RIT Logo with Text

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

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; Intelligent Artifacts; IPG Photonics; L3Harris; Rochester Museum & Science Center; Constellation Energy; ST4R Development; Optimax Systems Inc; Northrop Grumman; Gartner, Inc; Datrose Industries; AIM PHOTONICS


Outcome Rates for Physics BS

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 47.37%
Full-time Graduate Study 42.11%
Alternative Plans 5.26%
Outcome % of Students
Employed 47.37%
Full-time Graduate Study 42.11%
Alternative Plans 5.26%

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 Events and Recruiting

The Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education offers National Labs and federally-funded Research Centers from all research areas and sponsoring agencies a variety of options to connect with and recruit students. Students connect with employer partners to gather information on their laboratories and explore co-op, internship, research, and full-time opportunities.  These national labs focus on scientific discovery, clean energy development, national security, technology advancements, and more. Recruiting events include our university-wide Fall Career Fair, on-campus and virtual interviews, information sessions, 1:1 networking with lab representatives, and a National Labs Resume Book available to all labs.