Why RIT Online?

You're on to
a world of possibilities

Woman wearing headphones at a laptop.

Unparalleled value 

Your online study culminates in the same prestigious degree as traditional on-campus students receive. Our world-class faculty provide a rigorous, cutting edge, personal, relevant, and second to no other university experience.

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Committed to flexibility

The traditional path to a college degree isn’t for everyone. We have learning solutions online, on your time, and around your schedule. Finish your undergraduate degree. Master’s degrees designed for working professionals. You may even be awarded credit for related work experience, certifications, nontraditional education and other credentials.

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Aligned with employer demand

RIT will have a direct and immediate impact on your career. We have been providing career-focused education and servicing the demands of employers since 1944. Our industry partners inform curriculum and provide job opportunities for our graduates. We have salary and growth projections for your desired career. And our curriculum packed with high-demand skills will help you get there.

Overhead photo of someone on a zoom call at a laptop.

Invigorating online experience

RIT offers flexible and robust education that goes beyond content delivery into a social, relational experience. With an easy-to-navigate online learning platform, you’ll engage through videos, class discussion, one-to-one connection with faculty, and the ability to do most of your work on your own time.

Award-winning faculty

With access to leading educators, you can achieve greatness. RIT’s outstanding faculty are committed to helping you take full advantage of the educational opportunities that await you. The faculty are your partners in scholarship, research, and ultimately, career development. They care deeply about you and your intellectual growth.

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Personalized support

Online students have full access to student success coaching. We will provide one-to-one support, connect you to all the essential services you are entitled to as an RIT student, and are always available. You will also have an academic advisor who will help guide your academic path to successful completion.

3 students wearing graduation caps.

Powerful force for change

You’re in good company when you graduate, joining the 135,000+ and growing global RIT alumni community, a group of innovators and change agents. Our alumni are truly special. They get and stay connected with one another, to our current students and faculty, and to the university.

40+ years in distance learning

RIT was born providing technical training for industry in the late 1800’s. We were one of the  first universities to provide distance education in 1979. The world has changed mightily, and so have we. RIT has always applied creativity and innovation to help students succeed in business, industry, and higher education. As technology, business, and academia evolve, we not only respond, but lead the way.

  1. A brown mail package sits on a welcome mat in front of a door.

    Distance Education Delivered

    1979  

    RIT begins delivering distance learning courses on the regional cable access system. 56 students enroll in two courses for the Spring 1980 semester. Course packets are mailed directly to students to support their learning. Also of note in 1980? The Winter Olympics are held in Lake Placid, New York, USA!

  2. A hand pushed a VHS tape into a VHS player.

    VHS and PBS

    1982  

    What do Sesame Street and RIT have in common? Both use the Public Broadcasting System at this time to broadcast their programming. For RIT, it is distance learning courses. RIT leases VHS and BetaMax tapes to add to course delivery options. Satellite and videoconferencing are also used.

  3. Close up image of a web browser location bar which shows only WWW.

    Online by ’99

    1999  

    RIT begins to use the World Wide Web for course delivery, and achieves the goal to be “online by ’99.” An online conferencing and bulletin-board system is introduced as a course delivery method and discussion tool. A new computer conferencing software is piloted, and Time Warner cable system via fiber interconnect was used for the first time.

  4. Close up of a hand holding a graduation cap.

    Online Degree Completion

    2002  

    RIT makes it simpler and more flexible than ever for people to complete their bachelor’s degree. The Applied Arts and Sciences BS is a customizable, undergraduate degree designed for working professionals and is available online this year. By accepting credit for work experience, previous credits and credentials earned, and more, this degree puts a bachelor’s within reach, and in many cases accelerates the time-to-completion and decreases the costs associated with an undergraduate degree.

  5. A graduating student in regalia smiles in celebration while holding her child on her back.

    Online Customizable Graduate Degree

    2006  

    RIT launches customizable graduate degrees online. Students can design a degree that aligns with their professional and academic background, interests, and goals. They acquire substantial knowledge in more than one area within one degree, studying alongside students majoring in those subjects. This prepares them for in-demand, higher-paying jobs requiring diverse skill sets.

  6. A student wearing headphones sits in front of his laptop.

    Streaming Replaces Video

    2007  

    Blockbuster Video brick-and-mortar stores are on the decline. At RIT, very few video course materials are still sold at the bookstore. Global phone and web conferencing tools are now being used to deliver online learning, and most new material is being streamed for student access over the web.

  7. Collage with the edX logo in the center.

    Massive Open Online Courses

    2015  

    RIT joins edX, the leading nonprofit online learning platform founded by Harvard and MIT. This open source platform delivers massive open online courses (MOOCs) developed by RIT faculty and instructors to learners around the world. RIT will go on to launch RITx Professional Certificate and MicroMasters programs (pathways to credit at RIT), featuring in-demand content including project management, cybersecurity, design thinking, communication skills, leadership, and more.

  8. A pyramid of wooden building blocks creates a series of green up arrows from the green elements painted on their sides.

    Stackable Credentials

    2018  

    RIT formalizes the ability for students to combine their talents, interests, traditional or alternative education, work experience, and career goals to create a customized graduate degree highly regarded by industry and academia.

  9. A silhouette graduating in regalia walks up a staircase.

    Pathways to a Degree

    2020  

    This year brings the COVID-19 global pandemic, wreaking havoc on the job market. RIT responds to make affordable and attainable pathways to a degree so that workers can succeed now and thrive through change. In partnership with edX, RIT officially becomes the global grantor of credit for all edX MicroMasters® program certificates. This historic agreement enables more learners around the world to access university-level, affordable, and flexible graduate education.