Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) has very specialized majors (see the list of all majors here, or by college here). While the majors are not ALL science-focused (you really can major in journalism at RIT!), the focus on this 12,000-student campus is clearly technical.  One of the largest colleges here is the College of Computing, which offers 9 very focused programs, including software engineering, cybersecurity and game development.  RIT also has a high ranked business school and a world-renowned College of Art & Design, which focused on the technology related to design.

Because the focus is on experiential education, co-ops and internships augment the in-class education, preparing students for real-world work experience and giving them the advantage of having built relationships with employers.  RIT has strong relationships with four thousand employers in all 50 states and 30 countries.  Most students do at least one co-op (extended, paid internships) each year, and all are paid.  Over 60% of students receive a full-time job offer from a co-op employer.

Rochester Institute of Technology professor John Kaemmerlen
Professor John Kaemmerlen spent time at Toyota and teaches industrial engineering, where students learn how to improve manufacturing engineering processes.

Corporate-sponsored research opportunities and labs are all across campus – I visited an assembly line lab sponsored by Toyota, where students researched and implemented new ways to improve assembly line efficiency.  “Student feedback is never, ‘more Power Points please,’” industrial engineering professor John Kaemmerlen told my group.  “It’s more hands-on.”  There are also many connections to Kodak and Xerox, both headquartered in Rochester.  RIT is so research and innovation-intense that there is a set intellectual property policy: if a student comes up with a product while employed here, they share the IP rights; but if they’re studying but not employed by the school, the student retains all IP rights.

One of the amenities of being at a college with so much computer-based research is that wifi and internet speeds are lightning-fast on this campus!  “Going home is kind of like going back to dial-up,” my tour guide told us.  School spirit is strong – so many students were attending the home (Division I) ice hockey games that they built a new ice rink twice the size!  There’s also good turnout for the other sports, which are Division III.

There are fraternities and sororities at RIT.  “A lot of students who are in fraternities would probably not have thought that they would have joined a fraternity when they arrived here,” said a student on the panel I saw.  Many of the Greek organizations have strong philanthropic ties, giving students the opportunity to get involved in worthy causes.

RIT’s campus is attractive – mostly brick buildings and mostly newer-looking.  The Global Village is a central area where students hang out and eat ethnic food from all over the world.  There is a strong feeling of collaboration and teamwork on campus, both in academic and non-academic areas.  For students who are sure of their direction, RIT is a great place!  When asked what kind of student fits at RIT, one student said this:  “Driven, creative, innovative.  Left brain and right brain.”   There is also strong support for students on the autism spectrum here.

RIT is home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and they offer a certificate in ASL and Deaf Cultural Studies.  About 6% of RIT students are deaf or hard-of-hearing, but hundreds of hearing students take ASL courses here and leave fluent!  Here’s my tour guide, Nate, introducing himself both in English and American Sign Language, part of his minor in Deaf Cultural Studies:

Evelyn visited RIT in 2014, and a number of Magellan counselors visited RIT in spring, 2024.  You can scroll through all of the photos from both of our visits below.


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