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Color Science PhD

Gain an in-depth understanding of the perception, design and reproduction of color with the Color Science PhD from RIT. Through courses including the Principles of Color Science, Color Physics and Applications, and Modeling Visual Perception, students will learn how to formulate, analyze and solve advanced problems in color science.

About the program:

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. 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.

Available as either a PhD or masters degree (MS), the program is designed for students whose undergraduate majors are in physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, engineering, experimental psychology, imaging or any applied discipline pertaining to the quantitative description of color; for example, textiles, graphic arts, animation, material science, and polymer science. All students must earn 99 credits as a graduate student. For full-time students, the program requires three or more years of study at the graduate level for students entering the program with a baccalaureate degree. The curriculum is a combination of required courses in color science, elective courses appropriate for the candidate's background and interests, a three quarter 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 before completing their dissertation. Candidates who wish to enter the program but lack adequate preparation might have to take as many as 36 credits of undergraduate foundation courses in mathematics, statistics, computer science and general science before matriculating with graduate status.

Put the world at your fingertips

A world of opportunity opens up when you decide to study at RIT. With our Color Science PhD program, you'll gain access to unparalleled opportunities for research and career placement — as well as worldwide corporate and government partnerships and the full support of experienced faculty members with industry knowledge in their respective fields.

Topics of study include: 

  • Physical spectral and colorimetric measurements of materials and light sources
  • Understanding the capture, processing, and display of color and spectral power distributions 
  • Quantifying the human sensation of color matches and the higher-level perceptions of color appearance and chromatic adaptation

Earning a PhD in Color Science at RIT can help to enhance your earning potential. 400 employers from the United States and two foreign countries attended our most recent career fair to discover the talents of our recent graduates. Additionally, with a qualification from RIT you'll make contacts with more than 100,000 well-connected alumni who place great importance on an RIT education and look to hire our graduates.

Every year ambitious students find a home in RIT's energetic learning community. Our graduates confidently transition into the "real" world feeling that what they've learned at RIT will help them in life, and most importantly, give them an advantage in the job market. We can provide you with options that will allow you to study color science in a way that works best for you. Ask about our quarter program, which allows you to take classes four times a year and earn your degree faster.

Ready to learn more? Call RIT 1-877-790-7850 or fill in our online form!

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