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Applied Technical Leadership bachelor of science degree

Linda Underhill, Service Systems Department Chair

Program overview

The applied technical leadership major is aimed at experienced, working adult learners who have completed a technical associate degree and have work experience in their field of study. The major is focused on enhancing career advancement options for those working in a variety of fields including, but not limited to, technical/technology, public service (law enforcement, engineering technologies, fire service, etc.), and medical (CPA, LPN). This major is only available online, enabling students to balance the demands of work and family while they complete a bachelor’s degree.  

Plan of study

The major is an online upper-level degree, with students entering the program after having already completed an associate degree. The curriculum includes required courses in service systems and environmental management and safety. Additional courses in business and liberal arts are provided by Saunders College of Business, the School of Individualized Study, and the College of Liberal Arts. Students complete general education requirements as part of the bachelor of science degree and, depending on the amount of transfer credit accepted, may complete addition professional electives as needed. 


Applied technical leadership, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year†
Second Year†
Third Year
HRDE-350 Leadership Development 3
HRDE-355 Contemporary Problems in Applied Technical Leadership 3
COMM-203 Effective Technical Communication 3
ACCT-110 Financial Accounting 3
HRDE-386 Human Resource Development 3
PUBL-101 Foundations of Public Policy 3
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Elective 3
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
Fourth Year
HRDE-400 Crisis Intervention in Applied Technical Leadership 3
BUSI-510 Project Management 3
SERQ-420 Service Quality 3
ESHS-480 Environmental Health and Safety Law 3
HRDE-490 Senior Project (WI) 3
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Electives 9
Total Semester Credit Hours 120

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

† The major is an online upper-level degree, with students entering the program after having already completed an associate degree.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the BS degree in applied technical leadership, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Hold an associate degree from an accredited college or university in technology, public services, medical, or other similar associates degree (such as criminal justice, police, or fire science). Transfer credit in general education, math, lab science(s), and technical studies from the associate degree is evaluated on a course-by-course basis. It is anticipated that most students will enter with third-year status depending on grades and courses taken in their associate degree. Once transfer credit has been applied, remaining course work is completed online via RIT. A bachelor of science degree requires 120 semester hours. In the applied technical leadership major, for example, a student who transfers with 60 semester hours from their associate degree would need to complete 60 semester credit hours at RIT to earn their degree.
  • Have a GPA of 2.5 or higher in a technical/technology, public services, medical, or related career field. (The major is not open to students who have an earned associate degree in business and the content of any electives in the program must be non-business content.)
  • Have completed required prerequisite course work (e.g., at least one lab science course, a course in mathematics and/or statistics and related liberal arts courses) before admission. Students missing required prerequisite courses must complete prerequisite course work prior to admission. This may be accomplished (with appropriate advising approvals) at any accredited community college or university, or at RIT on a non-matriculated basis. Grades must be at the C level or higher and an overall GPA of at least 2.5 is expected for these pre-requisite courses.
  • Submit a current resume.
  • Participate in a faculty interview (as needed).
  • Applicants must currently be employed in a technical/technology, public services, medical or related career field for at least three years, or have a minimum of three years’ experience in their career field within the last five years.

International applicants

This major is conducted entirely online and all instruction is in English. No courses are offered in a traditional classroom format on the RIT campus and therefore the major does not meet the typical visa and course registration requirements for international students studying in the United States.

International students outside the United States:
  • All admission requirements must be met.
  • As per RIT policy D2, ‘The U.S. Government expects international students to prove competency in the English language prior to their acceptance to an American college or university. In keeping with this expectation, students whose native language is not English and who’s secondary or higher education was completed in a non-native English speaking country must take a test of English language proficiency. Students must achieve the following minimum scores prior to consideration for admission: 570 paper-based or 88  internet-based on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or 6.5 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or 62 on the Pearson Test of English-Academic.’ 
  • Note that TOEFL, IELTS, or Pearson provide an overall score. The academic department will review individual scores received in the test sections to determine if your language skills in each area are strong enough for admission.

Additional information