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Rochester Institute of Technology

School of Individualized Study

Rochester, NY


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School of Individualized Study | Rochester Institute of Technology

The School of Individualized Study is RIT’s academic unit for individualized degrees and is committed to helping students have a voice in their educational path.

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) overview

Established in 1829, the Rochester Institute of Technology is a private, coeducational university located in Rochester, New York in the northeastern region of the United States. 

A leader in preparing students for careers in the dynamic global environment, the university has a diverse range of programs from engineering, science, and technology to the arts, business, education, humanities, and social sciences. It consists of 9 colleges that provide career-oriented programs and experiential learning. 

"U.S. News & World Report” has ranked RIT 104th among national universities and is again included in "Princeton Review's" list of Best Graduate Business Schools and is home to the #1 Student Innovation Center in the nation as ranked by "Best Colleges Online."

School of Individualized Study overview

The School of Individualized Study (SOIS) is RIT’s academic unit for individualized degrees and remains committed to helping students have a voice in their educational path. SOIS serves over 800 full-time equivalent domestic undergraduate and graduate students and provides academic programs to over 450 full-time equivalent students at RIT Kosovo.

SOIS integrates alternative forms of learning, including earning credit through independent exams, prior-learning experiences and experiential learning, into student's individualized degree curriculum.

Military Credit

A student’s work in the armed forces could be transferred into an Applied Arts and Science degree. SOIS accepts credits from the Community College of the Airforce, Navy Smart Transcripts, and MOS professional fields.

Credit by Examination

CLEP, Straighterline, and Dante exams allow students to independently earn college credits toward their degree.

Non-collegiate training

Non-collegiate organizations (professional associations, private industry, government agencies, etc.) may choose to submit their training programs for review by The American Council on Education (ACE) and/or The National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS). A student may see if their training has been reviewed by either of these organizations by visiting the ACE National Credit Guide or the NCCRS guide and discuss with a SOIS advisor if the recommendations can be applicable to your SOIS academic degree program.

Credit for Experience

Students with substantial work experience in a specific field may receive academic credit for their life experiences. Your advisor can help you in identifying and preparing the appropriate documentation to prove that your experience is at least equivalent to the breadth and depth of a college level course. Evidence is presented through a "credit by experience portfolio" and are reviewed by faculty members within and outside of SOIS.

School of Individualized Study student/advisor partnership

Academic advising within the School of Individualized Study is a continuous, proactive process where advisors and student's partner to review each student's individualized curriculum goals and build connections and networking opportunities with RIT faculty, staff, and Rochester community partners.

Student Commitment

Students are responsible for knowing their degree requirements while engaging in their educational journey through SOIS and RIT. Students are expected to review degree requirements each term and stay aware of the many learning opportunities on the RIT campus and within the Rochester Community.

Advisor Commitment

A SOIS advisor's role is to act as a mentor and advocate for students, as well as help them make connections with SOIS/RIT faculty, review experiential learning opportunities, and most importantly, successfully complete degree requirements.

RIT financial aid and School of Individualized Study scholarships

The RIT Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships offers a wide variety of scholarships, loans and grants that are awarded to students according to their eligibility and application process. For more information, please visit Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.

The School of Individualized Study also awards scholarship money to SOIS students each year.  Some scholarships are based on financial need and others on academic merit. Students need to meet all eligibility requirements and submit application materials by the deadline indicated in order to be considered for a scholarship.

Experiential learning in the School of Individualized Study

Experiential learning means learning from experience or learning by doing. This is an opportunity for learners to immerse themselves in an experience and then complete substantive reflection on new skills, knowledge, attitudes and ways of thinking. All students accepted into the School of Individualized Study program are encouraged to complete one of the following experiential learning options:


This is a paid experience registered through the office of Co-op and Career Services as well as SOIS. Students work with their SOIS academic advisor and SOIS Career Services advisor regarding scheduling logistics and opportunities. More information can be found at the SOIS Co-op Quick Start Guide.   


This is an unpaid experience that may or may not be associated with an independent study credit. Credit-bearing or not, internships provide students the opportunity to network with professionals in the field and job-skill training. 

Undergraduate Research

This is usually under the direct supervision of a faculty member, could also be developed into an independent study and potentially taken for credit. Students are encouraged to participate in either the Undergraduate Research Symposium, which is held annually.  


Study Abroad


Organized through RIT's Global Office, this is typically a semester-long experience abroad that allows students to explore a new country while also taking RIT approved courses.  


Independent Study


This is a variable credit course that allows students to design and implement their own learning project to be completed over the course of a term. In order for this to count towards the experiential learning requirement, it must contain a hands-on learning opportunity.  


Entrepreneurship Project


This is a specific independent study approved by Richard DeMartino and supported by the Simone Center at RIT

Rochester Institute of Technology Kosovo

Over 600 graduate and undergraduate students are enrolled at RIT Kosovo. Undergraduate students earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Arts and Sciences through the School of Individualized Study with an option for professional concentration areas in management, information technology, public policy, economics and statistics, and media and graphic communications. Students can also earn a liberal arts minor in public policy, economics, legal studies and international relations. 

Graduate students earn a Master of Science degree in Professional Studies with concentrations in service management, project management, infrastructure development, and public service. RIT Kosovo provides the foundation for students to adapt to the constant change within the technical, managerial and business environments, and to develop the skills to be the country's leaders.

RIT’s degree programs in Kosovo attract students from more than 20 countries. It offers students a great opportunity to interact in a multinational classroom and prepare for the globalized world we live in. The university strives to demonstrate its philosophy of tolerance and diversity, promoting these same values within the greater society.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
(Advanced Certificate)
Master of Science (MS)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 18
Other Advanced Degrees 23

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
Distance learning programs available? Yes


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?
Applications processed
on a rolling basis?

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Requirements Minimum GPA of 3.0 (recommended)
Additional Entrance Requirements Minimum GPA of 3.0 (recommended)

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Types of financial support available Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 5.38%
Black or African American Not Reported
White or Caucasian 38%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian 5.38%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races 1.08%
Unknown 39.78%


Male (45%)
Female (54%)


Focus of faculty research: Interdisciplinary entrepreneurship; non-profit management; educational innovation; technology and work in the 21st century; professional development and leadership
Externally sponsored research expenditures last year: 0

Location & Contact

Address 31 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY  14623-5606
United States
Contact Dr. James Hall
Executive Director
Phone: 585-475-2295
Fax: 585-475-6292

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Rochester Institute of Technology
Update my info
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