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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 offers an immersive and flexible curriculum that prepares students for a wide variety of photographic and imaging careers spanning the broad fields of science, technology, and medicine. The major provides strong foundational experiences in applied technical photography and explores contemporary imaging technologies, professional practices, and problem-solving. Classroom experiences are focused 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 in their field of primary interest. 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, chosen to complement their career goals. General education requirements encourage students to integrate complementary studies in subjects such as imaging science, information technology, general education, or developmental biology to best prepare for exciting and evolving opportunities. It is common for graduates to pursued advanced degrees including optics, imaging science, and medicine. Recent employers include imaging companies, universities and research centers, camera companies, forensic laboratories, and government agencies. NASA, Apple, Mayo Clinic, Carl Zeiss Microscopy, Harvard University, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, and Canon have all hired our students upon graduation.

Plan of study

In the photographic sciences major photography is used to advance science, and imaging is used to collect scientific data. The foundational courses teach students how tools and methods are used to solve imaging problems and advance photographic technology. Students are able to create a flexible curriculum drawing on required and elective courses from the program. Guided by faculty, industry professionals, and required cooperative education, students are prepared for diverse careers in technical imaging and applied photography.

Options

Students may elect to choose one of two options within the major.

Biomedical photographic communications option–This 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. All students in the photographic sciences degree share foundational courses in that combination with practical experiences using digital photographic equipment and processes, that include still and moving media, desktop publishing, and digital media applications. Additional elective 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 option–This option prepares students for imaging careers in governmental agencies, industrial or corporate environments such as Apple Inc., GoPro, and NASA, and image quality-related companies. 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. 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, 102 Photography I, II 8
PHPS-106, 107 Photographic Technology I, II 6
  First Year LAS Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 7A**, 7B** 12
ENGL-150 First Year Writing Seminar 3
ACSC-010 Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PHPS-201, 202 Scientific Photography I, II 6
PHPS-206 Careers and Professional Practices 3
PHPS-211 Advanced Principles of Photographic Technology 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4, 5††, 6†† 14
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 (WI), 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 (WI) 3
PHPS-403 Photographic Sciences Capstone II  3
Total Semester Credit Hours 124

Please see 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.

** Please see an adviser for math and science course recommendations. 

†† 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, 102 Photography I, II 8
PHPS-106, 107 Photographic Technology I, II 6
  First Year LAS Elective 3
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 7A†, 7B† 12
ENGL-150 First Year Writing Seminar 3
ACSC-010 Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PHPS-201, 202 Scientific Photography I, II 6
PHPS-206 Careers and Professional Practices 3
PHPS-211 Advanced Principles of Photographic Technology 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4, 5‡, 6‡ 14
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-217 Media Production and Technology 3
Choose one of the following specialization sequences: 6
   PHBM-311, 312    Magnified Imaging I, II  
   PHBM-321, 322    Ophthalmic Photography I, II  
   PHBM-326, 327    Photographic Sciences Bulletin I, II  
  LAS Electives 9
  LAS Immersion 1 (WI), 2 6
  Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
  LAS Immersion 3  3
  LAS Electives 12
  Free Elective 3
  Professional Electives§ 6
PHPS-401, 403 Photographic Sciences Capstone I (WI), II 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 124

Please see 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 math Perspective course recommendations.

‡ Please see an adviser for science Perspective course recommendations.

§ 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, 7A†, 7B† 12
PHPS-102 Photography II 4
PHPS-107 Photographic Technology II 3
ENGL-150 First Year Writing Seminar 3
ACSC-010 Year One: College Experience 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
PHPS-201, 202 Scientific Photography I, II 6
PHPS-206 Careers and Professional Practices 3
PHPS-211 Advanced Principles of Photographic Technology 3
  LAS Perspective 3, 4, 5‡, 6‡ 14
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-331 Programming for Photo Science 3
PHPS-332 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 (WI), 2 6
  Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
  LAS Immersion 3  3
  LAS Electives 12
  Free Elective 3
  Professional Electives§ 6
PHPS-401, 403 Photographic Sciences Capstone I (WI), II 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 124

Please see 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 math Perspective course recommendations.

‡ Please see an adviser for science Perspective course recommendations.

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

Additional information

Career opportunities

An employment survey of graduates indicates that 95 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.