Master of Science in Professional Studies


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

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The professional studies masters program enables students to create an individualized plan of study tailored to their personal and professional goals. The degree offers students the opportunity to draw on more than 50 of RIT's graduate programs to gain the advanced knowledge and skills necessary to respond successfully to new and emerging career opportunities.

For example, students interested in integrating sustainability into their career as a facilities manager might combine courses from the sustainability and facility management programs. Educators may be interested in combining courses from the school psychology and secondary education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing programs to improve their knowledge of special learning populations and the social issues students face in today's educational environments. There is a wide range of concentrations that can be created based on each student's professional career aspirations.

The degree also includes a capstone project. This applied, hands-on project is directly related to the student’s individualized plan of study.

The professional studies degree can be completed on-campus or online.

Concentration areas

Students create two or three concentrations with courses selected from a wide range of graduate programs at RIT. Some common concentration areas include:

  • Applied and Computational Mathematics
  • Applied Statistics/Quality
  • Bioinformatics
  • Business (Marketing, Management, etc.)
  • Chemistry
  • Color Science
  • Communication and Media Technology
  • Computer Engineering
  • Computer Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Environmental, Health and Safety Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Health Systems Administration
  • Human Resource Development
  • Imaging Science
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Industrial Design
  • Information Sciences and Technologies
  • Microelectronics Manufacturing Engineering
  • Packaging Science
  • Product Development and Design
  • Project Management
  • Public Policy
  • School Psychology
  • Secondary Education of Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  • Service Management
  • Software Development
  • Software Engineering
  • Sustainability
  • Workplace Learning and Instruction
  • Visual Communication Design

Plan of study

The program requires the completion of 33 credit hours and can be completed through full- or part-time study. Students begin their studies with Contexts and Trends (PROF-705), the program’s foundation course. Throughout this course, students explore their personal career objectives and research RIT’s portfolio of graduate programs to identify courses that best match their professional and personal goals.

Students create two or three concentrations that make up their required course work for the degree program. Each concentration is a selection of courses drawn from existing RIT graduate programs and can range from 9 to 15 credit hours. Graduate credits earned in other programs may be used in completing a concentration, upon approval.

Credit hours not required to fulfill a concentration area may be used as electives. All elective and transferred graduate courses need to be integrated into the proposed plan of study. With certain concentrations, the degree may be completed entirely through online learning.


  • Advertising, PR, and Marketing
  • Higher Education
  • Internet and Software
  • Government (Local, State, Federal)
  • Automotive
  • Electronic and Computer Hardware
  • Hotels and Accommodation
  • Tourism


Professional Studies, MS degree, typical course sequence

First Year

  • PROF-705 Context and Trends
  • Concentration A courses
  • Concentration B courses

Second Year

  • PROF-770 Capstone Proposal Seminar
  • PROF-775 Capstone Project
  • Concentration A or elective course
  • Concentration B course
  • Concentration B or elective course

Admission Requirements

To be considered for the MS program in professional studies, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent), or superior endorsements.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives and career objectives.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit letters of recommendation from two recent instructors or supervisors.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.
  • All applicants are urged to discuss their course ideas with a professional studies graduate adviser before submitting a formal application.
Last updated May 2020

About the School

With more than 80 graduate programs in high-paying, in-demand fields and scholarships, assistantships and fellowships available, we invite you to take a closer look at RIT. Don't be fooled by the word ... Read More

With more than 80 graduate programs in high-paying, in-demand fields and scholarships, assistantships and fellowships available, we invite you to take a closer look at RIT. Don't be fooled by the word "technology" in our name. At RIT, you will discover a university of artists and designers on the one hand, and scientists, engineers, and business leaders on the other – a collision of the right brain and the left brain. Read less