Flexible Learning

RIT is offering students a robust educational experience this spring, with a mix of in-person, blended, and online courses. 

Academic Calendar

RIT classes for spring semester began Monday, Jan. 25.

The semester includes three “recharge” days and one reading day before final exams. The recharge days have been incorporated into the calendar to give students and faculty additional break days throughout the semester to account for the elimination of spring break.

The last day of classes for the spring semester will be Wednesday, May 5, with final exams running May 7-13. Commencement is scheduled for May 14-15 (format to be determined).

View the academic calendar


RIT plans to host in-person commencement ceremonies May 14 and 15. In light of current New York state regulations, guests will not be allowed at the indoor ceremonies. However, all ceremonies will be live-streamed. Recordings will also be made available afterward for those who are unable to view the event live. We intend to host multiple small ceremonies whereby students will be able to walk across the stage and have their photos taken.

Letter from President Munson and Provost Granberg

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Modalities for Spring Semester

RIT is offering a mix of in-person, blended, and online course offerings in the spring. This will enable us to meet the physical distancing and reduced occupancy requirements for our instructional spaces. With six-foot physical distancing and reduced occupancy requirements in place, classroom spaces will look much different. Course modalities and course schedules are listed in SIS.

RIT Instructional Modality Guide

In person
This traditional course delivery mode includes instruction delivered fully in the classroom/lab/studio with interaction between the instructor and student. Students enrolled in in-person classes must be able to access campus facilities and attend scheduled course meetings on campus in order to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes of the course.

A blended course combines online instruction and in-person meetings. Blended courses take a variety of formats. For example, the course may be offered both in person and online simultaneously or the lecture portion may be offered online while students meet in person in small groups. Your professor will select the method best suited for the course and the course meeting schedule will be available to students in SIS. Students enrolled in blended courses are expected to attend in person sessions as scheduled unless excused by the instructor.

Fully online
No in-person class meetings are required. In order to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes of a synchronous online course, enrolled students attend class online and engage in course activities at the specified days/times published in the course schedule. The use of a fully online modality will be largely limited to classes where physical distancing requirements make it the only reasonable option.

Flex Option

This spring, RIT will offer students two new course options, a HyFlex option and Dual Track option. Both offer flexibility for students to manage their class participation from a distance while meeting all course expectations. It is the instructor’s choice to offer either or neither of these options. These options are displayed as class attributes in SIS when students register.

HyFlex and Dual Track Guide

The HyFlex option allows students to change their mode of participation at any point during the course, allowing course completion both in person and/or online. The in-person class sessions meet at the scheduled times. Instructors determine the online mode (synchronous or asynchronous) and coordinate the online course delivery so that students can achieve the same learning outcomes in both the online and in-person experiences.

As an example, students enrolled in a HyFlex course can start the course in person, but if they become ill or decide to return home for the semester, they can easily transition to online learning for this course. The student will join the class online either at the same meeting time as the in-person session, or at any other time, determined by the instructor. The student can return to in-person learning, if they choose, at any time during the semester.

Dual Track
In the Dual Track option, students enroll in either an in-person or online mode in SIS for the entire term. These modes are part of the same course and have the same instructors. The instructor chooses either synchronous or asynchronous for the online mode. If a student is enrolled in a Dual Track course, they must decide, when they register, if they would like to take the course in person or online and they must remain in this modality for the duration of the course.

Study Spaces

The Frank Ritter Ice Arena was converted into a large study area with approximately 200 available seats. Students sit at the ends of six-foot tables arranged on the rink’s cement floor. WiFi and power are available. Masks must be worn at all times, and no eating is permitted in the study space. Student attendants are available during Ritter Arena study hours: 7:30 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, and 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday.

Students can also study from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday in Slaughter Hall, room 2210-2240. The open study area can accommodate approximately 50 students.

RIT’s Wallace Library continues to offer individual study rooms and open study areas, although at reduced capacity. There are new protocols that enable students, faculty, and staff to take full advantage of the library’s resources as safely as possible.

Experiential Learning

Cooperative Education
Students should follow guidance from their employers about reporting to a company site or if they will be working remotely. Follow the employer's workplace policies and procedures for safety. RIT's Office of Career Services and Co-op is available for questions or concerns.


Study Abroad
Study abroad programs and all international travel by students for the 2020-2021 academic year, including summer 2021, are suspended until further notice. Applications for fall 2021 travel programs will remain open as we monitor the situation. Students can participate in a number of virtual intercultural experiences. For more information, go to the RIT Global website.

Related Stories

  • February 8, 2021

    two students wearing face masks playing table tennis.

    Three recharge days scheduled this semester

    RIT’s spring semester this year features three recharge days for students to take a break from classes and studying. The days—Feb. 23, March 24, and April 22—feature several optional activities students may participate in either in-person, drop-in, or virtually.

  • February 1, 2021

    RIT's digital campus map.

    RIT Campus Maps features study spaces

    RIT Campus Map is a handy resource for finding a place to study. The interactive website includes a feature for identifying the availability of nine different spaces, without having to walk across campus, especially during the winter months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Laboratories, studios, computer facilities, machine shops, and other student-learning spaces are open. For laboratory, studio, and capstone courses, we added additional sections and/or specialized scheduling solutions so students can take these classes in person and access facilities needed to fulfill their course learning outcomes.

In order for people to wear masks in the classroom, food is not allowed in classrooms when in use. Faculty members can choose to allow students to have drinks in class. Students should use a straw that goes under the face mask.

Given the requirements of physical distancing, it is possible some class sections will have to meet evenings or on weekends. This will be minimized if possible by converting some non-classroom spaces on campus to academic use.

In rare cases, a class may need to be cancelled. Should this occur, the department or college offering the class will reach out to students via email.

RIT will offer students an alternate grading option for the fall and spring semesters of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Undergraduate students will be able to select a satisfactory/pass/no pass option and graduate students can select a satisfactory/unsatisfactory/no pass option, for up to two courses. Faculty will post all grades, at which point students can determine if they wish to opt for alternate grading. That decision can be reversed until the student’s degree is certified. After degree certification, students can appeal to switch the grade from one mode to another. If a student electing the alternate grading option receives a failing grade, that grade will not be calculated into the student’s grade point average.   

Faculty will provide students who are quarantined or ill alternatives to be able to access course materials necessary to meet the course learning outcomes and continue academic progress. It is recommended that faculty record classroom lectures in order to support students who are in quarantine or isolation. Students should request access from their instructors to course materials due to COVID-related circumstances as soon as they are able. 

Academic advisors will provide a combination of in-person, remote, and online services. Students who prefer an in-person appointment will be accommodated whenever possible. Faculty will hold office hours online unless they indicate otherwise. All health and safety protocols must be followed for any in-person meetings. The college or academic department advising units will develop plans for addressing “virtual drop-ins” for at-risk populations due to health accommodations.

In the event it becomes necessary for RIT to close physical facilities, all courses and other academic activities will transition to a remote-only format.

The use of a fully online modality (synchronous or asynchronous) will be largely limited to classes where physical distancing requirements make it the only reasonable option.

Synchronous courses will be delivered entirely online. No in-person class meetings are required. In order to demonstrate achievement of the learning outcomes of a synchronous online course, enrolled students attend class online and engage in course activities at the specified days/times published in the course schedule.

Asynchronous courses are also delivered entirely online. No in-person class meetings are required and there are no scheduled in-person or online class meetings required. Course materials and activities are posted online for completion within a designated time frame. Asynchronous courses may have optional synchronous components.

Once the final schedule is available, returning students may elect to select classes that limit the need to be physically present on campus, and in some situations, it may be possible for students to identify a schedule that will allow them to attend all courses remotely. For students who are new to RIT, it will be important for them to work with their academic advisor to learn whether it’s possible to design a schedule that is conducive to remote learning. Not all classes will be offered online, so this may require a slight re-arrangement to the order in which classes are taken.

A fully online schedule could impact a student’s financial aid. All students should check with RIT’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships before finalizing their schedules.

There is no tuition discount whether a student selects online classes or is enrolled in online classes. RIT is committed to provide the same academic rigor and quality coursework whether the class is provided in-person, online, or in a blended model.

The Office of Graduate Education has more detailed information for graduate students.