Master of Science in Optical Sciences Industrial Track


NOTICE:  The M.S. in Optical Sciences Industrial Track shares the same application as the M.S. in Optical Sciences program. If you are interested in being considered for the M.S. in Optical Sciences Industrial Track program, complete the M.S. in Optical Sciences application and indicate your interest for the Industrial Track program when prompted under the Supplemental Questions section.

The College of Optical Sciences has a long tradition of research and innovation in the science and applications of optics with strong impact on the regional, national and global marketplaces.  The Master of Science in Optical Sciences Industrial Track program  aims to enhance this impact by blending the world-renowned academic rigor of our traditional Master’s program with real-world, industrial experience in a laboratory setting. This program is currently only available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

The requirements of our traditional Master with thesis  program are the same  for the Industrial Track-program. However, upon successful completion of first year course work, students accepted into this program will have the opportunity to be placed into a credit-bearing, second year, paid position with partner companies. Many of the College of Optical Science’s Industrial Affiliates, along with other companies, have expressed interest and willingness to engage in this program. Positions are not guaranteed and it is anticipated that placement in partner companies will be a highly competitive process. Interested students have two stages of interviews – first with personnel in the College to be accepted into the program and then with potential partner companies. The College interview will occur in the first Fall semester of study, while the company interviews will occur in the following Spring semester. At this time only M.S. students entering graduate studies in the Fall semester will be considered for this program. Students should allow flexibility in working with a prospective employer related to timing of events in regards to the second year of the program. Upon successful completion of courses and thesis defense, students will be awarded a Master of Science in Optical Science, and will have 8-12 months of relevant work experience completed.

Numerous market conditions affect the ability of a given partner firm to participate in this program in any given year, and as a result positions will be offered at the sole discretion of the partner companies. As such The University of Arizona and the College of Optical Sciences make no commitment, either express or implied about the availability, composition, or duration of such internships. Those students that are not offered a partner company position will still be students with the M.S. in Optical Sciences program, either with thesis or non-thesis. For all cases, a faculty advisor from the College of Optical Sciences must be established. 

The following is a basic overview of the program timeline:

  • Fall application deadline: July
  • Start of the first year (on Campus): August
    • College I-Track Interview (on Campus): August 
  • Company Interview Event (on Campus): March (year + 1)
  • End of first year (on Campus): May (year + 1)
  • Cohort Departs Campus to begin position at company (arranged individually between the student and company): May-July (year + 1)
  • Start of second year (at Company): August (year + 1)
  • Research and potential distance-learning courses (at Company): August (year + 1) – May (year + 2)
  • Thesis Defense (On Campus/Remote if needed): Spring Semester (year + 2)
  • Graduation: May (year + 2)


For more information about the Master of Science in Optical Sciences Industrial Track program, please contact Lindsay Loebig, senior academic advisor, at 520-62 or