The master of science (MS) in physics provides flexible options that can be tailored to the specific career goals and disciplinary interests of students seeking graduate training in fundamental and/or applied areas of physics. The program is suitable as either a means to further career development or as preparation for further graduate study.

Nationally, graduates with an MS in physics are highly employable across all economic sectors, and can pursue a wide variety of exciting opportunities in the private sector, in government labs and agencies, and in university-level and secondary education. 

The program offers two options: 

● Research Option 
● Professional Option   

Both options comprise a minimum of 30 credit hours of study and provide a solid underpinning of advanced physics training. The research physics option aims to leverage acquired physics knowledge to advance the student's research training, and culminates in a master of science thesis. The professional physics option supplements advanced physics knowledge with “professional-skills” electives tailored to an individual's career goals. Full-time students can generally complete the research physics option in two academic years and the professional physics option in one-and-a-half years. 

Coursework in the program provides training in core areas of physics including electrodynamics, quantum mechanics, classical mechanics, and statistical physics, as well as in one or more sub-areas of physics corresponding to the student’s interests and career goals. The latter areas include:

  • Modern Optics
  • Biological Physics 
  • Quantum Optics 
  • Radiation 
  • Lasers
  • Scattering
  • Computational Physics
  • Spectroscopy 
  • Solid-state Physics 
  • Relativity 
  • Materials Physics
  • Gravitation
  • Device Physics
  • Nanoscale Physics
  • Soft Matter Physics

Professional skills electives in the professional physics option provide training in areas including:

  • Organization and Leadership 
  • Managing Research Teams
  • Promoting Innovation or Sustainable Technologies
  • Entrepreneurship and Intellectual Property 
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Data Science
  • Scientific Visualization
  • Electronics 
  • STEM Pedagogy and Education Research
  • Public Policy
  • Communication Skills

To view a complete list of the MS physics faculty, click here.

To view a more detailed list of courses for this program, click here.
Rochester Institute of Technology College of Science