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Program in Lighting School of Architecture Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Troy, NY
  • Private
  • Suburban
  • 57%43%
    student ratio
  • 7
    total students
  • $45,100 | $45,100
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • January 1
    fall application deadline
  • 45%
    acceptance rate
  • 3 Degrees
    degrees/awards offered


Graduate Programs in Lighting at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Established in 1988, the Lighting Research Center (LRC) in the School of Architecture at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is a leader in research and education in the field of lighting. LRC is known internationally for its reliable and objective research in "lighting technologies, applications, and products."

The center offers an exceptional Master of Science (M.S.) in Architectural Sciences degree program with a concentration in lighting. It also provides a Ph.D. program in Architectural Sciences with a concentration in lighting. In addition to providing top-notch academic programs, LRC connects students to excellent employment opportunities.

Master of Science in Architectural Science With a Concentration in Lighting

The 1-year M.S. degree program in Architectural Sciences with a concentration in lighting is well-suited for professionals in the lighting industry or design field or those who have an interest in working in these fields. It is also ideal for individuals who want to transform innovative ideas into practical lighting products or services.

The program includes 24 credits of courses and 6 credits for the master's thesis project. It also includes a specialization in product innovation and development that receives support from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

This specialization gives students opportunities to grow their innovations and ideas. With the support of faculty members and business experts, students develop business plans and prototype constructions.

Master of Science in Lighting

The Master of Science in Lighting is the premier master's level graduate degree offered in the field of lighting. This 48-credit, 2-year, multidisciplinary degree program allows students to work closely with faculty members at the Lighting Research Center to study the various disciplines involved in lighting research. The 2-year program allows for a comprehensive, "hands-on" study of lighting which culminates in a thesis project in the 2nd year during which each student studies a particular area of interest in-depth directly with a faculty adviser. Course content and curriculum in the M.S. in Lighting degree program is continually updated to include the latest advances in lighting research, technology, and design to assure that students receive an education on the "cutting edge" of lighting.

PhD in Architectural Sciences with a Concentration in Lighting

The Doctor of Philosophy Program in Architectural Sciences with a concentration in lighting encompasses many of the disciplines that are a part of the field. Therefore, students acquire comprehensive knowledge in the areas of physics, optics, psychology, physiology, photobiology, engineering, architecture, and design.

Individuals may enter the Ph.D. Program in Architectural Sciences at the bachelor's or master's level.

Expert Faculty Members

The Lighting Research Center has faculty members who are working professionals and leaders in the field of lighting. In addition to teaching, faculty members have careers as lighting designers, architects, physicists, engineers, researchers, photobiologists, and psychologists.

For instance, adjunct assistant professor Abhay Wadhwa has several research interests including lighting design and architecture, international lighting cultures, and lighting of historic structures and museums. He has been the lead designer on a wide-variety of lighting projects in a number of industries including hospitality, historic preservation, and transportation. Professor Wadhwa is also the president and principal of Available Light: NY.

Financial Assistance

Applicants of LRC's graduate programs may be eligible for various types of financial aid including loans, scholarships, and research assistantships. In fact, approximately 80% of LRC's students receive financial aid.

Students who are awarded research assistantships work closely with faculty members on a variety of research and design projects. This work increases their knowledge of the multi-disciplinary field of lighting and gives them hands-on research and design experience.

Graduate Student Life

Students have access to LRC's 30,000 square foot facility that includes research, classroom, and office space; computer laboratories; and the world's largest library in the field of lighting.

They also have full access to Rensselaer's campus, services, and facilities.

More About the Lighting Research Center (LRC)

The Lighting Research Center performs laboratory tests on lighting products, provides real-world demonstration of products and designs, and evaluates products and designs. It also conducts research on energy efficiency, new products and technologies, lighting design, and human factors issues.

Specific research programs include application and design, automotive and street lighting, aviation lighting, controls, daylighting, energy and environment, health and vision, LEDs, and outdoor lighting.

LRC's educational opportunities include graduate programs, distance learning, and educational outreach programs. It also provides training programs for government agencies, utility companies, contractors, and light designers -- among other professions.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Established in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the oldest technological university in the nation. It is located in Troy, New York, in the northeastern region of the United States.

Rensselaer provides more than 7,000 students with over 145 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs. It offers a rigorous education that includes innovation in the laboratory, classroom, and studio.

The university is well known for its ability to transfer technology from the laboratory to the marketplace for the benefit of human kind and the environment.

Location & Contact

Program in Lighting

School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180-3590
United States

Mr. Russ Leslie

Graduate Program Director

Phone: 518-687-7100

Office of Graduate Admissions

Phone: 518-276-6216

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Architectural Sciences Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
    • Lighting Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 5
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


45% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 11
    • Accepted 5
    • Acceptance Rate 45
    • Enrolled 4
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 1st January 1st Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 570 paper based, TOEFL iBT, IELTS required, IELTS paper based

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$45,100
    • Out-of-state tuition *$45,100
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year fees$1,983.00
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsJanuary 1
    • Types of financial support availableNot Reported

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students7
    • Female Percentage57%
    • Male Percentage43%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students7
    • Part-time Percentage29%
    • Full-time Percentage71%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino0%
    • Black / African American0%
    • White / Caucasian100%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian0%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown0%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty7
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage14%
    • Male Percentage86%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchApplications and design; automotive and street lighting; aviation lighting; controls; daylighting; energy and environment; health and vision; LEDs; outdoor lighting; residential lighting; security lighting
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported




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