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Undergraduate Degree Programs

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The Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences offers a wide variety of computing programs at the bachelor and graduate level as well as an exploration program for students who are undecided about what area of computing they want to study.

Although the Golisano College was established in 2001, computing at RIT has been taught since the early 1970’s. In the college's short history, we have become one of the most comprehensive computing colleges in the world, driven by the passion to diversify our programs in order to meet the needs of industry and to prepare our students for their cooperative education experience and training for successful careers. RIT was home to both the first software engineering program and first information technology program in the nation, and in 2013 opened one of the country's first dedicated computing security departments.

In addition, several of our programs are fully accredited by the Accredication Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).  In summary, RIT has been at the forefront of defining computing as an academic discipline and continues that tradition of excellence today with leading programs across the spectrum of computing. Our programs provide students with all the necessary tools for highly successful careers in computing. Our Undergraduate BS programs include:


Computing Exploration Program

The Computing Exploration Program provides students with exposure to seven undergraduate computing programs within the Golisano College. Students in the Exploration Program take courses in (1) computer science, (2) computing security, and (3) web and mobile computing programs, and may elect coursework in (4) software engineering, (5) computing and information technologies, (6) human-centered computing and (7) new media interactive development. The goal of the program is to enable students to make an informed decision about the computing program that is the best fit for them.

The computing exploration program has been carefully designed so that students will stay on track for graduation regardless of the program they ultimately select.

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Computer Science

Computer science covers a wide spectrum of areas within the field of computing, ranging from the theoretical to the practical. A computer scientist can specialize in areas such as artificial intelligence, computer graphics, computer theory, networking, security, robotics, parallel computation, data mining, computer architecture, or systems software. Programming is necessary, but computer scientists also must be adaptable as well as adept at problem solving and analytical reasoning, able to understand design principles, and fluent in using computers.

The demands of industry and government require college graduates to master both the fundamentals and the applied aspects of their profession. To meet this requirement, two applied educational experiences are woven into the program. Students are required to complete a cooperative educational experience as well as an extensive set of laboratory and small-group experiences.

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Computing and Information Technologies

Students in our 4-year Computing and Information Technologies (CIT) program are characterized by their hands-on approach to technology. CIT students are designers and builders, but primarily they’re enablers: They approach complex problems and create custom solutions that help users meet their goals. They play an integral role in any modern organization, often working behind the scenes to deploy tech where it’s needed most. Not only do CIT students learn to implement complex systems, but they become well versed in their management as well. Every day, more companies are realizing the benefits that IT professionals bring to the table. They trust our graduates with high level decisions and projects because they know our degree is more than just a piece of paper. CIT offers five areas of degree concentration, and students are given the freedom to transform their passions into a career.

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Computing Security

The BS degree in computing security produces professionals who understand people and processes that impact information security. In addition to possessing state-of-the-art knowledge in the preservation of information assets, students become experts in the identification of computer security vulnerabilities. Students also understand the forensic requirements needed to prove an attack occurred, identify its origin, assess the extent of the damage or loss of information, and design strategies that ensure data can be recovered.

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Digital Humanities and Social Sciences

Digital Humanities & Social Sciences is an innovative, interdisciplinary major that combines the liberal arts with information science and technologies. By collaborating across colleges and disciplines, we can use emerging technologies to experiment with new research and pedagogy in the humanities and social sciences. DHSS rethinks liberal arts traditions, exploring innovation across the changing landscape of technology and considering what it means to be human in today’s technology-driven world. The field not only examines possible technical limitations or improvements, but also takes into account a larger political economy and cultural context.

*Degree is administered through the College of Liberal Arts

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Game Design & Development

The BS in game design and development allows students to explore the entertainment technology landscape, as well as related areas, while pursuing a broad-based university education. Simultaneously, students explore the breadth of development processes through involvement in topics such as game design, design process, and animation. The degree is for students who aspire to careers within the professional games industry or a related field such as simulation, edutainment, or visualization. It focuses on producing graduates who understand the technical roots of their medium, the possibilities that creative application of software development affords, and the way in which their industry operates. This degree also provides students with a core computing education that prepares them for graduate study in a number of computing fields and for employment in more general computing professions.

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Human-Centered Computing

Fundamental to human-centered computing (HCC) is a focus on humans as individuals and in social contexts, and their behavior with technology. With roots in multiple areas of computing, arts, and social sciences, HCC blends strength from these varied disciplines to understand the way in which people use technology. Students in this major will be at the intersection of computer advancements and understanding human behavior with technology. Topics of consideration include the design, evaluation, and implementation of interactive computing systems and the understanding of ways in which such systems can transform our lives. With a blending of content from computing, psychology, and design, HCC blends core theoretical and applied human technology concepts in a contemporary interdisciplinary curricular model. Given the growing reliance on computing in our daily lives, technology no longer is the exclusive realm of tech-savvy users; industry has recognized the need to make software and devices that are usable and desirable. This major prepares students for careers in industry or graduate study, offering options to specialize in different areas of HCC depending on individual student interests in computing, design, or psychology.

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New Media Interactive Development

New media are ever-changing forms of digital communication that engage, immerse, and (often) entertain the users. Whereas “old media” involved newspapers, radio, and television, new media has adapted digital technology for the World Wide Web, social networks, wearable computing, and more. New Media development professionals develop and design software for these new media.

New media interactive developers must possess deep and far-ranging skills along with a broad understanding of the social and economic impact of all cutting-edge new media technologies. They must be consummate problem-solvers, with the well-honed ability to learn emerging technologies. And finally, they must make informed, timely decisions in an arena of constant urgency and change. We seek to cultivate these qualities in all of our New Media Interactive Development students. Students can explore a multitude of creative and technical electives, including physical computing, interfaces, web, mobile, casual games, production, and more.

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Software Engineering

As software becomes ever more common in everything from airplanes to appliances, there is an increasing demand for engineering professionals who can develop high-quality, cost-effective software systems. The BS in software engineering combines traditional computer science and engineering with specialized course work in software engineering.

Students learn principles, methods, and techniques for the construction of complex and evolving software systems. The program encompasses technical issues affecting software architecture, design, and implementation as well as process issues that address project management, planning, quality assurance, and product maintenance. Upon graduation, students are prepared for immediate employment and long-term professional growth in software development organizations.

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Web and Mobile Computing

Web and Mobile Computing (WMC) is a 4-year degree program that explores ubiquitous application development with a firm focus on the end user experience. WMC students have an interest in the technology of today (and tomorrow), but they’re also interested in how people use that technology. At RIT, the WMC program is about combining people and technology to bring out the best in both. The WMC curriculum is structured with this in mind. Students learn how to integrate the back end code with the front end UI, and will be able to do it across several languages and platforms. This “full stack” knowledge enables our students to impact the app design process at all levels, making them incredibly valuable to employers seeking today’s application developers. That isn’t to say they can’t specialize however; WMC offers four areas of concentration, and students are given the freedom to pursue what they are passionate about.

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