Instructor working with a student in a computer lab


The School of Individualized Study engages in the development of flexible education pathways that support the diverse needs of 21st-century learners. We educate the whole individual for personal, professional, and civic success.

Students meeting in a conference room


Educating diverse learners in flexible pathways for personal, professional, and civic success.

By the Numbers

Student Body
Undergraduate 232
Graduate 55
Degrees Offered
MS degrees 1
BS degrees 1
AAS degrees 1
Certificates 2
Full-time 9
Adjunct 31
SOIS Fellows 10
Advisors 3


The Evolving Story of Individualized Study

RIT has had a focused mission to provide individualized study for more than 55 years.

In 1966, RIT established the College of Continuing Education to assist working professionals in expanding their skills and increase their knowledge of business, science, and the arts, while they continued with their careers. Later, degree programs were developed to address growing needs in this professional population. These needs included increased technical skills, interdisciplinary programs tailored around specific career aspirations, and employers who sought customized training for their employees. These programs were designed for students to customize personal plans of study using courses from all areas of RIT, and acknowledge and credit previous education and experience. Programs were offered in the evenings to accommodate the flexibility of working professionals. 

In 1996, the College of Continuing Education was absorbed into the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies. The merger was in response to the changing needs of our local employers, who remained influential partners in our efforts to provide meaningful, individualized education to the local workforce. The center added undergraduate and graduate certificate programs and expanded to include program offerings at our global campuses at RIT Dubai and RIT Kosovo.

By 2015, interest in individualized education grew large enough that a more significant presence was needed to recognize the full impact of these offerings. The center was rebranded as the School of Individualized Study to better reflect RIT’s mission to create customizable degree pathways, encourage independent study, and recognize and award college credit for students’ previous course work and employment experiences.

Today, the School of Individualized Study serves more than 800 undergraduate and graduate students and provides academic programs to more than 450 students studying at our global campuses. Along with an individualized BS degree (available on campus or fully online), the school’s academic offerings now include single course offerings, pop-up courses, certificate programs, and MicroMasters programs via RITx, a partnership between RIT Online and Edx – an open source online course provider that hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines. The school is also home to Outreach Education and Training. They provide multidisciplinary, educational opportunities to corporate cohorts or fields of professionals; and manage an OSHA® Education Center.