Optics and Photonics Minor (Non-Teaching)

The undergraduate non-teaching minor in Optics and Photonics provides a core set of knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the rapidly growing opportunities in optical science and engineering. Requirements include courses in optics, electrical engineering and physics, as well as electives chosen to match the interests and needs of each student.

Students pursuing the BS in Electrical Engineering can earn the Optics and Photonics Minor within the 125 credits required for the major by careful selection of electives and by completing an optics-related capstone design project.

Students pursuing the BS in Physics Professional Option or the BS in Physics Interdisciplinary Option can earn the Optics and Photonics Minor with no extra credits by carefully selecting physics electives, by taking EELE 482 as one of their university or declared area electives, and by completing optics-related research (PHSX 490R and PHSX 499R) as their required senior project.

Required core courses for minor (12 credits):
EELE 334Electromagnetic Theory I3
or PHSX 423 Electricity and Magnetism I
EELE 432Applied Electromagnetics3
or PHSX 425 Electricity and Magnetism II
EELE 482Electro-Optical Systems3
PHSX 427Advanced Optics3
or PHSX 437 Laser Applications
Optics electives (choose at least 9 credits):9
Physical Chemistry-Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy I
Photovoltaic Systems
Optical Communications Systems
Optical Design
Laser Engineering
Electrical Engineering Design I 3
Electrical Engr Design II 3
Undergraduate Research 1
Independent Study 2
Advanced Optics
Laser Applications
Advanced Physics Lab
Undergraduate Research 1
Independent Study 2
Seminar/Workshop 1
Senior Capstone Seminar 1
Total Credits21


The accelerated master's degree allows undergraduate students who are currently pursuing their minor in Optics and Photonics to make simultaneous progress toward an bachelor's and master's degrees that will prepare them for high-demand jobs in laser engineering, remote sensing, and more. In addition to the Optical Technology Center founded in 1995, MSU has a culture of interdisciplinary research and a history of partnership with Bozeman's thriving optics and photonics industry. The accelerated MS in Optics and Photonics is an interdisciplinary degree managed by the Optics and Photonics Degree Program Committee on behalf of the Departments of Physics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Chemistry and Biochemistry. Students apply to the Accelerated MS in Optics and Photonics and earn reserved credits towards the MS degree in Optics and Photonics while still an undergraduate.  Students are admitted after graduation into the MS in Optics and Photonics program through one of the participating departments, chosen by the applicant based on their areas and department affiliation of faculty working in those areas.  More information about the accelerated MS in Optics and Photonics can be found here: Accelerated MS in Optics and Photonics.