Print and Graphic Media Technology Bachelor of Science Degree

In this graphic communication major, you'll become a highly-skilled communication professional who will create robust marketing materials for the communication, publishing, and packaging graphics industries.

Overview for Print and Graphic Media Technology BS

  • Two required blocks of co-op provide you with hands-on, full-time paid work experience in industry.
  • Recent graduates are employed at Apple, ColorDynamics, Infinity Marketing Solutions Inc., and Xerox.

This program was formerly known as media arts and technology.

9 Majors That Launch Your Career in Digital Media

What is Graphic Communications?

Graphic communications–including advertising, publications, packaging, and signage delivered through print and digital communications, package, and so much more–represents a vibrant industry that is ideal if you are interested in applied technology with a creative flair.

Brand owners, marketers, and content creators need to reach audiences to effectively communicate their information and messages. RIT’s print and graphic media technology degree prepares you to manage content from concept through distribution across multiple platforms, including print, web, mobile, and social media. You'll develop a breadth of cross-channel graphic media production skills, preparing you for leadership roles in a range of industries that rely on graphic communications. You will learn skills in computer graphics, color science, imaging, and business that will prepare you for success in these dynamic and robust industries.

Graphic Communications, Packaging Graphics, Digital Media, and So Much More

Print and graphic media technology is a unique major. It reflects the convergence of media technologies that allow content to be created, formatted, stored, and shared as digital assets, printed material, and various forms of interactive digital media. This approach enables you to build skills not only in traditional publishing but also in database management, new media production, networking, and mobile communications. You will gain flexibility in producing content across multiple types of traditional and digital media.

The major also allows you to explore other areas of study, including advertising and media strategy, contemporary publishing, content management, digital imaging and pre-media, print production, print quality, and 3D computer graphics.

As part of the curriculum, you will complete in two cooperative education experiences, where you will gain hands-on experience in the graphics, packaging, and publishing industries. These full-time, paid work experiences prepare you to work with photographers, graphic designers, advertisers, content creators, and publishers to create cross-media communications that inform, entertain, and persuade. Graduates of this graphic communications major have are employed in advertising production, digital imaging, print production, content creation, and web design and development.

Combined Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Degrees

Today’s careers require advanced degrees grounded in real-world experience. RIT’s Combined Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees enable you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in as little as five years of study, all while gaining the valuable hands-on experience that comes from co-ops, internships, research, study abroad, and more.

+1 MBA: Students who enroll in a qualifying undergraduate degree have the opportunity to add an MBA to their bachelor’s degree after their first year of study, depending on their program. Learn how the +1 MBA can accelerate your learning and position you for success.



  • Advertising, PR, and Marketing

  • Consumer Packaged Goods

  • Design

  • Journalism, Media, and Publishing

Careers and Cooperative Education

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

Salary and Career Information for Print and Graphic Media Technology BS

Cooperative Education

What’s different about an RIT education? It’s the career experience you gain by completing cooperative education and internships with top companies in every single industry. You’ll earn more than a degree. You’ll gain real-world career experience that sets you apart. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries.

Co-ops and internships take your knowledge and turn it into know-how. Your engineering co-ops will provide hands-on experience that enables you to apply your engineering knowledge in professional settings while you make valuable connections between classwork and real-world applications.

Students in the print and graphic media technology degree are required to complete two cooperative education experiences.

Featured Work

Featured Profiles

Curriculum for Print and Graphic Media Technology BS

Curriculum Note: Along with an updated title, the program's curriculum (which goes into effect fall 2023) was redesigned to provide students with a deeper understanding of print and graphic production techniques and technologies. Several new courses have been developed under the guidance of our industrial advisory partners to enhance students' skills and knowledge in the areas of imaging, automation, production, and business practices. Further, breadth of learning has been introduced through the addition of core requirements in quality, supply chain logistics, and various technology-focused packaging, print and graphic topics. 

Print and Graphic Media Technology, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Introduction to Graphic Media
Graphic media is customized manufacturing driven by exciting digital technologies and innovative applications resulting in provocative output using varied processes. This course introduces learners to the graphic media industry by completing hands-on projects that will orient them to the technologies and processes required to complete a diverse array of graphic projects, including conventional and digital printing, premedia processes, typography, and image processing. Projects include preparing text and images and subsequent output for screen printing, flexographic printing, offset lithographic printing, inkjet and other digital printing, signage, and cross-media through print, web, and mobile. Learners will develop an appreciation to the unique contributions of graphic media to society. Lab 2 (Fall, Spring).
Typography and Page Design
The course provides an introduction to the theoretical and practical foundations of typography and page design. Students study the history, aesthetics, and technology of typography, and current methods of page composition. Projects include design and production methods, using current software tools and fonts for typography in print and monitor display. Students will apply their acquired knowledge to make informed decisions in the practice of typography and page composition. (Prerequisites: MAAT-101 or equivalent course.) Lab 2 (Spring).
Raster and Vector Imaging 
Impactful images are essential for nearly all forms of effective graphic communication. The theme of this project-based course is the creation and optimization of raster and vector images for cross-media deployment through print, web, and mobile media. Through a series of hands-on, laboratory-based exercises, learners employ professional image evaluation and editing techniques in preparation for commercial output. Using current software and computer peripherals, learners apply industry best practices to produce, evaluate, and optimize digital raster and vector images. Lab 3 (Spring).
Print Production
This survey course introduces students to the technologies of print production, with a focus on the materials and processes used in conventional, digital, and functional printing methods. Hands-on lab experiences expose students to the underlying concepts while imparting knowledge of the strengths and limitations of the various methods. Quality, efficiency, economics, and sustainability are addressed. (Prerequisites: MAAT-101 or equivalent course.) Lab 3 (Spring).
Webpage Production I
Students in this course will plan and implement publishing projects with a focus on usability, accessibility, and information design for the World Wide Web. Application of standard Web protocols such as HTML and CSS will be applied in the context of Web publishing as a part of a cross-media production strategy. (This course is restricted to students in the NMEP-BS or JOURNAL-BS programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
College Algebra (General Education – Mathematical Perspective A)
This course provides the background for an introductory level, non-trigonometry based calculus course. The topics include a review of the fundamentals of algebra: solutions of linear, fractional, and quadratic equations, functions and their graphs, polynomial, exponential, logarithmic and rational functions, and systems of linear equations. (Prerequisites: Students may not take and receive credit for MATH-101 and MATH-111. See the Math department with any questions.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – First Year Writing: FYW (WI)
RIT 365: RIT Connections
RIT 365 students participate in experiential learning opportunities designed to launch them into their career at RIT, support them in making multiple and varied connections across the university, and immerse them in processes of competency development. Students will plan for and reflect on their first-year experiences, receive feedback, and develop a personal plan for future action in order to develop foundational self-awareness and recognize broad-based professional competencies. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
General Education – Artistic Perspective
General Education - Social Perspective
General Education – Electives
Second Year
Introduction to Technical Communication (WI) 
This course introduces students to current best practices in written and visual technical communication including writing effective email, short and long technical reports and presentations, developing instructional material, and learning the principles and practices of ethical technical communication. Course activities focus on engineering and scientific technical documents. Lab (Fall).
Digital Design in Communication
In an increasingly visual culture, and culture of online user-created content, non-designers are called upon in the professional realm to illustrate their ideas. Graduates entering the workforce will encounter situations where they will benefit from possessing a visual communication sensibility and vocabulary to communicate effectively with a broad range of audiences, including professional designers. Creative approaches to challenges, such as visual thinking, are also shown to improve students’ comprehension and problem-solving abilities. Digital Design in Communication is an opportunity for undergraduates to receive an introduction to principles of visual message design from a critical rhetorical perspective. They will also get the opportunity to apply these principles to a variety of visual products such as advertisements, logos, brochures, resumes, etc. A variety of computer software applications are available to support the research, writing, visualization, and design of messages. Lecture 3 (Fall, Summermr).
Co-op Orientation
This course provides students with a venue for preparing for job searches and subsequent employment. Students learn how to access the RIT job search database, to prepare cover letters and resumes, to make efficient use of career fairs, and to participate in effective interviews through a mock interview process. (This course is restricted to students in the NMEP-BS program.) Seminar 1 (Fall, Spring).
Paginated Graphic Workflow
Graphic media on an enterprise level requires efficient and automated workflows to complete printed projects efficiently, mistake-free, on-time, and on-budget. This course focuses on workflows for the two main printed output technologies for paginated pages: offset lithography and high-volume digital printing. Building on the understanding of the requisite steps entailed of these two key output processes, this hands-on course encompasses all of the processes that allow graphic media companies to go from concept to completion while minimizing manual steps to ensure that efficiency is built into an optimized and flexible workflow. Emphasis is placed on project management, stakeholder communications, bottleneck identification, and building efficiencies as related to paginated output for offset lithography and high-volume digital printing technologies. Lab 2 (Spring).
Information Architecture Publishing
In this course the students will research current and emerging publishing information technology trends and apply them in creating publishing solutions across a variety of platforms. Students will learn and apply digital asset management methods and practices in real-world scenarios. (Prerequisites: MAAT-106 and MAAT-272 or ISTE-305 or equivalent courses.) Lab 2 (Spring).
Gravure and Flexography
Students will explore gravure and flexography technologies, and learn to evaluate applicable designs. Extensive hands-on experience is included. Students will create pressure sensitive label designs, take command of a flexo press, and print labels. Lab 3 (Spring).
Media Arts and Technology Co-op (summer)
Choose one of the following:
   Professional and Technical Writing (WI-PR)
This course prepares students to engage in a variety of written and oral communications necessary in academic and business environments with an emphasis on technical writing. Students are expected to produce appropriate audience-centered written materials that achieve a desired purpose based on techniques, organization, format, and style. Formal technical reports and presentations are required. Students must pass this course with a grade of B or higher prior to graduation or pass the Writing Competency Test. (Prerequisites: Completion of First Year Writing (FYW) requirement is required prior to enrolling in this class.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Technical Communications (WI-PR)
An introduction to the principles of effective written technical communication for professional environments. Topics include memos, business letters, summary activity reports, technical proposals, and research papers. (Pre-requisites: This course is restricted to PACK-BS or NMEP-BS students. Co-requisites: First Year Writing (FYW).) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
Introduction to Packaging
An in-depth overview of packaging. The course will include historical perspectives of packaging. Students will explore the functions of packaging and the materials, processes, and technology employed to protect goods during handling, shipment, and storage. A brief review of container types, package design and development, and research and testing are presented, along with information about economic importance, social implications, and packaging as a profession. Students will research historical, current, and future packages to gain better insight into the world of packaging. Lecture 1 (Fall, Spring).
Introduction to Statistics II (General Education)
This course is an elementary introduction to the topics of regression and analysis of variance. The statistical software package Minitab will be used to reinforce these techniques. The focus of this course is on business applications. This is a general introductory statistics course and is intended for a broad range of programs. (Prerequisites: STAT-145 or equivalent course.) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Ethical Perspective
General Education – Scientific Principles Perspective
General Education – Natural Science Inquiry Perspective
General Education - Elective 
Third Year
Communication Law and Ethics
This course examines major principles and trends in communication law. The course analyzes a broad range of issues related to the First Amendment, intellectual property, and media regulation. Special attention is paid to discussing the major ethical perspectives and issues surrounding contemporary communication behavior. Lecture 3 (Spring).
Database Publishing
Database publishing is centered on personalized graphic communications: this entails customizing graphic messaging for individuals and specifically targeted audiences. The requisite competencies for database publishing, including managing and accessing databases and integrating digital assets for distribution using electronic and digitally-printed methods, form the core of this course. Learners work with the fundamental design elements of databases constructed for activities that support graphic communication processes. Topics include best practices for building, optimizing, and maintaining databases comprised of recipient information and the merging of data with managed digital assets. Projects include composing publications and creating personalized documents for distribution through the web and in print. (Prerequisites: MAAT-106 and MAAT-271 or equivalent courses) Lab 2 (Spring).
Automation and Scripting for Graphic Media
When completing print and graphic media projects on an industrial-scale, efficient and effective automation and scripting strategies are integral to productivity and competitiveness. In this course, learners develop and implement automation schemas specific for the print and graphic media industry. Hands-on assignments begin with automation methodologies imbedded in commonly used software (e.g.: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator Actions.) Scripting is introduced as students utilize markup languages such as XML and object-oriented languages such as Python and prototype-based object oriented languages such as JavaScript to further specific automated tasks through inter-application communication. Emphasis is placed on strategies such as automating digital asset management tasks and using scripting to accomplish advanced variable-data graphic media tasks in a real-world context. Learners implement automation and scripting to improve performance, efficiency, and consistency in print and graphic media production. (Prerequisites: MAAT-301 or equivalent course.) Lab 2 (Spring).
Media Arts and Technology Co-op (summer)
The Media Arts and Technology Co-op provides students with the opportunity to work in a position related to their major field of study. Co-ops are typically paid work experiences. All co-ops should fall within an RIT term (fall, spring, summer) and require permission of instructor for enrollment. (Prerequisites: MAAT-10 or equivalent course.) CO OP (Fall, Spring, Summer).
General Education – Ethical Perspective
General Education – Global Perspective
General Education – Immersion 1
Color Management Systems
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. (Students cannot take and receive credit for this course if they have taken PPRT-602.) Lab 2 (Fall).
Package Printing
Students who take this course will understand how package-printing technologies work, and how they are used to print bags, labels, cartons, cans, boxes, and bottles. Students will apply a packaging printing workflow to produce labels and folding cartons of their own design. Finally, cost analyses of package printing using various technologies is discussed. This course is cross-listed with PPRT-688; students may receive credit for MAAT-558 or PPRT-688, not both. (Degree-seeking undergraduate students. Students may not take and receive credit for MAAT-558 and PPRT-688. If you have earned credit for MAAT-558 or you are currently enrolled in PPRT-688 you will not be permitted to enroll in MAAT-558.) Lab 3 (Spring).
Quality Engineering Principles
Lean Production & Supply Chain Operations
Fourth Year
Graphic Media Business Practices (WI-PR)
Print and graphic media professionals need to be versed in technological capabilities and business practices integral to managing a graphic media operation. Beginning with stakeholders in graphic media entities, including providers, vendors, and customers, learners in this course explore factors contributing to operational efficiencies and sustainability in print and graphic media enterprises. The course emphasizes the performance metrics, strategies, and methods required to achieve ethical business success in the industry, including using analytics to support improved decision making, effective marketing, and efficient operations. Recognizing that writing is a fundamental proficiency that permeates professional business management, students engage in informal and formal writing assignments pertinent to the print and graphic media industry throughout the course. (Prerequisites: MAAT-267 and COMM-142 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Graphic Media Capstone Project
General Education – Immersion 2,3
General Education – Electives
Open Electives
Digital Print Processes 
Students who take this course will understand how digital printing technologies work, what they are capable of doing, and how these technologies are used commercially. Students will analyze the factors driving the explosive growth of digital printing, including how the economics of digital and conventional printing compare. The concepts taught in the classroom are reinforced through hands-on labs and field trips to digital printers and equipment suppliers. This course is cross-listed with PPRT-641; students may receive credit for MAAT-541 or PPRT-641, not both. (Not if PPRT-641) Lab 3 (Fall).
Total Semester Credit Hours

Please see General Education Curriculum (GE) for more information.

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

Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

Admissions and Financial Aid

First-Year Admission

A strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. This includes:

  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of social studies and/or history
  • 3 years of math is required and must include algebra, geometry, and algebra 2/trigonometry. Pre-calculus is preferred.
  • 2-3 years of science. Chemistry or physics is required and biology is recommended.
  • Technology electives are preferred.

Transfer Admission

Transfer course recommendations without associate degree
Courses in liberal arts, college math, physics and chemistry, business

Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer
Transfer from associate degree programs considered on an individual basis

Learn How to Apply

Financial Aid and Scholarships

100% of all incoming first-year and transfer students receive aid.

RIT’s personalized and comprehensive financial aid program includes scholarships, grants, loans, and campus employment programs. When all these are put to work, your actual cost may be much lower than the published estimated cost of attendance.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships

Latest News

  • April 28, 2023

    two people standing in a warehouse for photo.

    Alumni cultivate business by doing things differently

    James Wegner ’09 (media arts and technology) and Jonny Widder ’09 (media arts and technology) became quick friends after meeting at RIT Orientation, bonding over their desire to rebel from the “mandatory.”

  • June 15, 2022

    magnifiers on a paper with different color blocks.

    Podcast: Innovating the print industry 

    Intersections: The RIT Podcast, Ep. 60: When people think of printing, they think of copiers, toners, or pamphlets, but the print industry is growing and new technologies are impacting how products are developed and printed. Alumna Stephanie Fallon, publishing leader at Wayfair, talks to Cecilia Savka and Emi Knape, students in the graphic media science and technology department, about the skills needed in today’s print industry.