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  • Writer's pictureNancy Adis

How Do You Get Real World Experience? College Co-ops At RIT

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) serves just over 12,000 undergraduate students with a focus on creativity and innovation in a wide variety of fields including technology, arts and design, engineering, and more. They are well known for their focus on cooperative education as they’ve been offering co-ops for over 100 years. Students can arrange co-ops in any field of study, and they’re not charged tuition or fees while on co-op, but they earn a full-time salary! That sounds like a great way to get practical hands-on experience, network, and find mentors, all while earning money to help fund your college education!

RIT has 79 bachelor’s degree options, but they also offer master’s and PhD programs, in addition to the 63 accelerated dual-degree programs (combined bachelor’s/master’s), which saves time and money for interested students. The 11:1 student-to-faculty ratio and RIT’s commitment to fostering an engaged, intellectually curious, and socially conscious community, results in many different opportunities including a leading research program, study abroad options, a growing performing arts program, and an internationally recognized education for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

The campus is located six miles from downtown Rochester, providing opportunities for entertainment and cultural venues as well as job locations for internships, coops, and job shadowing. The career services office has a lineup of career fairs, mock interview events, employer information sessions, career prep courses, workshops, panels, and speakers to help students. RIT’s experiential learning helps students apply what they’ve learned on campus when they are outside the classroom, which expands their knowledge and perspective, while cultivating their leadership abilities.

During my visit I loved seeing that RIT is ever improving with their many new buildings and construction projects to expand their research footprint and support their high-tech programs. The MAGIC Spell Studios is a multidisciplinary center for game design and development, film and animation, and digital media programs. Other construction projects have included a performing arts complex, athletic stadium, the creative hub called the SHED (Student Hall for Exploration and Development), and more!

­­­­­Located in upstate New York, they get plenty of snow, so one of their campus traditions is the FreezeFest Winter Festival with ice skating, performing arts showcases, wellness activities, ice sculptures, free garb, and more! And finally, my favorite mention from RIT By the Numbers was “1 robot teaching tai chi”… that speaks to the integration of technology across the institution.

There are so many considerations when choosing where to study after high school. Confident College Planning helps students and families through the steps of finding the best fit for their unique goals and interests. Contact me at for more information!

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