Individualized Program Bachelor of Science Degree

RIT’s individualized program enables you to design a customized, individualized studies degree around your interests, goals, and career aspirations.


98%

Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates from this degree

$100K

Median First-Year Salary of RIT Graduates from this degree

100+

Concentration Options

5K+

Courses Across RIT’s 9 College

100%

Participation in Experiential Learning


Overview for Individualized Program BS

Why Pursue the Individualized Program at RIT?

  • Customized, Personalized Program of Study: Design a unique, multidisciplinary degree that enables you to combine several areas of academic interest to create a customized bachelor's degree.
  • Faculty Support: Enjoy high-touch, continual, personalized advising.
  • Industry Experience: Complete a cooperative education experience in industry, engage in undergraduate research, or study abroad to gain real-world experience. 
  • Flexible Location: Complete the program on campus or online.
  • A New Economy Major: The individualized program is an RIT New Economy Major. This collection of degree programs is forward-thinking and future-forming, and prepares you to excel in the multidisciplinary nature of our modern, dynamic economy.

A Dynamic, Customized Individualized Studies Major

If you find yourself drawn to a collection of interests that don’t fit neatly into a conventional academic program, RIT’s bachelor of individualized studies may be for you. This program, formerly known as applied arts and sciences, is offered through the School of Individualized Study and allows you to customize an academic program around your interests, goals, and career aspirations.

With RIT’s rich and diverse academic portfolio—which includes 100+ undergraduate programs, options, and concentrations—you can combine a variety of courses to create concentrations that provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to attain your professional ambitions.

What is Individualized Study?

An individualized studies degree is all about you. It’s focused on your interests, your passions, and your career goals. And, it’s an opportunity for you to create a specialized degree that’s tailored around the knowledge and skills you want to learn, and that fit your personal ambitions.

Students in the School of Individualized Study are unique. But they all share one common trait: their interests don’t fit neatly into a traditional degree program. They have ideas about what they want to study, and where they want to go after they graduate. They need a roadmap on how to structure a degree program that gets them where they want to go.

Creating Your Own Major
It sounds complicated. In reality, it’s an easy, guided experience that helps you identify your interests, determine your career goals, develop an academic plan of study, select the right courses, and put a plan in motion. You’ll design a customized degree that fits what you want to do and where you want to go. 

How Does Individualized Study Work?
You’ll start out by meeting with one of the academic advisors in the School of Individualized Study, who will spend time learning about you. They’ll talk to you about areas of study that you like and don’t like, and listen as you share your career goals and aspirations. Next, they’ll talk to you about course selection and help you identify what classes you need to take to gain the skills you’re looking to acquire. Our advisors will connect you to faculty members so you can learn about exciting career options. As we work together to map out an individualized studies bachelor’s degree, your advisors will help develop concentrations and guide you on adding experiences that will expand your knowledge, including co-ops and internships, research opportunities, study abroad, and more. These will round out your education and provide engaging experiences beyond the classroom. And, as your interests change, or expand into new areas, advisors will work with you to adjust your plan of study to accommodate your evolving goals.

RIT’s Individualized Studies Major is All About High-Touch, Hands-On Advising  

When you enroll in RIT’s bachelor’s of individualized studies, we want to get to know you and your interests, your career goals, and what you want out of your education. This will allow us to help you craft an educational journey that’s personalized to your goals. Our advising process is continual, high-touch, and customized to meet your specific needs. We’ll help you:

  • Design an individualized studies major comprised of hand-picked courses from RIT’s dynamic academic portfolio
  • Arrange introductions with RIT’s faculty, staff, and alumni, Rochester community partners, and beyond
  • Mentor you on your academic path
  • Connect you to university resources
  • Support you through program completion

Furthering Your Education: An Individualized Study Major Opens Doors

RIT/Syracuse University College of Law 3+3 Option: RIT has partnered with Syracuse University’s College of Law to offer an accelerated 3+3 BS/JD option for highly qualified students, providing a fast-track pathway to law school where you can earn a bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctorate in six years. Successful applicants may be offered admission into the individualized study major and given conditional acceptance into Syracuse University College of Law. Learn more about the RIT/Syracuse University College of Law 3+3 Option.

Combined Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees: RIT offers Combined Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees that enable you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years, giving you a competitive advantage.

  • +1 MBA Early Acceptance Pathway: Successful RIT applicants who are offered admission into the bachelor’s of individualized studies as an incoming first-year student may also be offered conditional early acceptance into the +1 MBA Early Acceptance Pathway. This option enables you to earn both your BS degree and an MBA in as little as five years of study. Learn how the +1 MBA Early Acceptance Pathway adds a competitive advantage to your studies.
  • +1 MBA: Students who enroll in a qualifying undergraduate degree have the opportunity to add an MBA to their bachelor’s degree after their first year of study, depending on their program. Learn how the +1 MBA can accelerate your learning and position you for success.
This program is offered on-campus or online.
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Careers and Experiential Learning

Typical Job Titles

Consumer Relations Executive Cloud Systems Engineer
Data Scientist Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer
Director of Finance EOC Compliance Coordinator
Human Resources Administrator Illustrator
Influencer Manager Packaging Engineer

Industries

  • Commercial Banking and Credit
  • Defense
  • Electronic and Computer Hardware
  • Environmental Services
  • Food and Beverage
  • Health Care
  • Internet and Software

Cooperative Education and Internships

What’s different about an RIT education? It’s the career experience you gain by completing cooperative education and internships with top companies in every single industry. You’ll earn more than a degree. You’ll gain real-world career experience that sets you apart. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. 

Students in the BS in individualized studies degree are strongly encouraged to participate in cooperative education and internships. These hands-on, career-focused experiences can help you make connections between your course work and industry, and help you gain valuable experience that prepares you for success after you graduate.

Curriculum for 2023-2024 for Individualized Program BS

Current Students: See Curriculum Requirements

Applied Arts and Science, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOIS-101
Individualized Study Seminar
The required gateway course for students enrolled in the School of Individualized Study. Course provides an opportunity for students to explore the nature and function of academic disciplines. Students will have opportunities to develop and refine their transversal, transferrable, and 21st century skill sets and their relationship to traditional curriculum and experiential learning. (APPLAS-BS, APPLAS-AAS) Lecture 1 (Fall or Spring).
1
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. (This class is restricted to incoming 1st year or global campus students.) Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
0
 
General Education - Artistic Perspective
3
 
General Education- Social Perspective
3
 
General Education - First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
General Education - Mathematical Perspective A
3
 
Professional Concentration Courses
12
 
General Education - Electives
6
Second Year
SOIS-201
Paradigms & Worldviews (General Education)
This course examines how different paradigms and worldviews have shaped our understanding of the world and life, from antiquity to the present. This course is exploratory in nature. In other words, we will question who we are, how we fit into the world, and what ideas seem to define the world in which we live. How have different cultures, nations, and regions viewed the world differently? What are scientific paradigms? What is the Postmodern or the Posthuman? How can a cosmopolitan society reconcile different attitudes and belief systems? What happens when disparate worldviews or conceptual schemes collide or are threatened with cultural, economic, or political devastation? How should the individual relate to society? How should they relate to the environment? How have artists and writers addressed such questions? We will examine how these concepts have evolved in the modern era, especially, and how paradigms and worldviews have differed across the globe. Key authors and readings from the fields of cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, intellectual history, history of science, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and/or history of art will be discussed. Lecture 3 (Fall).
3
SOIS-202
Individuals & Society (General Education)
This course examines how to understand the individual’s role and ethical responsibilities in civil society, the economy, and the globe. The course is exploratory, collaborative, and participatory. The course will involve reading, discussion, and reflection on notable texts about individualism from antiquity to the present, as well as discussion sessions with notable individuals in our community. In consultation with the faculty instructor, students will develop a research and action plan based on their own sense of individuality. Lecture 3 (Spring).
3
 
Professional Concentration Courses
12
 
General Education - Ethical Perspective
3
 
General Education - Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
3
 
General Education - Mathematical Perspective B
3
 
General Education - Scientific Principles Perspective
3
Third Year
 
General Education - Global Perspective
3
 
Professional Concentration Courses
18
 
General Education - Immersion 1, 2
6
 
Open Elective
3
Fourth Year
SOIS-510
Multidisciplinary Life (WI-PR)
A capstone class for students in the applied arts and sciences bachelor of science degree program. Course provides students an opportunity to reflect upon and enhance the many aspects of their individualized educational programs and focus on future goals. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
3
 
General Education - Immersion 3
3
 
Professional Concentration Courses
5
 
General Education - Electives
9
 
General Education- Elective (WI-GE)
3
 
Open Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
120

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Note for online students

The frequency of required and elective course offerings in the online program will vary, semester by semester, and will not always match the information presented here. Online students are advised to seek guidance from the listed program contact when developing their individual program course schedule.

Admissions and Financial Aid

First-Year Admissions

This degree offers students the opportunity to create individualized undergraduate programs. Applicants should speak directly to a first-year admissions counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

A strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. This includes:

  • 4 years of English with a strong performance is expected.
  • 3 years of social studies and/or history with a strong performance is expected.
  • 3 years of math is required and must include algebra, geometry, and algebra 2/trigonometry. 
  • 2-3 years of science.

Transfer Admissions

This program offers students the opportunity to create individualized undergraduate programs of technical and professional study through its applied arts and science program. The applied arts and science program is particularly appropriate for individuals who have prior college-level learning, are interested in changing majors, have unique ideas about how they want to design their academic areas of study, or want to prepare themselves for a career that requires skills and expertise from several disciplines. Applicants should speak directly to a transfer admissions counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

Learn How to Apply

Financial Aid and Scholarships

100% of all incoming first-year and transfer students receive aid.

RIT’s personalized and comprehensive financial aid program includes scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment programs. When all these are put to work, your actual cost may be much lower than the published estimated cost of attendance.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships

Additional Information

Online Study Restrictions for Some International Students

Certain countries are subject to comprehensive embargoes under US Export Controls, which prohibit virtually ALL exports, imports, and other transactions without a license or other US Government authorization. Learners from the Crimea region of the Ukraine, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria may not register for RIT online courses. Nor may individuals on the United States Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals or the United States Commerce Department’s table of Deny Orders. By registering for RIT online courses, you represent and warrant that you are not located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any such country or on any such list.