Physics Bachelor of science degree

2e488de5-c484-46fc-ac42-4fa8a9780df1 | 85963

Overview

Dual Degree

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.


RIT’s BS physics degree gives you a solid foundation in experimental, computational, and theoretical physics, as it fosters your analytical and problem-solving skills. The curriculum emphasizes laboratory training as you explore the basic principles governing the structure and behavior of matter, the generation and transfer of energy, and the interactions between energy and matter. The hands-on experience you gain prepares you for graduate school or for direct entry into a professional career.

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.

he BS in physics at RIT is a four-year program with optional topics ranging from condensed matter to cosmology. An experiential learning component in the form of a capstone research project undertaken in the final year is a degree requirement. Students also participate in advanced laboratory work and have opportunities to participate in faculty-led research projects.

Course of Study

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.

Real World Experiences

Undergraduate research experiences are available with professors throughout the College of Science and are highly encouraged. These opportunities enable students to practice real-world lab application of the information they are studying. Cooperative Education is also highly recommended to gain experiences outside of RIT though not required for graduation. Academic Advisors and the Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education are available to assist in finding and scheduling co-ops.

Nature of Work

Some physicists use these principles in theoretical areas, such as the nature of time and the origin of the universe; others apply their physics knowledge to practical areas such as the development of advanced materials, electronic and optical devices, and medical equipment. They often design and perform science-based experiments, using sophisticated equipment, and then attempt to draw useful conclusions from their observations/analysis.

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook) 

Training/Qualifications

For jobs in basic research and development, a doctoral degree is usually required for physicists and astronomers. Those with bachelor’s degrees can work as technicians or research assistants in industrial environments including scientific labs, engineering, software development, and non-technical fields. Many with Ph.D.’s in physics and astronomy ultimately teach in higher education.

(Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H and American Institute of Physics Statistical Research Center) 

Advantages

Graduates find employment opportunities with industrial, academic, and governmental agencies or continue their education in masters 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.

What does amazing look like?

Attend one of our Open House events and you’ll get a pretty good idea.

Industries


  • Aerospace

  • Government (Local, State, Federal)

  • Scientific and Technical Consulting

  • Higher Education

  • Defense

  • Internet and Software

  • Research

  • Other Industries

Typical Job Titles

Engineer Engineer Consultant
Process Engineer Research Assistant
Software Engineer Structural Analysis Engineer
Teacher Warfare Systems Engineer

Featured Work

Latest News

Curriculum

Physics, BS degree, typical course sequence 

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following: 4
   CHMG-141
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences.
 
  CHMG-145
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry Lab I
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-101
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth.
 
  BIOL-103
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
 
Choose one of the following:
4
   CHMG-142
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics.
 
  CHMG-146
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry Lab II
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-102
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth's terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology.
 
  BIOL-104
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the material of General Biology II. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for experimenting with live organisms, and improve ability to make, record, and interpret observations.
 
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
PHYS-150
Introduction to Special Relativity
In this course students will learn aspects of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity including time dilation, length contraction, Lorentz transformations, velocity transformations, relativistic Doppler effect, issues with simultaneity, and relativistic expressions for energy and momentum.
3
PHYS-216
University Physics I: Physics Majors
This is a course in calculus-based physics for physics majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
LAS Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
MATH-231
Differential Equations
This course is an introduction to the study of ordinary differential equations and their applications. Topics include solutions to first order equations and linear second order equations, method of undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters, linear independence and the Wronskian, vibrating systems, and Laplace transforms.
3
PHYS-213
Modern Physics I
This course provides an introductory survey of elementary quantum physics, as well as basic relativistic dynamics. Topics include the photon, wave-particle duality, deBroglie waves, the Bohr model of the atom, the Schrodinger equation and wave mechanics, quantum description of the hydrogen atom, electron spin, and multi-electron atoms.
3
PHYS-217
University Physics II: Physics Majors
This course is a continuation of PHYS-216, University Physics I: Physics Majors. Topics include fluids, thermodynamics, electrostatics, Gauss’ law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, circuits, magnetic field, Ampere’s law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
PHYS-222
Electronic Measurements
This course covers the fundamentals of AC and DC circuit theory, electrical analysis of simple linear networks, operations of and circuits containing diodes and transistors, linear and non-linear operation of op-amps and their applications, and analysis of basic digital circuits. Laboratory classes reinforce lecture material and teach practical skills in use of basic test and measurement equipment.
3
PHYS-225
Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming
This course introduces methods for using computers to model the behavior of physical systems. Students will learn how computers represent numbers, limits of computation, how to write computer programs, and to use good programming practices. Students will also apply numerical methods of differentiation and integration, and numerical solutions to differential equations in physical situations.
3
PHYS-275
Sophomore Physics Seminar
This seminar will assist students in their preparation for the Physics Comprehensive Oral Exam (CORE) required at the end of the course by presenting a unified as opposed to topical approach to physics. Physics majors must pass this course before going on to 300-level Physics courses.
1
PHYS-283
Vibrations and Waves
This course is an introduction to the physics of vibrations and waves, beginning with the simple harmonic oscillator, the foundation to understanding oscillatory and vibratory systems. The course will include driven and damped single oscillators, coupled discrete oscillators, and continuous vibrating systems. Connections will be made with many areas of physics that involve oscillation, including mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
Third Year
PHYS-214
Modern Physics II
This course is a continuation of a survey of modern physics beyond the topics introduced in Modern Physics I. Central topics include the physics of multi-electron atoms, molecular structure, fundamentals of statistical physics applied to systems of particles, elementary solid-state physics, applications to semiconductor materials and simple devices, and basic elements of nuclear physics.
3
PHYS-315
Experiments in Modern Physics
In this course, students perform experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. These include investigations of wave particle duality, and the earliest of quantum mechanical models as well as measurements of fundamental constants. Experiments typically include electron diffraction, the photoelectric effect, optical diffraction and interference, atomic spectroscopy, charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, and blackbody radiation. This class teaches basic instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-316
Advanced Laboratory in Physics
In this course, students perform advanced experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. Experiments typically explore properties of materials, semiconductors, atomic physics, and nuclear decay. This class continues the instruction in instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis that began in Experiments in Modern Physics, PHYS-315. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-320
Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course serves as an introduction to the mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include matrix algebra, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations in rectangular coordinates, and an introduction to series solutions of ordinary differential equations.
3
PHYS-330
Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of Newtonian kinematics and dynamics including equations of motion in one- and three-dimensions, conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, central forces, Lagrangian mechanics, and rigid body motion. This course will use advanced mathematical techniques including differential equations, vector calculus, and matrix and tensor formulations.
4
PHYS-411
Electricity and Magnetism
This course is a systematic treatment of electrostatics and magnetostatics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Mathematical formalism using differential and integral vector calculus is developed. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Special techniques for solution to Laplace's equation as a boundary value problem are covered. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, and the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, are discussed.
4
PHYS-450
Capstone Preparation
This course is a preparation for the two-semester physics capstone project to be carried out in the following year. It includes selection of a project and faculty mentor, preparation of a feasibility study, preparation of a paper, and a public oral presentation.
1
 
Computational Physics Elective†
3
 
LAS Immersion 1, 2
6
 
Wellness Education*
0
Fourth Year
PHYS-414
Quantum Mechanics
This course is a study of the concepts and mathematical structure of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Topics for the course include wave functions and the Schrodinger equation, solutions to the one-dimensional and three-dimensional time-independent Schrodinger equation, stationary states and their superposition to produce time-dependent states, quantum-mechanical operators, commutators, and uncertainty principles, solutions to general central potential problems and the hydrogen atom, and the quantum theory of angular momentum.
3
PHYS-440
Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is an introduction to the principles of classical thermodynamics and its statistical basis, including: equations of state, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, microscopic basis of entropy, temperature and thermal equilibrium, thermodynamic potentials, applications of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, and Boltzmann and quantum statistics.
3
PHYS-451
Capstone Project I
In collaboration with faculty mentor(s), students will carry out the first phase of an experimental, theoretical, or computational physics research project, will prepare an interim paper, and will present a short talk on their progress to physics faculty and students. The projects are those planned during the capstone preparatory course taken during the prior Spring semester.
3
PHYS-452
Capstone Project II (WI)
In collaboration with faculty mentor(s), students will carry out the final phase of an experimental, theoretical, or computational physics research project, will prepare a written paper and present an oral report on their progress to physics faculty and students. The projects are those planned during the capstone preparatory course taken during the prior Spring semester and commenced during the prior Fall semester.
3
 
Physics Electives†
6
 
Free 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 must complete one course from List A, one course from List B, and one course from List C.

Physics Electives: List A

Course
PHYS-360
Introduction to Chaotic Dynamics
This course introduces basic tools for visualizing the behavior of nonlinear systems. In particular, the students are required to use the computer as an exploratory tool for generating and observing transitions between periodic behavior and chaotic behavior. Most of the course focuses on the driven, damped pendulum as a model dynamical system, but the ideas are readily extended to other systems as well.
PHYS-365
Physical Optics
In this course light waves having both amplitude and phase will be described to provide a foundation for understanding key optical phenomena such as interference, diffraction, and propagation. Starting from Maxwell's equations the course advances to the topic of Fourier optics.
PHYS-373
Observational Astronomy
This course provides a practical, hands-on introduction to optical astronomy. Students will use the RIT Observatory's telescopes and CCD cameras to take images of celestial objects, reduce the data, and analyze the results. The course will emphasize the details of image processing required to remove instrumental effects from CCD images.
PHYS-377
Advanced Computational Physics
This course introduces students to advanced methods for using computers to model the behavior of physical systems. Topics will include numerical solutions to differential equations such as heat transfer, planetary motion, and shock waves, the Monte Carlo approach to problems with large domains, tradeoffs between efficiency and precision, minimization and maximization of functions, and the statistical modeling of data.
PHYS-667
Quantum Optics
This course explores the fundamental nature of electromagnetic radiation. This course will introduce the student to the second quantized description of light with special attention to its role in a modern understanding of and far reaching utility in emerging technologies. Starting with an appropriate formulation for the quantum mechanical electromagnetic radiation field, we will study quantum mechanical models for interactions with matter, and we will test these models through a series of experiments.

 

Physics Electives: List B

Course
PHYS-321
Advanced Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course is a continuation of PHYS-320, serving to introduce additional mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include special functions, series solutions to ordinary differential equations, solutions to partial differential equations in curvilinear coordinate systems, matrix techniques, and the calculus of variations.
PHYS-370
Stellar Astrophysics
This course presents concepts of stars and stellar systems at an intermediate level. Topics include the observed characteristics of stars, stellar atmospheres, stellar structure and evolution, interaction of stars with the interstellar medium, and the populations of stars within the Milky Way Galaxy.
PHYS-371
Galactic Astrophysics
This course describes the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way galaxy. It provides an overview of the major constituents of the Milky Way, their interactions, and the methods by which astronomers study them.
PHYS-372
Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology
This course provides a survey of the structure of the universe on the largest scales, including galaxies and clusters of galaxies. The course also provides an overview of the history of the universe from the Big Bang to the current day, and describes the observational evidence for our current values of the cosmological parameters.
PHYS-408
Laser Physics
This course covers the semi-classical theory of the operation of a laser, characteristics and practical aspects of various laser systems, and some applications of lasers in scientific research.
PHYS-412
Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
This course is an advanced treatment of electrodynamics including propagating waves, electromagnetic radiation, and relativistic electrodynamics. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, guided electromagnetic waves, and simple radiating systems will be covered. Relativistic electrodynamics will be introduced including field tensors and four vector notation.
PHYS-415
Advanced Quantum Mechanics
This course is a continued study of the concepts and mathematical structure of quantum mechanics presented in Quantum Mechanics (PHYS-414), with an emphasis on applications to real physical systems. Topics covered include the quantum theory of spin, effect of magnetic fields on spin-1/2 particles, many-particle systems, variational principle, time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, absorption and emission of radiation by atoms, quantum theory of scattering, and interpretations and paradoxes of quantum mechanics.
PHYS-424
Nuclear Physics
This course is a study of the properties and structure of the atomic nucleus as determined by experiments and theory. Topics for the course include a description and quantum-mechanical treatment of radioactive decay, nuclear reactions, basic aspects of nuclear radiation detection, and selected applications of nuclear physics.
PHYS-441
Advanced Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is a continued study of the concepts and mathematical structure of statistical physics presented in Thermal and Statistical Physics (PHYS-440). Topics covered include ensembles in statistical physics, weakly interacting gases, the Ising model of a ferromagnet, monatomic liquids, kinetic theory of transport processes, path integral and Boltzmann equation formulations of transport theory.
PHYS-532
Solid State Physics
This course is an introduction to the physics of the solid state including crystal structure, x-ray diffraction by crystals, crystal binding, elastic waves and lattice vibrations, thermal properties, the free electron model of solids, and band theory and its applications.

 

Physics Electives: List C

Course
PHYS-321
Advanced Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course is a continuation of PHYS-320, serving to introduce additional mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include special functions, series solutions to ordinary differential equations, solutions to partial differential equations in curvilinear coordinate systems, matrix techniques, and the calculus of variations.
PHYS-360
Introduction to Chaotic Dynamics
This course introduces basic tools for visualizing the behavior of nonlinear systems. In particular, the students are required to use the computer as an exploratory tool for generating and observing transitions between periodic behavior and chaotic behavior. Most of the course focuses on the driven, damped pendulum as a model dynamical system, but the ideas are readily extended to other systems as well.
PHYS-365
Physical Optics
In this course light waves having both amplitude and phase will be described to provide a foundation for understanding key optical phenomena such as interference, diffraction, and propagation. Starting from Maxwell's equations the course advances to the topic of Fourier optics.
PHYS-370
Stellar Astrophysics
This course presents concepts of stars and stellar systems at an intermediate level. Topics include the observed characteristics of stars, stellar atmospheres, stellar structure and evolution, interaction of stars with the interstellar medium, and the populations of stars within the Milky Way Galaxy.
PHYS-371
Galactic Astrophysics
This course describes the structure and dynamics of the Milky Way galaxy. It provides an overview of the major constituents of the Milky Way, their interactions, and the methods by which astronomers study them.
PHYS-372
Extragalactic Astrophysics and Cosmology
This course provides a survey of the structure of the universe on the largest scales, including galaxies and clusters of galaxies. The course also provides an overview of the history of the universe from the Big Bang to the current day, and describes the observational evidence for our current values of the cosmological parameters.
PHYS-373
Observational Astronomy
This course provides a practical, hands-on introduction to optical astronomy. Students will use the RIT Observatory's telescopes and CCD cameras to take images of celestial objects, reduce the data, and analyze the results. The course will emphasize the details of image processing required to remove instrumental effects from CCD images.
PHYS-377
Advanced Computational Physics
This course introduces students to advanced methods for using computers to model the behavior of physical systems. Topics will include numerical solutions to differential equations such as heat transfer, planetary motion, and shock waves, the Monte Carlo approach to problems with large domains, tradeoffs between efficiency and precision, minimization and maximization of functions, and the statistical modeling of data.
PHYS-408
Laser Physics
This course covers the semi-classical theory of the operation of a laser, characteristics and practical aspects of various laser systems, and some applications of lasers in scientific research.
PHYS-412
Advanced Electricity and Magnetism
This course is an advanced treatment of electrodynamics including propagating waves, electromagnetic radiation, and relativistic electrodynamics. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, guided electromagnetic waves, and simple radiating systems will be covered. Relativistic electrodynamics will be introduced including field tensors and four vector notation.
PHYS-415
Advanced Quantum Mechanics
This course is a continued study of the concepts and mathematical structure of quantum mechanics presented in Quantum Mechanics (PHYS-414), with an emphasis on applications to real physical systems. Topics covered include the quantum theory of spin, effect of magnetic fields on spin-1/2 particles, many-particle systems, variational principle, time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, absorption and emission of radiation by atoms, quantum theory of scattering, and interpretations and paradoxes of quantum mechanics.
PHYS-424
Nuclear Physics
This course is a study of the properties and structure of the atomic nucleus as determined by experiments and theory. Topics for the course include a description and quantum-mechanical treatment of radioactive decay, nuclear reactions, basic aspects of nuclear radiation detection, and selected applications of nuclear physics.
PHYS-441
Advanced Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is a continued study of the concepts and mathematical structure of statistical physics presented in Thermal and Statistical Physics (PHYS-440). Topics covered include ensembles in statistical physics, weakly interacting gases, the Ising model of a ferromagnet, monatomic liquids, kinetic theory of transport processes, path integral and Boltzmann equation formulations of transport theory.
PHYS-532
Solid State Physics
This course is an introduction to the physics of the solid state including crystal structure, x-ray diffraction by crystals, crystal binding, elastic waves and lattice vibrations, thermal properties, the free electron model of solids, and band theory and its applications.
PHYS-667
Quantum Optics
This course explores the fundamental nature of electromagnetic radiation. This course will introduce the student to the second quantized description of light with special attention to its role in a modern understanding of and far reaching utility in emerging technologies. Starting with an appropriate formulation for the quantum mechanical electromagnetic radiation field, we will study quantum mechanical models for interactions with matter, and we will test these models through a series of experiments.

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 (research option), typical course sequence 

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following:
4
   CHMG-141
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences.
 
  CHMG-145
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-101
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I†
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth.
 
   BIOL-103
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
 
Choose one of the following:
4
   CHMG-142
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics.
 
   CHMG-146
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-102
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth's terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology.
 
   BIOL-104
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the material of General Biology II. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for experimenting with live organisms, and improve ability to make, record, and interpret observations.
 
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
PHYS-150
Introduction to Special Relativity
In this course students will learn aspects of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity including time dilation, length contraction, Lorentz transformations, velocity transformations, relativistic Doppler effect, issues with simultaneity, and relativistic expressions for energy and momentum.
3
PHYS-216
University Physics I: Physics Majors
This is a course in calculus-based physics for physics majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
LAS Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
PHYS-213
Modern Physics I
This course provides an introductory survey of elementary quantum physics, as well as basic relativistic dynamics. Topics include the photon, wave-particle duality, deBroglie waves, the Bohr model of the atom, the Schrodinger equation and wave mechanics, quantum description of the hydrogen atom, electron spin, and multi-electron atoms.
3
PHYS-217
University Physics II: Physics Majors
This course is a continuation of PHYS-216, University Physics I: Physics Majors. Topics include fluids, thermodynamics, electrostatics, Gauss’ law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, circuits, magnetic field, Ampere’s law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
PHYS-222
Electronic Measurements
This course covers the fundamentals of AC and DC circuit theory, electrical analysis of simple linear networks, operations of and circuits containing diodes and transistors, linear and non-linear operation of op-amps and their applications, and analysis of basic digital circuits. Laboratory classes reinforce lecture material and teach practical skills in use of basic test and measurement equipment.
3
PHYS-225
Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming
This course introduces methods for using computers to model the behavior of physical systems. Students will learn how computers represent numbers, limits of computation, how to write computer programs, and to use good programming practices. Students will also apply numerical methods of differentiation and integration, and numerical solutions to differential equations in physical situations.
3
MATH-231
Differential Equations
This course is an introduction to the study of ordinary differential equations and their applications. Topics include solutions to first order equations and linear second order equations, method of undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters, linear independence and the Wronskian, vibrating systems, and Laplace transforms.
3
PHYS-275
Sophomore Physics Seminar
This seminar will assist students in their preparation for the Physics Comprehensive Oral Exam (CORE) required at the end of the course by presenting a unified as opposed to topical approach to physics. Physics majors must pass this course before going on to 300-level Physics courses.
1
PHYS-283
Vibrations and Waves
This course is an introduction to the physics of vibrations and waves, beginning with the simple harmonic oscillator, the foundation to understanding oscillatory and vibratory systems. The course will include driven and damped single oscillators, coupled discrete oscillators, and continuous vibrating systems. Connections will be made with many areas of physics that involve oscillation, including mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
Third Year
PHYS-214
Modern Physics II
This course is a continuation of a survey of modern physics beyond the topics introduced in Modern Physics I. Central topics include the physics of multi-electron atoms, molecular structure, fundamentals of statistical physics applied to systems of particles, elementary solid-state physics, applications to semiconductor materials and simple devices, and basic elements of nuclear physics.
3
PHYS-315
Experiments in Modern Physics
In this course, students perform experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. These include investigations of wave particle duality, and the earliest of quantum mechanical models as well as measurements of fundamental constants. Experiments typically include electron diffraction, the photoelectric effect, optical diffraction and interference, atomic spectroscopy, charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, and blackbody radiation. This class teaches basic instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-316
Advanced Laboratory in Physics
In this course, students perform advanced experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. Experiments typically explore properties of materials, semiconductors, atomic physics, and nuclear decay. This class continues the instruction in instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis that began in Experiments in Modern Physics, PHYS-315. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-320
Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course serves as an introduction to the mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include matrix algebra, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations in rectangular coordinates, and an introduction to series solutions of ordinary differential equations.
3
PHYS-330
Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of Newtonian kinematics and dynamics including equations of motion in one- and three-dimensions, conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, central forces, Lagrangian mechanics, and rigid body motion. This course will use advanced mathematical techniques including differential equations, vector calculus, and matrix and tensor formulations.
4
PHYS-411
Electricity and Magnetism
This course is a systematic treatment of electrostatics and magnetostatics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Mathematical formalism using differential and integral vector calculus is developed. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Special techniques for solution to Laplace's equation as a boundary value problem are covered. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, and the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, are discussed.
4
 
Physics Elective
3
 
Computational Physics Elective
3
 
LAS Immersion 1, 2
6
 
Wellness Education*
0
Fourth Year
PHYS-414
Quantum Mechanics
This course is a study of the concepts and mathematical structure of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Topics for the course include wave functions and the Schrodinger equation, solutions to the one-dimensional and three-dimensional time-independent Schrodinger equation, stationary states and their superposition to produce time-dependent states, quantum-mechanical operators, commutators, and uncertainty principles, solutions to general central potential problems and the hydrogen atom, and the quantum theory of angular momentum.
3
PHYS-440
Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is an introduction to the principles of classical thermodynamics and its statistical basis, including: equations of state, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, microscopic basis of entropy, temperature and thermal equilibrium, thermodynamic potentials, applications of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, and Boltzmann and quantum statistics.
3
PHYS-601
Graduate Physics Seminar I
This course is the first in a two-semester sequence intended to familiarize students with research activities, practices, and ethics in university, government, industry, and other professional research environments and to introduce students to research tools and skill sets important in various professional environments. As part of the course, students are expected to attend research seminars sponsored by the School of Physics and Astronomy and participate in regular journal club offerings. The course also provides training in scientific writing and presentation skills. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements.
1
PHYS-602
Graduate Physics Seminar II
This course is the second in a two-semester sequence intended to familiarize students with research activities, practices, ethics in university, government, industry, and other professional research environments and to introduce students to research tools and skill sets important in various professional environments. The course is intended to help students develop a broad awareness of current professional and funding opportunities. As part of the course, students are expected to attend research seminars sponsored by the School of Physics and Astronomy, to participate in regular journal club offerings, to engage in outreach activities, and to participate in visits to regional laboratories and companies. The course provides training in proposal writing and presentation skills. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements.
1
Choose one of the following‡:
3
  PHYS-610
   Mathematical Methods for Physics
This graduate-level course in mathematical physics covers partial differential equations, Bessel, Legendre and related functions, Fourier series and transforms.
 
  PHYS-611
   Classical Electrodynamics I
This course is a systematic treatment of electro- and magneto-statics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, guided electromagnetic waves, and simple radiating systems will be covered.
 
  PHYS-614
   Quantum Theory
This course is a graduate level introduction to the modern formulation of quantum mechanics. Topics include Hilbert space, Dirac notation, quantum dynamics, Feynman’s formulation, representation theory, angular momentum, identical particles, approximation methods including perturbation theory, mixed states and density operators. The course will emphasize the underlying algebraic structure of the theory with an emphasis on current applications. Additional topics may include such topics as scattering theory, the Dirac equation, quantum fields, and atom-photon interactions.
 
Choose one of the following:
3
  PHYS-630
   Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of advanced topics in Newtonian kinematics and dynamics. Topics include Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of dynamics, central force problems, rigid body kinematics and dynamics, theory of small oscillations, canonical transformations, and Hamilton-Jacobi theory.
 
  PHYS-640
   Statistical Physics
This course is a graduate-level study of the concepts and mathematical structure of statistical physics. Topics include the microcanonical, canonical, and grand-canonical ensembles and their relationships to thermodynamics, including classical, Fermi, and Bose-Einstein statistics. The course includes illustrations and applications from the theories of phase transitions, solids, liquids, gases, radiation, soft condensed matter, and chemical and electrochemical equilibria. The course also treats non-equilibrium topics including the kinetic theory of transport processes, the theory of Brownian motion, and the fluctuation-dissipation theorem.
 
Choose one of the following:
3
  PHYS-790
   Graduate Research & Thesis
Graduate-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
 
 
   Approved MS Physics Elective
 
 
Free Electives
6
 
LAS Immersion 3
3
 
LAS Elective
3
Fifth Year
Choose two of the following‡:
6
  PHYS-610
   Mathematical Methods for Physics
This graduate-level course in mathematical physics covers partial differential equations, Bessel, Legendre and related functions, Fourier series and transforms.
 
  PHYS-611
   Classical Electrodynamics I
This course is a systematic treatment of electro- and magneto-statics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, guided electromagnetic waves, and simple radiating systems will be covered.
 
  PHYS-614
   Quantum Theory
This course is a graduate level introduction to the modern formulation of quantum mechanics. Topics include Hilbert space, Dirac notation, quantum dynamics, Feynman’s formulation, representation theory, angular momentum, identical particles, approximation methods including perturbation theory, mixed states and density operators. The course will emphasize the underlying algebraic structure of the theory with an emphasis on current applications. Additional topics may include such topics as scattering theory, the Dirac equation, quantum fields, and atom-photon interactions.
 
PHYS-790
Graduate Research & Thesis
Graduate-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
7
 
MS Physics Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
144

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.

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

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 (professional option), typical course sequence 

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
Choose one of the following:
4
   CHMG-141
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences.
 
   CHMG-145
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-101
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth.
 
   BIOL-103
 LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
 
Choose one of the following:
4
   CHMG-142
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics.
 
   CHMG-146
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-102
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth's terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology.
 
   BIOL-104
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the material of General Biology II. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for experimenting with live organisms, and improve ability to make, record, and interpret observations.
 
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
PHYS-150
Introduction to Special Relativity
In this course students will learn aspects of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity including time dilation, length contraction, Lorentz transformations, velocity transformations, relativistic Doppler effect, issues with simultaneity, and relativistic expressions for energy and momentum.
3
PHYS-216
University Physics I: Physics Majors
This is a course in calculus-based physics for physics majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
LAS Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
PHYS-213
Modern Physics I
This course provides an introductory survey of elementary quantum physics, as well as basic relativistic dynamics. Topics include the photon, wave-particle duality, deBroglie waves, the Bohr model of the atom, the Schrodinger equation and wave mechanics, quantum description of the hydrogen atom, electron spin, and multi-electron atoms.
3
PHYS-217
University Physics II: Physics Majors
This course is a continuation of PHYS-216, University Physics I: Physics Majors. Topics include fluids, thermodynamics, electrostatics, Gauss’ law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, circuits, magnetic field, Ampere’s law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
PHYS-222
Electronic Measurements
This course covers the fundamentals of AC and DC circuit theory, electrical analysis of simple linear networks, operations of and circuits containing diodes and transistors, linear and non-linear operation of op-amps and their applications, and analysis of basic digital circuits. Laboratory classes reinforce lecture material and teach practical skills in use of basic test and measurement equipment.
3
PHYS-225
Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming
This course introduces methods for using computers to model the behavior of physical systems. Students will learn how computers represent numbers, limits of computation, how to write computer programs, and to use good programming practices. Students will also apply numerical methods of differentiation and integration, and numerical solutions to differential equations in physical situations.
3
MATH-231
Differential Equations
This course is an introduction to the study of ordinary differential equations and their applications. Topics include solutions to first order equations and linear second order equations, method of undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters, linear independence and the Wronskian, vibrating systems, and Laplace transforms.
3
PHYS-275
Sophomore Physics Seminar
This seminar will assist students in their preparation for the Physics Comprehensive Oral Exam (CORE) required at the end of the course by presenting a unified as opposed to topical approach to physics. Physics majors must pass this course before going on to 300-level Physics courses.
1
PHYS-283
Vibrations and Waves
This course is an introduction to the physics of vibrations and waves, beginning with the simple harmonic oscillator, the foundation to understanding oscillatory and vibratory systems. The course will include driven and damped single oscillators, coupled discrete oscillators, and continuous vibrating systems. Connections will be made with many areas of physics that involve oscillation, including mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
Third Year
PHYS-214
Modern Physics II
This course is a continuation of a survey of modern physics beyond the topics introduced in Modern Physics I. Central topics include the physics of multi-electron atoms, molecular structure, fundamentals of statistical physics applied to systems of particles, elementary solid-state physics, applications to semiconductor materials and simple devices, and basic elements of nuclear physics.
3
PHYS-315
Experiments in Modern Physics
In this course, students perform experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. These include investigations of wave particle duality, and the earliest of quantum mechanical models as well as measurements of fundamental constants. Experiments typically include electron diffraction, the photoelectric effect, optical diffraction and interference, atomic spectroscopy, charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, and blackbody radiation. This class teaches basic instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-316
Advanced Laboratory in Physics
In this course, students perform advanced experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. Experiments typically explore properties of materials, semiconductors, atomic physics, and nuclear decay. This class continues the instruction in instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis that began in Experiments in Modern Physics, PHYS-315. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-320
Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course serves as an introduction to the mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include matrix algebra, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations in rectangular coordinates, and an introduction to series solutions of ordinary differential equations.
3
PHYS-330
Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of Newtonian kinematics and dynamics including equations of motion in one- and three-dimensions, conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, central forces, Lagrangian mechanics, and rigid body motion. This course will use advanced mathematical techniques including differential equations, vector calculus, and matrix and tensor formulations.
4
PHYS-411
Electricity and Magnetism
This course is a systematic treatment of electrostatics and magnetostatics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Mathematical formalism using differential and integral vector calculus is developed. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Special techniques for solution to Laplace's equation as a boundary value problem are covered. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, and the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, are discussed.
4
PHYS-450
Capstone Preparation
This course is a preparation for the two-semester physics capstone project to be carried out in the following year. It includes selection of a project and faculty mentor, preparation of a feasibility study, preparation of a paper, and a public oral presentation.
1
 
LAS Immersion 1, 2, 3
9
 
LAS Elective
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Fourth Year
PHYS-414
Quantum Mechanics
This course is a study of the concepts and mathematical structure of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Topics for the course include wave functions and the Schrodinger equation, solutions to the one-dimensional and three-dimensional time-independent Schrodinger equation, stationary states and their superposition to produce time-dependent states, quantum-mechanical operators, commutators, and uncertainty principles, solutions to general central potential problems and the hydrogen atom, and the quantum theory of angular momentum.
3
PHYS-440
Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is an introduction to the principles of classical thermodynamics and its statistical basis, including: equations of state, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, microscopic basis of entropy, temperature and thermal equilibrium, thermodynamic potentials, applications of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, and Boltzmann and quantum statistics.
3
PHYS-451
Capstone Project I
In collaboration with faculty mentor(s), students will carry out the first phase of an experimental, theoretical, or computational physics research project, will prepare an interim paper, and will present a short talk on their progress to physics faculty and students. The projects are those planned during the capstone preparatory course taken during the prior Spring semester.
3
PHYS-452
Capstone Project II (WI)
In collaboration with faculty mentor(s), students will carry out the final phase of an experimental, theoretical, or computational physics research project, will prepare a written paper and present an oral report on their progress to physics faculty and students. The projects are those planned during the capstone preparatory course taken during the prior Spring semester and commenced during the prior Fall semester.
3
PHYS-601
Graduate Physics Seminar I
This course is the first in a two-semester sequence intended to familiarize students with research activities, practices, and ethics in university, government, industry, and other professional research environments and to introduce students to research tools and skill sets important in various professional environments. As part of the course, students are expected to attend research seminars sponsored by the School of Physics and Astronomy and participate in regular journal club offerings. The course also provides training in scientific writing and presentation skills. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements.
1
PHYS-602
Graduate Physics Seminar II
This course is the second in a two-semester sequence intended to familiarize students with research activities, practices, ethics in university, government, industry, and other professional research environments and to introduce students to research tools and skill sets important in various professional environments. The course is intended to help students develop a broad awareness of current professional and funding opportunities. As part of the course, students are expected to attend research seminars sponsored by the School of Physics and Astronomy, to participate in regular journal club offerings, to engage in outreach activities, and to participate in visits to regional laboratories and companies. The course provides training in proposal writing and presentation skills. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements.
1
Choose one of the following:
3
  PHYS-610
   Mathematical Methods for Physics
This graduate-level course in mathematical physics covers partial differential equations, Bessel, Legendre and related functions, Fourier series and transforms.
 
  PHYS-611
   Classical Electrodynamics I
This course is a systematic treatment of electro- and magneto-statics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, guided electromagnetic waves, and simple radiating systems will be covered.
 
  PHYS-614
   Quantum Theory
This course is a graduate level introduction to the modern formulation of quantum mechanics. Topics include Hilbert space, Dirac notation, quantum dynamics, Feynman’s formulation, representation theory, angular momentum, identical particles, approximation methods including perturbation theory, mixed states and density operators. The course will emphasize the underlying algebraic structure of the theory with an emphasis on current applications. Additional topics may include such topics as scattering theory, the Dirac equation, quantum fields, and atom-photon interactions.
 
Choose one of the following:
3
  PHYS-630
   Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of advanced topics in Newtonian kinematics and dynamics. Topics include Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formulations of dynamics, central force problems, rigid body kinematics and dynamics, theory of small oscillations, canonical transformations, and Hamilton-Jacobi theory.
 
  PHYS-640
   Statistical Physics
This course is a graduate-level study of the concepts and mathematical structure of statistical physics. Topics include the microcanonical, canonical, and grand-canonical ensembles and their relationships to thermodynamics, including classical, Fermi, and Bose-Einstein statistics. The course includes illustrations and applications from the theories of phase transitions, solids, liquids, gases, radiation, soft condensed matter, and chemical and electrochemical equilibria. The course also treats non-equilibrium topics including the kinetic theory of transport processes, the theory of Brownian motion, and the fluctuation-dissipation theorem.
 
 
MS Physics Elective
3
 
Free Electives
6
Fifth Year
Choose one of the following:
3
  PHYS-610
   Mathematical Methods for Physics
This graduate-level course in mathematical physics covers partial differential equations, Bessel, Legendre and related functions, Fourier series and transforms.
 
  PHYS-611
   Classical Electrodynamics I
This course is a systematic treatment of electro- and magneto-statics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, guided electromagnetic waves, and simple radiating systems will be covered.
 
  PHYS-614
   Quantum Theory
This course is a graduate level introduction to the modern formulation of quantum mechanics. Topics include Hilbert space, Dirac notation, quantum dynamics, Feynman’s formulation, representation theory, angular momentum, identical particles, approximation methods including perturbation theory, mixed states and density operators. The course will emphasize the underlying algebraic structure of the theory with an emphasis on current applications. Additional topics may include such topics as scattering theory, the Dirac equation, quantum fields, and atom-photon interactions.
 
PHYS-780
Graduate Physics Project
This course is a graduate capstone project for students enrolled in the Professional Master’s track of the MS Physics Program.
4
 
MS Physics Electives
12
Total Semester Credit Hours
144

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.

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 & Analytical Chemistry I§
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences.
 
  CHMG-142
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II§
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics.
 
  CHMG-145
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab§
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions.
 
  CHMG-146
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II Lab§
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-101
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth.
 
  BIOL-102
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth's terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology.
 
  BIOL-103
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab§
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
 
  BIOL-104
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II Lab§
This course provides laboratory work to complement the material of General Biology II. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for experimenting with live organisms, and improve ability to make, record, and interpret observations.
 
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
PHYS-150
Introduction to Special Relativity
In this course students will learn aspects of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity including time dilation, length contraction, Lorentz transformations, velocity transformations, relativistic Doppler effect, issues with simultaneity, and relativistic expressions for energy and momentum.
3
PHYS-216
University Physics I: Physics Majors
This is a course in calculus-based physics for physics majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
LAS Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
MATH-231
Differential Equations
This course is an introduction to the study of ordinary differential equations and their applications. Topics include solutions to first order equations and linear second order equations, method of undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters, linear independence and the Wronskian, vibrating systems, and Laplace transforms.
3
PHYS-213
Modern Physics I
This course provides an introductory survey of elementary quantum physics, as well as basic relativistic dynamics. Topics include the photon, wave-particle duality, deBroglie waves, the Bohr model of the atom, the Schrodinger equation and wave mechanics, quantum description of the hydrogen atom, electron spin, and multi-electron atoms.
3
PHYS-217
University Physics II: Physics Majors
This course is a continuation of PHYS-216, University Physics I: Physics Majors. Topics include fluids, thermodynamics, electrostatics, Gauss’ law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, circuits, magnetic field, Ampere’s law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
PHYS-222
Electronic Measurements
This course covers the fundamentals of AC and DC circuit theory, electrical analysis of simple linear networks, operations of and circuits containing diodes and transistors, linear and non-linear operation of op-amps and their applications, and analysis of basic digital circuits. Laboratory classes reinforce lecture material and teach practical skills in use of basic test and measurement equipment.
3
PHYS-225
Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming
This course introduces methods for using computers to model the behavior of physical systems. Students will learn how computers represent numbers, limits of computation, how to write computer programs, and to use good programming practices. Students will also apply numerical methods of differentiation and integration, and numerical solutions to differential equations in physical situations.
3
PHYS-275
Sophomore Physics Seminar
This seminar will assist students in their preparation for the Physics Comprehensive Oral Exam (CORE) required at the end of the course by presenting a unified as opposed to topical approach to physics. Physics majors must pass this course before going on to 300-level Physics courses.
1
PHYS-283
Vibrations and Waves
This course is an introduction to the physics of vibrations and waves, beginning with the simple harmonic oscillator, the foundation to understanding oscillatory and vibratory systems. The course will include driven and damped single oscillators, coupled discrete oscillators, and continuous vibrating systems. Connections will be made with many areas of physics that involve oscillation, including mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
Third Year
MTSE-702
Polymer Science
This course is an introduction to the chemistry and physics of synthetic polymers, which include plastics, elastomers and fibers. The synthesis of polymers, their fundamental properties, and the relations between their syntheses, structure, and properties will be studied. Among the topics discussed are the morphology, thermal behavior, solubility, viscoelasticity and characterization of polymers. Copolymerization, tacticity and sustainability of polymers will also be covered.
3
PHYS-214
Modern Physics II
This course is a continuation of a survey of modern physics beyond the topics introduced in Modern Physics I. Central topics include the physics of multi-electron atoms, molecular structure, fundamentals of statistical physics applied to systems of particles, elementary solid-state physics, applications to semiconductor materials and simple devices, and basic elements of nuclear physics.
3
PHYS-315
Experiments in Modern Physics
In this course, students perform experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. These include investigations of wave particle duality, and the earliest of quantum mechanical models as well as measurements of fundamental constants. Experiments typically include electron diffraction, the photoelectric effect, optical diffraction and interference, atomic spectroscopy, charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, and blackbody radiation. This class teaches basic instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-316
Advanced Laboratory in Physics
In this course, students perform advanced experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. Experiments typically explore properties of materials, semiconductors, atomic physics, and nuclear decay. This class continues the instruction in instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis that began in Experiments in Modern Physics, PHYS-315. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-320
Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course serves as an introduction to the mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include matrix algebra, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations in rectangular coordinates, and an introduction to series solutions of ordinary differential equations.
3
PHYS-330
Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of Newtonian kinematics and dynamics including equations of motion in one- and three-dimensions, conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, central forces, Lagrangian mechanics, and rigid body motion. This course will use advanced mathematical techniques including differential equations, vector calculus, and matrix and tensor formulations.
4
PHYS-411
Electricity and Magnetism
This course is a systematic treatment of electrostatics and magnetostatics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Mathematical formalism using differential and integral vector calculus is developed. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Special techniques for solution to Laplace's equation as a boundary value problem are covered. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, and the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, are discussed.
4
 
Physics Elective‡
3
 
LAS Immersion 1, 2
6
Fourth Year
MTSE-601
Materials Science
This course provides an understanding of the relationship between structure and properties necessary for the development of new materials. Topics include atomic and crystal structure, crystalline defects, diffusion, theories, strengthening mechanisms, ferrous alloys, cast irons, structure of ceramics and polymeric materials and corrosion principles. Term paper on materials topic.
3
MTSE-617
Material Degradation
This course introduces the basic electrochemical nature of corrosion and considers the various factors that influence the rate of corrosion in a variety of environments. Various means of controlling corrosion are considered with demonstrations.
3
MTSE-632
Solid State Science
This course is an introduction to the physics of the solid state including crystal structure, x-ray diffraction by crystals, crystal binding, elastic waves and lattice vibrations, thermal properties, the free electron model of solids, and band theory and its applications.
3
MTSE-790
Research & Thesis
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
3
PHYS-414
Quantum Mechanics
This course is a study of the concepts and mathematical structure of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Topics for the course include wave functions and the Schrodinger equation, solutions to the one-dimensional and three-dimensional time-independent Schrodinger equation, stationary states and their superposition to produce time-dependent states, quantum-mechanical operators, commutators, and uncertainty principles, solutions to general central potential problems and the hydrogen atom, and the quantum theory of angular momentum.
3
PHYS-440
Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is an introduction to the principles of classical thermodynamics and its statistical basis, including: equations of state, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, microscopic basis of entropy, temperature and thermal equilibrium, thermodynamic potentials, applications of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, and Boltzmann and quantum statistics.
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
This course includes the treatment of vector analysis, special functions, waves, and fields; Maxwell Boltzmann, Bose-Einstein and Fermi-Dirac distributions, and their applications. Selected topics of interest in electrodynamics, fluid mechanics, and statistical mechanics will also be discussed.
3
MTSE-790
Research & Thesis
Dissertation research by the candidate for an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
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 & Analytical Chemistry I§
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences.
 
  CHMG-145
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab§
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions.
 
  CHMG-142
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics.
 
  CHMG-146
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II Labs§
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-101
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth.
 
  BIOL-102
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab§
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth's terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology.
 
  BIOL-103
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II§
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
 
  BIOL-104
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles):General Biology II Lab§
This course provides laboratory work to complement the material of General Biology II. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for experimenting with live organisms, and improve ability to make, record, and interpret observations.
 
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B (mathematical): Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
PHYS-150
Introduction to Special Relativity
In this course students will learn aspects of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity including time dilation, length contraction, Lorentz transformations, velocity transformations, relativistic Doppler effect, issues with simultaneity, and relativistic expressions for energy and momentum.
3
PHYS-216
University Physics I
This is a course in calculus-based physics for physics majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
LAS Perspective 1 (ethical)
3
 
LAS Elective
3
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
PHYS-213
Modern Physics I
This course provides an introductory survey of elementary quantum physics, as well as basic relativistic dynamics. Topics include the photon, wave-particle duality, deBroglie waves, the Bohr model of the atom, the Schrodinger equation and wave mechanics, quantum description of the hydrogen atom, electron spin, and multi-electron atoms.
3
PHYS-217
University Physics II: Physics Majors
This course is a continuation of PHYS-216, University Physics I: Physics Majors. Topics include fluids, thermodynamics, electrostatics, Gauss’ law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, circuits, magnetic field, Ampere’s law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
PHYS-222
Electronic Measurements
This course covers the fundamentals of AC and DC circuit theory, electrical analysis of simple linear networks, operations of and circuits containing diodes and transistors, linear and non-linear operation of op-amps and their applications, and analysis of basic digital circuits. Laboratory classes reinforce lecture material and teach practical skills in use of basic test and measurement equipment.
3
PHYS-225
Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming
This course introduces methods for using computers to model the behavior of physical systems. Students will learn how computers represent numbers, limits of computation, how to write computer programs, and to use good programming practices. Students will also apply numerical methods of differentiation and integration, and numerical solutions to differential equations in physical situations.
3
MATH-231
Differential Equations
This course is an introduction to the study of ordinary differential equations and their applications. Topics include solutions to first order equations and linear second order equations, method of undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters, linear independence and the Wronskian, vibrating systems, and Laplace transforms.
3
PHYS-275
Sophomore Physics Seminar
This seminar will assist students in their preparation for the Physics Comprehensive Oral Exam (CORE) required at the end of the course by presenting a unified as opposed to topical approach to physics. Physics majors must pass this course before going on to 300-level Physics courses.
1
PHYS-283
Vibrations and Waves
This course is an introduction to the physics of vibrations and waves, beginning with the simple harmonic oscillator, the foundation to understanding oscillatory and vibratory systems. The course will include driven and damped single oscillators, coupled discrete oscillators, and continuous vibrating systems. Connections will be made with many areas of physics that involve oscillation, including mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
Third Year
PHYS-214
Modern Physics II
This course is a continuation of a survey of modern physics beyond the topics introduced in Modern Physics I. Central topics include the physics of multi-electron atoms, molecular structure, fundamentals of statistical physics applied to systems of particles, elementary solid-state physics, applications to semiconductor materials and simple devices, and basic elements of nuclear physics.
3
PHYS-315
Experiments in Modern Physics
In this course, students perform experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. These include investigations of wave particle duality, and the earliest of quantum mechanical models as well as measurements of fundamental constants. Experiments typically include electron diffraction, the photoelectric effect, optical diffraction and interference, atomic spectroscopy, charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, and blackbody radiation. This class teaches basic instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-316
Advanced Laboratory in Physics
In this course, students perform advanced experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. Experiments typically explore properties of materials, semiconductors, atomic physics, and nuclear decay. This class continues the instruction in instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis that began in Experiments in Modern Physics, PHYS-315. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-320
Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course serves as an introduction to the mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include matrix algebra, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations in rectangular coordinates, and an introduction to series solutions of ordinary differential equations.
3
PHYS-330
Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of Newtonian kinematics and dynamics including equations of motion in one- and three-dimensions, conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, central forces, Lagrangian mechanics, and rigid body motion. This course will use advanced mathematical techniques including differential equations, vector calculus, and matrix and tensor formulations.
4
PHYS-411
Electricity and Magnetism
This course is a systematic treatment of electrostatics and magnetostatics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Mathematical formalism using differential and integral vector calculus is developed. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Special techniques for solution to Laplace's equation as a boundary value problem are covered. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, and the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, are discussed.
4
PHYS-450
Capstone Preparation
This course is a preparation for the two-semester physics capstone project to be carried out in the following year. It includes selection of a project and faculty mentor, preparation of a feasibility study, preparation of a paper, and a public oral presentation.
1
 
Computational Physics Elective
3
 
LAS Immersion 1, 2
6
Fourth Year
PHYS-414
Quantum Mechanics
This course is a study of the concepts and mathematical structure of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Topics for the course include wave functions and the Schrodinger equation, solutions to the one-dimensional and three-dimensional time-independent Schrodinger equation, stationary states and their superposition to produce time-dependent states, quantum-mechanical operators, commutators, and uncertainty principles, solutions to general central potential problems and the hydrogen atom, and the quantum theory of angular momentum.
3
PHYS-440
Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is an introduction to the principles of classical thermodynamics and its statistical basis, including: equations of state, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, microscopic basis of entropy, temperature and thermal equilibrium, thermodynamic potentials, applications of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, and Boltzmann and quantum statistics.
3
PHYS-451
Capstone Project I
In collaboration with faculty mentor(s), students will carry out the first phase of an experimental, theoretical, or computational physics research project, will prepare an interim paper, and will present a short talk on their progress to physics faculty and students. The projects are those planned during the capstone preparatory course taken during the prior Spring semester.
3
PHYS-452
Capstone Project II (WI)
In collaboration with faculty mentor(s), students will carry out the final phase of an experimental, theoretical, or computational physics research project, will prepare a written paper and present an oral report on their progress to physics faculty and students. The projects are those planned during the capstone preparatory course taken during the prior Spring semester and commenced during the prior Fall semester.
3
PUBL-701
Graduate Policy Analysis
This course provides graduate students with necessary tools to help them become effective policy analysts. The course places particular emphasis on understanding the policy process, the different approaches to policy analysis, and the application of quantitative and qualitative methods for evaluating public policies. Students will apply these tools to contemporary public policy decision making at the local, state, federal, and international levels.
3
PUBL-702
Graduate Decision Analysis
This course provides students with an introduction to decision science and analysis. The course focuses on several important tools for making good decisions, including decision trees, including forecasting, risk analysis, and multi-attribute decision making. Students will apply these tools to contemporary public policy decision making at the local, state, federal, and international levels.
3
STSO-710
Graduate Science and Technology Policy Seminar
Examines how federal and international policies are developed to influence research and development, innovation, and the transfer of technology in the United States and other selected nations. Students in the course will apply basic policy skills, concepts, and methods to contemporary science and technology policy topics.
3
 
Public Policy Graduate Elective
3
 
Physics Elective‡
3
 
Free Elective
3
Fifth Year
PUBL-700
Readings in Public Policy
An in-depth inquiry into key contemporary public policy issues. Students will be exposed to a wide range of important public policy texts, and will learn how to write a literature review in a policy area of their choosing.
3
PUBL-703
Evaluation and Research Design
The focus of this course is on evaluation of program outcomes and research design. Students will explore the questions and methodologies associated with meeting programmatic outcomes, secondary or unanticipated effects, and an analysis of alternative means for achieving program outcomes. Critique of evaluation research methodologies will also be considered.
3
PUBL-790
Public Policy Thesis
The master's thesis in science, technology, and public policy requires the student to select a thesis topic, advisor and committee; prepare a written thesis proposal for approval by the faculty; present and defend the thesis before a thesis committee; and submit a bound copy of the thesis to the library and to the program chair.
6
 
Physics Elective‡
3
 
LAS Elective
3
 
LAS Immersion 3
3
 
Graduate Electives
6
Total Semester Credit Hours
151

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/Astrophysical Sciences and Technology, 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 & Analytical Chemistry I
This is a general chemistry course for students in the life and physical sciences. College chemistry is presented as a science based on empirical evidence that is placed into the context of conceptual, visual, and mathematical models. Students will learn the concepts, symbolism, and fundamental tools of chemistry necessary to carry on a discourse in the language of chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between atomic structure, chemical bonds, and the transformation of these bonds through chemical reactions. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are introduced throughout the course to emphasize the connection between chemistry and the other sciences.
 
  CHMG-142
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II
The course covers the thermodynamics and kinetics of chemical reactions. The relationship between energy and entropy change as the driving force of chemical processes is emphasized through the study of aqueous solutions. Specifically, the course takes a quantitative look at: 1) solubility equilibrium, 2) acid-base equilibrium, 3) oxidation-reduction reactions and 4) chemical kinetics.
 
  CHMG-145
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General & Analytical Chemistry I Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-141 lecture material. The course emphasizes laboratory techniques and data analysis skills. Topics include: gravimetric, volumetric, thermal, titration and spectrophotometric analyses, and the use of these techniques to analyze chemical reactions.
 
  CHMG-146
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General & Analytical Chemistry II Lab
The course combines hands-on laboratory exercises with workshop-style problem sessions to complement the CHMG-142 lecture material. The course emphasizes the use of experiments as a tool for chemical analysis and the reporting of results in formal lab reports. Topics include the quantitative analysis of a multicomponent mixture using complexation and double endpoint titration, pH measurement, buffers and pH indicators, the kinetic study of a redox reaction, and the electrochemical analysis of oxidation reduction reactions.
 
  or
 
 
   BIOL-101
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to cellular, molecular, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and the origin of life and evolutionary patterns of organism development on Earth.
 
  BIOL-102
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II 
This course serves as an introduction to animal and plant anatomy and physiology, in addition to the fundamentals of ecology. Topics will include: animal development; animal body systems; plant development; unique plant systems; Earth's terrestrial and aquatic environments; population and community ecology; animal behavior; and conservation biology.
 
  BIOL-103
   LAS Perspective 5 (natural science inquiry): General Biology I Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the lecture material of General Biology I. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular and molecular biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
 
  BIOL-104
   LAS Perspective 6 (scientific principles): General Biology II Lab
This course provides laboratory work to complement the material of General Biology II. The experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of animal and plant anatomy and physiology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for experimenting with live organisms, and improve ability to make, record, and interpret observations.
 
MATH-181
LAS Perspective 7A: Project-Based Calculus I
This is the first in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers functions, limits, continuity, the derivative, rules of differentiation, applications of the derivative, Riemann sums, definite integrals, and indefinite integrals.
4
MATH-182
LAS Perspective 7B: Project-Based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
4
PHYS-150
Introduction to Special Relativity
In this course students will learn aspects of Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity including time dilation, length contraction, Lorentz transformations, velocity transformations, relativistic Doppler effect, issues with simultaneity, and relativistic expressions for energy and momentum.
3
 
LAS Elective
3
 
LAS Perspective 1
3
PHYS-216
University Physics I: Physics Majors
This is a course in calculus-based physics for physics majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton’s Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
YOPS-10
RIT 365: RIT Connections
0
 
First Year Writing (WI)
3
 
Wellness Education*
0
Second Year
MATH-219
Multivariable Calculus
This course is principally a study of the calculus of functions of two or more variables, but also includes the study of vectors, vector-valued functions and their derivatives. The course covers limits, partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and includes applications in physics. Credit cannot be granted for both this course and MATH-221.
3
MATH-231
Differential Equations
This course is an introduction to the study of ordinary differential equations and their applications. Topics include solutions to first order equations and linear second order equations, method of undetermined coefficients, variation of parameters, linear independence and the Wronskian, vibrating systems, and Laplace transforms.
3
PHYS-213
Modern Physics I
This course provides an introductory survey of elementary quantum physics, as well as basic relativistic dynamics. Topics include the photon, wave-particle duality, deBroglie waves, the Bohr model of the atom, the Schrodinger equation and wave mechanics, quantum description of the hydrogen atom, electron spin, and multi-electron atoms.
3
PHYS-217
University Physics II: Physics Majors
This course is a continuation of PHYS-216, University Physics I: Physics Majors. Topics include fluids, thermodynamics, electrostatics, Gauss’ law, electric field and potential, capacitance, resistance, circuits, magnetic field, Ampere’s law, inductance, and geometrical and physical optics. Calculus and basic numerical techniques will be applied throughout the course to analyze non-idealized complex systems. The course is taught in a lecture/workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses. The course will also include enrichment activities connecting current developments in the field of physics.
4
PHYS-220
University Astronomy
This course is an introduction to the basic concepts of astronomy and astrophysics for scientists and engineers. Topics include the celestial sphere, celestial mechanics, methods of data acquisition, planetary systems, stars and stellar systems, cosmology, and life in the universe.
3
PHYS-222
Electronic Measurements
This course covers the fundamentals of AC and DC circuit theory, electrical analysis of simple linear networks, operations of and circuits containing diodes and transistors, linear and non-linear operation of op-amps and their applications, and analysis of basic digital circuits. Laboratory classes reinforce lecture material and teach practical skills in use of basic test and measurement equipment.
3
PHYS-225
Introduction to Computational Physics and Programming
This course introduces methods for using computers to model the behavior of physical systems. Students will learn how computers represent numbers, limits of computation, how to write computer programs, and to use good programming practices. Students will also apply numerical methods of differentiation and integration, and numerical solutions to differential equations in physical situations.
3
PHYS-275
Sophomore Physics Seminar
This seminar will assist students in their preparation for the Physics Comprehensive Oral Exam (CORE) required at the end of the course by presenting a unified as opposed to topical approach to physics. Physics majors must pass this course before going on to 300-level Physics courses.
1
PHYS-283
Vibrations and Waves
This course is an introduction to the physics of vibrations and waves, beginning with the simple harmonic oscillator, the foundation to understanding oscillatory and vibratory systems. The course will include driven and damped single oscillators, coupled discrete oscillators, and continuous vibrating systems. Connections will be made with many areas of physics that involve oscillation, including mechanics, electromagnetism, and quantum mechanics.
3
 
LAS Perspective 2 (artistic)
3
 
LAS Perspective 3 (global)
3
Third Year
PHYS-214
Modern Physics II
This course is a continuation of a survey of modern physics beyond the topics introduced in Modern Physics I. Central topics include the physics of multi-electron atoms, molecular structure, fundamentals of statistical physics applied to systems of particles, elementary solid-state physics, applications to semiconductor materials and simple devices, and basic elements of nuclear physics.
3
PHYS-315
Experiments in Modern Physics
In this course, students perform experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. These include investigations of wave particle duality, and the earliest of quantum mechanical models as well as measurements of fundamental constants. Experiments typically include electron diffraction, the photoelectric effect, optical diffraction and interference, atomic spectroscopy, charge-to-mass ratio of an electron, and blackbody radiation. This class teaches basic instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-316
Advanced Laboratory in Physics
In this course, students perform advanced experiments representative of the foundation of modern quantum physics. Experiments typically explore properties of materials, semiconductors, atomic physics, and nuclear decay. This class continues the instruction in instrumentation techniques as well as data reduction and analysis that began in Experiments in Modern Physics, PHYS-315. Students are expected to keep a laboratory notebook and present results in a journal-style paper.
3
PHYS-320
Mathematical Methods in Physics
This course serves as an introduction to the mathematical tools needed to solve intermediate and upper-level physics problems. Topics include matrix algebra, vector calculus, Fourier analysis, partial differential equations in rectangular coordinates, and an introduction to series solutions of ordinary differential equations.
3
PHYS-330
Classical Mechanics
This course is a systematic presentation of Newtonian kinematics and dynamics including equations of motion in one- and three-dimensions, conservation laws, non-inertial reference frames, central forces, Lagrangian mechanics, and rigid body motion. This course will use advanced mathematical techniques including differential equations, vector calculus, and matrix and tensor formulations.
4
PHYS-374
Introduction to Astrophysics
This seminar-style course presents concepts of stars, stellar systems and the universe at an intermediate level. Topics include the observed characteristics of stars, stellar atmospheres, stellar structure and evolution, classification and properties of galaxies, galaxy clusters, nuclei of galaxies, the early universe, cosmic expansion and cosmological parameters.
1
PHYS-411
Electricity and Magnetism
This course is a systematic treatment of electrostatics and magnetostatics, charges, currents, fields and potentials, dielectrics and magnetic materials, Maxwell's equations and electromagnetic waves. Mathematical formalism using differential and integral vector calculus is developed. Field theory is treated in terms of scalar and vector potentials. Special techniques for solution to Laplace's equation as a boundary value problem are covered. Wave solutions of Maxwell's equations, and the behavior of electromagnetic waves at interfaces, are discussed.
4
 
Computational Physics Elective‡
3
 
LAS Perspective 4 (social)
3
 
LAS Immersion 1, 2
6
Fourth Year
PHYS-414
Quantum Mechanics
This course is a study of the concepts and mathematical structure of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. Topics for the course include wave functions and the Schrodinger equation, solutions to the one-dimensional and three-dimensional time-independent Schrodinger equation, stationary states and their superposition to produce time-dependent states, quantum-mechanical operators, commutators, and uncertainty principles, solutions to general central potential problems and the hydrogen atom, and the quantum theory of angular momentum.
3
PHYS-440
Thermal and Statistical Physics
This course is an introduction to the principles of classical thermodynamics and its statistical basis, including: equations of state, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, microscopic basis of entropy, temperature and thermal equilibrium, thermodynamic potentials, applications of thermodynamics, kinetic theory of gases, and Boltzmann and quantum statistics.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
  ASTP-613
   Astronomical Observational Techniques and Instrumentation
This course will survey multi-wavelength astronomical observing techniques and instrumentation. The design characteristics and function of telescopes, detectors, and instrumentation in use at the major ground based and space based observatories will be discussed as will common observing techniques such as imaging, photometry and spectroscopy. The principles of cosmic ray, neutrino, and gravitational wave astronomy will also be briefly reviewed.
 
  
   AST Graduate Elective
 
ASTP-601
Graduate Seminar I
This course is the first in a two-semester sequence intended to familiarize students with research activities, practices, and ethics in the university research environment and to introduce students to commonly used research tools. As part of the course, students are expected to attend research seminars sponsored by the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology Program and participate in a weekly journal club. The course also provides training in scientific writing and presentation skills. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements.
1
ASTP-602
Graduate Seminar II
This course is the second in a two-semester sequence intended to familiarize students with research activities, practices, and ethics in the university research environment and to introduce students to commonly used research tools. As part of the course, students are expected to attend research seminars sponsored by the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology Program and participate in a weekly journal club. The course also provides training in scientific writing and presentation skills. Credits earned in this course apply to research requirements.
1
ASTP-608
Fundamental Astrophysics I
This course will provide a basic introduction to modern astrophysics, including the topics of radiation fields and matter, star formation and evolution, and stellar structure. This course will provide the physical background needed to interpret both observations and theoretical models in stellar astrophysics and prepare students for more advanced topics and research in astrophysics.
3
ASTP-609
Fundamental Astrophysics II
This course will provide a basic introduction to modern astrophysics, following on from Fundamental Astrophysics I. Topics will include basic celestial mechanics and galactic dynamics, the Milky Way and other galaxies, the interstellar medium, active galactic nuclei, galaxy formation and evolution, and an introduction to cosmology. This course will provide the physical background needed to interpret both observations and theoretical models in galactic and extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology and prepare students for more advanced topics and research in astrophysics.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
  ASTP-610
   Mathematical Methods for the Astrophysical Sciences
This course is a stand-alone course on mathematical methods for astrophysics covering tensor algebra, group theory, complex analysis, differential equations, special functions, integral transforms, the calculus of variations, and chaos.
 
 
   AST Graduate Elective
 
 
LAS Immersion 3
3
 
LAS Elective
3
 
Free Electives
6
Fifth Year
Choose one of the following:
3
  ASTP-613
   Astronomical Observational Techniques and Instrumentation
This course will survey multi-wavelength astronomical observing techniques and instrumentation. The design characteristics and function of telescopes, detectors, and instrumentation in use at the major ground based and space based observatories will be discussed as will common observing techniques such as imaging, photometry and spectroscopy. The principles of cosmic ray, neutrino, and gravitational wave astronomy will also be briefly reviewed.
 
 
   AST Graduate Elective
 
Choose one of the following:
3
  ASTP-610
   Mathematical and Statistical Methods for the Astrophysical Sciences
This course is a stand-alone course on mathematical methods for astrophysics covering tensor algebra, group theory, complex analysis, differential equations, special functions, integral transforms, the calculus of variations, and chaos.
 
 
   AST Graduate Elective
 
ASTP-790
Research & Thesis
Masters-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
10
Total Semester Credit Hours
145

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 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

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

Learn about admissions and financial aid