Explore how technology and innovation are changing the graphic communications industry.
The MS program in print media 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.
All 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.
Advertising, PR, and Marketing
Consumer Packaged Goods
Journalism, Media, and Publishing
Typical Job Titles
Customer Management Representative
Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Application Specialist / Systems Engineer
Technical Support Analyst
Digital Services Specialist
Print Production Manager
Media Job Planner
Digital Pre-Press Artist
An Assessment of An Assessment of Media Consumers’ Ability to Distinguish the Level of Post-Processing in Journalistic Images
Emily Shriver, a graduate student in the master of science in print media, headed a project to assess how individuals recognize manipulated images used in news.
This is a course in applied statistics emphasizing an understanding of variation and inference (estimation and testing). Topics to be covered include: review of descriptive statistics, normal distribution, sampling distributions, estimation, test of hypothesis for single and two populations, analysis of variance (ANOVA), linear regression, multiple regression and model building. Students will apply these concepts using mini-cases and problem sets that involve both structured and unstructured data sets. The application of appropriate tools will be required. (This class is restricted to degree-seeking graduate students or those with permission from instructor.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Materials and Processes in Printing
This course offers a survey of the materials and processes used in print reproduction. Students will learn the basic theory of image reproduction embodied in the available analog and digital printing processes, and learn to identify the process origins of print samples. Additionally, students will learn the chemical and physical properties associated with consumables in order to obtain an understanding necessary to make informed decisions about use and application. Lab 3, Lecture 2 (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
An in-depth study of the factors affecting the efficiencies and effectiveness of print media organizations and ultimately their profitability. Includes consideration of both internal factors, such as quality level goals, training, scheduling, plant layout, and financial management, and external factors, such as environmental and legal issues and safety enforcement. Lecture 3 (Spring).
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
This course provides a foundation for conducting scientific research in the graphic communications industry. Students will learn the scientific methods, how to generate hypotheses and research questions, conduct secondary research, select the best research design to answer a research question, and how to analyze basic survey data. This course will also introduce students to the current issues in the industry in preparation for them to identify a thesis or capstone project problem. Lecture 3 (Fall).
This course will guide and monitor the progress of graduate students in the development of their written thesis proposal as defined in the SMS Thesis Manual. Students will review their work regularly throughout the semester, with the Graduate Director, SMS faculty, and their thesis committee. Students will be guided in the refinement of their thesis topic and structuring their methodology. Students will determine their thesis committee and create their thesis timeline, outline, and proposal culminating in a formal thesis proposal defense. (Prerequisites: PPRT-704 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
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).
Total Semester Credit Hours
To be considered for admission to the MS program in print media, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:
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.
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.
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.
Print media graduate student Emily Shriver headed a project to assess how individuals recognize manipulated images used in news. She found that most people are skeptical about images seen in print or online news, but only half can tell which images actually are altered.