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Why semesters at RIT?

The decision to move RIT from a quarter academic calendar to a semester academic calendar was made by President Bill Destler in February 2010 following extensive discussions with students, faculty, and staff; as well as comprehensive research on the topic of academic calendars; and implementation recommendations by a faculty committee.

In his letter to the RIT community announcing the move to semesters, Dr. Destler wrote that his decision was largely driven by the semester calendar's potential to enhance academic quality. Other factors influencing the conversion decision were:

  • a national movement away from the quarter calendar that complicates RIT's interactions with other institutions in such areas as credit transfer, student exchange, and study abroad;
  • the semester calendar's potential for improving student retention and graduation rates;
  • the opportunity for greater curricular interactivity among Rochester area colleges;
  • the added value of a January intersession term that would allow students to catch up on or move ahead with their coursework, earn extra money, or work intensively on a project;
  • the benefits to students of having vacations and breaks coincide with those of their friends at other institutions.

Click here for the full text of President Destler's letter.