The Science of Light, Color, and Motion course at Sessions College

The Science of Light, Color, and Motion

3 credits

GEN 410: The Science of Light, Color, and Motion

Explore the scientific basis of visual perception

Any creative professional—artist, designer, or photographer—creates artwork, images, or animations in a natural world that is governed by the laws of physics. In this introductory science class, students will explore and apply scientific principles that are fundamental to visual perception. Students will learn the scientific basis of key concepts in light, color, and motion, explore research methods to discover how they work, and express this scientific knowledge in their creative work. Students will graduate the course with a solid understanding of how scientific theories, research, and experimental methodology are applied, building a foundation for future learning.

Follow the light

Course At A Glance

Course Features

  • 100% online
  • Project-based
  • Instructor-led
  • Credit-bearing: 3 Credits
  • Classes start January, April, and August


The course is taught by the following instructor(s):

Course developed by: Dr. Stephen Colucci

Take this course as a standalone or as part of the following program(s):

Course Projects

    1. The Scientific Method

      We will explain the scientific method that is used to validate hypotheses and construct scientific knowledge.

    2. What is Light?

      We will examine the physical nature of light and its characteristics (energy, frequency, and wavelength).

    3. What is Color?

      We will look at the nature of color and how color is perceived.

    4. What are the Sources of Light?

      We will examine the effects created by natural and artificial light sources.

    5. How Does Light Interact with Materials?

      We will explore the phenomena of reflection, absorption, polarization, refraction, and dispersion, with a particular focus on how lenses work.

    6. How is Color Reproduced?

      We will discuss additive and subtractive color systems and the color gamut.

    7. Classical Mechanics

      This section will examine the forces and types of motion that we encounter during daily life.

    8. Modern Physics

      There is more to light and motion than can be explained with classical mechanics, and in this section, we will explore the weird and wonderful ramifications of quantum mechanics and relativity.

Sample Student Work

For sample work, visit student gallery

Course Outcomes

What Are The Course Projects?

In this course, students will develop their understanding of the scientific principles that explain how we perceive light, color, and motion. Students will learn and apply the scientific method as they explore the history and interrelation of scientific concepts in this area. A key focus in the course will be acquiring and demonstrating knowledge by creating visualizations of concepts in this area and relating them to the visual arts.

What Software or Supplies Do I Need?

To take this course, you'll need:

  • Computer with Internet connection.
  • Adobe Photoshop CC or Adobe Illustrator CC
What Will I Learn?

Students in this course can expect to learn to:

  • Explore and apply scientific principles fundamental to visual perception.
  • Examine the scientific basis of key concepts in light, color, and motion.
  • Demonstrate the ability to understand and examine scientific research methods.
  • Explain, discuss, and present how scientific theories, research, and experimental methodologies are applied.

Getting Started

Course Registration

  • Classes start January, April, and August
  • 3 Credit Course
  • Project-Based: Exercises, Discussions, and Critiques

Course Tuition and Fees
Registration Fee* $200
Total Course Price $1730

Registration fees are nonrefundable after 5 days from enrollment. All tuition includes a digital materials fee for course content.

Course Registration Form

To register for this course, use the form below to enter your information and desired start date. An Admissions Advisor will contact you to arrange payment and provide you with an Enrollment Agreement.

PD: Course Registration

Contact Information

✓ Valid
Please select from dropdown.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What Are The Courses Like?

Our courses are project-based. In each course you’ll enjoy a series of lectures, projects, discussions, and critiques designed to stretch your creative skills, earning college credit for your completed course.

How Much Time Do I Need?

Classes start January, April, and August, and this course can be completed in a 15-week term. College credit from this course can be applied to a range of degree and certificate level programs at Sessions College.

Who Are The Instructors?

Our courses are developed and taught by our faculty of professional artists, designers, and photographers. This means that you’ll learn in-demand skills, get feedback on your work, and build a portfolio of creative work.

Is Sessions College accredited?

Yes. Since 2001, Sessions College has been accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).