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Honors Program at RIT

Designed around the three ideals of leadership, scholarship and citizenship, the Honors Program is for students who seek to challenge themselves in exemplary learning experiences such as undergraduate research projects, Honors courses, independent study and international experiences.

If you wish to extend and share your knowledge by participating in professional associations and conferences, or aspire to join other outstanding students and faculty in a wide range of special activities throughout the year – including field trips, social events, and community service projects, the RIT Honors Program may be right for you.

Saunders College Honors Program

Honors activities and courses are designed to enhance the professional dimension of your collegiate experience. The major components of the Honors Program include enhanced academic coursework, professional opportunities and complementary learning experiences.

Saunders College collaborates with the Kate Gleason College of Engineering on a program exclusively for Honors business and engineering students. The program will allow you to engage with engineering students to better understand “Product and Service Innovation for a Global Economy.” You will develop 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 Honors 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 you to have the opportunity to participate in at least one trip to a region of the country to see first-hand how companies operate. 

Benchmark Trips

Saunders College Honors students may have the opportunity to participate in a spring trip that includes visits with alumni and to companies across various industries. The desired outcomes for students is 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.

Visit the Saunders Honors site to learn more about recent trips and the current membership.

Thesis Program

In addition to the Institute requirements and the standard requirements for all Saunders College students, as a Saunders College Honors students, you have the option to complete an Honors thesis.

In developing your thesis, you will work in consultation with a Saunders College faculty member who serves as your thesis advisor. 

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. You are responsible for identifying your advisor and developing a research plan with him or her. The thesis can be completed in your junior or senior year.