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RIT Honors Program and the Saunders College


The RIT Honors Program features several distinctive and complementary components. Honors students have access to special courses, seminars, projects and advising. They also participate in an Honors general education curriculum that brings together Honors students from colleges across the university. Students draw from a substantial menu of extracurricular opportunities to fashion individual plans for learning outside the classroom.

Saunders College students in the RIT Honors Program may have the opportunity to participate in a spring trip that includes visits with alumni and to companies across various industries. Visit the Saunders site to learn more about recent trips and the current membership.

The Saunders College collaborates with the Kate Gleason College of Engineering on a program exclusively for Honors business and engineering students. The program allows business students to participate with engineering students to better understand “Product and Service Innovation for a Global Economy.”  The goal of the program is to provide students with an appreciation of the product and service development cycle, from concept to realization. The program addresses how goods and services are conceived, how product concepts are refined and then produced for the marketplace, and the special challenges of developing and marketing products and processes for a global marketplace.

The program is run as a seminar series in which students take three, one-credit courses in consecutive terms, beginning in the spring of freshman year, to learn about the product development cycle.  The highlight of the program is for students to participate in at least one trip to a region of the country to see first-hand how companies, large and small, address product and service development for the domestic and the global marketplaces.  Previous trips have included New York City and Silicon Valley, visiting companies such as Bloomberg, Ernst & Young, Google, IDEO, and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In addition to the Institute requirements and the standard requirements for all Saunders College students, Saunders College Honors students have the option of completing an Honors thesis.

The thesis topic is developed by students in consultation with a Saunders College faculty member who serves as the thesis advisor. Students are responsible for identifying this advisor and developing a research plan with him or her.

The thesis may be for either 3 or 6 credit hours, depending on its nature and scope. As a rough rule of thumb, about 100 hours of work should be expected for each 3 hours of thesis credit. The thesis replaces one or two courses that would otherwise be taken.