Michael Kotlarchyk, School Head

585-475-6115, mnksps@rit.edu

Lindsay Cohen, Academic Adviser

585-475-6479, laciao@rit.edu

## Program overview

Graduates with a BS degree in physics are sought after and highly employable in both the private and public sectors. They typically find positions in industry, government agencies and labs, and teaching. Many graduates choose to continue their education in doctoral or master's programs in physics or physics-related areas such as astrophysics, applied physics, biophysics, geophysics, atmospheric science, imaging science, and engineering. Students also are well-prepared for entry into medical, law, or business school.

## Curriculum

#### Physics, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course | Sem. Cr. Hrs. | |
---|---|---|

First Year |
||

Choose one of the following: |
3 | |

CHMG-141 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General and Analytical Chemistry I† | |

BIOL-101 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I† | |

Choose one of the following: |
1 | |

CHMG-145 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General and Analytical Chemistry I Lab§ | |

BIOL-103 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab§ | |

MATH-181 | LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-based Calculus I | 4 |

PHYS-150 | Introduction to Special Relativity | 3 |

Choose one of the following: |
3 | |

CHMG-142 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General and Analytical Chemistry II† | |

BIOL-102 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II† | |

Choose one of the following: |
1 | |

CHMG-146 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General and Analytical Chemistry II Lab† | |

BIOL-104 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II Lab† | |

MATH-182 | LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-based Calculus II | 4 |

PHYS-216 | University Physics I: Physics Majors | 4 |

ACSC-010 | Year One | 0 |

First Year Writing (WI) | 3 | |

First Year LAS Elective | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 1 (ethical) | 3 | |

Wellness Education* | 0 | |

Second Year |
||

MATH-219 | Multivariable Calculus | 3 |

PHYS-217 | University Physics II: Physics Majors | 4 |

PHYS-225 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming | 3 |

MATH-231 | Differential Equations | 3 |

PHYS-213 | Modern Physics I | 3 |

PHYS-222 | Electronic Measurements | 3 |

PHYS-275 | Sophomore Physics Seminar | 1 |

PHYS-283 | Vibrations and Waves | 3 |

LAS Perspective 2 (artistic) | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 3 (global) | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 4 (social) | 3 | |

Third Year |
||

PHYS-214 | Modern Physics II | 3 |

PHYS-315 | Experiments in Modern Physics | 3 |

PHYS-320 | Mathematical Methods in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-330 | Classical Mechanics | 4 |

PHYS-316 | Advanced Laboratory in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-411 | Electricity and Magnetism | 4 |

PHYS-450 | Capstone Preparation | 1 |

Physics Elective | 3 | |

LAS Immersion 1, 2 | 6 | |

Fourth Year |
||

PHYS-414 | Quantum Mechanics | 3 |

PHYS-440 | Thermal and Statistical Physics | 3 |

PHYS-451 | Capstone Project I | 3 |

PHYS-452 | Capstone Project II (WI) | 3 |

Physics Electives | 6 | |

Open Electives | 6 | |

LAS Immersion 3 | 3 | |

LAS Elective | 3 | |

Total Semester Credit Hours |
124 |

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

† Students will satisfy this requirement by taking a 4-credit hour lab science course. Students must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement. The lecture section alone will not fulfill the requirement.

#### Sample selection of physics electives

Course | |
---|---|

PHYS-321 | Advanced Mathematical Methods in Physics |

PHYS-360 | Introduction to Chaotic Dynamics |

PHYS-365 | Physical Optics |

PHYS-370 | Stellar Astrophysics |

PHYS-371 | Galactic Astrophysics |

PHYS-372 | Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology |

PHYS-373 | Observational Astronomy |

PHYS-377 | Advanced Computational Physics |

PHYS-408 | Laser Physics |

PHYS-412 | Advanced Electricity and Magnetism |

PHYS-415 | Advanced Quantum Mechanics |

PHYS-424 | Nuclear Physics |

PHYS-441 | Advanced Thermal and Statistical Physics |

PHYS-532 | Solid State Physics |

PHYS-667 | Quantum Optics |

#### Accelerated dual degree options

Accelerated dual degree options are for undergraduate students with outstanding academic records. Upon acceptance, well-qualified undergraduate students can begin graduate study before completing their BS degree, shortening the time it takes to earn both degrees. Students should consult an academic adviser for more information.

#### Physics, BS/MS degree, typical course sequence

Course | Sem. Cr. Hrs. | |
---|---|---|

First Year |
||

Choose one of the following: |
3 | |

CHMG-141 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General and Analytical Chemistry I† | |

BIOL-101 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I† | |

Choose one of the following: |
1 | |

CHMG-145 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General and Analytical Chemistry I Lab§ | |

BIOL-103 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab§ | |

MATH-181 | LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-based Calculus I | 4 |

PHYS-150 | Introduction to Special Relativity | 3 |

Choose one of the following: |
3 | |

CHMG-142 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General and Analytical Chemistry II† | |

BIOL-102 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II† | |

Choose one of the following: |
1 | |

CHMG-146 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General and Analytical Chemistry II Lab† | |

BIOL-104 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II Lab† | |

MATH-182 | LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-based Calculus II | 4 |

PHYS-216 | University Physics I: Physics Majors | 4 |

ACSC-010 | Year One | 0 |

First Year Writing (WI) | 3 | |

First Year LAS Elective | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 1 (ethical) | 3 | |

Wellness Education* | 0 | |

Second Year |
||

MATH-219 | Multivariable Calculus | 3 |

PHYS-217 | University Physics II: Physics Majors | 4 |

PHYS-225 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming | 3 |

MATH-231 | Differential Equations | 3 |

PHYS-213 | Modern Physics I | 3 |

PHYS-222 | Electronic Measurements | 3 |

PHYS-275 | Sophomore Physics Seminar | 1 |

PHYS-283 | Vibrations and Waves | 3 |

LAS Perspective 2 (artistic) | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 3 (global) | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 4 (social) | 3 | |

Third Year |
||

PHYS-214 | Modern Physics II | 3 |

PHYS-315 | Experiments in Modern Physics | 3 |

PHYS-320 | Mathematical Methods in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-330 | Classical Mechanics | 4 |

PHYS-316 | Advanced Laboratory in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-411 | Electricity and Magnetism | 4 |

Physics Elective | 3 | |

Computational Physics Elective | 3 | |

LAS Immersion 1, 2 | 6 | |

Fourth Year |
||

PHYS-414 | Quantum Mechanics | 3 |

PHYS-440 | Thermal and Statistical Physics | 3 |

PHYS-601 | Graduate Seminar I | 1 |

PHYS-602 | Graduate Seminar II | 1 |

Choose one of the following‡: |
3 | |

PHYS-610 | Mathematical Modeling for Physics | |

PHYS-611 | Classical Electrodynamics I | |

PHYS-614 | Quantum Seminar I | |

Choose one of the following: |
3 | |

PHYS-630 | Classical Mechanics | |

PHYS-640 | Statistical Physics | |

Choose one of the following: |
3 | |

PHYS-790 | Physics Research and Thesis | |

Approved MS Physics Elective | ||

Open Electives | 6 | |

LAS Immersion 3 | 3 | |

LAS Elective | 3 | |

Fifth Year |
||

Choose two of the following‡: |
6 | |

PHYS-610 | Mathematical Modeling for Physics | |

PHYS-611 | Classical Electrodynamics I | |

PHYS-614 | Quantum Seminar I | |

PHYS-790 | Physics Research and Thesis | 7 |

Approved MS Physics Electives | 6 | |

Total Semester Credit Hours |
150 |

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

† Students will satisfy this requirement by taking a 4-credit hour lab science course. Students must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement. The lecture section alone will not fulfill the requirement.

‡ These are core courses for the MS degree. All three must be completed.

#### Physics, BS degree/Materials science and engineering, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course | Sem. Cr. Hrs. | |
---|---|---|

First Year |
||

Choose one of the following course sequences: |
8 | |

CHMG-141 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General and Analytical Chemistry I§ | |

CHMG-145 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General and Analytical Chemistry I Lab§ | |

CHMG-142 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General and Analytical Chemistry II§ | |

CHMG-146 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General and Analytical Chemistry II Lab§ | |

or | ||

BIOL-101 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I | |

BIOL-103 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab§ | |

BIOL-102 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II | |

BIOL-104 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II Lab§ | |

MATH-181 | LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-based Calculus I | 4 |

PHYS-150 | Introduction to Special Relativity | 3 |

MATH-182 | LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-based Calculus II | 4 |

PHYS-216 | University Physics I: Physics Majors | 4 |

ACSC-010 | Year One | 0 |

First Year Writing (WI) | 3 | |

First Year LAS Elective | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 1 (ethical) | 3 | |

Wellness Education* | 0 | |

Second Year |
||

MATH-219 | Multivariable Calculus | 3 |

PHYS-217 | University Physics II: Physics Majors | 4 |

PHYS-225 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming | 3 |

MATH-231 | Differential Equations | 3 |

PHYS-213 | Modern Physics I | 3 |

PHYS-222 | Electronic Measurements | 3 |

PHYS-275 | Sophomore Physics Seminar | 1 |

PHYS-283 | Vibrations and Waves | 3 |

LAS Perspective 2 (artistic) | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 3 (global) | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 4 (social) | 3 | |

Third Year |
||

PHYS-214 | Modern Physics II | 3 |

PHYS-315 | Experiments in Modern Physics | 3 |

PHYS-320 | Mathematical Methods in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-330 | Classical Mechanics | 4 |

PHYS-316 | Advanced Laboratory in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-411 | Electricity and Magnetism | 4 |

MTSE-702 | Polymer Science | 3 |

Physics Elective‡ | 3 | |

LAS Immersion 1, 2 | 6 | |

Fourth Year |
||

PHYS-414 | Quantum Mechanics | 3 |

PHYS-440 | Thermal and Statistical Physics | 3 |

MTSE-601 | Materials Science | 3 |

MTSE-617 | Material Degradation | 3 |

MTSE-703 | Solid State Science | 3 |

MTSE-790 | Research and Thesis | 3 |

Physics Elective‡ | 3 | |

Computational Physics Elective | 3 | |

LAS Elective | 3 | |

LAS Immersion 3 | 3 | |

Fifth Year |
||

MTSE-704 | Theoretical Methods in Materials Science and Engineering | 3 |

MTSE-790 | Research and Thesis | 9 |

Materials Science Elective | 3 | |

Open Electives | 9 | |

Total Semester Credit Hours |
150 |

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two different Wellness courses.

‡ Please see academic adviser for a list of physics electives.

§ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking a 4-credit hour lab science course. Students must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement. The lecture section alone will not fulfill the requirement.

#### Physics, BS degree/Science, technology, and public policy, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course | Sem. Cr. Hrs. | |
---|---|---|

First Year |
||

Choose one of the following: |
8 | |

CHMG-141 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General and Analytical Chemistry I§ | |

CHMG-145 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General and Analytical Chemistry I Lab§ | |

CHMG-142 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General and Analytical Chemistry II | |

CHMG-146 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General and Analytical Chemistry II Labs§ | |

or | ||

BIOL-101 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I | |

BIOL-102 | LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab§ | |

BIOL-103 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II§ | |

BIOL-104 | LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles):General Biology II Lab§ | |

MATH-181 | LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-based Calculus I | 4 |

PHYS-150 | Introduction to Special Relativity | 3 |

MATH-182 | LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-based Calculus II | 4 |

PHYS-216 | University Physics I | 4 |

ACSC-010 | Year One | 0 |

LAS Perspective 1 (ethical) | 3 | |

First Year LAS Elective | 3 | |

First Year Writing | 3 | |

Wellness Education* | 0 | |

Second Year |
||

MATH-219 | Multivariable Calculus | 3 |

PHYS-212 | University Physics II | 4 |

PHYS-225 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming | 3 |

MATH-231 | Differential Equations | 3 |

PHYS-213 | Modern Physics I | 3 |

PHYS-222 | Electronic Measurements | 3 |

PHYS-275 | Sophomore Physics Seminar | 1 |

PHYS-283 | Vibrations and Waves | 3 |

LAS Perspective 2 (artistic) | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 3 (global) | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 4 (social) | 3 | |

Third Year |
||

PHYS-214 | Modern Physics II | 3 |

PHYS-315 | Experiments in Modern Physics | 3 |

PHYS-320 | Mathematical Methods in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-330 | Classical Mechanics | 4 |

PHYS-316 | Advanced Laboratory in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-411 | Electricity and Magnetism | 4 |

PHYS-450 | Capstone Preparation | 1 |

Program Elective | 3 | |

LAS Immersion 1, 2 | 6 | |

Fourth Year |
||

PHYS-414 | Quantum Mechanics | 3 |

PHYS-440 | Thermal and Statistical Physics | 3 |

PHYS-451 | Capstone Project I | 3 |

PHYS-452 | Capstone Project II (WI) | 3 |

PUBL-701 | Graduate Policy Analysis | 3 |

PUBL-702 | Graduate Decision Analysis | 3 |

STSO-710 | Graduate Science, Technology, and Public Policy | 3 |

Public Policy Electives | 6 | |

Physics Elective‡ | 3 | |

Fifth Year |
||

PUBL-700 | Readings in Public Policy | 3 |

PUBL-703 | Evaluation and Research Design | 3 |

PUBL-790 | Thesis Research | 6 |

Physics Elective‡ | 3 | |

Open Elective | 3 | |

LAS Elective | 3 | |

LAS Immersion 3 | 3 | |

Public Policy Elective | 3 | |

Total Semester Credit Hours |
148 |

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

‡ Please see academic adviser for a list of physics electives.

§ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking a 4-credit hour lab science course. Students must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement. The lecture section alone will not fulfill the requirement.

#### Physics, BS degree/Astrophysical sciences and technology, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course | Sem. Cr. Hrs. | |
---|---|---|

First Year |
||

Choose one of the following: |
8 | |

CHMG-141, 142, 145, 146 | LAS Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry I, II and Labs§ | |

BIOL-101, 102, 103, 104 | LAS Perspective 5: General Biology I, II and Labs§ | |

MATH-181 | LAS Perspective 7A: Project-based Calculus I | 4 |

PHYS-150 | Introduction to Special Relativity | 3 |

First Year LAS Elective | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 1 | 3 | |

MATH-182 | LAS Perspective 7B: Project-based Calculus II | 4 |

PHYS-216 | University Physics I: Physics Majors | 4 |

First Year Writing (WI) | 3 | |

ACSC-010 | Year One | 0 |

Wellness Education* | 0 | |

Second Year |
||

MATH-219 | Multivariable Calculus | 3 |

PHYS-217 | University Physics II: Physics Majors | 4 |

PHYS-225 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming | 3 |

MATH-231 | Differential Equations | 3 |

PHYS-213 | Modern Physics I | 3 |

PHYS-222 | Electronic Measurements | 3 |

PHYS-275 | Sophomore Physics Seminar | 1 |

PHYS-283 | Vibrations and Waves | 3 |

PHYS-220 | University Astronomy | 3 |

LAS Perspective 2, 3 | 6 | |

Third Year |
||

PHYS-214 | Modern Physics II | 3 |

PHYS-315 | Experiments in Modern Physics | 3 |

PHYS-320 | Mathematical Methods in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-330 | Classical Mechanics | 4 |

PHYS-316 | Advanced Laboratory in Physics | 3 |

PHYS-411 | Electricity and Magnetism | 4 |

PHYS-374 | Introduction to Astrophysics | 1 |

Computational Physics Elective‡ | 3 | |

LAS Perspective 4 (social) | 3 | |

LAS Immersion 1, 2 | 6 | |

Fourth Year |
||

PHYS-414 | Quantum Mechanics | 3 |

PHYS-440 | Thermal and Statistical Physics | 3 |

ASTP-613 | Astronomical Observational Techniques and Instrumentation | 3 |

ASTP-601, 602 | Graduate Seminar I, II | 2 |

AST Graduate Courses | 6 | |

Choose one of the following: |
3 | |

ASTP-610 | Mathematical Methods for the Astrophysical Sciences | |

ASTP-611 | Statistical Methods for Astrophysics | |

LAS Immersion 3 | 3 | |

LAS Elective | 3 | |

Open Elective | 6 | |

Fifth Year |
||

ASTP-617 | Astrophysical Dynamics | 3 |

ASTP-615 | Radiative Processes for Astrophysical Sciences | 3 |

AST Graduate Courses | 6 | |

ASTP-790 | Research and Thesis | 6 |

Total Semester Credit Hours |
153 |

Please see General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

‡ Please see academic adviser for a list of computational physics electives.

§ Students will satisfy this requirement by taking a 4-credit hour lab science course. Students must take both the lecture and lab portions to satisfy the requirement. The lecture section alone will not fulfill the requirement.

## Admission requirements

### Freshman Admission

For all bachelor’s degree programs, a strong performance in a college preparatory program is expected. Generally, this includes 4 years of English, 3-4 years of mathematics, 2-3 years of science, and 3 years of social studies and/or history.

**Specific math and science requirements and other recommendations**

- 3 years of math required; pre-calculus recommended
- Chemistry or physics required

**SAT (EBRW+M)**

1240 -1420

**ACT Composite**

27-33

### Transfer Admission

**Transfer course recommendations without associate degree**

Courses in calculus or higher mathematics, college chemistry, calculus-based physics, and liberal arts

**Appropriate associate degree programs for transfer**

No common program available

### Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT converted its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

### Program overview

The BS degree in physics can be completed in either four or five years, depending on the number of cooperative education experiences a student chooses to complete. Graduates find employment opportunities with industrial, academic, and governmental agencies or continue their education in master’s or doctoral programs in physics or physics-related areas such as astrophysics, biophysics, geophysics, atmospheric science, imaging science, and engineering. Students also may prepare for entry into medical, law, or business school.

### Curriculum

#### Physics, BS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

Course | Qtr. Cr. Hrs. | |
---|---|---|

First Year |
||

1017-200 | Introduction to Special Relativity | 2 |

1017-311, 312 | University Physics I, II | 10 |

1016-281, 282, 283 | Project-Based Calculus I, II, III | 12 |

Choose one of the following course sequences: |
9 or 8 | |

1011- 215, 216, 1011-205, 206 | General and Analytical Chemistry I, II and Lab I, II | |

1001-251, 252 | Introduction to Biology I, II | |

1017-317 | Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming | 4 |

Liberal Arts* | 16 | |

1105-051, 052 | First-Year Enrichment | 2 |

Wellness Education† | 0 | |

Second Year |
||

1017-313 | University Physics III | 4 |

1017-314, 315 | Modern Physics I, II | 8 |

1017-431 | Electronic Measurements | 4 |

1017-374 | Experiments in Modern Physics I | 2 |

1017-318 | Vibrations and Waves | 4 |

1017-350 | Sophomore Physics Seminar | 1 |

1016-305 | Multivariable Calculus | 4 |

1016-306 | Differential Equations I | 4 |

University-wide Elective | 4 | |

Liberal Arts* | 12 | |

Third Year |
||

1017-401, 402 | Intermediate Mechanics I, II | 8 |

1017-411, 412 | Electricity and Magnetism I, II | 8 |

1017-415 | Thermal Physics | 4 |

1017-321 | Introduction to Laboratory Techniques | 4 |

1017-480 | Mathematical Methods in Physics I | 4 |

1017-378 | Experiments in Modern Physics II | 2 |

1017-400 | Capstone Preparation | 1 |

Liberal Arts* | 8 | |

University-wide Elective | 4 | |

General Education Elective‡ | 4 | |

Fourth Year |
||

1017-455 | Physical Optics I§ | 4 |

1017-502, 503 | Capstone Project I, II | 8 |

1017-522 | Quantum Mechanics I | 4 |

1017-523 | Quantum Mechanics II§ | 4 |

Physics Elective§ | 4 | |

University-wide Elective | 4 | |

General Education Electives‡ | 10 | |

Total Quarter Credit Hours |
186-187 |

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ General education elective is generally defined as any course from the College of Science (excluding physics) and the College of Liberal Arts; certain courses to be defined later. There are exceptions. Check with your academic adviser for approval.

§ Choose 3 of 4: Physics Optics, Quantum Mechanics II, 2 x Physics Electrics (400 level or above)