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B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences

Fast forward. Few universities can offer you the range of academic programs, the number of faculty and the variety of their interests, or the sophisticated computer hardware and software available to you at RIT. The Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences is one of the nation’s largest producers of computing professionals.

RIT has been a leader in computing education since 1972, when we started one of the first undergraduate computer science programs in the United States. Today, the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences collaborates with other colleges of RIT to form a computing education powerhouse.

The college offers you a comprehensive approach to computing through your course work, specialized research opportunities, and experiential education.

Specialized research can be conducted in any of the college’s 34 labs, including a dedicated Security Lab isolated from the rest of the campus’s networks to allow the in-depth study of viruses, firewalls, and other computer vulnerabilities.

All of the majors within the college require cooperative education, giving you great practical experience that pays you to put your knowledge to work.

Computer science

Computer science offers student the full breadth of computing education. The program offers specializations in software development, programming languages, computer science theory, distributed and parallel computing environments, data management, intelligent systems, computer graphics, and computing security, to name a few. Adding elective courses or a minor in entrepreneurship, mathematics, psychology, or other areas complements your major and gives you even more employment options.

Computing and information technologies

B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information SciencesOur computing and information technologies major (formerly networking and systems administration) prepares you for a successful career designing, building, and/or maintaining local area networks and gateways to the Internet. In our hands-on NetLab and SysLab, you will learn how to specify, procure, deploy, and maintain computer systems to support software developers and developers of Web and database applications. Nearly everything you do on the Internet or on the network in your home or office is made possible because of network engineers and systems administrators.

Computing security

RIT is home to one of the first dedicated Computing Security Departments in the nation. Students can pursue undergraduate degrees focused on securing computing and communications infrastructure, all the devices connected to that infrastructure—stationary or mobile—and all the data stored or transmitted on that infrastructure. Our course work responds to the increasing and critical need for security professionals who work to protect organizations and citizens from every level of computer crime. This major provides you with a strong foundation in computing while giving you the opportunity to develop a depth of knowledge in a computing security discipline such as infrastructure security, mobile security forensics, or security science. Cooperative education and a senior capstone project enhance your experience. Whichever area of security interests you, a BS degree in computing security will catapult you into an exciting and rapidly growing industry.

Game design and development

The bachelor of science in game design and development allows students to explore the entertainment technology landscape and related areas, while still pursuing a broad-based university education. With an emphasis on game programming, the major exposes students to the breadth of development and design processes. Students can further specialize in game design, production, engines and systems, graphics programming and animation, mobile, Web, audio, and more. The degree is intended specifically for students who aspire to careers within the professional games industry or a related field, such as simulation, edutainment, or visualization. The major also provides students with a core computing education that prepares them for graduate study or employment in a number of computing fields.

Human-centered computing

Fundamental to human-centered computing (HCC) is a focus on humans as individuals and in social contexts, and their behavior with technology. With roots in multiple areas of computing, arts, and social sciences, HCC blends strengths from these varied disciplines to provide an understanding of the way people use technology. 

Students of this degree will be at the intersection of computer advancements and understanding human behavior with technology. Topics include the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems and the understanding of ways such systems can transform our lives. With content from computing, psychology, and design, HCC blends core theoretical and applied humantechnology concepts in a contemporary interdisciplinary curricular model. 

This degree will prepare students for careers in industry or graduate study, offering options to specialize in different areas of HCC depending on individual student interests in computing, design, or psychology.

New media interactive development

A handy way to summarize “NMID” is to read it backwards: new media interactive developers develop interactive media that is new. New media are ever-changing forms of digital communication that engage, immerse, and (often) entertain the users. Whereas “old media” involved newspapers, radio, and television, new media has adapted digital technology for the World Wide Web, social networks, wearable computing, and more. New media development professionals develop and design software for these new media. NMID students explore a multitude of creative and technical electives, including physical computing, interfaces, Web, mobile, casual games, production, and more.

Software engineering

The software engineering major focuses on the skills you need to develop quality software that meets the needs of the customer, is delivered on time, within budget, and without defect. The major emphasizes the engineering design of software and the development practices needed to bring large- and smallscale software projects from ideation to deployment, continued maintenance, and evolution. Teamwork and communication—critical skills for professional software development—are emphasized throughout the major. Software engineers constitute one of the fastest growing job segments.

Web and mobile computing 

The explosive growth of the Web, the merging of traditional industries and technologies, and the redefinition of how we live, work, and communicate have created an unprecedented demand for professionals who can help people in virtually any field access new computing technologies. The major (formerly information technology)—the first and largest of its kind in the country—provides a mix of technologybased courses in areas such as database, Web, analytics, and application development, all with a focus on the user.

Computing exploration

The computing exploration program provides students with the opportunity to explore five of the college’s undergraduate computing majors—computer science, computing and information technologies, computing security, software engineering, and Web and mobile computing. Students complete courses in computer science, computing security, and information technology. They also may take additional courses in the other two computing majors as they decide on which program best fits their career goals and aspirations. 

Students may stay in the exploration program for up to two semesters (one academic year). Each student has an assigned academic adviser who provides guidance on course selection, minors, and career options. All courses taken in the exploration program are accepted by the five computing majors; all credits earned are applicable to a student’s chosen major and maintain the student’s progress toward graduation.


Computing and Information Sciences ViewbookThe 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)