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Welcome to the School of Physics & Astronomy!

college of science

Michael Kotlarchyk

The RIT School of Physics and Astronomy offers the undergraduate BS program in Physics and a graduate program in Astrophysical Sciences & Technology leading to a Ph.D. or MS degree. Additionally, the School offers a minor in Physics and a minor in Astronomy for undergraduates, as well as a combined dual degree allowing a student to earn the BS in Physics and the MS in Materials Science & Engineering in five years.

The BS program in Physics offers a broad curriculum which prepares students for employment in research, industry, or teaching after graduation, as well as for graduate study in physics and related areas. The structured core curriculum provides a broad and solid foundation in experimental, computational, and theoretical physics, with an emphasis on laboratory training and the development of analytical and problem-solving skills. The curriculum is also sufficiently flexible so that the student can plan a minor or course sequence in such areas as astronomy, optics, materials science, mathematics, biological or chemical sciences, engineering, or computer science. Students also may prepare for entry into medical, law, or business school.

There has never been a more exciting time to study the physical universe. A new generation of advanced ground-based and space-borne telescopes, as well as enormous increases in computing power, are enabling a golden age of astrophysics. The doctoral and master's degrees in the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology Program offer a comprehensive curriculum and a broad range of research opportunities that span forefront topics in stellar, galactic and extragalactic astrophysics, numerical general relativity and gravitational wave astronomy, and instrument and detector development. With 14 research active faculty drawn from the School of Physics and Astronomy, the School of Mathematical Sciences, and the Center for Imaging Science, the multidisciplinary emphasis of this program sets it apart from conventional astrophysics graduate programs at traditional research universities.

Sincerely, Dr. Michael Kotlarchyk, Head and Professor of Physics



  • Dr. Valerie Rapson studied Astrophysics at RIT and now leads outreach efforts at the Dudley Observatory in Schenectady, NY. Her goal is to provide hands-on experience for students - especially female and minority students - in the hope that more will be engaged and pursue education and careers in the sciences.
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  • Sukanya Chakrabarti was awarded $325,053 from the National Science Foundation to study "The Dynamical Echoes Of Dark Matter Sub-Structure: In Simulations & In Spirals Out To z ~ 0.1".
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  • The RIT Physics Program has received national recognition from the American Physical Society's Committee on Education with its Award for Improving Undergraduate Physics Education. Further information about the award can be found at
    RIT University News
  • Mishkat Bhattacharya, an assistant professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy, has recently been awarded a $489,730 grant by the Office of Naval Research to study the quantum theory of precision sensing with nanoparticles optically trapped in free space. The research is focused on developing next generation sensors for measuring linear and angular displacements, forces and torques. Prof. Bhattacharya's work will focus on the theoretical modeling of the optically trapped systems, with relevance to ongoing experiments in a number of groups wordwide.
  • William Daniel Phillips, an award-winning researcher with the National Institute of Standards and Technology who shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in physics, will be the keynote speaker for Rochester Institute of Technology's 129th commencement celebration.
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  • Rochester Institute of Technology RIT graduate wins prestigious undergraduate award from the American Physical Society
    Hao Shi '13 wins national recognition for undergraduate quantum optics research
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