New Student Orientation 2020 (undergraduate)

Welcome to RIT’s College of Art and Design! Below is a list of helpful information and resources related to the start of your RIT journey.

Office Hours and Appointment Information

College of Art and Design Directory (2020-21)

College of Art and Design – Orientation on myCourses

Log on to and click on the College of Art and Design – Orientation course to review academic resources and digital orientation materials from Academic Day. This resource will remain available throughout the fall semester as a reference.

Course models

Information about fall 2020 semester course models can be found here.

Equipment/Supply Lists

As we have numerous computer labs on campus, we do not usually require our students to have a computer/laptop upon arrival. As we will be practicing social distancing on campus this fall, here are our updated suggestions for all College of Art and Design majors.

Students will find it beneficial to have at minimum a basic computer with them for several reasons:

  • If taking an online class, students can work from their place of residence or other locations, creating flexibility in when they can work.
  • Having a basic laptop would further create flexibility in where a student can work for most of their classes.
  • Having their own computer allows for more social distancing opportunities.
  • Most classes for first-year students require basic software. This software is available in the college’s computer labs, and most software programs can be accessed by remoting into the labs from your personal computer.
  • Having a laptop can be a good way for a student to manage their time and be efficient, as well as their social distancing practices, including limiting contact on surfaces.

Recommended supply/equipment lists can be found here.

Photo industry partners have made special offers and purchase programs for gear and equipment available to students in the College of Art and Design and all of RIT. Learn more here.

More about Remote Desktop Systems

Select Windows and Mac labs are available for remote connections.  This will be offered on a limited basis based on existing computer usage in the lab.

Any computer/tablet/Chromebook/etc. that has a modern, up-to-date web browser will work, but for optimal experience, we suggest:

  • Using Chrome or Firefox
  • A larger monitor (if possible), on average, 21-27” are average sizes for many of our labs. If you have a larger display area, you may find it is easy to do class projects.
  • The fastest internet connection you are able to access.
  • When accessing the college’s lab computers remotely, slower connections might see lag-times in responses
  • When using a remote computer in the college’s labs, or elsewhere on campus, your own personal computer device does not need to be as robust.

It is strongly recommended that all students bring external storage options (portable USB storage devices) with them. Students need to back up their work on a regular basis.

We also suggest headsets for listening to zoom meetings in public spaces.  These should work with your phone or computer/laptop, but please note, not all computer labs are Bluetooth enabled.

G Suite Information

RIT students have access to G Suite for Education from Google, which includes an RIT Gmail account,  the various Google apps (like Docs, Sheets, etc. that could be viable alternatives to purchasing Microsoft software depending on your budget). This also includes unlimited storage with Google Drive, which offers a great cloud storage option for all of your school work as part of your data back up plan.

New Student Checklist

To assist with getting ready for your first year at RIT, this New Student Checklist was created to help you prepare everything needed to begin your time as an RIT student.

Property Insurance

Information about property insurance at RIT

Students using RIT-owned or their own equipment while away at college should strongly consider purchasing property insurance. While many people assume their homeowner’s policy will cover loss, theft, damage or other costs for school equipment, this is not always the case. College of Art and Design families may want to consider this low-cost insurance policy option made available through RIT. Students (especially those in photo and film programs) can potentially be checking out equipment valued at over $10,000 and are responsible for replacement costs, in the case of loss, theft, damage. This is the same insurance plan many of our faculty use (Please note: students traveling abroad with RIT equipment are required to show proof of insurance before checking out equipment).

If you have any questions, please contact us at For prompt service, please provide your full name, major and university ID in any communications with us, now and in the future.