Computer Science Orientation

Congratulations! On behalf of the faculty and staff of the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences and the Computer Science Department (CS) it is my pleasure and privilege to extend a warm welcome to the incoming class.  You are beginning a new challenge that asks you to flourish and self-advocate, as well as to be confident, inquisitive, diligent, and responsible.  As such, we want to take this opportunity to offer our advice for starting off on the right foot and making the most of your college experience:

Please visit the RIT New Student Orientation Page at It contains a checklist of to-do items and information about the many services and resources that will help you make the most of your experience at RIT. The Orientation website will also provide a schedule about move in dates for residence halls and both student and parent activities. There is a great deal of information on the Orientation site, so please look through the links and discover all that is offered as you begin your journey as an RIT Tiger.

Located in the menu under this section you will find the Freshman Orientation Schedule, the First Year Student Survey and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). The First Year Orientation Schedule will walk you through the RIT Academic Day.  We look forward to meeting you in person during the CS Academic Day during Orientation.

Please review our What to Expect your First Year in Computer Science at RIT tips sheet for additional information.  All first-year students will be pre-registered for fall term courses in late July.  In addition, CS students are required to take the RIT Math Placement Exam (MPE).  We strongly encourage you to take the exam as soon as it opens.  To access the exam and for more information, visit the School of Mathematical Sciences Resource page.

Become knowledgeable about your degree requirements by reviewing the CS Curriculum Flowchart, and with various department policies, procedures, and good things to know by reviewing the CS Undergraduate Handbook on the Current Student Section of our website.

One unique component of your RIT education is our academic advising program.  Each student is assigned a CS Academic Adviser who will guide and empower you to make decisions that enhance your educational, personal, and professional growth and development.  For more information on our advising program, please visit the Advising Resources page.

You are encouraged to step out of your comfort zone, ask questions, and seek clarifications.  Remain open to new ideas, interests, and possibilities.  Be an active learner by participating fully in the educational experience.  Take responsibility for your decisions, actions and inactions, and be proactive rather than reactive to obstacles you may encounter.  Explore and utilize campus and community resources.  This summer you will have the opportunity to prepare yourself for your introductory programming class via an optional, free, on-line class experience called Code Zero.  More information will be forthcoming.  We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.

Please contact us if you have any questions.  We are confident that you will have a rewarding experience in the CS department.  Wishing you the very best for an exciting time at RIT.

Zachary Butler
Interim Chair of the Department of Computer Science


The Computer Science department will offer a Transfer Orientation day that will give you the opportunity to meet with Computer Science Academic Advisors, learn more about the department, and discuss transfer credit and scheduling.

Please visit the RIT Transfer Orientation website for additional information

Please review the What to Expect as a Transfer in Computer Science document (note: this is for fall entry only).

Graduate Bridge Exams

The Computer Science department will offer graduate bridge exams for fall enrollment. Specfic information for each exam will be provided to you via email. For additional information regarding the topics covered in the exams, please visit the Bridge Test Information page.  The schedule for the bridge exams is listed below.

Graduate Orientation

During the CS Orientation program, we will give an overview of the academic program, structure of the CS Department, and RIT. Your attendance is required as we will confirm course registration for all new graduate students immediately following our Orientation program. You will be registered for spring semester classes by the Graduate Director and Academic Advisors based on your admissions contingencies and success on any bridge exams you opt to take. It is imperative you attend these events so we may verify your enrollment and complete your course registration.

Continue to check email from the Graduate Academic Advisors for helpful answers to your questions regarding how best to prepare for your transition into CS@RIT.


Bridge Exam Schedule - in person

Monday, August 21, 2023

9:00AM: Foundations of Computer Theory (optional)

10:15AM: Advanced Object Oriented Programming Concepts (optional)

11:30AM:  Computational Problem Solving (optional)


As an incoming student at RIT there are many resources available to you. Below you will find some other orientation resources. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The Computer Science department tries to make this as simple as possible for students: we do NOT recommend any particular brand of computer, type of computer, or operating system for incoming students. The majority of our students do bring computers to campus and they find various ways to set up their computers so they can utilize our networks. Keep in mind that you will take courses not only in Computer Science, but from many other departments as well. Computer needs will vary from class to class.

It does seem that more and more students are bringing laptops to campus (be reminded that this means that you need to be especially responsible as they are easier for people to walk away with).

It may be useful for incoming students to postpone buying a computer, if you don't already have one, until you get to campus. It is our belief that students will benefit greatly from seeing some of the ways upper-level students have their computers set up to help them judge the best plan for themselves.

In CS, the first programming language taught is Python. While programs students write in the introductory programming courses must run on Computer Science lab machines, Python is also available free for download for all platforms.

If you are going to bring your own computer(s), they should have:

  • Anti-virus software
  • All critical operating system patches
  • Firewall software or a firewall appliance
  • Media for their operating system

The CS Student Services staff and professional Academic Advisors will take care of registering all first-year students over the summer. We will ensure you have a proper and full schedule for fall.

Transfer students are registered by the CS department as you pay your Admissions deposit. It is likely that you will be contacted by an Academic Advisor to help ensure that your schedule is appropriate.

Although it will be difficult to make changes to the days and times of your courses, you will have the opportunity to discuss changes to your schedule with an Academic Advisor during the week of Orientation.

If you have AP, IB or college transfer scores/credits to report, and have not done so already, please request that your official scores and/or transcripts be sent directly from the issuing body to:

RIT Office of Admissions
60 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5603

College Board contact information
(to request official AP scores for Admissions):
AP Services
P.O. Box 6671
Princeton, NJ 08541-6671
Phone: 609-771-7300 or 888-225-5427 (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada)
College Board's AP Scores website

All first year students are automatically enrolled in the YearOne course for fall semester. All students are expected to complete this course. Students must also successfully complete two DIFFERENT wellness activity courses (tennis, rock climbing, skiing, etc.) at some point before they graduate.

Housing Operations has a detailed website to answer your questions.

You can also find information regarding the Residence Halls.

You can also reach Housing by telephone:
8:00AM - 5:00PM
(585).475.2572 (voice)
(585).475.2113 (tty)

Office hours for Financial Aid are 8:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday. You can reach them by telephone at 585-475-2186 (585-475-6909 TTY).

You can also find useful information on the Financial Aid website.

RIT has a central office called the Student Employment Office (SEO) which can assist you with finding student employment.

Contact Us

If you know the name of the person you wish to contact you may find their contact information on the college directory.

Computer Science Department Office

The Computer Science Department Office & Student Services is located in Golisano Hall, Rm 3005. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am until 4:30pm.

Phone: +1-585-475-2995
TTY: +1-585-475-7693
Fax: +1-585-475-4935

Postal address

Rochester Institute of Technology
Computer Science Department
102 Lomb Memorial Dr.
Rochester, NY 14623-5608

For more information please use the following email addresses:

For... Email
Future Students futurestudent
Current Undergraduate Students advising
Current Graduate Students gradadvising
All Other Questions csdept