Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education

At RIT, our liberal arts programs cultivate a rich dynamic where innovation infuses our course work in the humanities and social sciences to raise your awareness of the connections between technology and our political, cultural, economic, and social world.

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. 

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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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The applied arts and sciences major offers students the opportunity to create individualized undergraduate programs of study through three levels of study: a bachelor of science degree, an associate of applied science degree, and a diploma. Further information for all three levels can be found under the applied arts and sciences BS program.

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The associate in science degree in applied liberal arts is designed to prepare deaf and hard-of-hearing students to enter and successfully complete a bachelor’s degree in the College of Liberal Arts, which offers majors in advertising and public relations, applied modern language and culture, communication, criminal justice, digital humanities and social sciences, economics, international and global studies, journalism, museum studies, philosophy, political science, psychology, public policy, and sociology and anthropology. This program is only available to students seeking admission to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

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Increase your career options with a proficiency in a second language and its culture. Pair your study of Chinese, Japanese, or Spanish with a major in computing, information technology, engineering, business, the arts, or the sciences.

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The Chinese option of the applied modern language and culture degree provides advanced study of Chinese language and culture that directly applies to the global economy in which you’ll work. You will learn to speak, understand, read, and write in Chinese, as well as gain a proficiency in the culture and traditions surrounding the language and geographic region. You’ll pair your study of Chinese with a secondary major or minor computing, engineering, business, the arts, or the sciences.

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The Japanese option of the applied modern language and culture degree provides advanced study of Japanese language and culture that directly applies to the global economy in which you’ll work. You will learn to speak, understand, read, and write in Japanese, as well as gain a proficiency in the culture and traditions surrounding the language and geographic region. You’ll pair your study of Japanese with a secondary major or minor computing, engineering, business, the arts, or the sciences.

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The Spanish option of the applied modern language and culture degree provides advanced study of Spanish language and culture that directly applies to the global economy in which you’ll work. You will learn to speak, understand, read, and write in Spanish, as well as gain a proficiency in the culture and traditions surrounding the language and geographic region. You’ll pair your study of Spanish with a secondary major or minor computing, engineering, business, the arts, or the sciences.

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On-the-job responsibilities

The ASL-English interpretation major prepares entry-level sign language interpreters for work in settings where deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing people interact and communicate. The degree allows students to develop foundation skills.

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Seamlessly facilitate communication and interaction between deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing people in educational, medical, and community settings.

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Explore issues of law and justice as you evaluate the intended and unintended consequences of criminal justice policies and decision-making.

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RIT’s criminal justice master’s degree fosters the creation of new knowledge through active research in agencies and the community. Students learn and apply problem-solving skills rooted in areas of individual interest with an emphasis on applied research. The degree enables graduates to enter successful careers in criminal justice agencies, policy analysis, or pursue further education in a criminal justice doctoral program.

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The Deaf cultural studies-American Sign Language certificate offers deaf and hard-of-hearing students the opportunity to understand the deaf community as an entity unto itself and within the context of society as a whole.

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Pair a traditional liberal arts education with study in digital technology, human-computer interaction, database management, geographic information technologies, and interactivity in new media.

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The advanced certificate in engineering psychology focuses on exploring and understanding the relationship between humans and machines. It’s the science of human behavior and our interactions with the technologies that go into the design and operation of machines, equipment, and more. Students expand their knowledge of engineering psychology by exploring course work in cognition, perception, ergonomics, industrial design, and more.

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Habitat loss, global climate change, water and air pollution, ozone depletion, species invasions, loss of biodiversity, and the accumulation of toxic wastes are among the many environmental dilemmas our society faces each day. These complex problems pit environmental limits against economic development, diverse cultures, ethics, values, and social stability, and therefore require an understanding of science, policy, society, history, and economics in order to address problems realistically and effectively. Environmental scientists must use integrated and holistic approaches to understand and find sustainable solutions to these problems. Graduates of the environmental science masters are well prepared for a variety of environmentally sustainable careers including consulting, research, policy, and outreach, or further graduate work in a doctoral program.

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Management of environmental, health and safety issues has changed significantly in the past twenty years. The emergence of voluntary standards and codes of conduct, including international standards, coupled with the need to manage costs and limited resources has resulted in a trend to move beyond regulatory compliance. Now, companies work toward sustainability through the use of integrated environmental, health and safety management systems, which are woven into key business processes.

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In the experimental psychology masters degree, students are trained to apply scientific methods to basic psychological processes in perception, brain and behavior relationships, thinking, memory, learning, social interactions, human development and related areas. It is a broad and flexible program that provides a solid stepping-stone into careers or further study in psychology. A choice of tracks – in experimental psychology or engineering psychology – allows students to specialize their degree toward their career goals and aspirations.   

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The MS degree in health care interpretation is designed to meet the demand for nationally-certified sign language interpreters who wish to work in health care environments.

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Get the skills needed to help an organization with their workforce needs. By incorporating a global focus into the master's of human resources degree, RIT ensures that our graduates can maximize human potential, increase productivity, and retain great talent. You will be able to successfully plan and execute corporate strategy related to human capital, develop workplace talent, retain valuable employees, and much more. Whether you’re starting a career in human resources or enhancing your competencies in training, instructional design, performance management, and employee development, you’ll graduate as a strategic leader of the human potential in your organization.

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Assess critical issues connected to our global community, including consumer capitalism, media culture, economic development and migration, gender and health, political conflict, sustainable futures, and democracy and civil society.

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Take up to two years to explore RIT's portfolio of liberal arts programs before deciding on a major.

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Aid museums, archives, libraries, and other cultural institutions in implementing technology to manage, curate, digitize, conserve, and exhibit their collections, and make them available in interactive, engaging ways.

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The performing arts certificate provides students with an additional set of marketable skills. Students develop knowledge of standard theatrical operating procedures as well as principles and practices of theater accessibility for deaf people, allowing them to work in professional, regional, and community theater. The certificate also provides a solid foundation for both deaf and hearing students who wish to pursue further education in film, video, theater, and related forms of performing arts.

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Evaluate complex problems, identify and examine underlying principles, investigate issues from diverse perspectives, and clearly communicate your point of view.

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Integrating the traditional fields of American government and international relations to create principled leaders and responsible citizens for careers in public service and the private sector.

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The MS in professional studies program enables students to create an individualized plan of study tailored to their personal and professional goals. The degree offers students the opportunity to draw on more than 50 of RIT's graduate programs to gain the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to respond successfully to new and emerging career opportunities.

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The scientific study of the brain paired with a focus on observing, experimenting, and analyzing the mind to understand what drives human behavior.

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Explore the intersection of public policy, technology, and our natural world. The major provides students with an opportunity to integrate their interests in science, technology, government, economics, and other social science fields while analyzing policy in terms of complex, interconnected systems.

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The advanced certificate in school psychology is ideal for school practitioners who would like further professional development, or for individuals who would like to explore the dynamic field of school psychology.

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A school psychologist works with young children; elementary, junior high, and high school students; teachers and administrators; parents; and various educational professionals to offer services to prevent or improve existing student difficulties and enhance the educational success of all children. Through diagnostic testing, counseling, consultation, and intervention, school psychologist programs help students deal with learning and behavioral difficulties and help improve students’ adjustment to school and their community. The school psychology masters prepares students for provisional New York state certification as school psychologists. Designed to provide students with a strong background in psychological foundations, the program develops professional skills and competencies in assessment, counseling, consultation, and program evaluation.

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The MS degree in science, technology, and public policy enables students to work at the intersection of engineering, science, technology, and public policy. The program builds on RIT’s strengths as a technological university, enabling students to interact with faculty and researchers who are working on scientific developments and technological innovations that drive new public policy considerations. The public policy masters is interdisciplinary and draws significantly from disciplines and courses throughout RIT. It is geared toward producing graduates who will make significant contributions in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors.

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The MS degree in secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing prepares students to meet the national need for teachers of secondary students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The program prepares teachers as effective and ethical practitioners and also as scholars and leaders in the profession.

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Immerse yourself in understanding global topics of critical importance, such as the economy, politics, society, gender and sexuality, ethnicity, urban studies, health, and culture.

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When does an artist become a teacher? The MST in visual arts-all grades (art education) prepares you to teach the next generation of artists and create art experiences while honing your own artistic skills. This accelerated program gives you a year of hands-on experience that will heavily mirror your life as an art educator. An art education masters prepares you for a career by embedding certifications and job placement support right into the curriculum. You will work with regional schools to find the best fit for your personality, talents, and teaching goals.

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