Graduate Remote Start Online

Start your graduate program this fall online - from home, or from RIT Dubai.

We recognize that complications stemming from COVID-19 may prevent you from getting your student visa in time to travel to Rochester in August. To assist you in planning for your master’s program and professional career, we are happy to offer international students in select master’s programs the option to begin the Fall 2021 semester online, either from your home or our campus in Dubai.

International students unable to secure a visa in time to the United States may enroll as full-time students, complete first semester courses online, and join the on-campus program in the next available term with no delay to their degree plan. New students will take the same courses offered on campus, be taught by and engage with the same faculty, and join both online and on-campus students in classes that include recorded content and live session discussions, interactive labs, group activities, and projects.

RIT will offer an additional 10% scholarship to students who join the program online in Fall 2021.

Benefits of Studying Online

computer on top of a stone wall with a person on the screen

Begin your master’s degree as planned, with no delays to your timeline.

  • Engage with faculty and peers in specially designed, highly engaging online courses, including labs, group activities, and projects.
  • RIT has over 30 years of experience with online education and a successful history of transferring remote students to on-campus study. In the Fall of 2020 more than 150 master’s students began their studies remotely. Over ¾ of those students joined the Rochester campus in Spring, with the remaining students planning to join in Fall 2021.
  • Full-time students studying online for Fall 2021 will have full access to all of RIT’s resources – including libraries, faculty, and presentations and one-on-one guidance from our Office of Career Services staff. 

Reduced tuition rate for Fall 2021.

  • Receive an additional 10% scholarship for online courses this fall. This scholarship will be applied on top of any previously offered merit awards.
  • If you study from home, you are not required to pay living expenses, health insurance, or fees for the online semester.

Students who begin online will be able to participate fully in CPT and OPT.

  • RIT has over a 97% placement rate for graduating master’s students. Our Career Services Office, industry connections, and Co-operative Education program provide the tools you need for success in the job market. 
  • Whether you begin on campus or online,  you will have the opportunity to gain work experience through RIT’s cooperative education program, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), or the STEM extension program.

Consider RIT Dubai

Spend your fall semester at our campus in Dubai. Engage with students and faculty, access campus facilities, and be part of our residential campus community while completing your courses online. RIT Dubai staff will provide guidance to help you apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Dubai when it is time to transfer to the Rochester campus.

About RIT Dubai

RIT Dubai became a full part of our global community in 2008 and has grown quickly. Just this year, the campus relocated to a new state-of-the-art facility in the Silicon Oasis of Dubai. RIT Dubai feels very much like an American university, offers guaranteed student housing, and is surrounded by the creative energy and entrepreneurial spirit of Dubai. The United Arab Emirates also has one of the most aggressive vaccination programs and are on pace to be one of the first fully vaccinated countries in the world. Learn more about RIT Dubai

Benefits of Fall Semester at RIT Dubai


In-person Community While Studying Online
Engage with students and faculty, access campus facilities and our residential campus community while completing your graduate degree courses online.


Seamless Transfer to the RIT Main Campus
After your first semester, you can transfer to RIT’s main campus in Rochester with no disruption to your graduation timeline.


Visa Appointment Support Provided
RIT Dubai will provide the necessary support and guidance to secure a visa appointment with the U.S. Embassy in Dubai when it is time to transfer to the main campus.

Work Opportunities in the United States

Whether you begin your first semester on campus or online, you will have the opportunity to gain work experience through RIT’s cooperative education program, Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), or the STEM extension program

Though the Fall semester online will not count towards the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) requirement of two semesters, if you begin your program online, you will be eligible for both CPT and OPT after completing two semesters of on-campus study. 

Headshot of Nirup Dharshan Swaminathan

“As a graduate student with no previous professional experience, I was a bit nervous about my ability to secure an internship or co-op. RIT's Career Services was a great resource for me. I used their help to build my resume, practice my elevator pitch and enrolled for mock interviews. I successfully secured an internship at Google, which would have been way harder without the help of RIT and Career Services Office.”

 - Nirup Dharshan Swaminathan, Information Sciences & Technologies MS graduate, interning at Google as an Application Engineer for Summer 2020

Next Steps

Follow these next steps to secure your spot.

  • Accept your offer of admission.

    Login to your admissions portal and complete the Reply to Offer of Admission form, found on your Admissions Application Status page.
    Login to accept

  • Pay your tuition deposit.

    On the Admissions Application Status page in your admissions portal, click the secure Payment Due button to pay via credit card and expedite the processing of your online deposit.
    Login to pay your deposit

Connect with Admissions


Join the RIT Graduate Accepted Students 2021 Facebook group to start meeting fellow tigers before ever stepping foot on campus.


Ask RIT staff and students your questions on WhatsApp (+1-585-208-7814), Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm EST

Certain countries are subject to comprehensive embargoes under US Export Controls, which prohibit virtually all exports, imports and other transactions without a license or other US Government authorization. Learners from Syria, North Korea, the Crimea region of the Ukraine, Iran and Cuba may not register for online courses at RIT. Nor may individuals on the United States Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals or the United States Commerce Department’s table of Deny Orders. This offer does not apply to these individuals, or individuals from the countries listed above.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fall 2021 Online Tuition Deposits and Visas

Your tuition deposit will be credited to the fall semester tuition. It is not an additional fee.

For most programs, we are not extending the deadline. However, exceptions may be made in rare instances. If you have extenuating circumstances, please contact your admissions counselor.

We have many programs that have limited capacity and waitlists, and will begin going to the waitlists after May 1, so be sure to pay the $500 to reserve your place in the program and your merit scholarship.

When you submit the $500, you are committing to joining us in the Fall for on campus if possible. If on-campus study is not an option, we will enroll you in the online option.

The tuition deposit is refundable only if you apply for and are denied a visa. In this case, you will need to show proof of that denial.

Rest assured that RIT has a positive track record and typically sees few visa applications rejected. In the event of difficulty during the application process or an initial denial, we are happy to provide a letter of support for you to take to the consulate, along with your I-20, to assist with your interview.

We are optimistic and confident that few students will be unable to join us for on campus study in Spring 2022. In the unlikely event you are denied a visa for Spring 2022, RIT will refund 60% of your tuition fees from the Fall 2021 semester online study.

In addition, any student who completes the Fall semester online and is not able to come to campus in Spring 2022 will be able to continue their masters degree program on campus in the next available term. Should this happen we will work with you to develop an individual plan of study once you complete the Fall online semester.

Yes, your admissions counselor will work directly with students beginning on-campus study in Spring 2022 to issue an updated I-20 for that term.

Fall 2021 Deferrals & Scholarships

Due to program demand, we are not entertaining requests for deferrals at this time.

There is a waiting list for many of our programs, and you must pay the tuition deposit by May 1 to reserve your place. When you pay the tuition deposit, you are committing to starting with us in August, either online or on-campus.

Not at this time. All our applicants were automatically reviewed for scholarships during the admissions review process. Scholarships were awarded based on your academic background and record, in comparison to the other students who were admitted.

If you pay the $500 by May 1 and are not able to start on campus in Fall because of COVID-19, you will receive an additional 10% scholarship for the fall term of online study.

If you received a merit scholarship from your department you will get that merit scholarship for the program whether you start on campus or online. In the event you cannot come to campus and start online, you will receive a 10% scholarship (or an additional 10% scholarship if you already received a merit award) for the Fall semester only.

Fall 2021 Online Classes & Co-op Work Experience

Online courses at RIT are the same as our on-campus courses. RIT has a long history of online education, and we currently offer more than 30 degree programs online – most of which are graduate programs. Many of our on-campus students elect to take online courses while they are studying on campus.

The online courses you will take are the courses required for the on-campus program, delivered virtually. They have the same content, including case studies, interactive exercises, projects, research, papers, and exams.  They are interactive classes, taught by the same professors that are teaching the on-campus courses. You will collaborate and interact with your classmates in the graduate program and have the same assignments and workload. Remember this is full-time graduate study, so be prepared to work hard. Every program and course is a little bit different, your academic advisor and graduate program director will work with you over the summer to develop your plan of study and register you for the courses you will need.

You’ll each be assigned an advisor (faculty and/or staff) and work with them to plan your program of study, research, and career path. From the time you enroll, you will be connected to faculty and advisors. They will have virtual office hours, online meetings and conferences, workshops, and seminars.

You will also engage and interact regularly, both during and outside of class, with faculty and other students in your program. You will have access to the same technology and resources, including the Wallace Library, Career Services and Cooperative Education staff, resources, and support. In addition, there are a variety of academic programs, lectures, seminars, workshops, campus events, and activities that you will be informed of that can take place in a virtual environment. Finally, students will have access to support services and staff including International Student Services, academic advisors, graduate education office, and other resources and support.

Waiver exams for required bridge courses, which are typically offered on-campus in August, will be offered online instead. All required bridge courses will also be offered online for the Fall semester. 

English language courses will also be available online for the Fall.

The Fall semester online will not count towards the Curricular Practical Training (CPT) requirement of two semesters. However, if you begin your program online, you will be eligible for both CPT and OPT after completing two semesters of on-campus study.

We cannot predict the future during this time of rapid change. However, we know that in the computing/engineering fields, companies are as busy as ever and our graduating students are still finding jobs in the United States.

Additionally, if you start your studies now, you will utilize this time while the economy is recovering to get the in-demand skills to enter the job market and be able to hit the ground running when you are ready to seek a job in the US.