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Photographic Sciences (options in Biomedical Photographic Communications, Imaging and Photographic Technology) BS degree

Christye Sisson, Program Chair
(585) 475-4228, cpspph@rit.edu

Program overview

The photographic sciences major provides a strong foundation in applied technical photography, explores modern imaging technologies and problem-solving, and focuses on preparing students for a wide range of employment opportunities in science or industry. Cooperative education is required and enables students to gain valuable career experience. During the first two years, students are immersed in technical applications of scientific photography courses while also pursuing courses in laboratory sciences, such as physics or biology, all selected to complement career goals. Students are encouraged to integrate complementary studies in subjects such as imaging science, information technology, general education, or developmental biology to best prepare for exciting and emerging opportunities. Many recent graduates have pursued advanced degrees. Photographic sciences graduates have a 95 percent job placement rate (which includes full-time employment or the pursuit of graduate school) following graduation.

Options

Students may complete the major without a specialization or they may choose to pursue the biomedical photographic communications option or imaging and photographic technology option to gain more in-depth, specialized study in these highly desirable career paths.

Biomedical photographic communications

The biomedical photographic communications option prepares students for photographic careers in a wide variety of environments including forensic and research laboratories, hospitals, and other biological settings such as ophthalmic (eye) clinics and veterinary research schools, or in other life science situations such as pharmaceutical companies. Foundation courses in combination with practical experiences gained with digital photographic equipment and processes, including still and moving media, desktop publishing, and digital media applications, are required. Additional courses in the life sciences prepare students for work assignments such as creating images useful for scientists or biological research. Students can specialize in light and confocal microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, desktop and web publishing, and ophthalmic imaging. Course work can be used to assist in the preparation for certification as a Certified Retinal Angiographer (CRA), administered by the Ophthalmic Photographer's Society.

Imaging and photographic technology 

The imaging and photographic technology option prepares students for imaging careers in governmental agencies, industrial, or corporate environments such as Apple Inc. or NASA. The third and fourth years allow students to build on a strong foundation of photographic technology, creating areas of specialization that include color measurement, high-speed imaging, optics and camera testing, and image analysis. Complementary courses include programming for imaging, physics, and applications of color in imaging. These courses provide hands-on exposure using modern tools and techniques. Students may choose from a variety of electives including scanning electron microscopy, high-speed photography, and imaging science, as well as publishing and color measurement and management. Many students have also taken advantage of the imaging systems minor to complete a unique education only available at RIT.

Cooperative education

Students are required to complete one cooperative education experience before graduation. Co-ops are paid, professional, full- or part-time positions that offer an opportunity for students to gain experience in the field. They are generally completed between the second and third academic years. The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education assists students in identifying and applying to co-op placements. Some recent co-op placements, as well as permanent job placements, include Harvard University, the Mayo Clinic, Smithsonian, Georgetown University, Case Western Reserve University, NASA, Imatest, Carl Zeiss Microscopy, FBI, Nikon Scientific Instruments, Apple Inc., and GoPro.

Curriculum

Photographic sciences, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PHPS-101 Photography I 4
PHPS-106 Photographic Technology I 3
  First Year LAS Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 7A**, 7B** 12
PHPS-102 Photography II 4
PHPS-107 Photographic Technology II 3
  First Year Writing Seminar 3
ACSC-010 Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PHPS-201 Scientific Photography I 3
PHPS-206 Careers and Professional Practices 3
PHPS-211 Advanced Principles of Photographic Technology 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4, 5††, 6†† 14
PHPS-202 Scientific Photography II 3
PHPS-207 Vision, Perception and Imaging 3
PHPS-212 Fundamentals of Layout and Design 3
PHPS-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Third Year
  Imaging Core I, II 6
  LAS Electives 9
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
  Free Elective 3
  Specialization I, II† 6
Fourth Year
  LAS Immersion 3 (WI) 3
  LAS Electives 12
  Free Elective 3
  Professional Electives§ 6
PHPS-401 Photographic Sciences Capstone I 3
PHPS-403 Photographic Sciences Capstone II (WI) 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 124

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† Please consult adviser for a complete list of courses that fulfill the specialization requirement.

§ Please see an adviser for a complete list of photographic sciences electives.

** Student choose two of the following math courses: Algebra and Trigonometry (MATH-101), Pre-Calculus (MATH-111), Statistics (MATH-145), or Calculus for Engineering Technology (MATH-171).

†† Students choose one of the following science sequences: Human Biology and Lab I, II (BIOL-111, 112) or College Physics I, II (PHYS-111, 112).

Photographic sciences (biomedical photographic communications option), BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PHPS-101 Photography I 4
PHPS-106 Photographic Technology I 3
  First Year LAS Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
MATH-101 LAS Perspective 7A: College Algebra 3
MATH-145 LAS Perspective 7B: Introduction to Statistics 3
PHPS-102 Photography II 4
PHPS-107 Photographic Technology II 3
  First Year Writing Seminar 3
ACSC-010 Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PHPS-201 Scientific Photography I 3
PHPS-206 Careers and Professional Practices 3
PHPS-211 Advanced Principles of Photographic Technology 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
BIOM-111, 112 LAS Perspective 5, 6: Human Biology and Lab I, II 8
PHPS-202 Scientific Photography II 3
PHPS-207 Vision, Perception and Imaging 3
PHPS-212 Fundamentals of Layout and Design 3
PHPS-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Third Year
PHBM-316 Digital Media I 3
PHBM-317 Digital Media II 3
Choose one of the following specialization sequences: 6
   PHBM-311, 312    Magnified Imaging Systems I, II  
   PHBM-321, 322    Ophthalmic Photography I, II  
   PHBM-326, 327    Photographic Sciences Bulletin I, II  
  LAS Electives 9
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
  Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
  LAS Immersion 3 (WI) 3
  LAS Electives 12
  Free Elective 3
  Professional Electives 6
PHPS-401 Photographic Sciences Capstone I (WI) 3
PHPS-403 Photographic Sciences Capstone II 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 124

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

§ Please see an adviser for a complete list of photographic sciences electives.

Photographic sciences (imaging and photographic technologies option), BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PHPS-101 Photography I 4
PHPS-106 Photographic Technology I 3
  First-Year LAS Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
MATH-111 LAS Perspective 7A: Pre-Calculus 3
MATH-171 LAS Perspective 7B: Calculus A 3
PHPS-102 Photography II 4
PHPS-107 Photographic Technology II 3
  First Year Writing Seminar 3
ACSC-010 Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PHPS-201 Scientific Photography I 3
PHPS-206 Careers and Professional Practices 3
PHPS-211 Advanced Principles of Photographic Technology 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
PHYS-111, 112 LAS Perspective 5, 6: College Physics I, II 8
PHPS-202 Scientific Photography II 3
PHPS-207 Vision, Perception and Imaging 3
PHPS-212 Fundamentals of Layout and Design 3
PHPS-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Third Year
IMPT-321 Programming for Imaging and Photo Technology 3
IMPT-322 Digital Image Processing 3
Choose one of the following specialization sequences: 6
   IMPT-302, 306   Color Management Technology, e-Sensitometry  
   IMPT-321, 322   Programming for Imaging and Photo Technology, Digital Image Processing  
   IMPT-307, 312   Non-conventional Imaging, High Speed Imaging  
  LAS Electives 9
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
  Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
  LAS Immersion 3 (WI) 3
  LAS Electives 12
  Free Elective 3
  Professional Electives 6
PHPS-401 Photographic Sciences Capstone I (WI) 3
PHPS-403 Photographic Sciences Capstone II  
Total Semester Credit Hours 124

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

§ Please see an adviser for a complete list of photographic sciences electives.

Additional information

Career opportunities

An employment survey of graduates indicates that 85 percent are employed within three months of graduation. Graduates are employed as ophthalmic photographers, forensic photographers, surgical photographers, photomicrographers, medical photographers, latent finger print examiners, core imaging facility managers, technical support engineers, imaging specialists, imaging engineers, public relations photographers, research associates, dermatology photographers, research photographers, and entrepreneurs.

Photographic Sciences Student Association

The Photographic Sciences Student Association promotes professional and social interaction among students and professionals from the imaging and photographic technology industries. The association regularly invites alumni in professional imaging fields to present lectures and demonstrations.




Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters.
View this program's information from the retired quarter calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.
 

Program overview

RIT has the only program in the nation that grants a bachelor of science degree in biomedical photographic communications, which combines photography, visual communications, and science. The program prepares students for photographic and imaging careers in various institutions such as forensic labs, pharmaceutical companies, and military bases, or in ophthalmic photography, the only form of diagnostic photography. Because of the unique blend of courses, recent graduates have been very successful in finding positions not only in biomedical imaging but also in the electronic imaging field as technical service representatives, multimedia producers, and Web publishers.

During the first two years of the program, students receive a solid foundation in digital photography and desktop and Web publishing. Included in these classes are topics such as close-up and high-magnification photography, studio lighting, ethics, ophthalmic photography, and imaging technologies. Students also take biology, liberal arts, and general education courses. In the third and fourth years the curriculum becomes more flexible, allowing students to choose elective courses and build a photographic concentration from a wide variety of courses taught in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, the College of Science, and the B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. This flexibility, coupled with the personal attention of faculty advisers, allows students to focus on their career and educational goals. It is not uncommon for students to continue their studies in graduate school programs in imaging, medicine, or information technology.

Careers

Since 1968, various visual communication companies have actively recruited most of the program’s nearly 600 alumni. Many of our graduates have become directors and leaders in their respective institutions and companies. Today, the biomedical photographic communications program boasts a placement rate of well over 85 percent.

Curriculum

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their academic advisers with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Biomedical photographic communications, BS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

Course Qtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
2061-xxx, xxx, xxx Biomedical Photo I, II, III 15
2076-211, 212, 213 Materials and Processes of Photography 9
2061-213 Survey of Biomedical Photography 1
  General Education 4
  Math or Science‡ 8
  Liberal Arts* 12
1720-050, 052 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
  Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Second Year
2061-301, 302, 303 Applications of Scientific Photography I II, III 12
2061-311, 313 Preparation of Biomedical Visuals I, III 6
  General Education 8
  Open Elective 4
  Math or Science‡ 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
  Wellness Education† 0
  Cooperative Education (optional) Co-op
Third Year
2061-316 Digital Media in Biomedical Photography I 4
2061-361 Web Design Using Photography 4
2061-403 Advanced Photography in Biomedical Communication 4
  Open Electives 12
  Math or Science‡ 8
  General Education 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
Fourth Year
2061-501, 502, 503 Photographic Concentration 12
2061-401 AV Production I 4
2061-402 Advanced Photography in Biomedical Communication 4
  General Education 18
  Open Electives 4-6
Total Quarter Credit Hours 191

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ The math or science requirement includes: Human Biology I, II, or III (1004-211, 212, or 213) (8 credits); Medical Terminology (1026-301) (3 credits); or Human Biology I, II, III (1004-211, 212, or 213) (8 credits).

Program modification
Effective fall 2013, the BS program in biomedical photographic communications will become an option in the photographic and imaging technologies program. This change will not affect currently matriculated students.

Photographic and imaging technologies (biomedical photographic communications option), BS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
PHPS-101 Photography I 4
PHPS-106 Photographic Technology I 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar 3
  LAS Perspective 7A, 7B 6
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
PHPS-102 Photography II 4
PHPS-107 Photographic Technology II 3
ENGL-150 LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PHPS -201 Scientific Photography I 3
PHPS -206 Careers and Professional Practices 3
PHPS -211 Advanced Principles of Photographic Technology 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4, 5, 6 12
PHPS-202 Scientific Photography II 3
PHPS-207 Vision, Perception and Imaging 3
PHPS-212 Fundamentals of Layout and Design 3
PHPS-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Third Year
PHBM-316 Digital Media I 3
PHBM-317 Digital Media II 3
Choose one of the following specialization sequences: 6
   PHBM-311, 312    Magnified Imaging Systems, I, II  
   PHBM-321, 322    Ophthalmic Photography I, II  
   PHBM-326, 327    Publications and BPC Bulletin I, II  
  LAS Electives 9
  LAS Immersion 1, 2 6
  Business Elective† 3
Fourth Year
  LAS Immersion 3 (WI) 3
  LAS Electives 12
  Free Electives 6
  Photo Electives‡ 6
PHPS-402 Photographic and Imaging Technologies Capstone (WI) 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 124

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† Business elective can be any course in the E. Philip Saunders College of Business.

‡ Photo electives includeSurgical Photography (PHPS-307), Historic Processes (PHPS-306), Scanning Electron Microscopy (PHPS-316), Forensic Photography (PHPS-302), Panoramic Photography (PHPS-311), Web Publishing (PHPS-315), Nature and Natural Science Photography (PHPS-303), Underwater Digital Photography (PHPS-321), Advanced Underwater Digital Photography (PHPS-322).

Cooperative education

At least one cooperative education experience or internship is required for graduation. Co-ops are an opportunity for students to gain experience in their field and are generally completed between their second and third academic years. Co-ops are full- or part-time paid positions usually eight to 10 weeks in length. The Office of Cooperative Education and Career Services can assist students in identifying co-op placements and opportunities.