Atherosclerosis is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease, accounting for more than one third of all deaths in the United States, there is a growing need to develop non-invasive techniques to assess the severity of atherosclerotic plaque burden. Recent research has suggested that not the size of the atherosclerotic plaque but rather its composition is indicative for plaque rupture as the underlying event of stroke and acute coronary syndrome. With its excellent soft-tissue contrast, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a favored modality for examining plaque composition. In an exvivo study, aimed to show the feasibility of quantifying the components of carotid atherosclerotic plaques in-vivo, we acquired multi-contrast MRI images of 13 freshly excised endartereetomy tissues with commercially available MRI sequences and a human surface coil. Feature space analysis (FSA) was utilized in four representative tissues to determine the total relative abundance of calcific, lipidic, fibrotic, thrombotic and normal components as well as in consecutive 2 mm sections across the carotid bifurcation in each tissue. Excellent qualitative agreement between the FSA results and the results obtained from histological methods was observed. This study demonstrates the feasibility of combining MRI with FSA to quantify carotid atherosclerotic plaques in-vivo.