Physics Master of science degree

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Overview

Solidify your understanding on the core aspects of physics in both research and technical skill as you study the areas of physics that support your career interests.


RIT’s masters degree in physics offers both a research and professional option, and provides advanced knowledge in core areas of physics, including electrodynamics, quantum, and classical mechanics, and statistical physics, as well as one or more sub-areas of physics that correspond to your individual interests and career aspirations. You’ll work with program faculty to develop a tailored individual academic plan that supports your individual career aspirations.

The MS program in physics is designed to provide flexible options that can be tailored to the specific career goals and disciplinary interests of students seeking graduate training in fundamental and/or applied areas of physics. The program is suitable as either a means to further career development or as preparation for further graduate study. Nationally, MS Physics graduates are highly employable across all economic sectors, spanning a wide variety of exciting opportunities within the private sector (especially in engineering and computer/information technology), in government labs and agencies, and in university level and secondary education.

Plan of study

The program focuses on providing advanced knowledge in core areas of physics. This includes electrodynamics, quantum and classical mechanics, and statistical physics, as well as one or more sub-areas of physics that correspond to each students' individual interests and career aspirations. Students work with the program director to develop a tailored individual academic plan that includes course work that supports these goals. Sub-areas may include modern and quantum optics; lasers; computational physics; solid-state, materials, and device physics; soft matter and biological physics; radiation scattering spectroscopy; relativity and gravitation; and nanoscale physics. The program also includes professional skills in organization and leadership, managing research teams, promoting innovation or sustainable technologies, entrepreneurship and intellectual property, finance and accounting, data science, scientific visualization, electronics, STEM pedagogy and education research, public policy, and communication skills. 

Options

The program offers options in research or professional physics. The research option is research-focused and is intended to leverage each student's acquired physics knowledge in support of furthering the student's research training. Students will conduct research and produce a thesis as part of their studies. The professional option is designed to supplement advanced physics knowledge with a portfolio of electives in professional skills that can be tailored to each student's career goals. Students complete a graduate project.

Industries


  • Aerospace

  • Government (Local, State, Federal)

  • Scientific and Technical Consulting

  • Higher Education

  • Defense

  • Internet and Software

  • Research

  • Other Industries

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Curriculum

Physics (research option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
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
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.
3
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.
3
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
   Physics Research and Thesis
Graduate-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
 
 
   Physics (or closely related) Elective
 
 
Physics (or closely related) Electives
6
Second Year
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.
3
PHYS-790
Physics Research and Thesis
Graduate-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.
7
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Physics (professional option), MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
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 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.
 
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.
 
 
Physics (or closely related) Elective
3
 
Professional Electives
6
Second Year
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
 
Professional Elective
3
 
Physics (or closely related) Elective
3
Total Semester Credit Hours
30

Electives

Physics (or closely related) electives
Course
ASTP-760
Introduction to Relativity and Gravitation
This course is the first in a two-course sequence that introduces Einstein's theory of General Relativity as a tool in modern astrophysics. The course will cover various aspects of both Special and General Relativity, with applications to situations in which strong gravitational fields play a critical role, such as black holes and gravitational radiation. Topics include differential geometry, curved spacetime, gravitational waves, and the Schwarzschild black hole.
ASTP-861
Advanced Relativity and Gravitation
This course is the second in a two-course sequence that introduces Einstein's theory of General Relativity as a tool in modern astrophysics. The course will cover various aspects of General Relativity, with applications to situations in which strong gravitational fields play a critical role, such as black holes and gravitational radiation. Topics include advanced differential geometry, generic black holes, energy production in black-hole physics, black-hole dynamics, introductory cosmology, and methods for solving the Einstein equations.
CLRS-601
Principles of Color Science
This course covers the principles of color science including theory, application, and hands-on experience incorporated into the lectures. Topics include color appearance (hue, lightness, brightness, chroma, saturation, colorfulness), colorimetry (spectral, XYZ, xyY, L*a*b*, L*C*abhab, ?E*ab, ?E00), the use of linear algebra in color science and color imaging, metamerism, chromatic adaptation, color inconstancy, color rendering, color appearance models (CIECAM02), and image appearance models (S-CIELAB, iCAM).
CLRS-602
Color Physics and Applications
This course explores the relationship between a material’s color and its constituent raw materials such as colorants, binding media, substrates, and overcoats. These can be determined using a variety of physical models based on absorption, scattering, luminescence, and interference phenomena. These models enable the production of paints, plastics, colored paper, printing, and others to have specific colors. Accompanying laboratories will implement and optimize these models using filters, artist opaque and translucent paints and varnishes including metallic and pearlescent colorants, and inkjet printing. Statistical techniques include principal component analysis and linear and nonlinear optimization.
IMGS-616
Fourier Methods for Imaging
This course develops the mathematical methods required to describe continuous and discrete linear systems, with special emphasis on tasks required in the analysis or synthesis of imaging systems. The classification of systems as linear/nonlinear and shift variant/invariant, development and use of the convolution integral, Fourier methods as applied to the analysis of linear systems. The physical meaning and interpretation of transform methods are emphasized.
IMGS-619
Radiometry
This course is focused on the fundamentals of radiation propagation as it relates to making quantitative measurements with imaging systems. The course includes an introduction to common radiometric terms and derivation of governing equations with an emphasis on radiation propagation in both non-intervening and turbid media. The course also includes an introduction to detector figures of merit and noise concepts.
IMGS-628
Design and Fabrication of Solid State Cameras
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with hands-on experience in building a CCD camera. The course provides the basics of CCD operation including an overview, CCD clocking, analog output circuitry, cooling, and evaluation criteria.
IMGS-633
Optics for Imaging
This course provides the requisite knowledge in optics needed by a student in the graduate program in Imaging Science. The topics covered include the ray and wave models of light, diffraction, imaging system resolution.
IMGS-639
Principles of Solid State Imaging Arrays
This course covers the basics of solid state physics, electrical engineering, linear systems and imaging needed to understand modern focal plane array design and use. The course emphasizes knowledge of the working of CMOS and infrared arrays.
IMGS-642
Testing of Focal Plane Arrays
This course is an introduction to the techniques used for the testing of solid state imaging detectors such as CCDs, CMOS and Infrared Arrays. Focal plane array users in industry, government and university need to ensure that key operating parameters for such devices either fall within an operating range or that the limitation to the performance is understood. This is a hands-on course where the students will measure the performance parameters of a particular camera in detail.
MATH-602
Numerical Analysis I
This course covers numerical techniques for the solution of nonlinear equations, interpolation, differentiation, integration, and matrix algebra.
MATH-702
Numerical Analysis II
This course covers the solutions of initial value problems and boundary value problems, spectral techniques, simulation methods, optimization and techniques employed in modern scientific computing.
MATH-712
Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
This is an advanced course in numerical methods that introduces students to computational techniques for solving partial differential equations, especially those arising in applications. Topics include: finite difference methods for hyperbolic, parabolic, and elliptic partial differential equations, consistency, stability and convergence of finite difference schemes.
MATH-831
Mathematical Fluid Dynamics
The study of the dynamics of fluids is a central theme of modern applied mathematics. It is used to model a vast range of physical phenomena and plays a vital role in science and engineering. This course provides an introduction to the basic ideas of fluid dynamics, with an emphasis on rigorous treatment of fundamentals and the mathematical developments and issues. The course focuses on the background and motivation for recent mathematical and numerical work on the Euler and Navier-Stokes equations, and presents a mathematically intensive investigation of various models equations of fluid dynamics.
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.
MTSE-703
Solid State Science
PHYS-612
Classical Electrodynamics II
This course is an advanced treatment of electrodynamics and radiation. Classical scattering theory including Mie scattering, Rayleigh scattering, and the Born approximation will be covered. Relativistic electrodynamics will be applied to charged particles in electromagnetic fields and magnetohydrodynamics.
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.
PHYS-720
Computational Methods for Physics
This hands-on course introduces students to the different ways that scientists use computers to address problems in physics. The course covers root finding, interpolation, numerical differentiation and integration, numerical linear algebra, the solution of ordinary and partial differential equations, fast Fourier transforms, numerical statistics, and optional topics drawn from areas of current physics research. In each of these areas, students will write their own codes in an appropriate language.
PHYS-732
Advanced Solid State Physics
This is an advanced graduate course in the physics of the solid state. Topics include crystal structure and scattering, models involving non-interacting and interacting electrons, solid-state physics of electronic components, cohesion and elasticity of solids, theory of phonons, and magnetic properties of solids.
PHYS-751
Soft Matter Physics
This course is a graduate-level study of the physics of soft matter systems. Topics include the forces between molecules and surfaces, statistical models of soft matter solutions, self-assembly, elasticity, and viscoelasticity. The course includes illustrations and applications to polymers, colloids, surfactants, liquid crystals, and gels.
PHYS-752
Biological Physics
This graduate-level course in biological physics provides an introductory survey of biological physics, followed by the topics of (i) forces between atoms, molecules, particles, and surfaces important for living systems; (ii) equilibrium statistical physics solution models relevant for biological systems; (iii) self-assembling systems in living cells and organisms; (iv) elasticity and viscoelasticity in cells and organisms; and (v) examples of active matter.
PHYS-760
Radiation Interactions and Scattering Probes of Matter
This course is a graduate-level study of the radiation-matter interactions with a particular focus on scattering as a probe of materials and condensed-matter systems. Topics include a classical treatment of electromagnetic radiation and scattering, quantum aspects of electromagnetic interactions, a survey of various types of photon and neutron scattering experiments, the physical basis of double-differential scattering cross-sections, and scattering as a probe of structure and dynamics.
PHYS-789
Graduate Special Topics
PHYS-799
Independent Study
Sample engineering electives
Course
EEEE-605
Modern Optics for Engineers
This course provides a broad overview of modern optics in preparation for more advanced courses in the rapidly developing fields of optical fiber communications, image processing, super-resolution imaging, optical properties of materials, and novel optical materials. Topics covered: geometrical optics, propagation of light, diffraction, interferometry, Fourier optics, optical properties of materials, polarization and liquid crystals, and fiber optics. In all topics, light will be viewed as signals that carry information (data) in the time or spatial domain. After taking this course, the students should have a firm foundation in classical optics.
EEEE-689
Fundamentals of MEMS
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are widely used in aerospace, automotive, biotechnology, instrumentation, robotics, manufacturing, and other applications. There is a critical need to synthesize and design high performance MEMS which satisfy the requirements and specifications imposed. Integrated approaches must be applied to design and optimized MEMS, which integrate microelectromechanical motion devices, ICs, and microsensors. This course covers synthesis, design, modeling, simulation, analysis, control and fabrication of MEMS. Synthesis, design and analysis of MEMS will be covered including CAD.
MCEE-620
Photovoltaic Science and Engineering
This course focuses on the principle and engineering fundamentals of photovoltaic (PV) energy conversion. The course covers modern silicon PV devices, including the basic physics, ideal and non-ideal models, device parameters and design, and device fabrication. The course discusses crystalline, multi-crystalline, amorphous thin films solar cells and their manufacturing. Students will become familiar with basic semiconductor processes and how they are employed in solar cells manufacturing. The course further introduces third generation advanced photovoltaic concepts including compound semiconductors, spectral conversion, and organic and polymeric devices. PV applications, environmental, sustainability and economic issues will also be discussed. Evaluations include assignments and exams, a research/term paper on a current PV topic.
MCEE-713
Quantum and Solid State Physics for Nanostructures
This course describes the key elements of quantum mechanics and solid state physics that are necessary in understanding the modern semiconductor devices. Quantum mechanical topics include solution of Schrodinger equation solution for potential wells and barriers, subsequently applied to tunneling and carrier confinement. Solid state topics include electronic structure of atoms, crystal structures, direct and reciprocal lattices. Detailed discussion is devoted to energy band theory, effective mass theory, energy-momentum relations in direct and indirect band gap semiconductors, intrinsic and extrinsic semiconductors, statistical physics applied to carriers in semiconductors, scattering and generation and recombination processes.
MCSE-702
Introduction to Nanotechnology and Microsystems
This course will introduce first year Microsystems Engineering students to microsystems and nanotechnology. Topics include, micro and nano systems; MEMS, bioMEMS, MOEMS, and NEMS; nanomaterials; nanopatterning; characterization and analytical techniques; self-assembly approaches; nanoelectronics and nanophotonics; nanomagnetics; organic electronics; and microfluidics. The course will be taught by faculty in the individual fields of nanotechnology and microsystems.
MCSE-712
Nonlinear Optics
This course introduces nonlinear concepts applied to the field of optics. Students learn how materials respond to high intensity electric fields and how the materials response: enables the generation of other frequencies, can focus light to the point of breakdown or create waves that do not disperse in time or space solitons, and how atoms can be cooled to absolute zero using a(laser. Students will be exposed to many applications of nonlinear concepts and to some current research subjects, especially at the nanoscale. Students will also observe several nonlinear-optical experiments in a state-of-the-art photonics laboratory.
MCSE-713
Lasers
This course introduces students to the design, operation and (applications of lasers (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of (Radiation). Topics: Ray tracing, Gaussian beams, Optical cavities, (Atomic radiation, Laser oscillation and amplification, Mode locking and Q switching, and Applications of lasers.
MCSE-731
Integrated Optical Devices and Systems
This course discusses basic goals, principles and techniques of integrated optical devices and systems, and explains how the various optoelectronic devices of an integrated optical system operate and how they are integrated into a system. Emphasis in this course will be on planar passive optical devices. Topics include optical waveguides, optical couplers, micro-optical resonators, surface plasmons, photonic crystals, modulators, design tools and fabrication techniques, and the applications of optical integrated circuits. Some of the current state-of-the-art devices and systems will be investigated by reference to journal articles.
MCSE-771
Optoelectronics
To provide an introduction to the operating principles of optoelectronic devices used in various current and future information processing and transmission systems. Emphasis in this course will be on the active optoelectronic devices used in optical fiber communication systems. Topics include pulse propagation in dispersive media, polarization devices, optical fiber, quantum states of light, fundamental of lasers, semiconductor optics, light-emitting diodes, laser diodes, semiconductor photon detectors, optical modulators, quantum wells, and optical fiber communication systems.
MCSE-889
Special Topics
Topics and subject areas that are not regularly offered are provided under this course. Such courses are offered in a normal format; that is, regularly scheduled class sessions with an instructor.

Professional electives

Sample business electives 
Course
ACCT-603
Accounting for Decision Makers
A graduate-level introduction to the use of accounting information by decision makers. The focus of the course is on two subject areas: (1) financial reporting concepts/issues and the use of general-purpose financial statements by internal and external decision makers and (2) the development and use of special-purpose financial information intended to assist managers in planning and controlling an organization's activities. Generally accepted accounting principles and issues related to International Financial Reporting Standards are considered while studying the first subject area and ethical issues impacting accounting are considered throughout.
ACCT-794
Cost Management in Technical Organizations
A first course in accounting for students in technical disciplines. Topics include the distinction between external and internal accounting, cost behavior, product costing, profitability analysis, performance evaluation, capital budgeting, and transfer pricing. Emphasis is on issues encountered in technology intensive manufacturing organizations. *Note: This course is not intended for Saunders College of Business students.
BLEG-612
Legal and Accounting Issues for New Ventures
An introduction to basic legal and accounting issues that managers and developers of new business ventures must understand at the outset. Topics include financial statements prepared using both the cash basis and GAAP, differences among basic legal forms of business organization and related income tax issues, budgeting and cash flow management, and product costing. The focus is on understanding the legal and accounting components of the business plan.
DECS-744
Project Management
A study in the principles of project management and the application of various tools and techniques for project planning and control. This course focuses on the leadership role of the project manager, and the roles and responsibilities of the team members. Considerable emphasis is placed on statements of work and work breakdown structures. The course uses a combination of lecture/discussion, group exercises, and case studies.
ESCB-705
Economics and Decision Modeling
The course focuses on the fundamental economic theories most useful for the management of a firm in a global environment. Microeconomic theories and current events are used to explain the performance of the market system and help managers formulate effective pricing and business decisions. Macroeconomic theories and current events are used to explain the direction of the domestic and global economy to help managers understand the implications, including foreign direct investment, for their companies. Students will learn to explain and predict changes in economic growth, inflation, interest rates, international trade and foreign exchange rates.
FINC-605
Financing New Ventures
A focus on financial issues affecting an entrepreneur. The course emphasizes, identifies, and follows the wealth creation cycle. The wealth creation cycle begins with an idea for a good, product or service, progresses to an initial company startup, passes through successive stages of growth, considers alternative approaches to resource financing, and ends with harvesting the wealth created through an initial public offering, merger or sale. Identification and valuation of business opportunities, how and from whom entrepreneurs raise funds, how financial contracts are structured to both manage risk and align incentives, and alternative approaches by which entrepreneurs identify exit strategies are reviewed.
FINC-721
Financial Analysis for Managers
An examination of basic financial theories, techniques, and practices. Topics include: time value of money, valuation, capital asset pricing, risk and diversification, cost of capital, capital budgeting techniques and spreadsheet analysis.
MGIS-650
Introduction to Data Analytics and Business Intelligence
This course serves as an introduction to data analysis including both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. Contemporary data analytics and business intelligence tools will be explored through realistic problem assignments.
MGMT-735
Managing of Innovation in Products and Services
This course addresses the management of innovation, sustainable technology, and the importance of technology-based innovation for the growth of the global products and services industries. The course integrates three major themes: (1) leading-edge concepts in innovation, (2) the role of technology in creating global competitive advance in both product-based and services-based industries, and (3) the responsibility of businesses related to sustainability. The importance of digital technology as an enabler of innovative services is covered throughout the course. (completion of four graduate business courses)
MGMT-740
Organizational Behavior and Leadership
This course examines why people behave as they do in organizations and what managers can do to improve organizational performance by influencing people's behavior. Students will learn a number of frameworks for diagnosing and dealing with managerial challenges dynamics at the individual, group and organizational level. Topics include leadership, motivation, team building, conflict, organizational change, cultures, decision making, and ethical leadership.
MGMT-741
Managing Organizational Change
This course addresses the importance of organizational change in maintaining a flexible, dynamic, and responsive organization, by examining various theories and approaches currently used to assist organizations in achieving planned change. The role of the leader in achieving organizational change is emphasized. The features of successful change in organizations will be discussed, including the structural, motivational, interpersonal, and social aspects of organizational change.
MGMT-755
Negotiations
This course is designed to teach the art and science of negotiation so that one can negotiate successfully in a variety of settings, within one's day-to-day experiences and, especially, within the broad spectrum of negotiation problems faced by managers and other professionals. Individual class sessions will explore the many ways that people think about and practice negotiation skills and strategies in a variety of contexts.
Sample science electives
Course
ITDS-611
STEM Education: Concepts and Practice
This course is an introduction to concepts and practices that support effective STEM education. The course will emphasize concrete applications: specific pedagogical techniques, how they support a wide range of learning objectives, and why they are effective. Specific pedagogical techniques include: flipped classrooms, small-group workshops, think-pair-share methodologies, elicit/confront/resolve approaches, and project-based curricula. Students will learn how to connect specific pedagogical approaches with sophisticated course objectives that support diverse student populations to achieve conceptual, epistemological, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and affective goals. Students will read foundational papers that describe concepts of how people learn to provide a theoretical understanding of why particular approaches are more effective. Students will also be introduced to “action research” methods by which STEM educators can assess effectiveness in their own classrooms.
ITDS-613
STEM Education: Research Methods and Theory
This course is an introduction to major research themes, methodology, theories of learning, and research ethics relevant to discipline-based education research (DBER) in biology, chemistry, and physics. Research methods related to studying learning and development of expertise in science will include: the design of quantitative studies (surveys, assessments, and statistical analysis methods) and the design of qualitative studies (interviews, observations, coding). Relevant theories of learning will include cognitivist, developmental, and social/cultural perspectives. The course will use case studies from current literature on biology, chemistry, and physics education research to introduce these topics. Students will apply their understanding to develop and execute a semester-long research project in STEM education research. As part of the research project, students will develop a research question, become familiar with procedures to satisfy RIT’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) and ethical requirements, and apply a quantitative, qualitative or mixed-methods approach. The project will include learning appropriate software, e.g. R (quantitative) or NVivo (qualitative).
Sample engineering electives
Course
EEEE-610
Analog Electronics
This is a foundation course in analog integrated electronic circuit design and is a perquisite for the graduate courses in analog integrated circuit design EEEE-726 and EEEE-730. The course covers the following topics: (1)CMOS Technology (2) CMOS active and passive element models (3) Noise mechanisms and circuit noise analysis (4) Current mirrors (5) Differential amplifiers, cascade amplifiers (6) Multistage amps and common mode feedback (7) Stability analysis of feedback amplifiers; (8) Advanced current mirrors, amplifiers, and comparators (9) Band gap and translinear cells (10) Matching.
EEEE-620
Design of Digital Systems
The purpose of this course is to expose students to complete, custom design of a CMOS digital system. It emphasizes equally analytical and CAD based design methodologies, starting at the highest level of abstraction (RTL, front-end)), and down to the physical implementation level (back-end). In the lab students learn how to capture a design using both schematic and hardware description languages, how to synthesize a design, and how to custom layout a design. Testing, debugging, and verification strategies are formally introduced in the lecture, and practically applied in the lab projects. Students are further required to choose a research topic in the area of digital systems, perform bibliographic research, and write a research paper following a prescribed format.
Sample liberal arts electives
Course
COMM-705
Technology-mediated Communication
An inquiry into interactive media and how they exert a powerful influence on communicative practices and society. Positioned at the intersection of technology, identity, and culture, interactive media are altering the ways in which people communicate in a wide range of contexts, including education, marketing, civic discourse, politics and popular culture. Applying theories about the relationship between communication technology and culture, this course will explore the current and potential future impact of interactive electronic communication and the social changes that are occurring.
COMM-706
Crafting the Message
This course will focus on the creation of written and visual messages appropriate to a targeted audience and specific medium including print, broadcast, interactive, digital, and online technologies. Case studies of both effective and unsuccessful messages from, for example, advertising, public service, education, and entertainment will be examined. Students will create and execute a variety of messages using different writing styles with images that are directed toward specific target audiences.
PSYC-716
Graduate Social Psychology
This course explores topics related to understanding individuals in a social context. Topics may include, but are not limited to: Social Perception and Social Cognition; Attitudes; Social Identity; Prejudice and Discrimination; Interpersonal Attraction; Close Relationships; Social Influence; Prosocial Behavior; Aggression; Group Behavior; Artifacts and Methodological Issues in Social Psychology. Course format is seminar focused on reading assigned texts each week, writing reaction papers, and participating in discussion. Students will also conduct a study on the topic of their choice and present their findings both in an oral and written format.
PUBL-630
Energy Policy
This course provides an overview of energy resources, technologies, and policies designed to ensure clean, stable supplies of energy for the future. The course evaluates the impacts of fossil fuel, renewable energy, and hydrogen technologies on society and how public policies can be used to influence their development. The development of U.S. energy policy is of particular concern, although a global perspective will be integrated throughout the course.
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.
Sample sustainability electives
Course
ISUS-704
Industrial Ecology
Industrial ecology is the study of the interaction between industrial and ecological systems. Students in this course learn to assess the impact and interrelations of production systems on the natural environment by mastering fundamental concepts of ecology as a metaphor for industrial systems and the resultant tools from industrial ecology, including life cycle assessment, material flow analysis, and energy and greenhouse gas accounting. This is a core course within the Sustainability Ph.D. program.
ISUS-705
Technology, Policy, and Sustainability
Public policy is a multidisciplinary field aimed at understanding how policy and regulation can be used to achieve certain social goals. These goals may include the notion of sustainability, whereby society’s present needs are met without compromising the ability to meet society’s future needs. This course introduces students to public policy and its role in building a sustainable society. The course places particular emphasis on the policy process; the relationship among technology, policy, and the environment; and policy mechanisms for addressing market and government failures that threaten sustainability.
Sample computing and information sciences electives
Course
CSCI-603
Computational Problem Solving
This course focuses on the application of computational thinking using a problem-centered approach. Specific topics include: expression of algorithms in pseudo-code and a programming language; elementary data structures such as lists, trees and graphs; problem solving using recursion; and debugging and testing. Assignments (both in class and homework) requiring a pseudo-code solution and implementation in a programming language are an integral part of the course. Note: This course serves as a bridge course for graduate students and cannot be taken by undergraduate students without permission from the CS Undergraduate Program Coordinator.
CSCI-605
Advanced Object-oriented Programming Concepts
This course focuses on identifying advanced object-oriented programming concepts and implementing them in the context of specific problems. This course covers advanced concepts such as event-driven programming, design patterns, distributed and concurrent programming, and the use, design and implementation of applications. Assignments (both in class and as homework) requiring a solution to a problem and an implementation in code are an integral part of the course. Note: This course serves as a bridge course for graduate students and cannot be taken by undergraduate students without permission from the CS Undergraduate Program Coordinator.
CSCI-610
Foundations of Computer Graphics
Foundations of Computer Graphics is a study of the hardware and software principles of interactive raster graphics. Topics include an introduction to the basic concepts, 2-D and 3-D modeling and transformations, viewing transformations, projections, rendering techniques, graphical software packages and graphics systems. The course will focus on rasterization techniques and emphasize the hardware rasterization pipeline including the use of hardware shaders. Students will use a standard computer graphics API to reinforce concepts and study fundamental computer graphics algorithms. Programming projects and a survey of the current graphics literature will be required. Note: students who complete CSCI-510 may not take CSCI-610 for credit.
CSCI-620
Introduction to Big Data
This course provides a broad introduction to the exploration and management of large datasets being generated and used in the modern world. First, practical techniques used in exploratory data analysis and mining are introduced; topics include data preparation, visualization, statistics for understanding data, and grouping and prediction techniques. Second, approaches used to store, retrieve, and manage data in the real world are presented; topics include traditional database systems, query languages, and data integrity and quality. Case studies will examine issues in data capture, organization, storage, retrieval, visualization, and analysis in diverse settings such as urban crime, drug research, census data, social networking, and space exploration. Big data exploration and management projects, a term paper and a presentation are required.
CSCI-714
Scientific Visualization
Visualizations of scientific data are helpful in order to understand complex, n-dimensional behavior of simulations. This course covers techniques that are needed to visualize n-dimensional data sets produced by real scientific simulations. Topics include: Visualization design, discrete visualization techniques, scalar and volume visualization techniques and perception of visualizations. Additionally topics such as distributed file systems, specialized file systems and distributed computing needed in order to create the visualizations will be covered. A team project and presentations are required. Course offered every other year.
CSCI-720
Big Data Analytics
This course provides a graduate-level introduction to the concepts and techniques used in data mining. Topics include the knowledge discovery process; prototype development and building data mining models; current issues and application domains for data mining; and legal and ethical issues involved in collecting and mining data. Both algorithmic and application issues are emphasized to permit students to gain the knowledge needed to conduct research in data mining and apply data mining techniques in practical applications. Data mining projects, a term paper, and presentations are required.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MS program in physics, applicants must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete an RIT graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree in physics, applied physics, or a closely-related discipline within the physical/mathematical sciences or engineering fields from an accredited college or university,
  • Have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0/4.0
  • Submit official transcripts (in English), for all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit two letters of recommendation,
  • Submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) General Test
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

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Additional Info

Bridge courses

If an applicant lacks any prerequisites, bridge courses may be recommended to provide students with the required knowledge and skills needed for the program. If any bridge courses are indicated in a student's plan of study, the student may be admitted to the program on the condition that they successfully complete the recommended bridge courses with a grade of B (3.0) or better (courses with lower grades must be repeated).