Applied Arts and Sciences Bachelor of science degree

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Work closely with faculty and academic advisors to design a unique, multidisciplinary plan of study that combines several areas of academic knowledge and interest to create an individualized major customized by you.


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  • Applied arts and sciences is an RIT New Economy Major. This collection of degree programs is forward-thinking and future-forming, and helps prepare you to excel in the multidisciplinary nature of our modern, dynamic economy.
  • Design a unique, multidisciplinary degree that combines several areas of academic interest to create a customized bachelor's degree.  
  • Engage in experiential learning like co-ops, internships, undergraduate research, study abroad) 
  • High-touch, personalized advising.
  • 120 credit hours: 60 credit hours in general education and 60 credit hours in individualized concentration areas
  • Complete the program on campus, online, or by combining both on-campus and online course work

The School of Individualized Study offers students the opportunity to create individualized undergraduate programs of study through its applied arts and sciences program. In this program, students work closely with faculty and professional advisers to design unique, multidisciplinary plans of study that combine several areas of academic knowledge and interest. The bachelors of applied arts and sciences program is particularly appropriate for individuals who have unique ideas about how they want to design their academic areas of study, have prior college-level learning, are interested in changing or expanding their major, or who want to prepare themselves for a career that requires a combination of skills and expertise from several disciplines.

Bachelor of science (BS) degree: 120 semester credit hours total; program is comprised of general education courses plus course work in professional areas of focus.
Associate of applied science (AAS) degree: 60 semester credit hours total; program is comprised of general education courses plus course work in a professional area of focus.

BS and AAS degrees are available to full-time day students, part-time evening students, and online students. These degrees allow students to pursue several different areas of study, selected specifically to meet individual career and personal goals.

For their professional core, students may draw upon a wealth of educational resources from across RIT’s colleges and departments. Examples of professional core areas of study include:

Business/management focus
  • Leadership
  • Quality management
  • Health systems administration
  • Project management
  • Innovation
Computer/technical focus
  • Applied computing
  • Technical communications
  • Computer science studies
  • Engineering technology studies
  • Computer graphics
  • Mechanical technology
Liberal arts focus
  • History
  • Psychology studies
  • Creative writing
  • Cultural studies
  • Foreign language
Students looking to complete the BS or AAS online can choose from a diverse group of online concentrations. Examples include:
  • Organizational change
  • Health systems administration
  • Integrated electronics
  • Leadership
  • Quality management
  • Project management
  • Web design
  • Various liberal arts including concentrations 

No two applied arts and sciences programs will be exactly alike because each takes into account the individual's goals and any previous learning. For example, one individualized program might lead to a bachelor’s degree with a professional core that combines information technology, graphic arts, and management, while another could lead to a bachelor’s degree that combines the fields of technical communication and health systems administration.

As career plans evolve and the demands of their technical and professional fields change, students meet regularly with professional advisers to review and update plans of study.

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

RIT/Syracuse University College of Law 3+3 Option

RIT has partnered with Syracuse University’s College of Law to offer an accelerated 3+3 BS/JD option for highly capable students. This option provides a fast-track pathway to law school in which students earn a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate degree in six years. In the 3+3 option, students interested in the following RIT majors–advertising and public relations, applied arts and sciences, communication, criminal justice, economics, international and global studies, journalism, philosophy, political science, psychology, public policy, and sociology and anthropology–may apply to the option directly. Successful applicants are offered admission to RIT and given conditional acceptance into Syracuse University’s College of Law. Learn more about the RIT/Syracuse University College of Law 3+3 Option, including admission requirements and frequently asked questions.

This program is also offered online. View Online Option.


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Curriculum for Applied Arts and Sciences BS

Applied Arts and Science, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
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. (APPLAS-BS, APPLAS-AAS) Lecture 1 (Fall Or Spring).
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
General Education - Artistic Perspective
General Education - Social Perspective
General Education - Mathematical Perspective A
Professional Concentration Courses
General Education - Electives
General Education - First Year Writing (WI)
Second Year
Professional Concentration Courses
General Education - Ethical Perspective
General Education - Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
General Education - Mathematical Perspective B
General Education - Scientific Perspective
Open Elective
General Education - Elective (WI-GE)
Third Year
General Education - Global Perspective
Professional Concentration Courses
General Education - Immersion 1, 2
General Education - Elective
Fourth Year
Multidisciplinary Life (WI-PR)
A capstone class for students in the applied arts and sciences bachelor of science degree program. Course provides students an opportunity to reflect upon and enhance the many aspects of their individualized educational programs and focus on future goals. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education - Immersion 3
Professional Concentration Courses
General Education - Electives
Open Electives
Total Semester Credit Hours

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

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.

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

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