Mathematics and Physical Sciences

At once foundational, contemporary, and forward-thinking – the mathematics and physical sciences at RIT blend a passion for research, the practical application of theory, and the active pursuit of new discoveries to create a potent mix.

The ideas of applied mathematics pervade several applications in a variety of businesses and industries as well as government. Sophisticated mathematical tools are increasingly used to develop new models, modify existing ones, and analyze system performance. This includes applications of mathematics to problems in management science, biology, portfolio planning, facilities planning, control of dynamic systems, and design of composite materials. The goal is to find computable solutions to real-world problems arising from these types of situations.

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A focus on the study of problems that can be mathematically analyzed and solved, including models for perfecting global positioning systems, analyzing cost-effectiveness in manufacturing processes, or improving digital encryption software.

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The advanced certificate in applied statistics is designed for engineers, scientists, analysts, and other professionals who want a solid education in the statistical methods that are most closely related to their work. Courses are available both on-campus and online.

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Using calculus, statistics, algebra, and computer science, statisticians apply their knowledge of statistical methods—the collection, processing, and analysis of data and its interpretation—to a variety of areas, including biology, economics, engineering, medicine, public health, psychology, marketing, and sports.

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The MS program in applied statistics is available to both full- and part-time students with courses available both on-campus and online. Cooperative education is optional. The program is intended for students who do not wish to pursue a degree beyond the MS. However, a number of students have attained doctorate degrees at other universities.

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The astrophysics degree focuses on the underlying physics of phenomena beyond the Earth, and on the development of the technologies, instruments, data analysis, and modeling techniques that will enable the next major strides in the field.

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There has never been a more exciting time to study the universe beyond the confines of the Earth. A new generation of advanced ground-based and space-borne telescopes and enormous increases in computing power are enabling a golden age of astrophysics. The doctoral program in astrophysical sciences and technology focuses on the underlying physics of phenomena beyond the Earth and on the development of the technologies, instruments, data analysis, and modeling techniques that will enable the next major strides in the field. The program's multidisciplinary emphasis sets it apart from conventional astrophysics graduate programs at traditional research universities.

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Combine the study of health sciences and chemistry to address the challenges present in the chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, forensic, and biotechnological fields.

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Biology and computing combine to analyze big data collected by the health industry to discover, diagnose, and treat a wide range of medical conditions.

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The bioinformatics masters combines biotechnology, computer programming, and computational mathematics to prepare you to utilize and create technologies that will discover, treat, and cure a range of medical illnesses.

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Building on recent advances in the molecular, cellular, and ecological disciplines, modern biology offers a rich framework that can launch your career or propel you to graduate school.

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Biocompatibility testing, designing artificial organs and tissues, developing new drug delivery systems, creating innovative medical devices, and enhancing medical imaging techniques are just a few of the ways biomedical engineers improve the health and well-being of others.

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Develop an integrative understanding of the human body as the foundation for hands-on research experience, to pursue medical or dental school, or continue graduate study in a variety of health care fields or research positions in biomedical science.

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Harness technology advancements and biomolecular processes to research and develop technologies in genetics, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and vaccine development, environment and energy, forensic science, genetic counseling, and more to improve human health.

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From nano-scale composites, pharmaceuticals, plastics, fibers, metals, and ceramics to the development of alternative energy systems, biomedical materials and therapies, and strategies to minimize the environmental impact of technological advancements.

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Search for and use new knowledge about chemicals to discover, develop, or improve synthetic fibers, paints, adhesives, drugs, cosmetics, electronic components, lubricants, and thousands of other products.

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The MS degree in chemistry is offered on a full- or part-time basis. The program is designed to fill the needs of the traditional student or the practicing chemist who is employed full time and wishes to pursue a graduate degree on a part-time basis.

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Color science is a fundamental field of science that is dedicated to understanding the creation of colored stimuli, sources of illumination, and ultimately the human perception of color. RIT’s graduate color science degree is designed for students who have a background in physics, chemistry, imaging science, computer science, electrical engineering, experimental psychology, physiology, or any other discipline that lends itself to the quantitative description of color. At the only university in the nation offering this program of study, you will be exposed to the rich, dynamic field of color through theory and practical application.

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Color has been an intense topic of interest for thousands of years. Mathematicians, philosophers, physicists, physiologists, poets, and other disciplines have all contributed to our understanding of color. RIT’s color science Ph.D. program allows you to contribute to knowledge creation and practical application of color science. You will conduct extensive research that encompasses diverse fields and multiple disciplines of science. The program is designed for students whose undergraduate degrees are in physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, engineering, neuroscience, experimental psychology, imaging, or any applied discipline pertaining to the quantitative description of color.

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The computational finance program produces quantitative analysts who design and implement financial models used by banks and investment companies to generate profits and reduce risk. Computational analytics experts also support other industries and business functions that reach beyond banking and finance. The computational finance masters helps you expand your skills into fields that are in great demand and feature high salaries. The program is designed for students interested in computational or quantitative finance careers in banking, finance, and a growing number of industries.

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An emphasis on using computers as tools to solve mathematically modeled physical problems in business, science, engineering, and more.

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The MS in data science provides a strong career focus that prepares students with the practical and theoretical skills to handle large-scale data management and analysis challenges that arise in today's data-driven organizations.

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Examine and identify the body for abnormalities and diseases in real time using skills that can be applied to a number of areas.

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The diagnostic medical sonography certificate is an 18-month program that includes a clinical internship. The program, which focuses on various abdominal, gynecological, obstetrical, and small parts examinations including certain vascular studies, has been formulated to meet and exceed the objectives of the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). It is designed to produce competent, compassionate, and responsible ultrasound professionals and leaders. The certificate is available to all registered allied health practitioners as well as to those holding an associate or bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline. The certificate includes lectures and course work integrated with a clinical internship. Dependent on the previous degree, certain prerequisite courses may be required prior to enrollment. Required prerequisite courses include a year of anatomy and physiology with laboratories and a year of college or general physics with laboratories. 

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Habitat loss, global climate change, water and air pollution, ozone depletion, species invasions, loss of biodiversity, and the accumulation of toxic wastes are among the many environmental dilemmas our society faces each day. These complex problems pit environmental limits against economic development, diverse cultures, ethics, values, and social stability, and therefore require an understanding of science, policy, society, history, and economics in order to address problems realistically and effectively. Environmental scientists must use integrated and holistic approaches to understand and find sustainable solutions to these problems. Graduates of the environmental science masters are well prepared for a variety of environmentally sustainable careers including consulting, research, policy, and outreach, or further graduate work in a doctoral program.

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Management of environmental, health and safety issues has changed significantly in the past twenty years. The emergence of voluntary standards and codes of conduct, including international standards, coupled with the need to manage costs and limited resources has resulted in a trend to move beyond regulatory compliance. Now, companies work toward sustainability through the use of integrated environmental, health and safety management systems, which are woven into key business processes.

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The AS degree in general science is designed to prepare deaf and hard-of-hearing students who are close to, but not fully ready for, direct entry into a baccalaureate-level program in the sciences. The degree is a pathway for completing the course work taken during the first two years of a BS degree program in the College of Science or the College of Health Sciences and Technology. This AS degree serves as a bridge program for qualified students based on academic transcripts, admission test scores, and other evidence that support a reasonable expectation of success in the baccalaureate program. By combining preparatory studies in math and English with baccalaureate-level science, math, and liberal arts courses, students can qualify to transfer as juniors into a BS program in biochemistry, biology, biomedical sciences, chemistry, or environmental science depending on the course work taken for the AS degree. Students acquire the foundational skills necessary for success in the scientific field of their choice as they also develop skills and knowledge in communication, critical thinking, problem solving, and mathematics. This program is only available to students seeking admission to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

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A highly interdisciplinary field that combines aspects of physics, math, computer science, and engineering to understand and develop cutting-edge imaging systems from satellite systems to portable eye trackers to medical imagers to multispectral detectors—anything that involves recording, processing, displaying, or analyzing image data.

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The MS program in imaging science prepares students for research positions in the imaging industry or in the application of various imaging modalities to problems in engineering and science. Formal course work includes consideration of the physical properties of radiation-sensitive materials and processes, the applications of physical and geometrical optics to electro-optical systems, the mathematical evaluation of image forming systems, digital image processing, and the statistical characterization of noise and system performance. Technical electives may be selected from courses offered in imaging science, color science, engineering, computer science, science, and mathematics. Both thesis and project options are available. In general, full-time students are required to pursue the thesis option, with the project option targeted to part-time and online students who can demonstrate that they have sufficient practical experience through their professional activities.

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The Ph.D. in imaging science signifies high achievement in scholarship and independent investigation in the diverse aspects of imaging science. Students contribute to an increase in the fundamental body of knowledge associated with imaging science. They acquire the capabilities, skills, and experience to continue to expand the limits of the discipline, and meet future scholarly, industrial, and government demands on the field.

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The laboratory science technology major, with its foundation of course sequences in chemistry, biology, and instrumental analysis, was developed primarily from an industry perspective to prepare students for employment as laboratory technicians. The major has several significant factors that set it apart, including the application of real-world analyses and a state-of-the-art instrumentation laboratory. Graduates are prepared to work in a broad range of fields, including chemical, biological, biotechnical, pharmaceutical, environmental, industrial, forensic, and food analysis. This program is only available to students seeking admission to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

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The laboratory science technology major, with its foundation of course sequences in chemistry, biology, and instrumental analysis, was developed primarily from an industry perspective to prepare students for employment as laboratory technicians. The major has several significant factors that set it apart, including the application of real-world analyses and a state-of-the-art instrumentation laboratory. Graduates are prepared to work in a broad range of fields, including chemical, biological, biotechnical, environmental, industrial, forensic, and food analysis. This program is only available to students seeking admission to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

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The advanced certificate in materials science and engineering is specially designed to establish a common base of materials-oriented knowledge for students with baccalaureate degrees in chemistry, chemical engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, and related disciplines. The program provides a new intellectual identity to those interested in the study of advanced materials and offers a serious interdisciplinary learning experience in materials studies, crossing over the traditional boundaries of such classical disciplines as chemistry, physics, and electrical, mechanical, and microelectronic engineering.

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The MS degree in materials science and engineering, offered jointly by the College of Science and the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is designed with a variety of options to satisfy individual and industry needs in the rapidly growing field of materials.

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Mathematical modeling is the process of developing mathematical descriptions, or models, of real-world systems. These models can be linear or nonlinear, discrete or continuous, deterministic or stochastic, and static or dynamic, and they enable investigating, analyzing, and predicting the behavior of systems in a wide variety of fields. Through extensive study and research, graduates of this program will have the expertise not only to use the tools of mathematical modeling in various application settings, but also to contribute in creative and innovative ways to the solution of complex interdisciplinary problems and to communicate effectively with domain experts in various fields.

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Crafting ways to package a range of products, from food and cosmetics to electronics and consumer products, for transportation, storage, display, and presentation.

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The MS degree in packaging science is designed to educate packaging professionals to become experts in the packaging development process. Students learn how to select raw materials, design, and create packaging to withstand environmental hazards during transportation, and to create aesthetically pleasing packages to pique consumer interest. Through a combination of theoretical and application-focused learning experiences, students gain comprehensive knowledge related to packaging design, package testing, product marketing, project management, and quality control.

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Gain experience in a wide range of technical imaging and photography applications by combining your imaging studies with studies in information technology, computer science, optics, and biology for careers with imaging and camera companies, research centers, forensic laboratories, and government agencies.

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The biomedical photographic communications option prepares students for photographic careers in a wide variety of environments including forensic and research laboratories, hospitals, and other biological settings such as ophthalmic (eye) clinics and veterinary research schools, or in other life science situations such as pharmaceutical companies. All students in the photographic sciences degree share foundational courses in combination with practical experiences using digital photographic equipment and processes, that include still and moving media, as well as digital media applications. Additional elective courses in the life sciences prepare students for work assignments such as creating images useful for scientists or biological research. Students can specialize in light and confocal microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and ophthalmic imaging. Course work can be used to assist in the preparation for certification as a Certified Retinal Angiographer (CRA), administered by the Ophthalmic Photographer’s Society. This option is part of the Photographic Sciences BS program.

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The imaging and photographic technology option prepares students for imaging or image analysis careers in governmental agencies, industrial or corporate environments such as Apple Inc., NVIDIA, and NASA. The third and fourth years allow students to build on a strong foundation of photographic technology, creating areas of specialization that include color measurement, high-speed imaging, optics and camera testing, and image analysis. Complementary courses include programming for imaging, physics, and applications of color in imaging. These courses provide hands-on exposure using modern tools and techniques. Students may choose from a variety of electives including scanning electron microscopy, high-speed photography, and imaging science, as well as image quality and color measurement and management. Many students have also taken advantage of the imaging systems minor to complete a unique education only available at RIT. This option is part of the Photographic Sciences BS program.

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Provide diagnostic and therapeutic patient care by eliciting medical histories, conducting physical examinations, diagnosing illnesses, determining treatment, providing medical advice, and much more.

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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.

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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.

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Take up to a year to explore RIT's portfolio of science programs before deciding on a major.

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The doctorate program in sustainability is the first program in the world to focus on sustainable production systems. It seeks to advance research and education in alternative-energy development, sustainable production, sustainable mobility, and eco-IT.

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Students in the MS degree in sustainable systems will develop an understanding of basic sustainability principles and have the expertise to analyze and solve complex sustainability issues.

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