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Salary and Career Info

Physics BS

In RIT’s physics degree, you’ll gain an in-depth understanding of the basic principles governing the structure and behavior of matter, the generation and transfer of energy, and the interactions of matter and energy within the world around us.

Program skills

The curriculum begins with mathematics, science, and liberal arts courses covering the breadth of the discipline from condensed matter to cosmology. In the third or fourth years, advanced topics are introduced such as statistical physics and quantum mechanics. You’ll also participate in advanced laboratory work and a capstone project.

Program facilities equipment

Students are exposed to numerous laboratories throughout their studies: X-Ray and Surface Science Laboratory, Atomic-Scale Microscopy Laboratory, Laser Light Scattering Laboratory for complex and biological fluid studies, Optics Laboratory, Materials Laboratory, Quantum Optics Teaching Laboratory, Physical Optics Teaching Laboratory, Modern Physics/Advanced Physics Teaching Laboratory, Electronics Teaching Laboratory, Instrument/Detector Development Laboratory for Experimental Cosmology, Observatory, Granular Materials Laboratory, Supercomputer Clusters, and the Nanopower Research Laboratories (NPRL).

Program job titles reported

Optical Engineer; Scientific Software Developer; Instrumentation Scientist; Radiation Scientist; Quantum Technology R&D; Planetarium Presenter; Aerospace Engineer; Satellite Systems Scientist; Power Plant Nuclear Operator; Data Analyst; High School Physics Teacher

Program significant points

  • RIT Astrophysical Sciences and Technology Program ranked 69th in Top US Physics Graduate Programs in 2019 U.S. News & World Report: America’s Best Graduate Schools
  • 4 national awards and recognitions for RIT BS physics program or its students
  • Average of 11 undergraduate coauthors on peer-reviewed publications annually

Select program hiring partners

A+E Television Networks, BAE Systems, Inc., Epic, Federal Reserve Board of governors, Griffiss Institute, Hirose Electric, Intelligent Artifacts, IPG Photonics, L3Harris, Optimax Systems, Inc., Rochester Institute of Technology - Center for Imaging Science, Rochester Museum & Science Center, Schneider Electric, Summit Lubricants


Outcome Rates*

Total percentage of graduates who have entered the workforce, enrolled in full-time graduate study, or are pursuing alternative plans (military service, volunteering, etc.).


Knowledge Rate

*Total percentage of graduates for whom RIT has verifiable data, compared to national average knowledge rate of 41% per NACE.
Outcome % of Students
Employed 35.00%
Full-time Graduate Study 55.00%
Alternative Plans 10.00%
Outcome % of Students
Employed 35.00%
Full-time Graduate Study 55.00%
Alternative Plans 10.00%

Experiential Learning

Cooperative Education

What’s different about an RIT education? It’s the career experience you gain by completing cooperative education and internships with top companies in every single industry. You’ll earn more than a degree. You’ll gain real-world career experience that sets you apart. It’s exposure–early and often–to a variety of professional work environments, career paths, and industries. 

Co-op is optional but strongly encouraged for students in the physics degree.

National Labs Career Fair

Hosted by RIT’s Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education, the National Labs Career Fair is an annual event that brings representatives to campus from the United States’ federally funded research and development labs. These national labs focus on scientific discovery, clean energy development, national security, technology advancements, and more. Students are invited to attend the career fair to network with lab professionals, learn about opportunities, and interview for co-ops, internships, research positions, and full-time employment.