Curriculum Overview

Imaging Science students gain knowledge in core subjects while gaining the perspective of why such courses are important. Our curriculum begins with fundamental physics, calculus, computer programming, and liberal arts, along with hands-on Imaging Science-specific courses that illustrate the relevance of these classes. As upperclassmen, students apply their core knowledge to specialized courses and cap off their undergraduate education with a senior research project.

The undergraduate major in Imaging Science is designed to be completed in 4 years. There is enough flexibility in the curriculum to allow for study abroad and internship experiences. There are no co-op requirements, though many students choose to partake in extracurricular employment at some point in their academic careers.

Typical Course of Study

The information below represents a typical course of study for an Imaging Science student as a general information guide. Individualized plans of study will be determined with the help of an academic advisor.

First Year

  • Innovative Freshmen Experience I, II
  • Introduction to Computing & Control
  • Film/Video Materials & Technology
  • Project-Based Calculus I, II
  • First-Year Writing
  • First-Year Seminar
  • University Physics I
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences

Second Year

  • Probability & Statistics for Imaging
  • Color Science
  • Vision & Psychophysics
  • Linear & Fourier Methods for Imaging
  • Multivariable & Vector Calculus
  • University Physics II
  • Modern Physics I
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences (3)

Third Year

  • Geometric Optics
  • Physical Optics
  • Radiometry
  • Interactions Between Light & Matter
  • Image Processing & Computer Vision I, II
  • Open Elective (2)
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences Immersion (2)

Fourth Year

  • Imaging Science Senior Project I, II
  • Imaging Science Elective Track I, II
  • Noise & System Modeling
  • Imaging Detectors
  • Advanced Imaging Laboratory I, II
  • General Education Elective
  • Liberal Arts & Sciences Immersion

Course descriptions are available via the RIT Undergraduate Course Descriptions publication.

Incoming Credit

AP/college credits are accepted in the Imaging Science program provided they meet minimum eligibility requirements. In general, liberal arts, elective, and non-core courses are easier to apply. Regardless of AP score or grades, we always suggest that courses which are fundamental to your understanding of Imaging Science, such as Calculus and Physics, be taken again in a college environment. If that turns out to be the case, but your incoming scores qualify you for college credit, it may be possible to apply such credits to related electives. Please contact Prof. James Ferwerda (Undergraduate Program Coordinator) at to discuss your specific curriculum plan.

Minors & Double Majors

Minors in the Center for Imaging Science

The Center for Imaging Science offers two minors: Imaging Science and Optical Science. Minors typically start in the second year of study at RIT.

Imaging Science: Students can gain an area of expertise by adding a minor in Imaging Science to their plan of study. In addition to the standard minor, possible concentrations include a digital imaging emphasis, a visual perception emphasis, or an electro-optical emphasis. In order to enroll, a student must have successfully completed University Physics and Project-Based Calculus sequences, as well as an introduction to programming course. Courses in the Imaging Science minor may have additional prerequisites.

Optical Science: The Optical Science minor is a joint effort between the School of Physics and Astronomy and the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. This interdisciplinary minor introduces students to techniques and technologies that exploit the properties and applications of light. Students must meet all prerequisites for selected classes in order to enroll.

For more information on these minors and their respective prerequisites, please contact Prof. James Ferwerda (Undergraduate Program Coordinator) at to discuss your academic portfolio.

Double Majors with Imaging Science

Opportunities exist to challenge yourself with a rigorous and rewarding double major. Some majors which have been combined with Imaging Science include:

  • Computer Science
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Biomedial Sciences
  • Psychology

Even more combinations are possible. Please contact Prof. James Ferwerda (Undergraduate Program Coordinator) at to discuss your specific curriculum plan and determine whether a double major may be right for you.