Color has been a topic of intense interest and inquiry for hundreds if not thousands of years. As a generalization, color science can be defined as the quantification of our perception of color. Its mastery requires an interdisciplinary educational approach encompassing physics, chemistry, physiology, statistics, computer science, and psychology. Color science is used in the design and control of most man-made colored materials including textiles, coatings, and polymers and to specify such diverse materials as soil and wine. It is used extensively in color reproduction including digital photography, desktop and projection display, and printing. As we begin the 21st century, color science is ubiquitous.


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Rochester Institute of Technology College of Science

All students must earn 60 credit hours as a graduate student. For full-time students, entering with a baccalaureate degree, the program requires three or more years of study at the graduate level. The curriculum is a combination of required courses in color science, elective courses appropriate for the candidate’s background and interests, a research project during the second year of study, and a research dissertation. Students must pass a qualifying examination during their second year of study and a candidacy examination at least one year prior to completing their dissertation. Candidates who wish to enter the program, but lack adequate preparation, might be required to complete undergraduate foundation courses in mathematics, statistics, computer science, and general science before matriculating with graduate status.

Color science research at RIT encompasses such diverse fields as medical data visualization, computer graphics and animation, art conservation, spectral and spatial measurements of materials, color printing, digital photography, motion picture and television, and modeling of our perceptions for use in defining color quality. RIT has a long history of scholarship in color science.

The degree requires 60 credit hours of course work and research. Students are required to pass a written qualifying examination as well as prepare and complete a disseration before graduation can occur.

Graduates find work in the fields of textiles, graphic arts, animation, material science, and polymer science.