Applied Arts and Sciences associate of applied science degree

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Online Option

The AAS degree in applied arts and sciences offers students the opportunity to create an individualized undergraduate major. The degree requires students to complete at least 60 credit hours of course work comprising 24 credit hours in general education along with 36 credit hours in one or two professional concentrations. Each concentration is customized by the student with guidance and advice from their academic adviser. A professional concentration is at least 20 credit hours and can be designed from most of RIT's majors. 

The applied arts and science degree may be completed on campus, online, or by combining on-campus and online course work. 

The following chart represents a sample of a typical course sequence for two concentrations in management and economics. Students will work with an adviser to craft a personal pan of study based on their chosen concentration areas.


  • K-12 Education

  • Non-Profit

  • Health Care

  • Government (Local, State, Federal)

  • Defense


Applied arts and science, AAS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
College Algebra
This course provides the background for an introductory level, non-trigonometry based calculus course. The topics include a review of the fundamentals of algebra: solutions of linear, fractional, and quadratic equations, functions and their graphs, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and rational functions, and systems of linear equations.
LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): Exploration in Cellular Biology and Evolution
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth.
FInancial Accounting
An introduction to the way in which corporations report their financial performance to interested stakeholders such as investors and creditors. Coverage of the accounting cycle, generally accepted accounting principles, and analytical tools help students become informed users of financial statements.
LAS Perspective 4 (social): Principles of Microeconomics
Microeconomics studies the workings of individual markets. That is, it examines the interaction of the demanders of goods and services with the suppliers of those goods and services. It explores how the behavior of consumers (demanders), the behavior of producers (suppliers), and the level of market competition influence market outcomes.
Introdcution to Statistics I
This course introduces statistical methods of extracting meaning from data, and basic inferential statistics. Topics covered include data and data integrity, exploratory data analysis, data visualization, numeric summary measures, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. The emphasis of the course is on statistical thinking rather than computation. Statistical software is used.
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic): History of Western Art: Ancient to Medieval
The subject of this course is the history of western art and architecture from Prehistory through the Middle Ages. We will examine the form, style, function, and meaning of important objects and monuments of the past, and consider these in their social, historical and cultural contexts. A chronological study will allow us to recognize when, where and by whom a given object was produced. Once these decisive factors are established, we may try to determine why the object was made, what it meant in its time, place and culture, and whose ideology it served. Since we are dealing with visual information, the primary goals of this class are to learn how to look, and how to describe and analyze what we see. At the end of the term, students will be prepared to pursue additional courses in the discipline, for they will have gained a foundational knowledge of the object, scope and methods of art history. The knowledge obtained in this introductory course will also guide students in their own creative endeavors.
Leadership in Organizations
This course will explore the character, personal attributes, and behaviors of effective leaders in organizations. The course includes an overview of leadership research, theory, and practice, with an emphasis on developing an actionable leadership development plan.
Individualized Study Seminar
The required gateway course for students enrolled in the School of Individualized Study. Course provides an opportunity for students to explore the nature and function of academic disciplines. Students will have opportunities to develop and refine their transversal, transferrable, and 21st century skill sets and their relationship to traditional curriculum and experiential learning.
First Year Writing Intensive
LAS Elective
Wellness Education*
Second Year
LAS Perspective 3 (global): Principles of Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics studies aggregate economic behavior. The course begins by presenting the production possibilities model. This is followed by a discussion of basic macroeconomic concepts including inflation, unemployment, and economic growth and fluctuations. The next topic is national income accounting, which is the measurement of macroeconomic variables. The latter part of the course focuses on the development of one or more macroeconomic models, a discussion of the role of money in the macroeconomy, the aggregate supply-aggregate demand framework, and other topics the individual instructor may choose.
Principles of Marketing
An introduction to the field of marketing, stressing its role in the organization and society. Emphasis is on determining customer needs and wants and how the marketer can satisfy those needs through the controllable marketing variables of product, price, promotion and distribution.
Organizational Behavior
As an introductory course in managing and leading organizations, this course provides an overview of human behavior in organizations at the individual, group, and organizational level with an emphasis on enhancing organizational effectiveness. Topics include: individual differences, work teams, motivation, communication, leadership, conflict resolution, organizational culture, and organizational change.
Global Business Environment
Being an informed global citizen requires an understanding of the global business environment. Organizations critical to the development of the global business environment include for-profit businesses, non-profits, governmental, non-governmental, and supranational agencies. This course introduces students to the interdependent relationships between organizations and the global business environment. A holistic approach is used to examine the diverse economic, political, legal, cultural, and financial systems that influence both organizations and the global business environment.
Game Theory with Economic Applications
Game theory uses a mathematical approach to study situations of strategic interdependence, i.e., situations with two or more players in which each player's decision influences payoffs of other players and players are aware of this fact when making their decisions. Game theory has been applied to understand diverse economic, political and biological phenomena. We will study how to formulate situations of strategic interdependence as game theoretic models; how to explain/predict behavior of the parties involved, through the use of various equilibrium concepts; and/or identify guidelines for appropriate behavior. The concepts and methods will be illustrated with many examples. The objective is to introduce you to language of game theory and its methodology, and to develop analytical reasoning skills.
Management Accounting
Introduction to the use of accounting information by managers within a business. Explores the value of accounting information for the planning and controlling of operations, assessing the cost of a product/service, evaluating the performance of managers, and strategic decision making.
International Trade and FInance
This course first surveys the sources of comparative advantage. It then analyzes commercial policy and analyzes the welfare economics of trade between countries. Some attention is paid to the institutional aspects of the world trading system. Finally, the course introduces the student to some salient notions in international finance such as national income accounting, the balance of payments, and exchange rates.
Global Economic Issues
This course is focused on understanding economic problems in a global perspective. The students will study the impact of globalization on economic growth and income disparity among countries. Global economic issues such as poverty, hunger, refugees, and transnational terrorism will be studied. We will also discuss global efforts to attain progress such as the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. The course work will emphasize the analysis of international economic data.
Professional Core Elective
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
Total Semester Credit Hours

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing associate degrees are required to complete one Wellness course.

Admission Requirements

Freshman Admissions

This degree offers students the opportunity to create individualized undergraduate programs of technical and professional study. Applicants should speak directly to an admissions counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

Transfer Admissions

This program offers students the opportunity to create individualized undergraduate programs of technical and professional study through its applied arts and science program. The applied arts and science program is particularly appropriate for individuals who have prior college-level learning, are interested in changing majors, have unique ideas about how they want to design their academic areas of study, or want to prepare themselves for a career that requires skills and expertise from several disciplines. Applicants should speak directly to an admissions counselor in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for more information.

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