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Color Science Graduate Program

Color has been a topic of intense interest and inquiry for thousands of years. Philosophers (Aristotle), poets (Goethe), physicists (Newton), and mathematicians (Schrödinger) have all contributed to our understanding of color phenomena. Color science can be broadly defined as the quantification of color and its perception. Color science is used in the design and production of most man-made materials including textiles, paints, plastics, and ceramics, and to specify the properties of diverse natural materials such as skin and soil. It is used extensively in color imaging including digital photography, electronic displays, and printing. The applications of color science are truly ubiquitous. The mastery of color science requires an interdisciplinary educational approach that encompasses physics, chemistry, physiology, statistics, computer science and psychology.

The degree program in Color Science revolves around the activities of the Munsell Color Science Laboratory within the Center for Imaging Science at RIT. The Munsell Laboratory is the pre-eminent academic laboratory in the U.S. devoted to the study of color science, and for more than 25 years its faculty and staff have trained students and conducted cutting-edge research in the field. Current research topics include: color and appearance measurement; spectral and 3D surface capture; color and material appearance models; high dynamic range and spectral imaging; image quality metrics; data-visualization; color management; color and material psychophysics; archiving and reproduction of fine art; multi-ink printing; and advanced display systems.

The Color Science program provides graduate-level study in both the theory and practical applications of color science. The program gives students a strong foundation in the fundamental concepts and practices of the field, and affords them the unique opportunity of specializing in an area appropriate to their background and interest. These objectives are accomplished through the program's core courses and electives, and a student's thesis/dissertation project.

Graduates of the program are in high demand and the placement rate has been 100% since the inception of the graduate program more than 25 years ago. Graduates are employed in engineering, management, and research positions in a wide range of fields including color measurement, colorant formulation, testing and quality control, hardware and software development, and electronic and hardcopy imaging. Companies that have hired graduates include Apple, Benjamin Moore, Canon, Disney, Dolby, DuPont, Eastman Kodak, Hallmark, Hewlett Packard, HunterLabs, International Paper, Microsoft, OmniVision, Pantone, Philips, Qualcomm, Ricoh, Samsung, Texas Instruments, Xerox, and X-Rite.