Engineering vs. Engineering Technology

Two dynamic educational pathways to help you reach your professional goals in a range of engineering disciplines.

RIT’s engineering and engineering technology programs are grounded in professional, career-focused course work and relevant cooperative education experience.

Combined with unprecedented access to design tools, makerspaces, labs, and an entrepreneurial ecosystem, you’ll be empowered to design, build, test, and prototype your creations, launch a business endeavor, or tackle a social problem by designing a tangible, impactful solution.

Looking through a 3D printer to the student who is working on it.

As an engineering or engineering technology student, you’ll graduate with:

  • a wealth of real-world experience
  • the skills and mindset to turn ideas into reality
  • tangible skillsets to confront challenging real-world problems
  • the ability to make an immediate impact for your employers and on society


Outcomes rate

Engineering and Engineering Technology majors


Most Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded

In engineering technology than any other private U.S. university

Top 20

Designated by Woman Engineer magazine

For its diversified curriculum, student base, and faculty, and its ability to foster a diverse and inclusive learning environment.


Median Starting Salary

For RIT engineering and engineering technology graduates

Engineering vs. Engineering Technology

What's the Difference?

At RIT, we offer degrees in engineering and degrees in engineering technology. While there are subtle differences in the course work between the two, choosing a major is more about identifying what you like to do and how you like to do it.

Engineering Majors

Engineering Technology Majors

General Characteristics

Students learn to use fundamental scientific and engineering principles to create new technologies Students learn to use scientific and engineering principles to implement new technologies
Creating new technologies: Requires a strong theoretical understanding of math and science principles Implementing new technologies: Requires a strong understanding of the application of math and science principles

Math and Science

Students complete a four-course sequence in calculus and differential equations Students complete a three-course sequence in calculus and differential equations (a four- course sequence is optional)
Students complete a two-course sequence in calculus-based physics Students complete a two-course sequence in algebra and trigonometry-based physics (calculus-based physics is optional)
Completing the math and science requirements is essential to progress through the early technical courses Completing the math and science requirements is essential, but progression through the early technical courses will not be hindered

Course Work

Relies more heavily on calculus preparation and is more calculus-based More algebra- and trigonometry-based and relies less heavily on calculus preparation
Typically provides a strong theoretical background with some application Typically focused on application blended with some theoretical background
Includes fundamental principles focusing on where the equations come from, the importance of equations, the detailed derivation of the equations, and how to use the equations in solving engineering problems Includes fundamental principles focusing on where the equations come from, the importance of equations, and how to use the equations in solving engineering problems

Cooperative Education: Launch Your Engineering Career


RIT Ranked Top School for Co-op or Internship Programs

U.S. News & World Report, 2024


Participation in Co-op

All engineering and engineering technology majors participate in co-op

What sets RIT engineering and engineering technology graduates apart from their competitors isn’t just their degree. It’s what they’ve accomplished before they’ve even received it.

Cooperative education, or co-op for short, is full-time, paid work experience in an engineering field of study. These opportunities are intentional and purposeful—and designed for students to apply their engineering skills in real-world settings, interact with industry experts, explore professional work environments, and enhance their perspectives.

Select Co-op and Permanent Employers

Apple GE Aviation NASA
Bausch & Lomb General Motors ON Semiconductor
BMW Google Ortho Clinical Diagnostics
The Boeing Company Honda SpaceX
Bristol-Myers Squibb iRobot Tesla
Cisco Johnson & Johnson Texas Instruments
Collins Aerospace Lockheed Martin Toyota
Cummins, Inc. Moog The Walt Disney Company


Learn more about engineering co-ops and how they set you apart.

Turn Your Engineering Ideas into Reality

It is one thing to have an idea, it’s another to turn that idea into something tangible. At RIT, you’ll have unprecedented access to the resources that inspire creativity and that bring your ideas to life.

The Construct

RIT’s all-access makerspace where you have access to rapid prototyping facilities, 3D printers, laser-cutters, CNC mills, and workspaces for circuit board fabrication and assembly, metal/woodworking, and CAD, CAM, and circuit design.

Learn more about The Construct

Student Performance Teams

Gain experience in leadership with the SAE Baja Team, RIT Racing (SAE Formula One), Hot Wheelz: A Women-Led RIT Racing Team, Clean Snowmobile Team, Electric Vehicle Team, Robotics Club, Concrete Canoe, Launch Rocketry Club, and more.

Simone Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Enhance your innovation and entrepreneurship activities via access to events, business mentoring, seed money competitions, and other resources that bring your business ideas to life.

Learn more about the Simone Center


A 100,000-sq-ft creative hub that centralizes RIT’s makerspaces and performing arts studios and theaters–all designed to inspire innovation and collaboration.

Learn more about The SHED

Earn Two Degrees in Five Years with Our Combined Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Degree

A typical RIT engineering degree is five years. Why not earn two degrees in the same amount of time?

With a Combined Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree, you’ll maximize your college investment, optimize your earning potential, and diversify your education.

Learn more

Make an Impact

two people in white lab coats, one standing and one sitting, look at a computer screen

Many of today’s most pressing problems–improving urban infrastructure, making solar energy economical, securing cyber-space, providing access to clean water, and developing better medicines and medical devices–require an engineering solution.

RIT’s outstanding engineering program, from our academic majors and co-op opportunities to clubs, resources, and industry partnerships, prepares you with the technical skills needed for successful engineering careers and the broad-based knowledge required to design lasting solutions.