Graduate Admissions

Graduate applicants should hold a bachelor of science degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics or a related field. Before beginning graduate-level work, students should have taken four semesters of calculus including differential equations, two or more semesters of college physics and an electromagnetism course as part of their undergraduate degree course work. A course in linear algebra is also recommended.

  • Applicants to the Graduate Certificate, M.S. in Optical Sciences, M.S. in PCE and Ph.D. in Optical Sciences programs, including all distance learning programs, must submit applications to the UA Graduate College per the instructions below.
  • Applicants to the M.S. in Optical Sciences and MBA Dual Degree program must submit applications to both the UA Graduate College per the instructions below and the UA Eller College of Management.

For information on funding, including research and teaching assistantships, please see the Funding section.

Deadlines

The application deadline dates are as follows. Submitted online applications with all supporting documents, including submitted letters of recommendation should be complete by this deadline.

Fall 2018 PhD Deadline (On-Campus)
Domestic Students: January 15, 2018
International Students: January 15, 2018

Fall 2018 MS Deadline (On-Campus & Online)
Domestic Students: July 15, 2018
International Students: May 1, 2018

Fall 2018 Graduate Certificate Deadline (On-Campus & Online)
Domestic Students: July 15, 2018
International Students (online only): July 15, 2018

Spring 2019 MS Deadline (On-Campus & Online)
Domestic Students: December 10, 2018
International Students: September 1, 2018

Spring 2019 Graduate Certificate Deadline (On-Campus & Online)
Domestic Students: December 10, 2018
International Students (online only): December 10, 2018

The admissions committee reviews all completed applications, and applicants will be emailed as soon as decisions have been made. The review and evaluation processing time varies depending on the program that you are applying.

We encourage students to apply well in advance of the stated admission deadlines in order to ensure admissions happens in a timely manner.

 

Change of Program

Students in the Graduate Certificate program must submit an application to be considered for admission to an M.S. or Ph.D. program. They cannot file a change of program form.

Students in the M.S. in Optical Sciences and M.S. in PCE programs must submit an application to be considered for admission to the Ph.D. program. They cannot file a change of program form. If a funding guarantee has been made, it should be included as a letter of recommendation.

M.S. students are not required to complete the master's degree program requirements to change to the Ph.D. program. Most Ph.D. students earn their master's degrees by passing the written and oral comprehensive exams.

Application and Required Documents

  1. Application
    • Complete the University of Arizona Graduate College official admission application online. There is no separate application for the College of Optical Sciences. Applicants upload required documents to complete the application. The admissions committee begins electronic review of completed applications and documents in mid-January. Their process continues to March.
    • Applicants interested in the M.S. in Optical Sciences and MBA Dual Degree must apply and be admitted to both the College of Optical Sciences (through the Graduate College) and the Eller College of Management.
  2. Transcripts
    • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to your Graduate College online application. All submissions must be in English.
    • Official transcripts are required only if admitted.
  3. Graduate Record Examination Scores
    • Request that ETS send your official GRE scores to the University of Arizona (code number 4832). Be prepared to enter your scores when completing your online application.
    • General GRE scores are only required for degree-seeking applicants (not certificate programs). Subject scores are optional.
    • Applicants who do not submit a General GRE will not be considered for any funding packages.
  4. Three or More Letters of Recommendation
    • Recommendations can be submitted either electronically (preferred) or by postal mail. Recommendation letters should be produced on official letterhead. Select individuals to write these letters who are well acquainted with you and who can comment on your qualifications and promise for a career in optical sciences.
      • Online: Submit your recommendation letters electronically using the recommendation module in the Graduate College online application.
         
      • Mail: Letters of recommendation may be sent directly to the admissions committee at the College of Optical Sciences. Address to:
        Admissions Committee
        College of Optical Sciences, Meinel 403
        The University of Arizona
        1630 E. University Blvd.
        Tucson, AZ 85721
  5. Statement of Purpose
    Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages. Upload it as a PDF to your Graduate College online application.
  6. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
    Upload your résumé or curriculum vitae to your Graduate College online application.
  7. Proof of English Proficiency (International Applicants Only)

    All international students applying to an Optical Sciences graduate program must submit English proficiency test scores (TOEFL or IELTS).  This includes students applying to the Professional Graduate Certificate, M.S. or Ph.D. programs, and includes students applying to the online and on campus programs.

    • TOEFL scores are required for international applicants. Applicants to the College of Optical Sciences must have a score of at least 600 paper-based (PB) or 79 Internet-based (iBT). Submit your scores to the University of Arizona (code number 4832). All reported scores must be dated within two years of the proposed date of enrollment.
    • Those who completed the IELTS must have a minimum score of 7. Have IELTS send official scores to Graduate Admissions, Administration Bldg. Room 322, The University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210066, Tucson, AZ 85721.
    • Exemptions for submitting English proficiency scores are explained on the Graduate College website.

Contact

For more information about graduate degree program requirements or completing an admission application, please email admissions@optics.arizona.edu or call (520)621-8418.