Undergraduate Academic Advising

Overview

Undergraduate Advising

Using a team approach, students in the School of Interactive Games and Media are assigned both a Professional Academic Advisor and a Faculty Advisor.  Both are here to provide support and resources throughout your college experience.  Your Academic Advisor though is a great first step to addressing questions or concerns about your academic experience including making sure you're on track to graduate, making sure you're making good choices with your schedule, and helping you meet your academic goals.  Your Faculty Advisor's focus is primarily to help you with making decisions about the content of your academic experience.  If you're confused about which one to reach out to first, we recommend starting with your Academic Advisor who can always help move the conversation to your Faculty Advisor if needed.  

Academic Advisors

The Professional Academic Advising staff members in the School of Interactive Games and Media are:

Last Names A-Gi: Jeff Spain- jhsics@rit.edu 
Last Names GJ-M: Kara Griffith- kagiao@rit.edu 

Last Names N-V: Theresa Gorecki- thgics@rit.edu 
Last Names W-Z: Jenn Frantz- jsfrla@rit.edu 

 

Contacting your Advisor

Ways to get in contact with your advisor!

  1. Setup a meeting-

    If students need to schedule an appointment (for more in depth questions, 30 minutes in length) with their Academic Advisor they should do so via Starfish. You can access the Starfish Home page by logging into SIS (https://sis.rit.edu/info/welcome.do) or myCourses (https://mycourses.rit.edu/index.asp) and clicking on the Starfish icon. From there, click “My Success Network”, then link the link under your primary Advisor’s name, and finally click “Schedule Appointment”. Appointments may not be made via email.

    If students have an issue scheduling an appointment via Starfish, they can contact the IGM Office at 585-475-2763.
     

  2. Visit us during walk-in hours: 

    IGM hosts Walk-in Advising hours for students who have urgent and quick questions (15 minutes or less). Walk-in Advising does not require an appointment. Students can simply “walk in” and are seen in the order they arrive. Walk-in Advising takes place at the following times while classes are in session and during final exam periods (fall and spring only).

    Regular Walk-In Hours:
    Tuesday: 2pm - 3pm- Virtual Only through Zoom- To access walk-in hours, please click here.
    Wednesday: 2pm - 3pm- In-Person at the IGM Office- GCCIS Room 2145
    Thursday: 10am - 11am- In-Person at the IGM Office- GCCIS Room 2145

    There will be no walk-in advising available on the following days:
    Reading Days
    January Intersession
    Summer Semester
    RIT emergency closures
    RIT Institute Closures and official holidays

  3. Contact your Academic Advisor by email:

At any time, you can contact our office for more assistance. We can be reached at 585-475-2763.

FAQs

IGM Office

The IGM Office is located in Golisano Hall room 2145. The Office is open from 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday – Friday when classes are in session during fall and spring terms. Office hours may change during summer and break periods

If you need to schedule an appointment with your academic advisor (for any reason), the most efficient way to do so is via Starfish. You can access the Starfish Home page by logging into SIS (https://sis.rit.edu/info/welcome.do) or myCourses (https://mycourses.rit.edu/index.asp) and clicking on the Starfish icon. From there, click “My Success Network”, then link the link under your primary advisor’s name, and finally click “Schedule Appointment”. Appointments may not be made via email.

If you have an issues scheduling an appointment via Starfish, call the IGM Main Office at 585.475-2763 or stop by the IGM office (Golisano 2145).

The Academic Advising staff does hold regular Walk-in Advising hours. This time is for quick questions that are 10 minutes or less. 

The academic advisors rotate Walk-in Advising hours during the week.  If you would prefer to speak to your specific academic advisor please set up an appointment.

Walk in hours are held Tuesdays, and Wednesdays 2pm - 4pm, and Thursdays 10am – 12pm during fall and spring terms when classes or final exams are in session. There are no walk in advising hours during the followings days/times: Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Break, Reading Days, January Intersession, Summer Semester, and any day the Institute is closed.

Academic

Please refer to your Academic Advising Report (AAR) in SIS. We also post the current year’s flowchart at https://www.rit.edu/computing/computing/school-interactive-games-and-media/resources/academic-advising#important-documents

For the first two years, all students in both programs take more or less the same courses. During this time, the focus is on building your foundational skills and preparing you for your first co-op.

  • First year: A typical semester in the first year will consist of IGM courses, first year requirements, liberal arts courses, math and science (physics for GDD) courses.
  • Second year: Building on foundational math, programming, physics (GDD), writing, and media, students reach key courses in their major and complete the Co-op Preparation Workshop. In general, the best plan is to mix a few of each type of course every semester, rather than take “all Liberal Arts” one time and “all major classes” another. If you have questions or concerns about which courses you should take when, see one of the IGM academic advisors.
  • Co-op: typically, students go on co-op the summer following the second year, usually for a single co-op block. The 2nd co-op may be completed at any time during the 3rd and 4th years, including the summer after the 3rd year. Students are strongly discouraged from waiting until all of their courses are complete before seeking a co-op.
  • Wellness: The wellness requirements may be completed during any semester(s).

Third and fourth years: Students finish the IGM core and specialize via their electives. In addition, you will choose a Liberal Arts Immersion and take free and general education electives. To accommodate co-op, your schedule for years three (NMID and GDD) and four (GDD) has some flexibility, but you should plan to take IGM courses in each fall and spring semester. Plan carefully and check with your advisors (academic and faculty) to make sure you are on campus during the semesters that the courses you want are offered.

For NMID students, you must also arrange your schedule to be on campus for fall and spring semesters of your fourth year for the two-part capstone sequence:

  • New Media Design Capstone I (NMDE-401)
  • New Media Interactive Development Capstone II (IGME-588)

This final sequence is a large-scale project that will team up New Media Interactive Development students with New Media Design students from CIAS. The instructor will form interdisciplinary student teams that will design, plan, prototype, and implement new media projects. Projects will be presented at the annual Imagine RIT Festival in April.

Before you declare a minor it is advised that you meet with the Minor Advisor for the program you are interested in. The Minor Advisor will be able to inform you of the qualifications, course requirements, and process for declaring a minor. After you have met with the Minor Advisor,

It’s a good idea to meet with your academic advisor to determine how the minor will fit into your primary course of study.

In order to declare a minor you will need to complete a “Minor Authorization Form” and get signatures of approval from the Minor Advisor and the IGM Office. The Minor Authorization Forms are available from the Registrar’s website.

Each RIT student is required to complete an Immersion (formerly known as a Concentration in the quarter system.) Immersions consist of three courses from a particular discipline or focus area and sometimes require pre-requisite work. A list of Immersions is located here: https://www.rit.edu/study/minors-and-immersions 

Instructions for declaring your Immersion can be found in your Academic Advising Report.

Gen Ed courses typically come from Math, Science, or Liberal Arts, but there are some rogue General Education courses that exist in other disciplines. You can determine what courses fulfill General Education requirements by using attribute search category on the advanced search on SIS.

An Open Elective can come from any department on campus. This can include business courses, other technical courses, art courses, liberal arts courses, etc. All courses at RIT are considered open electives.

To be placed on Dean’s List for the term you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Your term GPA must be a 3.4 or higher;
  • You must have registered for and completed at least 12 credits for the term;
  • You may not have any grades of Incomplete, D, or F for the term.

For more information, please see RIT’s Policy: http://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/policiesmanual/sectionD/D5_1.html

No. All the grades you earn will remain on your transcript forever. However, the credit for the original course will be removed from your overall credit total and the credit from the repeated course will be added into your overall credit total. In addition, the grade from the original course will no longer be calculated into your GPA, but the grade from the repeated course will be calculated into your GPA.

An Academic Alert email is sent from your instructor when he/she believes you are encountering obstacles in the course. This could mean that you are struggling with exams, homework, attendance, or some other element of the course. It is imperative that you address the situation as soon as possible. The email will likely have recommendations for the best course of action, but talking to your instructor and your academic advisor are also recommended.

According to RIT Policy, a student is placed on academic probation when his/her cumulative or term GPA drops below a 2.0. You will be informed by IGM through email if you have been placed on academic probation and will be given instructions regarding your next steps. Please see RIT Policy for more details: http://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/policiesmanual/sectionD/D5_1.html.

According to RIT Policy, a student will be academically suspended if his/her cumulative or term GPA is below 1.0. You will be informed by IGM through email and U.S. mail if you have been suspended and will be given instructions regarding the appeal process and reapplication terms. Please see RIT Policy for more details: http://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/policiesmanual/sectionD/D5_1.html.

There are situations in which you might (or must) take a leave of absence (LOA), as specified in https://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/policiesmanual/d021.  If you are considering taking a voluntary Leave of Absence (whether immediate or in a future term), please contact your academic advisor. The department must approve all voluntary Leave of Absence requests.

Because of the potential impact to your RIT experience, your academic advisor will share information about offices with whom you should connect regarding your LOA request.

Change of Program In/Out

Each department has their own process for accepting change of major students. It is recommended that you contact an academic advisor/undergraduate coordinator/department chair within the academic program you wish to change into to learn more. That person will be able to inform you of the qualifications, process, and deadlines for their specific change of program process. Your current academic advisor can also assist with identifying specific people for you to make contact with.

Once you have made a decision for a new major, you will work with your current academic advisor to complete Change of Major paperwork. That paperwork and the contents of your academic folder will be sent to the new department for review. The new department will then make a decision as to whether you will be accepted or rejected from the program. You will remain a student within your original major within the School of Interactive Games and Media until you have been accepted into a new program.

You can find the Change of Program Process information for our degree programs in the Important Documents section above. This process is in effect for students who are internal and external to the School of Interactive Games and Media.

Yes! Enrollment in our classes is usually full, but we do accept requests from non-majors who’d like to enroll in a course. You will have to complete our Non-Major Course Request Form which can be found in the Important Documents section above.

Depending on the course, you may need faculty approval. You’ll be added on a space available basis on the last day of add/drop of the term. In addition, submission of the form does not guarantee that you will be enrolled in the course.

Enrollment

Academic advisors enroll students in their first semester of courses. In every future semester, students will self-enroll. Enrollment at RIT is done both by year level at RIT and by appointment. Therefore, upperclassmen get “first crack” at courses before first and second year students. It pays to enroll as early as you can. If you wait, you will find many courses closed.

To enroll in courses, visit the Student Information System (SIS, https://sis.rit.edu). You will be assigned a particular date and time that enrollment becomes open to you, called an enrollment appointment. Your enrollment appointment will change every semester. For more information regarding course enrollment: https://www.rit.edu/sistraining/

Questions regarding enrollment in non-IGM courses (Liberal Arts, Computer Science, Math, Design, etc.) should be directed to the program that “owns” the class.

The Shopping Cart is used to help students plan and manage their selections. Keep in mind that courses in your Shopping Cart are for planning purposes only – you are NOT enrolled in a course if it is in your Shopping Cart, nor are you guaranteed a seat in a class because it is in your Shopping Cart.

Your Shopping Cart Appointment on SIS signifies the point in time the enrollment Shopping Cart becomes available to you. Shopping Carts becomes available to all students at the same time each term.

Using the Shopping Cart feature is not optional. All students will need to use the shopping cart to pre-plan their enrollment transactions. Whether you pre-plan at the beginning of the Shopping Cart Appointment period or the day before Enrollment is up to you. However, we encourage you to be proactive and begin the planning phase early so advisors can assist you in understanding your course and class options for a given term.

Once you have placed courses in your Shopping Cart you have the ability to validate your course selections. By validating your course selections you will be alerted to potential issues that may arise during your enrollment appointment. Keep in mind that if you have a hold on your account, have courses with time conflicts, or want to enroll in multiple sections of the same course you will not be able to enroll in these courses.

Typically, you can only indicate that you’d like to audit wellness courses while enrolling, although departments may choose to not allow this option for certain courses. Audits for non- wellness courses will need to be approved by the instructor using the Add/Drop/Audit form on the Registrar’s website. Audits cannot be officially processed until the first week of the academic term.

The first thing that you will want to do is get on the waiting list! When you are searching and selecting courses, be sure to check the “Wait List if Class is Full” box before you add the course to your shopping cart. From there, you should also look at other courses as a replacement, in case the original course doesn’t end up working out.

Your other option would be to use the Swap function. This function allows you to get into your second choice course, and then drop that course if your first choice course becomes available. Please see the instructions on the Swap feature below.

NOTE: Advisors cannot add students into courses from other departments outside of IGM. For example, advisors cannot get a student into a Communications course by pushing them into a closed course. You will have to contact the department that owns the course directly.

You are able to modify your course schedule when your enrollment appointment begins through the Add/Drop period of a term. The Add/Drop period is typically the first 6 days of the term in fall and spring semesters. During this time frame you can drop classes online via SIS. When you drop a class during this time there is no record kept that will show on your official transcript.

If you want to leave a course once the Add/Drop period for the term has ended and through the end of the 12th week of the semester, it is considered a “Drop with Penalty” or withdrawal. You can withdraw from a course via SIS; a grade of “W” is assigned to that course and the withdrawal becomes part of your permanent record. When a withdrawal is processed you, your instructor, and your advisor(s) will be notified via email. You are strongly advised to consult with your advisor and instructor before you withdraw from a course.

Co-Op

The Bachelor of Science degrees in Game Design & Development and New Media Interactive Development requires two co-op experiences. Co-op is short for co-operative education in which you will work in your field before graduating to gain real-life professional experience. You will be compensated for the job, but more important, you gain on-the-job experience that is valuable when you graduate and begin to search for a full-time position.

To be eligible for co-op, we recommend you to have completed:

    • GDD: at least 64 credits with at least 32 credits of GDD courses, including IGME-209 (“DSA1”) and IGME-220 (“Game Design 1”). 
    • NMID: at least 60 credits with at least 29 credits of New Media courses, including Programming II (IGME-102) and Web Development (IGME-230).
    • You must complete the IGM Co-op Preparation Workshop (IGME -99) during your sophomore year. This class covers everything you need to know about conducting your co-op search.
    • One final consideration: since most students are on co-op in the summer, the summer course offerings are sparse, particularly in IGM.

You should go out for your first co-op experience as soon as possible following your second year of classes, ideally the summer after your second year. You are strongly encouraged to complete all of your co-op requirements before you finish your last class, which means that you may not “end on a co-op.”

To help facilitate your finding a job, the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education at RIT (http://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce) maintains job listings from companies seeking co-op students to work for them.

A good first step toward getting your first co-op job would be to nail down your resume and get your portfolio in shape by the beginning of January and be ready to respond quickly to opportunities in early spring. Interviews for summer and fall co-ops will occur in spring. Once you accept an approved co-op, you will need to report the co-op at www.rit.edu/reportco-op.  You cannot enroll in co-op on SIS—you must register it via Career Connect. This process prompts the School of IGM office to review your report and, if approved, enroll you on SIS. https://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce/student-home.  

To find co-ops, start with Career Connect, via the “Student” link at http://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce. Sometimes we post leads via email and on social networks. See also the IGM weekly newsletter, IGM Insights.

Some students find Co-ops through other channels. If you find a position outside of RIT resources, it must be approved to count for Co-op credit. Please contact your Academic Advisor for more information.

You must complete two semesters of full time work to fulfill your co-op requirements. Full time is considered a minimum 35- hour work week over the course of an academic semester. In some cases, part-time work over an extended period or a series of short-term “consulting” jobs may be an acceptable substitute. Please see your Academic Advisor for more information.

Unless you have made prior arrangements with your place of employment, you must work the entire term in which you are employed. For example, if you start a fall co-op in late August, you must work until the term ends in mid-December. Please see your advisor for more information.  The recommended co-op schedule can be found here: https://www.rit.edu/emcs/oce/employer/co-op-schedule.

An increasing number of students are getting experience that is equivalent to co-op before they are eligible to register for a co-op. Some students have done summer internships or taken summer jobs while still in high school that provide experience relevant to their major. Once you are eligible for co-op, you may petition to have one or more blocks of co-op waived. For more information, please contact your Academic Advisor.

In order for a student to take a class while on co-op, the student must first have a conversation with Financial Aid.  Many times students do not realize the financial ramifications of being on co-op and taking a class at the same time.  If after talking to Financial Aid a student still wants to request to take a class while on co-op, the student must contact their academic advisor for approval.  The academic advisor will discuss where this course fits into your degree completion. If the request is approved the student will only be permitted to enroll in a maximum of one course while on co-op.

For more information about co-op, contact your Career Services and Co-op liaison. Your liaison can be a great help in your search for a co-op job:

GDD Last names A-K: Nan Burgess-Whitman (nbwoce@rit.edu)
GDD Last names L-Z: Amanda Thau (
abtoce@rit.edu)

All NMID: Amanda Thau (
abtoce@rit.edu)

Graduation

You will receive an e-mail from the Registrar’s Office when it is time to apply for graduation. Please apply for graduation in SIS as soon as you are eligible. Once you apply, your advisor will complete a graduation audit and e-mail to you. This audit is a report of what requirements you have left to complete. Applying for graduation also notifies the University of your intent to participate in the Commencement ceremonies.

To apply for graduation:

  1. Log in to SIS
  2. Click on Academic Records
  3. Click on Apply for Graduation

Graduating with honors can mean different things depending on what type of honors you are referring to. Most students mean honors in terms of cumulative GPA at the time of graduation. Honors designations are broken down into three levels:

  • Cum Laude: 3.4 – 3.59 GPA
  • Magna Cum Laude: 3.6 – 3.79 GPA
  • Summa Cum Laude: 3.8 – 4.0 GPA

Graduating with honors can also mean completion of the RIT Honors Program. For more information on the Honors Program at RIT please visit: https://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/honors/