For students who are turned off by the word “Institute” as part of an institution’s name, think again. The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in Rochester, NY, is a school with strong programs in engineering, computer science, and other STEM fields, but it is also a place that offers strong industrial, interior, and graphic design programs.
The Basic Facts
- Nine colleges: Engineering, Business, Computing and Information Sciences, Health Sciences and Technology, Imaging Arts and Sciences, Liberal Arts, Sciences, National Technical Institute for the Deaf (1200 students with hearing impairment attend RIT, but this provides learning/other opportunities for all RIT students) and University Exploration which gives students a year to explore a major and choose a college.
- Four campuses (in addition to Rochester) around the world in Dubai, Croatia, China and Kosovo. Four additional places for students to take classes and pursue other opportunities. Also has a satellite campus in the Dominican Republic.
- 18,900 total student population (15,700 undergraduates).
Distinctions and Priorities
- Faculty, rather than graduate students, teach all classes.
- Has one of the largest cooperative education programs in the country (in addition to Drexel, Northeastern, University of Cincinnati) and many experiential learning opportunities for students, giving them on-the-job, paid experience and other opportunities to put their knowledge into practice.
- School of Design ranked 11 in the world, offering programs in graphic design, new media design, 3D digital printmaking, industrial design, and interior design.
- Workforce-driven academic portfolio (education that prepares students for their future careers and gives them the intellectual flexibility to pursue a variety of career paths). Students gain a set of skills beyond their specific disciplines.
Intentional RIT program priorities: focus in discipline, general education courses, immersion in the liberal arts, and technical and experiential learning.
Among RIT special centers and initiatives:
- Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Promotes and fosters innovation and entrepreneurship through academic programs, a student business development lab, and business development activities.
- National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at RIT/NTID are unmatched by any university in the world. Career-focused programs that reflect the needs of today’s employers, work experience gained through the university’s cooperative education program, faculty who specialize in educating deaf and hard-of-hearing students, outstanding graduation and job placement rates, and unparalleled access and support services.
- Golisano Institute for Sustainability. GIS consists of a diverse set of academic programs, applied research centers, sponsored programs, and initiatives that focus on industrial collaboration on the deployment of new technologies for more efficient and sustainable products and processes.
- 13:1 student to faculty ratio
- All students admitted to their majors from day one. However there are caps on the number of students admitted to programs, particularly highly competitive programs in engineering and business
- RIT offers students the option of entering into an “exploration program” in their major in the first year to help them narrow down their area of focus within the major (for example, chemical versus biomedical or electrical engineering)
- 88% of classes are under 40 students
- 80% of programs require students to participate in a co-op experience (students participating in a paid co-op experience do not pay tuition)
- 4 job placement rate within six months of graduation
- 22,000 undergraduate applications received for fall 2018
- 50% of applicants admitted (lower percentage for students who applied to be admitted to schools of engineering, business, and imaging and industrial design)
- High school record most important of admissions review: overall GPA, rigor of the course work taken, grades in core courses, and competitiveness of the student’s high school
- Average high school GPA 93
- Average SAT mean 1337
- Average ACT mean 30
- 77% of students at RIT received some form of need-based financial aid and/or merit scholarship
- Total cost of attendance for 2018-2019 academic year is $59,230 (this includes around $2,000 of incidental expenses such as airfare, books, etc.)
- Admissions options: Early Decision I (binding) November 15 and Regular Decision January 15