leibovitz, Harry Callahan, and Joyce Tenneson are added benefits. And, with such resources as the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester is, in a sense, where photography developed. Being here immerses you in that world.

RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences has thousands of alumni—leaders in their disciplines—who become a network of contacts when you graduate. In the competitive world of photography, a degree from RIT can give you the edge you need.


RIT Imaging Arts and Sciences Viewbook
The Imaging Arts and Sciences Viewbook provides an overview of imaging arts and sciences related programs at RIT.

View the Imaging Arts and Sciences Viewbook (PDF)


RIT Computing and Information Sciences Viewbook
The Computing and Information Sciences Viewbook provides an overview of computing and information sciences related programs at RIT.

View the Computing and Information Sciences Viewbook (PDF)