Rochester Institute of Technology


In 1891, a literary society known as the Rochester Athenaeum and an institute of technical learning for local Rochester, New York residents known as the Mechanics Institute participated in a dramatic merger to form a new institution of education. This establishment became known as the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute. Quite a mouthful, the name was later changed by board members to the Rochester Institute of Technology, or RIT.

In the 1950s, the future of the Rochester Institute of Technology was uncertain. The student and faculty population were barely fitting into the current campus and the state of New York was planning a brand new interstate highway that would force the school to demolish several of its most important buildings. However, an individual resident of Rochester, New York made a large donation to the institute, and the campus was relocated to Henrietta, a suburb of the Rochester metropolis.

Today, “Brick City,” the nickname given to the Rochester Institute of Technology because of its largely brick composition, is a thriving institute on hundreds of acres of natural forest and wetland. The institute has acquired a small college in upstate New York, is the location of one of the most prominent schools for the deaf in New England, and offers a wide variety of bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorate degree programs to its students.

Information Summary

Ranks 12th in New York and 107th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 95.0
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $57,401
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 32 / 1400
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 14 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 89% / 100%
Enrollment Total (all students) 16,463


The educational structure at the Rochester Institute of Technology is very career-focused. Students are advised to have a specific career goal in mind and are assisted in developing a class curriculum that will push them toward that goal. The institute offers over two hundred major areas of study for bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees.

Most of the students enrolled at Rochester Institute of Technology are pursuing a bachelor’s degree program in the arts and sciences field of study. The structure of Rochester Institute of Technology’s educational program is very different than tradition post-secondary schools. Instead of a semester structure with classes being taught for a sixteen-week period twice a year, classes are instead divided into quarters. Each quarter is ten-weeks long, and most students enroll in three quarters of study every year. This structure is projected to change in the next few years to a semester structure.

The Rochester Institute of Technology is a member of a unique conglomeration of colleges and universities known as the Rochester Area College Consortium. This arrangement allows students to effectively attend any school in the areas surrounding Rochester, New York with no additional fees or transfer difficulties. Many students take advantage of this arrangement, selecting courses from many different schools to design a degree that will best serve their educational goals.

Most Popular Fields of Study


building :: Rochester Institute of Technology
building :: Rochester Institute of Technology

Unique Programs

The Rochester Institute of Technology is the only school in the nation to offer a doctoral degree in the field of Imaging Science. Other schools in the nation do offer similar courses in physics and computer science, but Rochester Institute of Technology is the only institution that offers this degree. The research performed in this field of study is funded by a large portion of the institute’s budget. The school has partnered with local imagery companies such as Kodak and Xerox, giving the school and its graduates an excellent reputation in this field.

The first software engineering bachelor’s degree program was developed at Rochester Institute of Technology in the late 1990s. Today, a few other colleges offer this degree option, but Rochester Institute of Technology maintains the leading edge in research and knowledge opportunities offered to students who select this major.

Individual students who are in the top tier of total applicants to the university are often placed in the Rochester Institute of Technology Honors Program. All of the colleges at Rochester Institute of Technology offer different incentives for the students of the Honors Program. For example, students in the engineering college who participate in the Honors program often take trips to locations around the world to learn about effective global engineering. Students in the Honors Program also have the opportunity to live in the residence hall designated for honors students.


Admission into the Rochester Institute of Technology is highly competitive. Students with an excellent academic performance in high school and on standardized tests are more likely to be granted admission into the institute. In some cases, students who wish to be enrolled in the college of art science have been admitted despite poor academic performance. In these cases, the student exemplified extraordinary talent in his or her submitted portfolio of photograph, graphic design, or other artistic ventures.

Applications for admission are preferable when submitted using the online form at the institute’s official website. However, students may download PDF forms of the application and send them via mail or fax. Students may also visit the campus in person and fill out an application for admission in the Admissions Office.


The students at Rochester Institute of Technology are actively involved in many academic, social, athletic, and Greek clubs and organizations. Students are encouraged to participate in clubs that reflect their interests. Several of the residence halls located on campus are known as interest houses and only students who share the interests of the other residents are admitted into these houses. For example, the Photo House is a residence hall filled with residents interested in photography and other photographic arts. The Engineering House is home to the many engineering students on campus.

Students are also encouraged to attend the many concerts and performances given by students and guests throughout the academic quarters. Students also choose to visit the unique buildings at RIT and see other students’ projects and artwork on display.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Rochester Institute of Technology is the home of RITchie the Tiger and the entire Tigers’ varsity sports teams. Formerly a member of the Empire 8 NCAA Division III conference, Rochester has since moved into the Liberty League. Students can compete in varsity sports such as baseball, basketball, ice hockey, track and field, cross country, lacrosse, swimming and diving, and much more.

The school also has fitness facilities available for students to use on an individual basis or by enrolling in several of the athletic clubs, yoga classes, aerobic instruction courses, martial arts sessions, or spinning classes available on campus throughout the year.


  • Franek, Robert. The Best Northeastern Colleges: 212 Select Schools to Consider. New York: Princeton Review, 2008. Print.
  • “Rochester Institute of Technology | The National Society of Collegiate Scholars.” National Society of Collegiate Scholars. NSCS, 2011. Web. 17 May 2011. <>.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology. RIT, 2011. Web. 19 May 2011. <>.

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