Imaging Science MS

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Keith Davis

Department Contact

Chip Bachmann, Ph.D.

Online Program Available

This program may be completed online. Visit RIT Online for additional information.

Please contact the admissions counselor below for additional information about applying to the online program.

Matt Stever

Admission Deadlines & Requirements

Program Available Online? Yes
Application Deadline January 15 Priority Deadline for On-Campus program
Admit Term Fall term for On-Campus; Spring and Fall terms for Online
Entrance Exam GRE
English Language Exams:
TOEFL (Internet) 100
PTE Academic 68


Priority deadline - COMPLETE applications that are received by this date are given priority consideration for admission and financial aid (if applicable). Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered on a space-available basis.

Rolling - There is no specific deadline for applications; applications will be accepted and reviewed throughout the year until the program reaches capacity.

Program overview

The MS program in imaging science prepares students for research positions in the imaging industry or in the application of various imaging modalities to problems in engineering and science. Formal course work includes consideration of the physical properties of radiation-sensitive materials and processes, the applications of physical and geometrical optics to electro-optical systems, the mathematical evaluation of image forming systems, digital image processing, and the statistical characterization of noise and system performance. Technical electives may be selected from courses offered in imaging science, color science, engineering, computer science, science, and mathematics. Both thesis and project options are available. In general, full-time students are required to pursue the thesis option, with the project option targeted to part-time and online students who can demonstrate that they have sufficient practical experience through their professional activities.

Faculty within the Center for Imaging Science supervise thesis research in areas of the physical properties of radiation-sensitive materials and processes, digital image processing, remote sensing, nanoimaging, electro-optical instrumentation, vision, medical imaging, color imaging systems, astronomical imaging, and machine vision. Interdisciplinary efforts are possible with other colleges across the university.

The program can be completed on a full- or a part-time basis. Some courses are available online, specifically in the areas of color science, remote sensing, medical imaging, and digital image processing.

Plan of study

All students must earn 30 credit hours as a graduate student. The curriculum is a combination of required core courses in imaging science, elective courses appropriate for the candidate’s background and interests, and either a research thesis or graduate paper/project. Students must enroll in either the research thesis or graduate paper/project option at the beginning of their studies.

Core courses

Students are required to complete the following core courses: Fourier Methods for Imaging (IMGS-616),  Image Processing and Computer Vision (IMGS-682), Optics for Imaging (IMGS-633), and either Radiometry (IMGS-619) or The Human Visual System (IMGS-620).  

Speciality track courses

Students choose two courses from a variety of tracks such as: digital image processing, medical imaging, electro-optical imaging systems, remote sensing, color imaging, optics, hard copy materials and processes, and nanoimaging. Tracks may be created for students interested in pursuing additional fields of study.

Research thesis option

The research thesis is based on experimental evidence obtained by the student in an appropriate field, as arranged between the student and their adviser. The minimum number of thesis credits required is four and may be fulfilled by experiments in the university’s laboratories. In some cases, the requirement may be fulfilled by work done in other laboratories or the student's place of employment, under the following conditions:

  1. The results must be fully publishable.
  2. The student’s adviser must be approved by the graduate program coordinator.
  3. The thesis must be based on independent, original work, as it would be if the work were done in the university’s laboratories.

A student’s thesis committee is composed of a minimum of three people: the student’s adviser and two additional members who hold at least a master's degree in a field relevant to the student’s research. Two committee members must be graduate faculty of the center.

Graduate paper/project option

Students with demonstrated practical or research experience, approved by the graduate program coordinator, may choose the graduate project option (3 credit hours). This option takes the form of a systems project course. The graduate paper is normally performed during the final semester of study. Both part- and full-time students may choose this option, with the approval of the graduate program coordinator.


Imaging science (thesis option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IMGS-616 Fourier Methods for Imaging 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   IMGS-619    Radiometry  
   IMGS-620    The Human Visual System  
  Elective 3
IMGS-606, 607 Imaging Science Seminar I, II 2
IMGS-682 Image Processing and Computer Vision 3
IMGS-633 Optics for Imaging 3
  Specialty Track Course 3
Second Year
  Specialty Track Course 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   IMGS-790    Research and Thesis  
IMGS-790 Research and Thesis 4
Total Semester Credit Hours 30

Imaging science (project option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
IMGS-616 Fourier Methods for Imaging 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   IMGS-619    Radiometry  
   IMGS-620    The Human Visual System  
  Elective 3
IMGS-682 Image Processing and Computer Vision 3
IMGS-633 Optics for Imaging 3
  Specialty Track Course 3
Second Year
  Specialty Track Course 3
  Electives 6
IMGS-740 MS Systems Project Paper 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 30


Admission requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS in imaging science, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Have completed courses in mathematics (through calculus and including differential equations), and a full year of calculus-based physics (including modern physics). It is assumed that students can write a common computer program.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit scores from the GRE (requirement may be waived for those not seeking funding from the Center for Imaging Science).
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources familiar with the applicant’s academic or research capabilities.  
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 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.

Applicants seeking financial assistance from the center must have all application documents submitted to the Office of Graduate and Part-time Enrollment Services by January 15 for the next academic year.

Additional information

Bridge courses

Applicants who lack adequate preparation may be required to complete bridge courses in mathematics or physics before matriculating with graduate status.

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

Career Outcomes

The RIT Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education website provides information pertaining to student skills and capabilities, salary data, career information, job outcomes, and contact information for the Career Services Coordinator by program.

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