Print and Graphic Media Science Master of science degree

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Explore how technology and innovation are changing the graphic communications industry.


Outcome Rate of RIT Graduates


Median First-Year Salary of RIT Graduates


The MS program in print and graphic media science offers students an opportunity to explore new areas of research in the graphic communications field. The program's faculty and curriculum focus on establishing quality and efficiencies pertaining to business, technology, and processes in graphic communications. Recent student research includes 3D printing quality analysis, consumer preferences for printed textiles, user experience in digital publishing, and implementation of lean techniques in printing. Our faculty are experts in many different areas, including print, business, color management, web and IT, digital publishing, imaging, and typography. Students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience by working with faculty as graduate assistants either in the classroom or assisting with faculty research. Graduates are employed as industry leaders in advertising, publishing, business operations, communication processes, and product developments.

Plan of study

The program includes seven core courses, three electives, and a thesis. The thesis provides an opportunity for students to explore in-depth research and present their findings.


The program encourages cross-disciplinary and interdepartmental collaboration. Students may choose elective courses from a variety of courses offered in the department of graphic media science and technology or with other graduate departments and programs at RIT with approval of the graduate director.

Capstone/Research/Thesis Options

As part of the program, students must complete a capstone project, a research option, or a thesis. This choice of option provides flexibility for students to choose the path that bests aligns with their career goals. 

Capstone Option: Students interested in developing an individual interest in an aspect of print media and/or the graphic communication industry may complete a unique capstone project. This option includes one additional elective course.

Research Applications and Problem-Solving Option: Students interested in focusing on the application of their knowledge in a team-based environment may choose to complete a research course. This option includes one additional elective course.

Thesis Option: Students are required to complete a research thesis that demonstrates original thinking and creativity in the search for new knowledge in the graphic communication industry. Students work with expert faculty and focus on a particular topic of thesis research in areas including content management, publishing workflows, typography and layout, business trends, color management, media processes, materials, and applications of printing.

Typical Job Titles

Account Executive Application Specialist / Systems Engineer
Customer Service Representative Digital Services Specialist
Estimator Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Pre-Press Technician Print Production Manager
Publishing Coordinator Quality Management

Featured Work

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Print and Graphic Media Science MS

Print and Graphic Media Science, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Research Methods
This is an introductory graduate-level survey course on research design/methods and analysis. The course provides a broad overview of the process and practices of research in applied contexts. Content includes principles and techniques of research design, sampling, data collection, and analysis including the nature of evidence, types of research, defining research questions, sampling techniques, data collection, data analysis, issues concerning human subjects and research ethics, and challenges associated with conducting research in real-world contexts. The analysis component of the course provides an understanding of statistical methodology used to collect and interpret data found in research as well as how to read and interpret data collection instruments. Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Graduate Seminar
This course provides students that are new to the PPRT program an opportunity to develop an understanding of the school’s research activities. The students will become more knowledgeable about the Print Media program, career options, and exit strategies including thesis, capstone and culminating experience. Relevant topics including finding an advisor, required documentation, and policies regarding program completion and Co-op, as well as school policies and procedures relating to the successful completion of the PPRT program. Seminar 1 (Fall).
Tone and Color Analysis
This course covers fundamentals of color measurement, color management system, and color reproduction technology for color matching and color image reproduction. Emphases are placed on CIE colorimetry, device calibration and characterization, and color management systems. Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
Digital Printing and Publishing
This course provides students with the opportunity to learn the concepts and applications of digital printing. The course examines the technology of several major digital print engines and compares digital printing to conventional print processes. The economics and application of specific digital printing processes are examined from a workflow perspective. This course is cross-listed with MAAT-541; students may receive credit for MAAT-541 or PPRT-641, not both. (Not if MAAT-541) Lab 3, Lecture 2 (Fall).
Cross Media Workflow
This course is designed to expose students to all the elements needed to execute media projects across platforms. Students will learn concepts in project management as it applies to leading cross media projects and teams. Concepts and tools necessary for the implementation of a cross media workflow will be discussed and reinforced with hands-on exercises. Additionally, content management and industry standards and practices such as color management, asset management, and image optimization for output will be studied and applied through the context of cross media workflows. Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Spring).
Graphic Standards and Specifications
Students will evaluate the differences between standards and specifications, and comprehend their respective roles in various graphic production processes. Governing bodies and the processes involved in standards creation are addressed. Relevant information and metrics are reviewed, and students will analyze and prescribe the standard(s) most relevant to particular production or research settings, as well as discuss the interrelationships and dependences of standards and process-specific specifications. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Advanced Materials in Graphic Communication
This course offers an in depth study of the materials used in graphic communication. Students will learn the chemical and physical properties associated with consumables required by processes studied in the course in order to obtain an understanding necessary to make informed decisions about their use and application, with an emphasis on safety concerns. Lab 2, Lecture 2 (Fall).
Technical Electives
Second Year
Choose one of the following:
To conduct research on a topic relevant to the graphic arts industry. Topic must be approved by a committee comprising graduate faculty and an advisor. (Prerequisite: GRCS-701 or equivalent course.) Thesis (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Capstone Research Applications and Problem Solving
The culminating experience provides students the opportunity to combine and incorporate learnings gained in coursework and other experiences and apply this knowledge in a pragmatic undertaking relevant to the graphic communication and allied industries. Topic must be approved course instructor. (Prerequisite: GRCS-701 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
Technical Elective
The capstone course provides students the opportunity to combine and incorporate learnings gained in coursework and other experiences and apply this knowledge in a written capstone project relevant to the graphic communication and allied industries. Topic must be approved course instructor. (Prerequisite: GRCS-701 or equivalent course.) Project 3 (Fall).
Technical Elective
Total Semester Credit Hours

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in print and graphic media science, 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). Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 may be considered, but are required to submit standard GRE scores.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives.
  • Submit a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 80 (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.

Learn about admissions, cost, and financial aid 

Latest News

  • May 21, 2020

    group looking at a glossy printout.

    Podcast: The Evolution of Printing  

    Intersections: The RIT Podcast, Ep. 37: Printing, a storied industry, continues to see an evolution. RIT alumnus Henry Freedman and Professors Robert Eller and Bruce Myers discuss the strength of the industry, the rise of inkjet printing and the role RIT plays in developing professionals who can take the printing industry to the next level.

  • February 4, 2020

    magazine story featuring scientists comparing print copies of color images.

    RIT hosts printing industry scientists

    RIT will host a discussion featuring printing industry scientists who achieved a historic first: matching image quality and exceeding the consistency of traditional offset printing using a web-fed inkjet printer in production conditions. Print-technology researchers Henry Freedman, Peter Crean, Peter Dundas and Eric Zeise will visit campus Feb. 13.