RIT UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Overview: Beginning with the 2013 semester conversion, all degree programs at RIT are now subject to the following overall parameters and guidelines. Credit hours refer to semester credit hours. Degree programs refer to all programs leading to either a bachelors, masters, or Ph.D. degree. GE refers to general education.
Parameters for undergraduate degree program curricula:
A minimum of 120 to a maximum of 128 required semester credit hours. RIT continues to require all new and changed bachelor's programs to be 120 credits in total. Exceptions can be considered for professional programs that lead to licensure or have specialized program accreditation standards. To request an exception based on accreditation requirements, prepare a memo that provides what the specialized accrediting body requires in terms of course content, how you are responding to those requirements and why you are NOT able to meet the required content and learning outcomes within the 120 credit hour framework.
A minimum of 40 courses where there is a minimum of 32, 3 credit hour courses and a maximum of 8, 4 credit hour courses;
An expected semester load of 15 or 16 credit hours with the understanding that some programs may find it necessary to occasionally extend this upper limit to 17 credit hours; and
Up to four semester credit hours split into 1, 2 and 3 credit hour courses. Combinations of 1 and/or 2 credit hour courses are not substitute for 3 credit hour courses as stated in this Framework's 32, 3 credit hour course requirement.
New programs that intend to include more than 4 credits in 1 or 2 credit hour courses must seek Provost approval by submitting an exception request to the Office of the Provost.
In making this exception request, Department Chairs and the Program Directors should submit a short statement that explains the number and need for 1 and/or 2 credit hour courses in the curriculum and whether the program meets the 32, 3 credit hour course requirement. This statement should first be reviewed and validated by the program and college curriculum committee.
Please note that undergraduate programs are neither expected nor required to include 1 or 2 credit hour courses; this guideline gives program designers a degree of freedom that is not explicitly stated in RIT's Program Framework. Department chairs and program administrators are encouraged to carefully examine the consequences of adding 1 and 2 credit hour courses to their curricula as it may impact student credit loads, faculty teaching loads, scheduling of facilities, etc.
As a maturing institution, RIT will support associate degrees in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and one associate degree at the university level, the Associate of Applied Science in Applied Arts and Science Degree.
Students in BFA degree programs are required to take two courses (for total credit hours ranging between 6 and 8 credit hours) that map into the general education outcome category of “Scientific, Mathematical, and Technological Literacy.” Depending on programmatic design and need, these courses can come from approved general education courses and count toward the required 30 credit hours in General Education or be taken within the program or from another RIT academic unit and be part of the required program core.
RIT continues to require all new and changed BS programs to be 120 credits in total. Exceptions can be considered for professional programs that lead to licensure or have specialized program accreditation standards. To request an exception based on accreditation requirements, prepare a memo that provides what the specialized accrediting body requires in terms of course content, how you are responding to those requirements and why you are NOT able to meet the required content and learning outcomes within the 120 credit hour framework.A typical semester load for undergraduate students will be between 15 and 17 credit hours.
A bachelors-level degree program can include a list of Graduate Electives that students have the option of taking to fulfill an elective.
The university remains committed to and supportive of career-oriented education and programs with required co-op experiences. Any undergraduate degree program must demonstrate that students are able to complete the program of study in no more than four years. For those programs that require a co-op or some other experiential learning component, students must be able to complete the program of study in no more than five years. In particular, students should be able to complete any co-op or experiential learning experience in no more than 52 weeks.
All undergraduate degree programs will contain at least 12 credit hours of entirely open electives within the degree program’s distribution requirements; these credits can be used to take courses anywhere within RIT for which the student qualifies. The purpose for 12 credit hours of open electives in a bachelor's degree is to provide a student with flexibility for breadth and depth to achieve their educational goals while at RIT. Consistent with the open elective goal of curricular flexibility, students can use open electives for an optional track in a program, graduate courses, certificate courses, courses in a minor, or just to take courses that pique their interest. For more information, see RIT Strategic Plan 2018-2025 - Goal #8: Restructure undergraduate degree requirements to ensure students have room to pursue broader curricular experiences, experiential learning, and 21st-century competencies.
All minors will have a minimum of 15 credit hours. Curricular requirements for the bachelor's degree should have sufficient flexibility to permit students to earn a 15 credit minor. Due to prerequisites for courses in some minors, students may not be able to complete every minor within the minimum credit hours required for their major program. Nonetheless, faculty are expected to accommodate minors in the degree programs to the fullest extent possible.
Students who choose to take double majors or two or more minors may need to add credits above the maximum of 128 credits needed for graduation.
Every undergraduate degree program is required to have a program level student learning outcomes assessment plan.
All programs must comply with RIT’s Academic Program Profile: Essential Learning Outcomes (2010).
Undergraduate degree programs are expected to comply with RIT’s writing across the curriculum program requirements. This includes one designated writing intensive course in the student’s program to be completed prior to graduation.
The non-credit course "Year One", must be part of year one, fall semester for all undergraduate programs.
Parameters for general education curricula:
Parameters for graduate degree program curricula: