Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

School spirit is strong at Rochester Institute of Technology – 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 Divison III.

When asked what kind of student fits at RIT, one student said this:  “Driven, creative, innovative.  Left brain and right brain.”  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.

Here’s my tour guide, Nate, introducing himself both in English and American Sign Language, part of his minor in Deaf Cultural Studies:

This is a great school for a student who prioritizes education – students are serious here.  Because the focus is on experiential education, co-ops and internships augment the in-class education, preparing RIT students for real-world work experience and giving them the advantage of having built relationships with employers.  RIT has strong relationships with hundreds of employers and places thousands of students in co-ops (extended, paid internships) each year.  Job placement rates are very high.

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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 Powerpoints 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 by RIT, they share the IP rights; but if 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.

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 new 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!

You can see all of my photos from my visit to RIT here.
Admissions stats:  SAT CR: 540-640, M 570-680, W 520-530. ACT Composite 25-31.

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