Graduate electives list makes it easy to find a class and pursue a new interest

RIT graduate student Adrian Lomeli Martin is busy working on his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering and is focused on graduating in a couple years. Even with the demands of his research in micro-particles and micro-organisms, Martin still makes time to cultivate new interests at RIT.

“I think electives are a great way to broaden one’s horizons,” said Martin, from Mexico City, Mexico. “Learning skills that don’t directly relate to the things you’re familiar with or that have direct relation to your research can help put your field into a different perspective.”

The RIT Graduate School has updated a list of graduate-level electives, first issued last fall, with more than 200 courses—from Ceramics to Applied Machine Learning to Topics in Health and Nutrition—open to graduate students during this academic year. Christine Heusner, project manager for graduate programming in the RIT Graduate School, has worked with each college to identify courses suitable for interdisciplinary electives. Most of the courses have no enrollment restrictions, although some require faculty permission, she said.

The Graduate School’s university-wide list of graduate electives builds upon a practice started by the College of Art and Design that makes it easy for graduate students to take electives offered by other colleges.

“We thought it would be great to have a list of graduate classes across the entire university that would be a resource for graduate students looking to explore other topics and broaden their experience while at RIT,” Heusner said.

The opportunity appealed to Martin. This semester, he is studying a subject unrelated to his biomedical engineering research and outside of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. His prior experience with statistics drew him to the course, Computational Statistics and Data Science Methods, not because it directly aligned with his discipline, but for the novelty of learning and skill building. The class is offered through the School of Mathematical Sciences in the College of Science.

“With enough creativity, there’s always a way to apply new knowledge to your specialty,” Martin said. “Even if there’s not a direct connection, what you learn can influence your research because the more you know the more well-rounded you become as an individual.”

For more information about graduate electives, contact Christine Heusner at

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