Programs of Study / Minors

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree have the option of completing a minor, which can complement a student’s major, help them develop another area of professional expertise, or enable them to pursue an area of personal interest. Completion of a minor is formally designated on the baccalaureate transcript, which serves to highlight this accomplishment to employers and graduate schools. In contrast to the optional minor, as part of their bachelor's degree requirements, students must complete an immersion—a concentration of three courses in a particular area.

Please note: A minor is a related set of academic courses consisting of no fewer than 15 credit hours. The following parameters must be met in order to earn a minor:

  • At least nine credit hours of the minor must consist of courses not required by the student’s home major.
  • Students may pursue multiple minors. A minimum of nine credit hours must be designated towards each minor; these courses may not be counted towards other minors.
  • The residency requirement for a minor is a minimum of nine credit hours consisting of RIT courses (excluding “X” graded courses).

Not all minors are approved to fulfill general education requirements. Please check with an adviser in regards to minors approved to fulfill these requirements.

In the computer science minor students explore an in-depth study of programming or sample selected theoretical or applied areas within the computer science field. At least two of the four electives must have course numbers of 300 or higher and students with the proper prerequisites may use graduate-level computer science courses toward the minor.

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With the prevalence of mobile computing, the advantages of cloud computing, the ubiquity of computing in general, and the issues of securing big data caused by the world-wide explosion of eBusiness and eCommerce today, secure computing environments and appropriate information management have become critical issues to all sizes and types of organizations. Therefore, there is a vital and growing need for all computing professionals to have a foundation in the issues critical to information security and how they apply to their specific disciplines. The minor consists of two required courses and three electives chosen by the student from the computing security advanced course clusters. There are many elective course choices to provide flexibility. Therefore, the minor provides any computing major outside of the computing security degree program with basic knowledge of the issues and technologies associated with computing security and allows students the opportunity to select a set of security electives that are complementary to their majors. Before beginning the minor in students must possess prerequisite knowledge that can be obtained from various programming sequences and courses in calculus and discrete math.

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The database design and development minor provides a cohesive set of courses that elevates students from a foundational level to advanced knowledge of database systems and the database development process. Students learn the basics of data modeling, the relational model, normalization, and Structured Query Language (SQL). Students also learn the skills needed to effectively capture requirements, compose data models that accurately reflect those requirements, develop programs that establish lines of communication with back-end databases, build and manage large databases, and learn methods for designing and developing data warehouses. 

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Free and open source software is released with licenses that allow it to be redistributed freely for others to use, copy, and/or modify within certain restrictions and conditions. Free culture refers to writing, art, music, and other creative materials released with rights for reuse and/or redistribution that are more flexible than those of the traditional marketplace. Both are often created and/or distributed by collaborative teams with members around the world. The minor in free and open source software and free culture is intended for students who want to develop a deep understanding of the processes, practices, technologies, financial, legal, and societal impacts of these movements. The minor includes a set of computing and liberal arts courses that explore these aspects through research, analysis, and participation in these communities via the creation of digital cultural artifacts and team-driven software projects. Students complete three required courses, one constrained elective course, and one elective course.

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The game design and development minor is intended for students studying in a technical field who want to combine their knowledge and skill in software development with the media-centric approach to application design that is exemplified in the professional games and simulation industries. The minor defines a series of courses that build upon students’ existing knowledge in computing, physics, and mathematics to explore the design principles of games and interactive worlds through the creation of prototypes and software projects.

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The game design minor is intended for students outside of technical computing majors who wants to explore the process and principles of game design and the associated theories of interactive media. The minor provides an introductory experience to media-centric software development that enables students to prototype and test their designs.

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The geographic information systems (GIS) minor provides students with experience in the concepts, technology, and applications related to computer-based mapping, spatial databases, and geographic analysis and problem solving. The minor features two tracks: a GIS development track for students interested in GIS software development, and a GIS analysis track for students interested in utilizing GIS as a strong methodological base within their major of study. Required courses provide core GIS foundations applicable to a variety of multidisciplinary elective courses students can choose from to match their research, post-graduate, or career interests.

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Medical informatics, also known as health information technology or health IT, is experiencing a period of rapid growth fueled by the federal government’s push for universal adoption of electronic health records. The health IT minor teaches students with a computing background how to develop and maintain software systems in the health care field. One year of object-oriented programming and an introductory database course are required prerequisites. Five required courses give students the skills they need to design and develop computing systems for the health care environment.

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The minor in mobile design and development provides non-computing majors with a firm foundation in designing applications for mobile devices. There is an explosion in the types and amount of mobile devices and this minor is designed to provide students with the ability to design and implement cross-platform applications.

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The minor in mobile development provides students enrolled in computing degree programs with experience designing and creating compelling native applications for mobile devices. Smartphones are outselling desktop computers. New mobile devices of varying sizes, types, and uses are being created everyday for both businesses and personal use and contexts. Developers are needed to create applications for these needs that perform well on the major mobile platforms.

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This minor provides computing students with a firm foundation in networking and/or systems administration. Computer networks and the systems attached to these networks have become ubiquitous. Therefore, knowledge of how computer networks function, their administration, and the administration of the systems attached to them can be of value to every computing professional since their work is impacted in some way by computer networks and computer systems. Students may choose between two tracks: networking or system administration.

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Students in disciplines with a heavy reliance on software applications may be interested in pursuing a minor in software engineering. The minor provides a broad view of the software engineering landscape including introductory material and fundamentals in design and process. Students deepen their software design skills and learn techniques for working on a productive software engineering team by choosing electives in design or process to gain a deeper understanding of one of these areas, or they may choose to balance their courses for a broad view of both topics.

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The minor in web design and development is for non-computing majors and students outside the computing field who wish to learn more than just the basics of web usage. The minor features courses in web images, video, communication, development, and integration technologies. Students learn how to design and build websites, and create and manipulate digital images and video for the web. Students develop a broad range of skills and the understanding necessary to design and build a web presence.

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This minor provides students with a firm foundation in web development. The web has become a global, essential, and ubiquitous information delivery medium. Hence, knowledge of how the web works and how to effectively develop dynamic websites adds considerable value to computing majors. This minor provides foundational skills in web development, starting with simple sites, moving through dynamic client-side and server-side functionality, and culminating in web-based systems that create and access various information services.

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Discontinued Minors

Informatics studies the collection, storage, analysis, and presentation of digital information. Students analyze, integrate, and present information in ways that are meaningful to specific audiences. Skills developed in this minor include programming, statistical and other forms of data analysis, management and use of different types of data collections such as databases and XML files, and the application of mash-up tools to combine and present data in novel ways. The minor is for students outside the information technology major who wish to apply the tools of informatics to manage, process, and analyze data associated with their field of study or found in another domain.

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