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College of Liberal Arts

College of Liberal Arts

Putting progress in perspective. At RIT, you’ll have a unique opportunity to study traditional liberal arts subjects within the framework of a technological university.

The College of Liberal Arts offers 12 career-oriented bachelor’s degree programs and more than 30 liberal arts minors, and it plays a central role in the general education of every undergraduate at RIT. A liberal arts double major or minor can give you a secondary area of expertise and help you fulfill requirements in our general education curriculum.

A community of learners

We offer the advantages of a small college and the benefits of a major university. You’ll have the chance to participate in seminar-style classes, independent study, and faculty-guided research projects. You’ll find professors who are respected in their fields but not too busy to get to know you personally.

If you’re undecided about your career choice, you can pursue the liberal arts exploration option. Personalized advising will help you formulate your educational plans while you explore the college’s majors. You’ll sample courses in the areas that interest you and investigate which career path is best.

Twelve majors to choose from

In a multicultural society that must deal with rapid change, the liberal arts curriculum and the college majors lay a firm foundation for your life and your career.

An integrated approach to the study of communication and media distinguishes our advertising and public relations major from others. By combining liberal arts, advertising, public relations, marketing, and business courses with cooperative education experience and a focus on new media technologies, our program delivers a lot, including career success. You will gain an understanding of various media and acquire the technological skills your career will demand.

The communication major allows you to take advantage of current developments in the rapidly changing field of communication. You’ll study the theory and practice of spoken, written, and visual communication, then add courses in business, public relations, photography, graphic design, or other areas. If you have specialized career interests, you’ll have the option to create your own professional core courses. A semester of cooperative education will give you the opportunity to apply knowledge acquired in class to real-world situations.

The criminal justice major combines theory with practical experience and leads to a number of exciting career possibilities. Concentrations in criminology, law enforcement, corrections, computer crime, and security are available, but you can design your own concentration if something else inspires you. This program also provides excellent preparation for graduate or law school, including student internship placements.

Our economics major places great importance on the development of your communication, analytical, computer, and management skills. Co-op work experience is optional in this program, but it is a great way to expand your career options in business, finance, economic research, public policy, and law. Economics graduates may complete RIT’s master of business administration or master of science in public policy with only one year of additional study.

The broad-based international and global studies curriculum includes three years of foreign language study. You’ll be able to focus your studies on international business, science and technology issues, or on a particular region. Graduates are prepared for policy analysis and international affairs positions in government and the private sector. International studies also offers accelerated 4+1 programs that allow completion of an RIT master’s degree in public policy or business administration.

The journalism major prepares students for the changing newsroom, where traditional reporting merges with media technologies to create the innovative delivery of information. Beyond writing and reporting, you will gain crucial skills in graphic design, photography, audio and video production, news and information management, and methods of new media publishing.

Museum studies is an innovative, interdisciplinary, technically based major that prepares students for careers in museums, archives, photo collections, and libraries. The major’s core courses familiarize students with the history, theory, and practice of institutional collecting, conservation, and the technical investigation of art. Students choose one of two specialized professional tracks: museum studies or public history. Before graduation, students will be required to complete 200 hours of internship in cultural institutions.

The philosophy major sharpens your ability to evaluate complex problems, identify and examine underlying principles, investigate issues from diverse perspectives, and communicate clearly in both written and oral forms. You will combine your interest in philosophy with a double major in another discipline. This dual, cross-disciplinary approach makes you uniquely competitive for professional careers and graduate education.

Our political science major explores the traditional political science discipline while providing students with the skills they need to succeed in the world’s ever-evolving political conditions and circumstances. Cutting-edge specializations in politics and the life sciences, digital politics, and political institutions enable students to explore the political implications of biotechnology and biomedicine as well as the political use of information technology. The innovative curriculum prepares students for careers in law; local, state, and national government; foreign service; business; and government relations. A 4+1 MBA plan is also available.

Our psychology major applies a science and technology focus to the traditional psychology curriculum. Degree options in biopsychology, clinical psychology, visual perception, social psychology and cognition sharpen your focus, and a cooperative education or internship requirement provides real-world experience. You’ll be well prepared for graduate study or employment.

Our public policy major offers several unique features, including an accelerated five-year BS/MS option and a choice of specializations. This program’s interdisciplinary education includes economics, history, political science, philosophy, and sociology. Explore a range of public policy issues in courses drawn from other programs at RIT. This is perhaps the only public policy major in the nation that requires a cooperative education component, providing preparation for both graduate study and careers.

The sociology and anthropology major capitalizes on RIT’s strength as a career-oriented university with a technological edge. An interdisciplinary core curriculum encompasses science, computing, and the liberal arts, while individual tracks focused on archaeology, cultural anthropology, sociology, and urban studies let you choose an area of specialization. Experience using the same statistical and analytical technology employed in the field today will serve you well as you venture into the workplace during the required co-op/internship. The 4+1 program leads to a master’s degree in public policy only one year after earning your BS degree.


RIT Liberal Arts Viewbook
The Liberal Arts Viewbook provides an overview of liberal arts related programs at RIT.

View the Liberal Arts Viewbook (PDF)