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Overview of our visit to RIT (Rochester Institute of Tech)


Replies to: Overview of our visit to RIT (Rochester Institute of Tech)

  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    My daughter isn't the computer type either so she shares your concerns. I suggested that no matter what school you attend you should go out and do things you like to do. People you meet then will share those interests. She's also considering Syracuse U which has an entirely different atmosphere. She's used to going to sports events and school activities (large HS).

    She was suprised with a $5000 scholarship from the School of Design but I'm not sure what that's based on. That's a standard amount I think. I think the Presidential is variable, from 3-10,000. Are you in the honors college?
  • yamalbertyamalbert Registered User Posts: 62 Junior Member
    I applied, but my app. wasn't due until this weekend, so I have yet to hear.
  • arthurdarthurd Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    I'm a 3rd year Electrical Engineering student @ RIT, and I thought I'd just add my 2 cents. I would say Taxguy's review of RIT was as close to accurate as I could have made it myself. Good, yet underrated academics, decent food (but does get repetitive as noted above), and very fairly priced for a private education. I'd like to mention that when I say that RIT's academics are underrated, I am mainly speaking of the general public. When it comes down to what really matters (employment after graduation), RIT has what it takes... just look at the co-op and post-grad statistics (can be found on the RIT website). Companies in the science, technology, and photo/graphics/imaging fields really do understand and appreciate the quality of an RIT education.

    Also, compared to some of the other college dorms I've seen, RIT has some nice ones. They're fairly sized and actually quite customizable. I'm enterring my 3rd year, and still plan to be in the dorms next year (after co-op). Hope that helps some undecided applicants out there.
  • sroll2237sroll2237 Registered User Posts: 135 Junior Member

    I believe that I want to do electrical engineering at RIT because the program is loaded with all kinds of engineering classes and you start these classes from the beginning, there are also many co-ops required and I like the ideas of this. My only concern, very slight, is that the RIT physics and math classes may not be as challenging or in depth as some other schools (not to dis RIT, but that's what I've heard). Through high school, a public school, I've found these classes just not to be as in depth or challenging as I would want them to be. Could someone briefly comment on this. Thanks.
  • jerzgrlmomjerzgrlmom Registered User Posts: 1,245 Senior Member
    Was at RIT yesterday for an Open House for Accepted Students. The students broke up into groups by major. So many similar sounding majors. Learning is very specialized here. Not sure how true it is, but RIT made it sound like most classes are taught by profs only, not TAs. Gave example of 600 calculus kids. Instead of breaking it into 2 classes of 300 each, RIT has 20 classes (30 max per class), each one taught by a full math professor. Saw the new sports facility. Somehow missed it on our prior trips. Looks like a place where kids can meet others outside their major. Another way is through intramurals. I believe RIT students played in 2500 intramural games last year.

    For Taxguy and other people interested in design, the rest of this info may apply. For design majors, all types take the same foundation year (similar to Syracuse U). Actually New Media may have small differences, not sure. Two hour session with the heads of the depts, then a tour of the design facilities. Head gave talk then open discussion. Very informative. For next year's School of Design:
    685 students (282 Graphic Design, 161 New Media Design, 161 Industrial Design, 81 Interior Design). Portfolio Acceptance Rate was about 40%. Retention Rate for Fresh to Soph yr is 95% (this was good to hear since RIT as a whole has a lower retention rate). Mid 50% SAT range was 1100-1300 (I think) but some very high SATs were mentioned also so I could be off a bit...

    One change to RIT curriculum mentioned was lowering the # of liberal arts classes (but adding in Gen Electives). Wasn't told details. But the effect on Design students is that in the past they were encouraged/required to take a Liberal Arts minor using their electives. Even the tour guide mentioned this. But apparently RIT just made some changes so now it's possible to minor in something outside of Liberal Arts. I know the Industrial/Interior Design head mentioned how he encourages his students to take business classes and now they can minor in marketing or other types of business. My D liked that idea. She also wants to minor in photography. Seemed like they were saying you can easily get an associate degree in photography or other art areas since the foundation year covers many of the necessary courses and you use your electives for the few others. So you would graduate with a BFA in one area and an associate in another.

    Looking at the curriculum, it seems challenging. Not sure of other schools at RIT, but freshman Design majors take 18 credits a qtr. To me, that seems insane. I thought at first it just was a numbers game, but looking closer, students take 5-6 classes a qtr, of those 3 are studio classes (keep in mind that each art class is double the class time as a regular class). Students we talked to said it is a bit rushed (10 weeks) so you can't afford to fall behind. You have basically 2 weeks to start and finish a project. Some of the students really liked the qtr system. Felt that they produced lots more work (projects) so they had more to show in their portfolios. Many said they were up late at night on a regular basis and pulled all nighters several times a qtr. In fact, the studios are regularly available late at night. The ID head mentioned the couches in the dept are used.

    This brought us to look at some of the housing options, in particular the art house and photo house (although there are other interesting specialty houses also). In the art house, about 45 kids with an interest in art live together on one floor in one of the dorms. They converted one of the lounges into a studio so students have a place to work late at night outside of their dorm room. They also converted a room into a spray room where the fumes are sucked up and out. They also have a small darkroom. The photo house works in a similar way. I don't think it has an art studio but it has a bigger darkroom. We were told all dorm rooms are the same, regardless of which dorm you live in. There are long, skinny rooms or squarish rooms (same sq foot). Usually upperclassmen move to apts (on or off campus) but we met a bunch of upperclassmen still living in dorms. In fact, I believe there was a 5th yr student living in the art house.
  • orion27orion27 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    Just a few responses:
    -Only Professors, not TAs teach. TAs are only there to help students during labs while the Profs are helping others. GAs are disallowed to teach, but they may run labs.

    $8,000 is the max. for the Presidential Scholarship, but if you got $8000 you are probably qualified for the Honors Program, which has additional benefits as well as requirements. If you are considering RIT and have a strong background (~1400 SATs, top 10 in your class, etc.) it is worth consideration. Note that a friend had a 4.0 GPA in High School with 1370 on the SAT and ranked 12/400 and did not make the honors program, so it is tough.

    The new minor-in-non-LA-degrees is so new, they just told students about it last week. None of us have a very good idea of what it is, as the info sessions about it all start in a few weeks. Our understanding is they reduced the LA requirements and now every major also has a minor. This came as a surprise to many.

    RIT has many, many, many, clubs, so I'm sure you can find plenty of people with common interests, be it poker or pokemon.

    I need to get back to the books. It's midterm exam week! Let me know if you have any more questions.
  • arthurdarthurd Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Well, I should be qualified in this area as I've finally completed my math and physics requirements @ RIT (Well, one more math course to go). I'm not quite sure of the best way to tackle this question, as I am not sure where you got this idea. However, I can say this: It is obviously a necessity for good engineers to have very solid backgrounds in math and physics. RIT is known to produce good engineers. I'd put RIT math at a very sufficient level. I couldn't see a reason not to do so. There are currently 8 math courses on the EE curriculum. Combine that with the quarter system, and there is a rather rigorous course of study in the various math fields. After taking 7 of my 8 math courses, I feel that I have a pretty wide breadth of understanding of mathematics and how it applies to engineering. That's the most important thing I've seen: RIT math and physics is often applied to engineering which draws the necessary ties between theory and real world. As EEs only take 4 physics courses, I could see a little more reason why you'd have this view. When I started taking physics, they had just changed the way the courses are taught, so they were working out a couple kinks in the curriculum. I found that the 4 courses were wide on topic coverage, but not so excellent on depth. As always, the topics were very applied (which is good!). However, even though the physics courses didn't delve deeply into the material, you will always find that anything you'll ever need for engineering will be either taught in these physics classes or in your engineering classes themselves. I hope this helped some. Feel free to ask me to clarify anything.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I noted some typos in my original post. I do know that Immagine is improper spelling. It should have said imagine. Oh well. I wish they would let me edit posts over any length of time.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Please make this into a sticky post.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    This is to bump this to the top since the mods haven't seen fit to make this a sticky post.
  • walkinghomewalkinghome Registered User Posts: 7,722 Senior Member
    Here's a bump for you taxguy. I don't think the mods make trip reports sticky, do they?

    My son attended RIT's career and technology event last weekend. http://www.rit.edu/%7E960www/careers2005/index.php3
    It started Friday afternoon with a tour and admissions talk. In the evening there was a mixer and fun activities. My son said there were about 300 other students there, all rising seniors like him. They stayed in a dorm. The next day my son did the four workshops that he had signed up for, all computer related. He said they were more lecture then hands on. He came home talking about applying as an IT major. I'm not sure RIT is the right fit for him but he was very impressed with the very up-to-date technology and the spaciouness of the campus.
  • arthurdarthurd Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    When I did the College and Careers program a few years ago, I found most of them quite hands on. I suppose it depends which of the workshops he signed up for. 3 of my 4 were very hands on - we programmed a microchip in one and made holograms in another. I just wouldn't want you or your son to feel that RIT is not a hands on type of school. Practical application is a key element in all of their programs.
  • walkinghomewalkinghome Registered User Posts: 7,722 Senior Member
    No, I think my son is just leaning more towards a liberal arts education. He's concerned that it would be hard to switch majors and since it's a pretty expensive college (for us), he's pretty determined to get a bachelors in 4 years but doesn't want to feel pressured to stay in a major he might be unhappy with just because he doesn't want to get off track.
  • lfsr1544lfsr1544 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    As an RIT alum, I have to say it was the best decision I made. I do agree with some of the posters here, it is a school where you have to be pretty sure about what you want. This statement in itself is kind of funny, when you think, what 18 year old really knows what they want to do for the rest of their life? :)

    What I believe is that RIT helped me get serious about my academics and helped me focus quite quickly. It helped me think about positioning myself for a good career after college.

    I was a printing major, and RIT is without a doubt the best school in the world for printing. It's beaten into you as soon as you get in the program. It's also proven to you once you start looking for a Co-op and finally a real job.
    I found it funny how I ended up working for DuPont out of school when some of my engineering friends were having difficulty getting the right job with the right company (ja, and they thought being a printing major was funny!!)... the saying on campus was always, "if you can't make it... pack it...and if you can't pack it...print it!! "...hence, why most of the Engineering 'drop outs' ended up in my program.

    Anyway, I grew up in Brooklyn and so I needed to keep busy so as not get bored at RIT. I made the most of it, joining residence life as an RA, being a student ambassador for a couple years, playing intramurals and joining a fraternity on campus. This, along with my academics, kept me quite busy.

    The truth is RIT is not really hard to get into but it is really hard staying at RIT. The academic programs are challenging and the quarter system does not allow you to 'make up' time. However, now being 32, I think the quarter system is much more up to par with 'real life' scenarios.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Yes, I was reading about their printing program and heard it was one of the best in not only the US but in the world.
This discussion has been closed.