M.S. in Optics Plan B

The M.S. Degree in Optics and Photonics is an interdisciplinary, cooperative program managed by the Optics Program Committee on behalf of the three participating departments: Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Chemistry and Biochemistry. Students apply directly to the Optics and Photonics Graduate Program and are admitted through one of the participating departments, selected based on advisor affiliation and student interest.

The Optics and Photonics degree is distinct from the other graduate degrees offered by the participating departments because it requires interdisciplinary coursework involving at least two of the departments. The interdisciplinary program of study allows students to emphasize optics theory and applications in more depth than is possible through degrees in the traditional disciplines. Each optics student will be mentored by a graduate advisor from the faculty of one of the three participating departments, and a graduate supervisory committee made up of faculty from at least two of the three departments in the cooperative program.

The Plan B program emphasizes coursework, but also includes preparation of a required Professional Paper.  The paper, prepared under the guidance of the student's advisor, covers a focused aspect of research, design, or engineering education.  The Professional Paper is generally not as comprehensive as the research Thesis required for the M.S. Degree Plan A, but it is desirable that the Plan B Professional Paper be of sufficient quality and scope to serve as the basis for a conference paper or presentation.

More information on the admission requirements, application process, and degree requirements can be found at  : 


and at:

 M. S. in Optics and Photonics  

Choose two key courses:6
Advanced Optics
Laser Applications
Electro-Optical Systems
Laser Engineering
Choose one specialty course:3
Fourier Optics/Imaging Theory
Optical Design
Nonlinear Optics/Laser Spectroscopy
Analytic Optical Spectroscopy
Symmetry, Orbitals, and Spectroscopy
Optics electives (choose at least 6 credits):6
Photovoltaic Systems
Applied Electromagnetics
Electro-Optical Systems
MEMS Sensors and Actuators
Adv Top Electromagnet & Optics
Optical Communications Systems
Fourier Optics/Imaging Theory
Optical Design
Remote Sensing Systems
Laser Engineering
Advanced Optics
Laser Applications
Quantum Mechanics I (for non-physics students)
Quantum Mechanics II
Advanced Topics In Physics 1
Experimental Physics (Fall - Optics)
Electromagnetic Theory II
Nonlinear Optics/Laser Spectroscopy
Advanced Instrument Analysis
Analytic Optical Spectroscopy
Quantum Mechanics
Symmetry, Orbitals, and Spectroscopy
Adv Quantum Chemistry
Material Structure and Bonding
Optical, Electronic, and Magnetic Properties of Materials
Adv Materials Characterization
Adv Material Character II
EELE/PHSX/CHMY/ 591 Special Topics 1
EELE/PHSX/CHMY/ 592 Independent Study 1
OPTI 594 Optics Seminar 2
Technical electives (choose at least 12 credits in these areas. 7 of the 12 credits must be approved optics related electives): 312
ECE, Physics, Math, Chemistry, Business, other as approved. All must be 400-level or above.
Professional Paper (OPTI 575)3
Total Credits30

Note:  At least 20 credits must be at the 500 level.


 A maximum of three (3) credits total among these courses is allowed if the subject is directly related to optics, upon the approval by the academic advisor and research advisor/instructor.


 A maximum of two (2) credits total of optics seminar is allowed.


 Optics related technical electives must be reviewed and approved by your academic advisor.