Rochester Institute of Technology

College of Science

Astrophysical Sciences and Technology (Ph.D.)


One Lomb Memorial Drive

Rochester, NY 14623

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences and Technology

Format: Campus

Program Description:

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.

Plan of study
Students complete a minimum of 60 credit hours of study, consisting of at least 24 credit hours of course work and at least 24 credit hours of research. Students may choose to follow one of three tracks: astrophysics, astro-informatics and computational astrophysics (with the option of a concentration in general relativity), or astronomical instrumentation. All students must complete four core courses with grades of B or better, as well as two semesters of graduate seminar. Core course grades below B must be remediated by taking and passing a comprehensive exam on the core course subject matter prior to receiving the doctoral degree. The remaining course credits are made up from specialty track courses and electives. Students must pass a qualifying examination, which consists of completing and defending a master's-level research project, prior to embarking on the dissertation research project.

Electives include additional courses in astrophysics and a wide selection of courses offered in other RIT graduate programs (e.g., imaging science, computer science, engineering), including detector development, digital image processing, computational techniques, optics, and entrepreneurship, among others.


Middle States

International Student Requirements:

International applicants, whose native language is not English, must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A Minimum score of 550 (paper-based) or 79 (Internet-based) is required. International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores will be accepted in place of the TOEFL exam. Minimum scores will vary; however, the absolute minimum score required for unconditional acceptance is 6.5.

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid Description: For graduate study, many of the 70 graduate programs offer assistantships. Additionally, more than 9,000 student jobs are available on campus each year.

# of Credits Required: 60

Classification: Master's College or University I

Loans Offered: Loans may be available. Applicants may apply by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Candidates may work with RIT's Financial Aid Office to determine aid eligibility and funding options.

Locale: Large Suburb

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