Programs of Study / Immersions

As part of their bachelor's degree requirements, students must complete an immersion—a concentration of three courses in a particular area. These courses support deeper learning within a focus area and are used to meet RIT's general education requirements. In many cases, an immersion can lead to a minor with the addition of two courses. However, not all minors have a corresponding immersion and vice versa. For a full list of immersions and corresponding minors, please see the immersions and minors page on the general education website.

The advertising and public relations immersion provides opportunities for the advanced study of selected areas central to the persuasive arts as they apply to advertising and public relations, as well as education and practice in the writing, speaking, and design skills required of these professions.

Learn More  

The immersion in African studies enables students to gain knowledge about African societies, cultures, histories, and modern political realities, and diasporic communities in different parts of the world. 

Learn More  

This immersion provides students with the opportunity to study the American arts through a variety of disciplines, including painting, architecture, film, photography, music, theatre, and mass media. Each course presents American art within the context of the broader current of American life, including its history, philosophy, social, and cultural traditions.

Learn More  

The American politics immersion introduces students to the fundamental principles, institutions, and issues of American government. In addition, the strengths and limitations of American constitutionalism are emphasized throughout and current political and policy questions facing the country are examined. The overarching intention of the immersion is to give students the necessary tools to deliberate upon the political questions of the day and to actively participate in the political process.

Learn More  

The ASL and Deaf Cultural Studies immersion prepares students in the multi-disciplinary study of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. Open to hearing and deaf students, courses address topics in the field of ASL and Deaf Cultural Studies, including the study of ASL and its structure, ASL literature, literature in English pertaining to the Deaf experience, the history of Deaf people in the U.S. and around the world, Deaf art and cinema, the experience of Deaf people from racial, ethnic, and other underrepresented groups, intersectionality, oppression in the lives of Deaf people, and various political, legal, and educational issues affecting members of Deaf communities.

Learn More  

Archaeology is the study of the human past by means of the physical residues of past human behavior: for example, pottery, stone, and metal tools, and the remains of ancient dwelling sites. An archaeologist explains how human society has changed and developed over time using such physical evidence. Archaeology employs techniques from the physical sciences to build a more detailed picture of the human past. Students explore the worlds of the past through hands-on applications of physical science techniques in a diverse range of fields, including chemistry, metallurgy, biology, and material science, applying these disciplines in a novel and challenging context. 

Learn More  

The communication immersion provides opportunities for the advanced study of selected areas of communication. Topics include an overview of the fields of persuasion, mass communications, public speaking, and small group communication. Students will understand and apply several modes of communication in academic, professional, and personal situations.

Learn More  

The creative writing immersion includes a series of courses offering students a practical, theoretical, and historical understanding of the art and craft of writing nonfiction, fiction prose, and poetry, as well as experimenting in digital storytelling and interactive media. The immersion encourages students to use these skills and insights for interdisciplinary projects and the enrichment of their careers and personal lives.

Learn More  

The criminal justice immersion provides students with the appropriate foundation to analyze crime, crime control policy, and the role of the criminal justice system in the maintenance of order in society. Courses focus on the social definition and measurement of crime, a broad understanding of the causes of crime, and societal responses to crime through the police, courts, and corrections. 

Learn More  

Cultural anthropology is the study of culture, past and present, from a worldwide comparative perspective. As a disciplinary field, cultural anthropology attempts to provide insights on how human beings across the globe live and work and shape their cultural world in families, cities, societies, ethnic groups, nations, and networked solidarities through ideas, ideologies, beliefs, and values or world views. One of the goals of cultural anthropology is to promote understanding among peoples—an increasingly important venture in our vastly interconnected world communities. 

Learn More  

We encounter digital texts and codes every time we use a smart phone, launch an app, or interact online. This immersion explores innovative and evolving questions and practices of text and code in literature, creative writing, and interactive media. It invites students to explore the social, cultural, and technological significance of text, code, and their interrelations.

Learn More  

This immersion offers students a variety of academic perspectives on how diverse groups may share cultural or inherited characteristics, and how perceptions of difference influence their interactions. Race, ethnicity, gender, and sexualities are the main points of focus. Students examine differential power between groups, analyze the social structures used to maintain, moderate and alter power relations, as well as probe interpersonal relationships across social divides. 

Learn More  

The economics immersion provides a systematic analysis of economic issues through the study of the allocation of scarce resources into production and the distribution of production among the members of society. 

Learn More  

The English immersion allows students to study literature and other cultural works, as well as linguistics, and creative writing. The immersion is flexible in order to accommodate student interest in areas such as specific literary historical periods or geographic areas, multimedia and the visual arts, or literary genres and forms such as science fiction, the novel, the short story, poetry. Courses in the immersion emphasize the ability to read literature and other mediums analytically and write critically.

Learn More  

The environmental studies immersion is an examination of the basic environmental problems we face, how environmental resource depletion and energy issues are related, and what kind of environmental ethics and/or values we have today and have had in the past. The immersion also explores the economic, legislative, and regulatory framework within which most environmental decisions are made. Since most technological areas are associated with significant environmental implications, it is essential that students have an understanding of and a well-thought-out value orientation about such environmental consequences.

Learn More  

The ethics immersion helps students to understand more deeply the nature of ethical thinking, to recognize and understand ethical dilemmas in private, professional, and public settings, and to think clearly and critically about possible answers to ethical problems. The immersion also provides students with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with some of the most influential writings and thinkers in the philosophical canon. Courses are especially well suited to students considering careers in law, medicine, business, or politics. 

Learn More  

The film studies immersion allows students to engage in the study of global cinema using a variety of interdisciplinary methodologies and perspectives. Coming from the disciplines of English, anthropology, philosophy, fine arts/visual culture, political science, history, and modern languages, the immersion investigates cinema’s mass appeal as a form of entertainment, but also the power it wields as a disseminator of ideas, history, values, aesthetics, behavior, and cultural norms. 

Learn More  

The global justice immersion examines attempts to create lasting peace and social justice on the international scale. Courses in philosophy and the social sciences help students to understand concepts of human rights, world poverty, and global solidarity. The immersion is well suited for students considering careers in law, politics, or public policy related fields.

Learn More  

The immersion in globalization theory analyzes how linkages and interconnections across and beyond conventional borders and boundaries are forged by people, political regimes, social movements, corporate enterprise, and culture industries. The immersion's emphasis is on the causes, signs, and possibilities of globalization with view to mobile populations, permeable borders, transnational flows of capital, and the traffic of culture across space or historical time. Courses examine how global fluidities, mobilities, and connections have been forged, the various dynamic and unpredictable responses of people in diverse locations to global processes, and the implications of global processes for a shared future.

Learn More  

This immersion in health and culture focuses on the shifting configurations of health and culture in a globalizing world. Health beliefs, including notions about bodily integrity or emotional well-being, illness causation, and diagnostic practices, and the experiences, expressions, and treatments of human ailments unfold in concrete cultural contexts. Every society has some form of health care system, which is minimally administered by community members or specialized practitioners. By moving beyond the lens of western biomedicine, the immersion provides students with a set of tools for analyzing the impact of culture on how health care is delivered, how health symptoms are interpreted and communicated by patients and health providers, and how costs for treatment are calculated and managed in relation to perceived benefits. Courses examine the interrelation between health and culture from a number of perspectives and contexts, including the cultural realities within which bodies are meaningfully constituted or in some cases enhanced by technology, the culture-specific communicative or representational health practices, the socially constituted experiences of trauma, death, suffering, and healing, and the various culturally mediated approaches to health care costs and remedies.

Learn More  

The history immersion provides students with intensive study within the discipline of history. Students may choose to structure their immersion broadly, by choosing a wide range of historical topics to study, or narrowly, by choosing a particular area to study, such as American, European, or Asian history.

Learn More  

The human language technology and computational linguistics immersion provides exposure to computational linguistics and relevant language science course work. Students gain knowledge and practical skills in computational natural language processing and technical linguistic analysis, useful for analytics and modeling with language data and for developing, evaluating, and maintaining language technology software.

Learn More  

The international relations immersion combines the study of the complexities and shifting trends of international politics with the study of the global system. Particular emphasis is placed on the interactions and interconnectedness of nation-states at the international level and other participants in international affairs, such as international organizations, non-governmental organizations, sub-national entities, and individual citizens. Global issues studied include democratization, international and regional conflicts, terrorism, international trade and economic integration, economic development, international law and organizations, and human rights. This immersion is closed to students majoring in political science.

Learn More  

The journalism immersion provides opportunities for the advanced study of selected areas of journalism, including its history and relevant legal and ethical issues, and for education and practice in writing and editing skills required of journalists.

Learn More  

The language science immersion prepares students in the interdisciplinary scientific study and analysis of human language. Language science is directly applicable to students interested in computing and media, human-computer interaction, brain and cognition, language acquisition, human health, interpreting, relevant branches of engineering, and policy studies. Students can complete the immersion irrespective of their skills in languages other than English. Besides a core course on linguistic principles, students choose electives covering the technology of language, philosophy of language, and language in culture and society. Electives allow students to customize the immersion to their interests and needs, with the support of a faculty adviser.

Learn More  

The Latino/Latina/Latin American studies immersion allows students to study Latino or Latin American culture. The goal is to introduce students to the customs and culture (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, music) of Latin America or of Latinos in the U.S. Students become aware of the relationship between language and culture, and of the differences between their own language and culture and those of Spanish-speaking countries or Brazil. 

Learn More  

The legal studies immersion provides students with a foundation in the study of law and legal institutions, and in the relationship of law to other aspects of society and culture. Courses provide a broad perspective on law and legal institutions including historical, ethical, sociological, political, and philosophical approaches to these areas.

Learn More  

Language is a fundamental property of being human. Linguistics, the study of human language, is one of the four branches of anthropology. Linguistic anthropology explores the dynamic interrelationships among language, culture, and society, how human beings make sense of the world, and participate in social life through creative speech acts and linguistic play. Courses familiarize students with a range of theoretical and analytic approaches, including general linguistics, sociolinguistics, theories of languages, communication, semiotics, and literary studies. 

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Arabic-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register for language courses.

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Chinese-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. 

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of French-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. 

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of German-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills will begin the language courses at their current level of proficiency as determined by a placement test. 

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Italy. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. 

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Japan. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. 

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Portugal and Portuguese-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. 

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Russia and Russian-speaking countries of the world. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. 

Learn More  

This immersion introduces students to the language, customs, and cultural aspects (history, art, literature, politics, anthropology, and music) of Spain and Spanish-speaking countries. The immersion consists of three language courses or two language courses and one culture course. Students with previous language skills must consult the minor adviser for placement evaluation before they register. 

Learn More  

The immersion in museum studies introduces students to the history, theory, and practice of institutional collecting, exhibiting, storing, and preserving our cultural heritage in museums, archives, collections, galleries, and libraries. It also provides students with an introduction to public history, the technical investigation of art, the history and theory of exhibitions, and interactive design for museums.

Learn More  

The immersion in music offers courses in the history, theory, and practice of music. Students with a background in music and/or a genuine desire to know more about the subject will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of various theoretical and historical aspects, as well as participate in performing groups at RIT.

Learn More  

The immersion in Native American and indigenous studies enhances students’ knowledge of the unique heritage of Native Americans and indigenous peoples and their relationships with people from other communities and nations. This enhanced understanding is grounded in the study of the histories, collective memories, cultures, and languages of Native American and indigenous peoples, and the representations, stereotypes, and pertinent laws and policies governing their lives. Immersion courses emphasize indigenous ways of knowing and learning in the past and present in the Americas and across the globe. 

Learn More  

The philosophy immersion provides students with an opportunity to study the nature, methods, problems, and achievements of philosophical inquiry. The immersion emphasizes the following goals: the ability to think rationally and critically, an awareness of ethical values, an appreciation of aesthetic values, an awareness of how the past affects the present and future, and an understanding of the relationship between individuals and the social settings with which they interact. 

Learn More  

The political science immersion emphasizes the interdependence of domestic politics and international relations in the age of globalization. The immersion brings together components of American politics, international relations, and comparative politics to provide students with both national and global perspectives on politics. Perhaps most important, the political science immersion seeks to help students make sense of the increasingly complicated political environment that confronts them in their role as citizens.

Learn More  

This immersion reflects the central themes of psychology, including topics such as the study of cognitive, developmental, social, and abnormal psychology. The study of behavior includes many different topics, but the unifying theme is that these courses all include the study of behavior using or applying the scientific method. 

Learn More  

This immersion provides students with a clear understanding of public policy, the policy process, and policy analysis. Students have the opportunity to develop perspectives on a variety of contemporary public policy issues, especially those that emerge from scientific and technological advancements. Policy Analysis (PUBL-301) and Decision Analysis (PUBL-302) are offered especially for students who are considering the MS in public policy or who have an interest in analytical tools. 

Learn More  

Religion plays a major role in human affairs. To understand more fully the nature of the relationship between society and the individual, it is essential to have some understanding of religion. The religious studies immersion engages students in the study of religion from the perspective of major Western and non-Western traditions through courses in disciplines such as anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, and psychology.

Learn More  

The Renaissance studies immersion is an interdisciplinary set of courses focused on the study of cultural events (artistic, literary, philosophical, religious, scientific, among others) occurring during the Renaissance period (c. 1300-1600). The Renaissance saw the formation of new concepts and the occurrence of groundbreaking events such as the beginning of modern science and technology, the religious Reformation, the birth of the nation-state, the establishment of the banking system, the expansion of geographical horizons, the encounter with new cultures and populations, and the development of the notions of human dignity and human rights. Studying the Renaissance is also crucial to understanding contemporary debates centered on post-humanism, trans-humanism, technological humanism, and the various critiques of humanism, all of which have their conceptual basis in the Renaissance notion of homo universalis, or universal human being.

Learn More  

The science and technology studies immersion examines some of the major impacts of science and technology in the contemporary world. Special preference is given to American concerns. Students gain an overall appreciation of the social nature of science and technology as they have developed in the past, as they exist today, and as they may affect society in the future under various scenarios. Science and technology have become social systems in their own right and have made possible increasing freedom, a fantastic variety of choice, and, paradoxically, the growing interdependence of all segments of world society. A new level of public awareness and concern is crucial to understanding and dealing successfully with these consequences.

Learn More  

Social inequalities and collective responses to them, both locally and globally, are the focus of this immersion. Students explore the interplay between social and cultural dimensions of the rapid globalization of societies, and the concurrent inequalities of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and culture. The egalitarian strivings that emerge from these inequalities also will be examined. Courses offer the unique standpoints of two academic disciplines, sociology and anthropology, to analyze the roles of powerful social institutions and culture industries, and to identify and explain social inequalities and resulting conflicts and egalitarian hopes.

Learn More  

The theatre arts immersion offers courses in dramatic literature, theatre history, theory, and practice. Students expand their knowledge of dramatic and theatrical arts as well as study the role and function of theatre in the broader contexts of history, culture, and the communication of ideas.

Learn More  

Metropolitan areas must address such enduring issues as poverty, homelessness, affordable housing, transportation, pollution, education, water and food security, health, crime, safety, recreation, zoning, segregation, ethno-racial tensions, and economic development. Each city must do so with recognition of its place in the wider regional, national, and global contexts. The urban studies immersion helps students identify and analyze such fundamental issues and allows them to explore and assess various ways policy-makers respond to those issues. 

Learn More  

Visual culture explores the role of visual media in everyday life and its critical function in the dissemination of ideas in the public sphere. Emphasizing comparative critical approaches to the convergence of art, popular media, science, and technology, the immersion engages globalized visual media ranging from photography, television, film, new media (the web, digital imaging, and social networks), architecture, design, and art (painting, sculpture, and multimedia forms) in the context of such social arenas as art, news, science, advertising, and popular culture. The goal is to help students develop media literacy. 

Learn More  

The women’s and gender studies immersion allows students to explore the significance of gender as it intersects with racial, ethnic, religious, national, class, sexuality, and dis/ability-based identities, past and present. The immersion introduces critical analysis and knowledge-building methods drawn from fields such as women's and gender studies, feminist theories, critical race studies, queer studies, social justice work, and activism. Courses build knowledge about the personal, social, cultural, economic, and historical dynamics that inform gender and intersecting social categories. It provides valuable skills and experiences applying these different lenses to real-world interactions with diverse individuals and communities, to current social challenges that impact multiple parties, and with an eye to improving equity and fair outcomes for everyone concerned.

Learn More  

Discontinued Immersions

The literary arts, medical humanities, and social sciences provide insight into wellness, illness, disability, and pathology, and offer historical views on medical practices. Attention to the liberal arts developa cultural and communication perspectives. Students develop skills in critical analysis, interpersonal empathy, and self-reflection, all of which are essential for human-centered medical care. The immersion examines how bioscience and medicine interact with cultural, cognitive, and communicative contexts, and how these impact the individual experience of illness and the ways medicine is practiced. Students pursuing programs in medical disciplines, medical informatics, medical illustration, and psychology will find this immersion particularly beneficial.

Learn More  

The literature immersion gives students the opportunity to read, analyze, and evaluate works of fiction, poetry, and drama. While studying and practicing different methods of approaching literary texts, students explore their diverse social, cultural, and historical contexts.

Learn More  

We encounter digital texts and codes every time we use a smartphone, turn on an app, or interact online. This immersion explores innovative and evolving questions and practices of text and code in literature, linguistics, creative writing, and locative and interactive media. It invites students to explore the social, cultural, and technological significance of text, code, and their interrelations.

Learn More  

The writing and rhetoric immersion is ideal for students interested in reading a variety of genres and writing for a variety of audiences. Genres covered include science writing, creative non-fiction, worlds of writing, and written argument.

Learn More