Stackable Credentials

Apply your experience plus traditional and nontraditional credentials toward a customized graduate degree at RIT.

Customize your master’s degree

Combine your talents, interests, traditional or alternative education, work experience, and career goals to create a personalized, interdisciplinary master’s degree highly regarded by industry and academia.  

Delivered out of RIT’s School of Individualized Study, the master of science in professional studies degree is unique in that you will pursue two to three strategic areas of study, also known as concentrations, with faculty distinguished in those specialized fields. You’ll take courses along with other students who may be majoring in those subjects. You’ll get the benefit of acquiring substantial knowledge in multiple areas within one degree.

Text that reads: Hybrid skills = Career growth

The World Economic Forum recommends that to prepare for the jobs of 2020 and beyond, workers must possess a broad, multidisciplinary skill set. According to a 2019 Burning Glass report, high complexity jobs—requiring multidisciplinary and hybrid skill sets not normally associated with one role—are growing at twice the rate of the overall job market, are higher-paying than their more traditional-single-skill counterparts, and are immune to automation. And these jobs are growing in all fields. 

What does this mean? The most in-demand jobs are “hybrids,” combining skill sets that never used to be found in the same job, such as marketing and statistical analysis, or design and programming.

The four must-have skills not typically found within one distinct major or degree program are:

Digital Tools & Technology

Data & Analytics

Business & Management


The MS in professional studies allows you to create a degree plan of study combining all of these skills into one degree to help you climb the earnings ladder, make you more competitive in your field, and be immune to the threat of automation.

Hands typing at a laptop computer.

Design your degree

RIT offers a wide variety of fields of study to combine for your customized degree. Your advisor will help customize your plan of study based upon your experience, interests, and academic and career goals. Learn more about all the concentrations you may choose from.

Stackable Credentials

RIT’s School of Individualized Study believes in integrating alternative forms of learning and experience into a student’s individualized degree curriculum.

4 people sitting at a table, in a meeting.

Credit for experience

Time and experience within your career matters. Working with an advisor, an exam or portfolio review directly connected to your graduate degree plan can be scheduled to determine whether credit can be granted for skills already developed.

Woman speaking in the front of a room full of people in chairs.

Transfer Credit

College credit earned at accredited universities may be awarded credit at RIT after going through a formal evaluation process.

A diploma rolled up, wrapped in a red ribbon.

Certificates and more 

You may assemble a series of traditional degree-based and/or nontraditional credentials (certificates, certifications, licenses, badges, apprenticeships, and more) that recognize achievements and provide an accurate assessment of your knowledge, skills, and abilities. The more you accumulate, the more you increase your portfolio of knowledge toward a degree.

Visualization of a city street with bright colors.

edX pathways to credit 

RIT partners with edX, the leading nonprofit online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT to offer RITx MicroMasters® programs. These career-focused, master’s-level online offerings result in an edX credential with a pathway to credit toward an accelerated master’s degree in select degree programs at RIT. We also accept credit from select partner-university edX MicroMasters programs.

Learners who successfully complete a MicroMasters program and are accepted to RIT will be awarded 9–12 credits (depending upon the program) toward select graduate degree programs at RIT, resulting in a lower cost and accelerated master’s degree.

MicroMasters Programs

Here are just some of the MicroMasters programs you may use toward select graduate degrees from RIT.

Gain the essential knowledge and expertise in network security and forensics needed for cybersecurity in enterprise environments.

Launch your career and learn in-demand skills for any field in an industry that is adding 1.5 millions jobs globally each year.

Learn to think like a designer to drive innovation, creativity, and strategic planning—sought-after competencies that employers in all fields are seeking.

Gain the critical skills needed to become a data scientist, rated one of the best jobs in America and in demand globally.

Learn the principles of manufacturing: process control, production flow, supply chain and basic finance.

Gain expertise in supply chain analytics, design, technology, dynamics, and end-to-end supply chain management.

Master algorithmic programming techniques critical for success in top software engineering professions.

Gain the skills needed to solve complex challenges with data, from probability and statistics to data analysis and machine learning.

Grapple with some of the world’s most pressing problems from a rigorous, data-driven perspective.

Learn how to integrate analytics-based marketing and strategic concepts to improve business decisions and return on marketing investment.

Learn the design approaches to software engineering allowing you to work in any program language and build a project portfolio.

Learn how an idea can become a viable, workable IoT product and be able to generate your own IoT ideas and design and/or support their development.

Learn the key concepts and practical skills to build a career in marketing in the digital age.

Gain the technical knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in solar energy.

Let’s talk

If you’re interested to learn how you may design your customized master’s degree and assemble a pathway to credit through stacked credentials, I’d be delighted to talk with you and discuss your options. 

Karen Palmer 
Online Admissions Advisor