Doctor of Philosophy in Optical Sciences

The Ph.D. in Optical Sciences program prepares students for extraordinary opportunities in a fast-changing, high-tech world.

Graduates should expect to find unusually comprehensive career options available to them: They may lead, found, or make vital contributions to national or international academic institutions, research facilities or companies, or they may write revolutionary texts, advise U.S. presidents and agencies, make breakthroughs in fundamental science, contribute to NASA’s space program, develop critical defense technologies, innovate unprecedented advances in communications and entertainment, or devise lifesaving medical diagnostics.

Ph.D. students begin by taking a series of core courses designed to provide them with a solid background in optics. As they progress, they gain firm foundations in math and physics, statistics, electromagnetic waves, geometrical optics, quantum optics, and solid-state optics. The balance of coursework is flexible, and students will have the opportunity to explore all of the possibilities that interest them.

The centerpiece of a Ph.D. program is research leading to a dissertation, where students demonstrate a capacity for research resulting in an original contribution to scientific knowledge or engineering in optical sciences. As students progress, mentored by OSC faculty members, they will pass a series of oral and written exams culminating in the final Ph.D. dissertation defense.


For more information about the Doctor of Philosophy in Optical Sciences degree, please contact Lindsay Loebig, senior academic advisor, at 520-621-8418 or