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Graduate FAQs


How do I apply to the program?

To apply to any graduate program here at RIT, you will need to fill out the Graduate application through graduate enrollment. The application process typically takes four to six weeks after the Office of Graduate Enrollment Services has received a complete application. However, foreign applications may take longer due to slow physical mail and visa issues.

The Graduate Coordinator only evaluates applications after all of the required information has been submitted and verified by a counselor in RIT’s Office of Graduate Enrollment Services.

What are the program requirements for applicants?

The Graduate Coordinator will review each applicant for admission into the graduate programs. Please refer to the Admission Deadlines & Requirements.

How can I submit recommendation letters in support of my application?

  • Recommendation letters may be uploaded with your online application PRIOR to the final submit.
  • Recommendation letters may be uploaded via the CHECKLIST ITEM section of your portal. Click on the Checklist Details link and click on the individual item link to access the upload button.

Preferably, letters will be scanned copies of the original letter. Letters should include applicant's full name and program (matching graduate application information) and be on company or university letterhead. All pertinent contact information for the person writing the letter should also be included in the letter. If the person writing the reference/recommendation letter chooses to use the body of the email for the letter content as opposed to scanning a letter, the same rules apply relative to inclusion of pertinent contact information for validation purposes.

Please do NOT send more than 2 or 3 recommendation letters.


What are the different scholarships that are available for graduate students?

Scholarships that are offered by the institute can be found at Financial Aid & Scholarships.

Graduate Assistantships

Assistantships are available to new, full-time, on-campus graduate students entering in a fall term. Awards are granted for a maximum of one (1) academic year: fall through spring terms. Positions are not renewable for the next academic year. GA students work with department faculty or staff to support our students and facilities.

Merit Scholarships

An RIT Institute Merit Scholarship may be available to matriculated Computing Security graduate students who are receiving little or no financial support from an employer or other funding sources. Scholarships are usually granted at admission based on prior academic performance and employment background, if applicable. Awards are typically continued as long as the student is actively matriculated and is making acceptable progress towards the degree. The award can be used towards either full- or part-time study.

To be eligible for the maximum award level for a given term, you must be in good academic standing (have a cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better) and have completed all prerequisite courses before the start of the term.

Students who have not completed all of the program prerequisite courses, may or may not be awarded a merit scholarship at the discretion of the Graduate Program Director. However, in this situation, the maximum amount in this situation is typically reduced. When all of your prerequisite study has been successfully completed, you may contact the Graduate Coordinator and request that your scholarship level be re-evaluated.

Scholarship Renewal

The RITInstitute Merit scholarship is granted for 2 academic semesters from the date of admission, and must be renewed yearly thereafter. If you plan to study in the summer semester or take courses in the next academic year, you need to submit a scholarship renewal request form to the Student Services office.


How many credits do I need to take to be considered full-time?

A student taking 9 or more credit hours or a student who is registered for co-op is considered full-time. In addition, a graduate student who has been granted a Full-Time Equivalency by their home department is considered full-time.

How do I apply for Full Time Equivalency?

Full Time Equivalency allows students who need full time status to apply for it while taking less than 9 credits. There is a form the student must fill out in order to gain full time status; this can be filled out with your advisor. The student must be registered for something even if it is a zero credit academic class.

Can I withdraw from a course?

Every situation is different. If you are considering withdrawing from a course please talk to the graduate advisor.

My program does not require that I do a co-op, am I am complete one?

Any student that is looking to go on a co-op must set up an appointment with the graduate coordinator to discuss their options. Before a student is allowed to go on co-op there are department requirements that must be met to show proper progress towards your degree.

Depending on the progress that I am making on my degree, is it possible that my I-20 be extended?

The International Student Services Office works closely with all International Students to monitor academic status and regulation compliance. If a situation arises in which it is not possible to complete your degree requirements in the time allotted on your I-20, the CS department will work with you and the International Student Services Office to devise a plan for your successful completion of your degree. This is an individualized process and I-20s are extended based on each student's circumstances.

I was sent an Academic Alert email, what does this mean?

An Academic Alert email is sent from your instructor when your instructor deems that you are doing poorly in a course. This email is a warning to you that you may be getting into academic trouble if you do not address the situation soon. Please keep in mind that you can always talk to your instructor about what you can do to improve in the course and you can always talk to your advisor about resources on campus that can help you.

I repeated a course, but both grades are used to calculate my GPA. Why?

Graduate students may not replace grades on their transcript by retaking a course. The average of the two grades will be counted in your GPA. The option to replace grades is only available to undergraduate students.

I was informed I was placed on probation, what does that mean?

Any matriculated graduate student whose Program Cumulative Grade Point Average falls below a 3.00 (“B”) after 12 credit hours will be placed on probation and counseled by the departmental advisor concerning continuation in the Graduate Program.

Those students placed on probation must raise their Program Cumulative Grade Point Average to the 3.00 level within 12 credit hours or be suspended from the Graduate Program.

I was told I was suspended from RIT, what do I do now?

If you are suspended from RIT, you may not return to the Institute for one year. After one year you must reapply through the Office of Admissions for re-admission to the program, if you so desire. You can contact the Computing Security Student Services Office at (585) 475-2963 to schedule an appointment with the Department Chair to further discuss your suspension.


If you do not see your question below, please go to, there are a lot answered questions available.

What is my Shopping Cart, and do I need to use it?

The shopping cart is used to help students manage their selection of courses for the next term. Keep in mind that you are not enrolled in courses simply because they are in the shopping cart, nor are you guaranteed a seat in the class because of it.

The term Shopping Cart appointment signifies the point in time the enrollment shopping cart becomes available to you. Shopping carts become available to all students at the same time and are available for planning purposes, regardless of whether or not the student record has a hold on it.

Using the enrollment shopping cart is not optional. All students will need to use the shopping cart to pre-plan their enrollment transactions. We encourage you to be proactive and begin the planning phase early so we 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 course selections, you will be alerted to potential issues that may arise during your enrollment appointment. If you have a hold that will prevent enrollment, the validation process will tell them. You will be unable to register for courses with time conflicts and also unable to enroll in multiple sections of the same course. The validation process will bring this information to your attention.

Can you indicate that you'd like to audit classes while enrolling?

Typically you can only indicate that you'd like to audit wellness classes while enrolling, although departments may choose to allow this option for certain classes. Audits for non-wellness classes will need to be approved by the instructor using the Add/Drop Audit form that is available on the Office of the Registrar's website.

How do I drop a class?

If you decide not to take one of the classes you’ve enrolled in, you can use the Drop function. After the add/drop period, you may use this function but it will be considered a “drop with penalty.” After dropping the class, you will receive a message saying the class was dropped and you’ve received a “W” penalty grade.

  1. In the Student Center, click the Enroll link on the left beneath Academics.
  2. Click the Drop subtab under the Enroll tab.
  3. Select the term and click Continue.
  4. You can now select the class you’d like to drop by checking the box next to it.
  5. Click the Drop Selected Classes button.
  6. On the confirmation page, click Finish Dropping to drop the class. If you’ve changed your mind, click Previous or Cancel.
  7. If the class has been dropped, you will receive a message saying “this class has been removed from your schedule.

How do I set up a Swap?

  1. Once in the Student Center, click the Enroll link on the left beneath Academics.
  2. Click the Swap subtab under the Enroll tab.
  3. Under Swap This Class, select the class from your current schedule you no longer want to take.
  4. Under With This Class you can do one of three things:
    1. select a class that’s in your shopping cart
    2. search for a class to add to your shopping cart;
    3. enter the 5-digit class ID if you know it. Note: Class IDs are unique to the class section and change each term.
  5. Click the Select button to the right of the new class to continue the swap.
  6. This brings you to the confirmation page where you can click either Finish Swapping to confirm or Cancel if you no longer want to swap.
  7. After you click Finish Swapping, you may receive a message confirming whether class was replaced successfully. However, if the class has a Wait List, the message will indicate your position in the Wait List line. If the class is closed or you don’t have the prerequisites, the message will indicate that you cannot make the swap.
  8. If the swap was made, your updated schedule will be displayed when you click My Class Schedule. If you set up a swap to a class with a Wait List, it will show you are still enrolled in the original class and on the Wait List for the new class.

How do I withdraw from a class?

To withdraw from a class, you use the Drop function. After the Add/Drop period ends, it will be considered a “drop with penalty.” After dropping the class, you will receive a message saying the class was dropped and you’ve received a “W” penalty grade that appears on your transcript.

  1. In the Student Center, click the Enroll link on the left beneath Academics. Description:
  2. Click the Drop subtab under the Enroll tab. Description:
  3. Select the term and click Continue.
  4. You can now select the class you’d like to withdraw from by checking the box next to it.
  5. Click the Description:
  6. On the confirmation page, click Description: drop the class. If you’ve changed your mind, click Previous or Cancel.
  7. If the class has been dropped, you will receive a message saying "This class has been dropped and a penalty grade has been assigned. You have been given a grade of W for this class.”

What is the difference between “dropping” and “withdrawing” from a class?

The Drop/Add period is the week of a semester (including weekends) beginning on the first day of classes. A student can drop classes on-line via the Student Information System, at his or her department, or at the Registrar's Office. When a student drops a class during this time frame there is no record kept that will show on an official transcript.

Once the first week of the semester has passed, and through the end of the 12th week of the semester, if a student wishes to remove him or herself from a class, the student may withdraw via the Student Information System. A grade of "W" is assigned to that course, and the withdrawal becomes part of the student's permanent record. In processing the request, the student, the student's instructor, the student's advisor and the student's home program or department head will be notified via email. Students are strongly advised to consult with their advisor and instructor before they withdraw from a course.


I am almost done with my degree, what do I need to do to graduate?

Before graduation you must fill out an application for graduation which can be found here. This application should be submitted a semester prior to completing your degree. If you wish to walk in the spring commencement ceremony, we must have this on file by the end of March.