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Curriculum

Astrophysical Sciences & Technology Curriculum 

MS Program Requirements
The MS program comprises a minimum of 30 credit hours of study. The curriculum consists of four core courses, two to four elective courses, two semesters of graduate seminar, and a research project culminating in a thesis.
 
Required Core Courses 
Course Number Course Title Credits
ASTP 608 Fundamentals of Astrophysics I 3
ASTP 609 Fundamentals of Astrophysics II 3
ASTP 613  Astronomical Observational Techniques and Instrumentation 3
ASTP 610 Mathematical and Statistical Methods for the Astrophysical Sciences 3

MS Program typical course sequence  

Master's Thesis
During the first year, most students begin a research project under the guidance of a faculty research adviser. Focus on the project becomes more significant during the second year, after the core courses have been completed. A thesis committee is appointed by the program director and consists of the student's adviser and at least two additional members, one of whom must be a faculty member in the astrophysical sciences and technology program. The final examination of the thesis consists of a public oral presentation by the student, followed by questions from the audience. The thesis committee privately questions the candidate following the presentation. The committee caucuses immediately following the examination and thereafter notifies the candidate and the program director of the results.

MS to Ph.D. transfer
Depending on each student's progress in their course work and the research project, students enrolled in the astrophysical sciences and technology MS program may seek program approval to have their MS thesis and thesis defense serve as the Ph.D. qualifying examination. Upon successfully qualifying, students may choose to proceed to Ph.D. candidacy rather than accepting a terminal master of science degree. This transition is contingent on the availability of an adviser and research funding.


 
PhD Program Requirements
Students complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of study, consisting of at least 24 credit hours of course work and at least 24 credit hours of research. Students may choose to follow one of three tracks: astrophysics, astro-informatics and computational astrophysics (with the option of a concentration in general relativity), or astronomical instrumentation. All students must complete four core courses with grades of B or better, as well as two semesters of graduate seminar. Core course grades below B must be remediated by taking and passing a comprehensive exam on the core course subject matter prior to receiving the doctoral degree. The remaining course credits are made up from specialty track courses and electives. Students must pass a qualifying examination, which consists of completing and defending a master's-level research project, prior to embarking on the dissertation research project.
 
Required Core Courses 
Course Number
Course TItle
Credits
ASTP 608 Fundamentals of Astrophysics I 3
ASTP 609 Fundamentals of Astrophysics II 3
ASTP 613  Astronomical Observational Techniques and Instrumentation 3
ASTP 610 Mathematical and Statistical Methods for the Astrophysical Sciences 3
 
PhD Program Tracks and Concentrations
The Astrophysical Sciences & Technology PhD program has 3 tracks.
In addition to the core courses, a student would typically take the following courses as electives. 
Astrophysics 
Course Number Course Title Credits
ASTP 730 Stellar Structure and Atmospheres 3
ASTP 740 Galactic Astrophysics 3
ASTP 750  Extragalactic Astrophysics 3
Astro-informatics and computational astrophysics
Course Number Course Title Credits
ASTP 611 Statistical Methods for Astrophysics 3
ASTP 720 Galactic Astrophysics 3
ASTP 750  Extragalactic Astrophysics 3
Astro-informatics and computational astrophysics - general relativity concentration
Course Number Course Title Credits

ASTP 611

OR ASTP 720

Statistical Methods for Astrophysics

Computational Methods for Astrophysics

3
ASTP 760 Introduction to Relativity and Gravitation 3
ASTP 861 Advanced Relativity and Gravitation 3
PHYS 611 Classical Electrodynamics I 3
PHYS 612 Classical Electrodynamics II 3
Astronomical Instrumentation 
Course Number Course Title Credits
IMGS 628 Design and Fabrication of Solid State Camera 3
IMGS 639 Principles of Solid State Imaging Arrays 3
IMGS 642 Testing of Focal Plane Arrays 3
Electives
Electives include additional courses in astrophysics and a wide selection of courses offered in other RIT graduate programs (e.g., imaging science, computer science, engineering), including detector development, digital image processing, computational techniques, optics, and entrepreneurship, among others.
RIT Course Catalog - for detailed descriptions of ASTP courswork and electives please use the Student Information System (SIS) 
 
AST Electives
Course Number Course Title Credits
ASTP 610 Mathematical Methods for the Astrophysical Sciences 3
ASTP 611 Statistical Methods for Astrophysics 3
ASTP 720 Computational Methods for Astrophysics 3
ASTP 730 Stellar Structure and Atmosphere 3
ASTP 740 Galactic Astrophysics 3
ASTP 750 Extragalactic Astrophysics 3
ASTP 831 Stellar Evolution and Environments 3
ASTP 835 High Energy Astrophysics 3
ASTP 841 The Interstellar Medium 3
ASTP 851 Cosmology 3
ASTP 760 Introduction to Relativity and Gravitation 3
ASTP 861 Advanced Relativity and Gravitation 3
PHYS 611 Classical Electrodynamics I 3
PHYS 612 Classical Electrodynamics II 3
Additional Graduate Electives 
Subject to approval, students may choose elective courses from many other RIT graduate programs. Some examples are listed below. There are many more courses that may be appropriate, which are not listed here.
Course Number Course Title Credits
IMGS 628 Design and Fabrication of Solid State Camera 3
IMGS 682 Digital Image Processing 3
IMGS 737 Physical Optics 3
IMGS 754 Pattern Recognition 3
IMGS 661 Geometric Optics and Lens Design 3
IMGS 765 Performance Modeling and Characterization of Remote Sensing Systems 3
MATH 605 Stochastic Processes 3
MATH 612 Numerical Linear Algebra 3
MATH 711 Advanced Methods in Scientific Computing 3
MATH 712 Numberical Methods for PDE's 3
MATH 731 Advanced Dynamical Systems 3