Graduate Programs

As the largest optical sciences program in the United States, we educate more students in optical sciences than any other institution. Our graduates become professors, scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. They work in academia, in government, in industry, and in defense at both national and international levels. Most of our programs are available on-campus or online to best fit the needs of our students. Prospective and current graduate students can find more about admission details and program requirements below.

Program Requirements & How to Apply

Ph.D. in Optical Sciences

Requires 54 units of coursework and 18 units of dissertation to complete the degree.

Fall 2018 Ph.D. Deadline (On-Campus)
Domestic Students: January 15, 2018
International Students: January 15, 2018

*No Spring Admission Offered.

 

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The Doctor of Philosophy in Optical Sciences program prepares students for extraordinary careers and unlimited opportunities in a fast-changing, high-tech world. The program prepares graduates to serve as scientists or engineers in leadership positions in academia, research and industry. Graduates may work with other OSC Ph.D. alumni who have published scholarly books, headed scientific organizations, advised United States presidents and government agencies, contributed to NASA’s space program, devised lifesaving medical technology, directed national and international corporations, and founded successful companies.

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Ph.D. in Optical Sciences Application Requirements

Fall 2018 Ph.D. Deadline

Domestic Students: January 15, 2018
International Students: January 15, 2018
A submitted online application with all supporting documents, including submitted letters of recommendation, should be complete by this deadline. Documents submitted after the date cannot be guaranteed review.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related field.
  • Coursework should include four semesters of calculus including differential equations, two or more semesters of college physics and an electromagnetism course. A course in linear algebra is also recommended.
  • 3.0 GPA
  • International applicants: TOEFL 79, IELTS 7.0, or CESL Endorsement

Review Timeline

Ph.D. admission is only offered for the fall term. Review of completed applications begins in mid-January after the submission deadline. Due to the high volume of applications, the process continues up to mid-March. Review is comprehensive examining all elements of your application. 25-30 applicants from a pool of several hundred applications are selected for admission annually. You can expect an admission decision via email in mid to late March.

1. Application
  • Complete the University of Arizona Graduate College admission application online. There is no separate application for the College of Optical Sciences.
  • Optical Sciences does not offer application fee waivers.
  • If you are interested in being considered for the M.S. program if not selected for the Ph.D., indicate “yes” on Supplemental Question 14 on the application.
2. Transcripts
  • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to the online application. All submissions must be in English. Please note that these uploads are not considered your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are required only if admitted. Information on what is considered an official transcript can be found here.
3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
  • Send your official GRE scores to the University of Arizona (code number 4832) through ETS. Scores sent to this general code will be directed to Optical Sciences. You do not need to add a college code. Be prepared to enter your scores when completing your online application. GRE scores are valid up to 5 years.
  • Subject scores are optional. The Physics GRE is not required.
4. Three or More Letters of Recommendation
  • Recommendations are submitted electronically and 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.

Recommendation letters are submitted using the recommendation module in the Graduate College online application. You will input the recommender’s name and email, and they will be emailed a link to upload their electronic letter into the online system. If a recommender is having issues uploading their letter, they can email admissions@optics.arizona.edu.

5. Statement of Purpose
  • Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  • There are no specific prompts for the statement of purpose. Suggested topics to discuss are: why you are interested in optical sciences, your career goals, any specific optics area or professors that you are interested to work, and why you believe you are a strong candidate for the Ph.D. program. This is also your opportunity to address any lapse in grades or other past academic issues.
  • Upload your electronic statement to your Graduate College online application.
6. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Your resume or CV should include any work experience, research, publications, or activities that will demonstrate your ability to be a successful Ph.D. student.
  • Upload your electronic resume/CV 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, IELTS, or CESL Endorsement). This includes students applying to 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.
  • Optical Sciences accepts CESL Endorsement. The student must receive the endorsement during or close to the application deadline.
  • Exemptions for submitting English proficiency scores are explained on the Graduate College website.

Supplemental Documents

Applicants who have publications should not include the actual papers with their application. Instead, applicants can include the publishing information in their resume.

Applying for Funding

First year Ph.D. students receive full funding covering tuition, health insurance, and a stipend. The following years, students in good academic standing secure research and teaching assistantships. Applicants do not need to submit any additional applications to be considered for entering funding.

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.

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Time Limit

  • Degrees must be completed within five years of the student’s completion of his or her oral comprehensive examination. The Graduate College will grant extensions only in exceptional circumstances and may require students to retake the comprehensive examination. The average time to degree for Ph.D. students is 5.5 years.

Plan of Study

Working together with their major professor, each student develops a written study plan that will specify the balance between coursework and dissertation units for their Ph.D. degree. This plan must be filed with the department at the time the written portion of the comprehensive examination is taken. Video 6 can provide you with information how to complete the form.

All Ph.D. plans require a minor. Students can select their minor to be Optical Sciences. 9 units of a student’s 54 units of coursework can be used toward the minor. There is also the option to select a minor with an outside department. Please note that minor requirements vary from program to program.

Examination Methods

All College of Optical Sciences Ph.D. students will be required to complete and pass a qualifying examination and comprehensive examination. A qualifying examination is required to demonstrate sufficient mastery to pursue the doctorate as well as to determine areas of study where further course work is necessary. After completion of the qualifying exam, a student must pass a written and an oral doctoral comprehensive examination before admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. This examination is intended to test the student's comprehensive knowledge of the major and minor subjects of study, both in breadth across the general field of study and in depth within the area of specialization.

New Examination Method

New Students

The new exam method is required for all students admitted to the OSC Ph.D. graduate program beginning in the Fall 2015 semester and all subsequent semesters.

Continuing Students

Continuing graduate students have the option of following the previous exam method OR opting into the new exam method. Such students who have not previously taken any part of the previous comprehensive exam method are eligible. If a continuing student opts into the new exam method they are required to complete the new method and cannot revert to the previous one.

View New Exam Method Details   View Previous Exam Method Details

Ethics Courses

University of Arizona graduate-level ethics courses may count toward the M.S. in Optical Sciences and Ph.D. in Optical Sciences programs at the College of Optical Sciences, with approval from the associate dean for academic programs.

Transfer Courses

With approval of the associate dean, graduate work completed at another graduate-accredited institution may be transferred, provided these courses received a grade of A or B, are comparable to a UA course and were not used toward an undergraduate degree. Students must complete an evaluation of transfer credit form for approval by the associate dean in their first semester.

Waivers to these requirements may be granted by the associate dean for academic programs when determined to be in the best interest of the student and the college. The student's dissertation director will often be consulted prior to granting a waiver. All such waivers must be in accordance with the policies of the University of Arizona.

There is no specified maximum number of units a student may transfer; it depends on one’s background and chosen study program. Subject to department approval, as many as 12 to 18 units may be transferred (usually from math, physics or engineering courses).

Approved transfer courses are entered in the transfer section on the plan of study.

Minor

Most students both major and minor in optical sciences; however, it is also possible to minor in another department. Students taking courses outside the College of Optical Sciences for credit toward a minor in that department must meet with the graduate advisor of the other department to ensure all requirements for their minor are met.

Students interested in the quantum optics track of optical sciences may particularly wish to consider a minor in physics. Nevertheless, students are welcome to take courses in other departments even if they intend to minor in optical sciences  — we are flexible enough that virtually all of the courses in an related minor field may be taken without formally selecting it as a minor.  The associate dean for academic programs can advise you if there is any question about whether a specific course is suitable for your degree program.

Coursework

The number of units of graduate credit required for the Ph.D. in Optical Sciences is not specified explicitly; the requirement is for the equivalent of six semesters of full-time study. A minimum of 18 units of dissertation and 54 units of coursework is required.

OPTI 599: Independent Study units must meet the Graduate College policy and be approved by the associate dean for academic programs. Generally, six units of OPTI 599 are approved. Please note that only two nontechnical courses may count toward the Ph.D. degree requirements.

Two lab courses are required. Lab waivers are rare and only granted in exceptional circumstances. Students with such circumstances and needing to have one lab waived should contact the associate dean for pre-approval. Lab waiver requests should be submitted no later than a student's second semester of enrollment. While one lab requirement may potentially be waived, students must make up that one unit elsewhere (i.e. the total requirement of 54 units remains the same).

With the approval of the student's dissertation director, the required number of units may be reduced to 45. There are no exceptions to this minimum. The default requirement is not 45 course units. Note: The 45 units of coursework exception may be appropriate for a minority of students whose field of research requires fewer advanced courses and greater time for research.

Also with the approval of the dissertation director, a student may list a single C-graded course on their plan of study, but only if the plan of study has 54 units of coursework.  For example, if the student’s dissertation advisor has approved a plan of study consisting of 45 units of coursework, the student must pass all of those units and receive an A or a B in each of the 45 units of coursework that are graded and listed on the plan of study. If a student receives a C (or lower) in a course, that course cannot count towards the 45 units of coursework on the plan of study, and the student will need to take additional coursework (to be listed on the plan of study) in which a grade of C or lower is not received. the student and his or her dissertation director should carefully consider the value of retaking a course with a C grade.

A 54-unit and C-grade waiver form must be signed and submitted along with the student's doctoral plan of study.

OPTI 597B does not count toward fulfilling the Ph.D. program course requirements.

Core Curriculum

A total of eight courses from the following lists are needed to fulfill a student's core course requirements. Substitutions or waivers for core courses are not permitted other than in exceptional circumstances. A request for a course substitution or waiver must be approved first by the Associate Dean for Academic Programs and may require review by the Graduate Curriculum Committee. Students requesting substitutions or waivers should submit a one-page petition explaining the request and justification to Academic Programs prior to taking the written comprehensive exam. Requests will not be considered after a student completes their comprehensive exams. Transfer credit that is equivalent to core course requirements must be pre-approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Programs.

Letters and numbers correspond to the tracks table below.

Group I

Select two courses from the following.

Group II

A student must select one course under each topic. The qualifying and comprehensive exam policies (old and new) are stated in their prospective sections. 

  1. Electromagnetic Waves
  2. Geometrical Optics
  3. Quantum Optics
  4. Physical Optics
  5. Solid-State Optics
Group III

A student must select one course from this list. The material in the course chosen by the student will not be on the written portion of the comprehensive exam but will be on the oral portion of the comprehensive exam.

  1. Photonics
  2. Image Science
  3. Applied Optics
  4. Optical Physics
Tracks

Provided below are some recommended course sequences for various subject tracks.

Course AreasApplied Optics TrackImage Science Track

Photonics Track

Optical Physics Track

Mathematical and Physical Foundations 1

OPTI 512

OPTI 512 or OPTI 604OPTI 503A or OPTI 512OPTI 503A or OPTI 512

Mathematical and Physical Foundations 2

OPTI 508

OPTI 508

OPTI 508

OPTI 570*

1. Electromagnetic Waves

OPTI 501

OPTI 501

OPTI 501

OPTI 501

2. Geometrical Optics

OPTI 502

OPTI 502

OPTI 502

OPTI 502

3. Quantum Optics

OPTI 511R

OPTI 511R

OPTI 511R

OPTI 544*

4. Physical Optics

OPTI 505

OPTI 505

OPTI 505

OPTI 505

5. Solid-State Optics

OPTI 507 or OPTI 537

OPTI 537

OPTI 507

OPTI 507

6. Specialization Area

OPTI 503 or OPTI 506

OPTI 536

OPTI 510

OPTI 600G

*OPTI 544 and OPTI 570 assume previous academic experience in physics, particularly undergraduate-level quantum mechanics.

Laboratory Requirements

All students must include at least two introductory optics laboratory courses as part of their plan. These classes should provide hands-on experiences to help the students learn the fundamentals that are taught in the core lecture classes. While two lab courses are required, additional laboratory courses are strongly recommended. Students are not permitted to use both OPTI 512L and OPTI 571L to satisfy the laboratory requirements, only one computation-based lab can be used. The classes currently offered that satisfy this laboratory requirement are:

M.S. in Optical Sciences

Requires 32 to 35 units of coursework to complete the degree.

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

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

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The Master of Science in Optical Sciences program prepares students to enter exciting and challenging careers in industry or to continue their educations in the Ph.D. program. Graduates become engineers, designers and technical managers. They work in hardware design, medical and biomedical technology, lasers and electro-optical systems, fiber optics and communications, measurements, manufacturing, and consumer technology.

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M.S. in Optical Sciences Application Requirements

Fall 2018 M.S. Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: July 15, 2018
International Students: May 1, 2018

Spring 2019 M.S. Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: December 10, 2018
International Students: September 1, 2018
A submitted online application with all supporting documents, including submitted letters of recommendation, should be complete by this deadline. Documents submitted after the date cannot be guaranteed review.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related field.
  • Coursework should include four semesters of calculus including differential equations, two or more semesters of college physics and an electromagnetism course. A course in linear algebra is also recommended.
  • 3.0 GPA
  • International applicants: TOEFL 79, IELTS 7.0, or CESL Endorsement

Review Timeline

M.S. admission is offered for both the spring and fall semesters. Review is comprehensive examining all elements of your application. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This means that admission review is done periodically throughout the application cycle. You will be notified of your decision via email.

1. Application
  • Complete the University of Arizona Graduate College admission application online. There is no separate application for the College of Optical Sciences.
  • Optical Sciences does not offer application fee waivers.
2. Transcript
  • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to the online application. All submissions must be in English. Please note that these uploads are not considered your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are required only if admitted. Information on what is considered an official transcript can be found here.
3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Score
  • Send your official GRE scores to the University of Arizona (code number 4832) through ETS. Scores sent to this general code will be directed to Optical Sciences. You do not need to add a college code. Be prepared to enter your scores when completing your online application.
  • Subject scores are optional. The Physics GRE is not required.
4. Three or More Letters of Recommendation
  • Recommendations are submitted electronically and 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.
  • Recommendation letters are submitted using the recommendation module in the Graduate College online application. You will input the recommender’s name and email, and they will be emailed a link to upload their electronic letter into the online system. If a recommender is having issues uploading their letter, they can email admissions@optics.arizona.edu.
5. Statement of Purpose
  • Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  • There are no specific prompts for the statement of purpose. Suggested topics to discuss are: why you are interested in optical sciences, your career goals, any specific optics area or professors that you are interested to work, and why you believe you are a strong candidate for the M.S. program. This is also your opportunity to address any lapse in grades or other past academic issues.
  • Upload your electronic statement to your Graduate College online application.
6. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Your resume or CV should include any work experience, research, publications, or activities that will demonstrate your ability to be a successful M.S. student.
  • Upload your electronic resume/CV 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, IELTS, or CESL Endorsement). This includes students applying to 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.
  • Optical Sciences accepts CESL Endorsement. The student must receive the endorsement during or close to the application deadline. 
  • Exemptions for submitting English proficiency scores are explained on the Graduate College website.

Supplemental Documents

Applicants who have publications should not include the actual papers with their application. Instead, applicants can include the publishing information in their resume.

Applying for Funding

The College of Optical Sciences does not guarantee funding for M.S. students. Once the student has started their studies in our department, research or teaching assistant positions may be available, but are not guaranteed. There is no supplemental application with your admission application to be considered for funding since no funding is provided entering the program. Funding options are only available to on-campus students. To see the current tuition and fees rates, please visit the Tuition Calculator.

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.

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Time Limit

  • Six years. Extensions of time will be granted only in exceptional circumstances. The average time to M.S. degree for full-time students is 2.5 years.

Plan of Study

The plan of study must be filed by the end of the second semester in residence. With the approval of the student's major professor, a C-graded course may be included on the plan of study as long as the student's GPA remains 3.0 or higher. However, the student and his or her major professor should carefully consider the value of retaking a course in the event of a C grade.

Ethics Courses

University of Arizona graduate-level ethics courses may count toward the M.S. in Optical Sciences and Ph.D. in Optical Sciences programs at the College of Optical Sciences, with approval from the associate dean for academic programs.

Transfer Courses

If you are transferring units, please be aware that the time to completion limit begins with the year of your transfer units. Students must complete an evaluation of transfer courses form to be approved by the associate dean during their first semester. Transfer courses are to be entered in the transfer section of the plan of study by the student's second semester in residence.

Coursework

Suggested Coursework

The M.S. in Optical Sciences program has no core curriculum and students are not required to strictly follow the suggested coursework. Students may complete any optics course of their choosing to fulfill M.S. degree requirements.

Thesis Option

With the thesis option of the M.S. in Optical Sciences degree program, the student must complete a minimum of 32 units of University of Arizona graduate credit in optics or optics-related courses, including eight units of OPTI 910: Thesis and at least two units of optics laboratory courses. Most graduate courses are three units, so a typical student would take eight or nine academic courses and enroll for an additional eight units of thesis credit.

With approval from the department, up to six units of credit for appropriate graduate courses may be transferred from other universities.

Please note that OPTI 597B: Technical Writing and Communication does not count toward fulfilling the units required for the M.S. in Optical Sciences thesis.

For students who select the thesis option of the M.S. in Optical Sciences degree, the final examination is an oral exam based primarily on the content of the thesis.

Nonthesis Option

A minimum of 35 units of University of Arizona graduate credit in optics or optics-related courses is required for the nonthesis option of the M.S. in Optical Sciences degree, including at least two units of optics laboratory courses. Up to seven units of credit for appropriate graduate courses may be transferred from other universities with approval from the college.

The student must demonstrate competence in written communication by successfully completing an appropriate graduate course in technical writing or by writing an acceptable master's report in OPTI 909, for which three units of credit are received. OPTI 597B: Technical Writing and Communication or the UA graduate course PHCL 595B: Scientific Writing Strategies, Skills and Ethics may satisfy the nonthesis option in lieu of the master's report.

OPTI 599: Independent Study units must meet Graduate College policy, and they must be approved by the associate dean for academic programs. Generally, three units of OPTI 599 are approved.

For those selecting the nonthesis option of the M.S. in Optical Sciences, the final oral examination is based primarily on course subject matter. However, by mutual agreement between the student and the examination committee, the student's master's report can serve as the focus of the exam.

Laboratory Requirements

All students must include at least two introductory optics laboratory courses as part of their plan. These classes should provide hands-on experiences to help the students learn the fundamentals that are taught in the core lecture classes. While two lab courses are required, additional laboratory courses are strongly recommended. Some students may qualify to have one lab requirement waived by the associate dean for academic programs. Waiver of a lab requirement does not reduce the overall total number of units required for the degree. The classes currently offered that satisfy this laboratory requirement are:

M.S. & MBA Dual Degree in Optical Sciences

Requires 74 units of coursework to complete both degrees.

Fall 2019 M.S. Deadline (On-Campus & Online)
Domestic Students: July 15, 2019
International Students: May 1, 2019

Fall 2019 MBA Deadline (On-Campus)
Domestic Students: February 28, 2019
International Students: February 28, 2019

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The Master of Science in Optical Sciences and MBA Dual Degree program prepares students to create and lead technology-based enterprises and to expertly manage the technology transfer process. The MBA portion of the dual degree emphasizes the areas of business foundation, advanced business, specialized entrepreneurship and specially designed coursework for professionals dedicated to the business of science.

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M.S. in Optical Sciences and MBA Dual Degree Application Requirements

Fall 2019 M.S. Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: July 15, 2019
International Students: May 1, 2019

Fall 2019 MBA Deadline (On-Campus)

Domestic Students: February 28, 2019
International Students: February 28, 2019
A submitted online application with all supporting documents, including submitted letters of recommendation should be complete by this deadline. Documents submitted after the date cannot be guaranteed review.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related field.
  • Coursework should include four semesters of calculus including differential equations, two or more semesters of college physics and an electromagnetism course. A course in linear algebra is also recommended.
  • 3.0 GPA
  • International applicants: TOEFL of 100 iBT

Review Timeline

Eller MBA admission is only offered in the fall semester. Review of the optical sciences application is comprehensive examining all elements of your application. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This means that admission review is done periodically throughout the application cycle. You will be notified of your decision via email.

MBA Application

Students applying to the dual degree program must complete two applications-an application for the M.S. in Optical Sciences and an application for the MBA program. For more information about the MBA application, please visit: https://ellermba.arizona.edu/fulltime/admissions/process

1. Optical Sciences Application
2. Transcripts
  • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to the online application. All submissions must be in English. Please note that these uploads are not considered your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are required only if admitted. Information on what is considered an official transcript can be found here.
3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
  • Send your official GRE scores to the University of Arizona (code number 4832) through ETS. Scores sent to this general code will be directed to Optical Sciences. You do not need to add a college code. Be prepared to enter your scores when completing your online application.
  • Subject scores are optional. The Physics GRE is not required.
  • Eller College of Management accepts the GRE in lieu of the GMAT.
4. Three or More Letters of Recommendation
  • Recommendations are submitted electronically and 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.
  • Recommendation letters are submitted using the recommendation module in the Graduate College online application. You will input the recommender’s name and email, and they will be emailed a link to upload their electronic letter into the online system. If a recommender is having issues uploading their letter, they can email admissions@optics.arizona.edu.
5. Statement of Purpose
  • Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  • There are no specific prompts for the statement of purpose. Suggested topics to discuss are: why you are interested in optical sciences, your career goals, any specific optics area or professors that you are interested to work, and why you believe you are a strong candidate for the M.S. program. This is also your opportunity to address any lapse in grades or other past academic issues.
  • Upload your electronic statement to your Graduate College online application.
6. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Your resume or CV should include any work experience, research, publications, or activities that will demonstrate your ability to be a successful M.S. student.
  • Upload your electronic resume/CV 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, IELTS, or CESL Endorsement). This includes students applying to online and on campus programs.

  • TOEFL scores are required for international applicants. Applicants for the MBA Dual Degree must have a score of at least 600 paper-based (PB) or 100 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.
  • Optical Sciences accepts CESL Endorsement. The student must receive the endorsement during or close to the application deadline. 
  • Exemptions for submitting English proficiency scores are explained on the Graduate College website.

Supplemental Documents

Applicants who have publications should not include the actual papers with their application. Instead, applicants can include the publishing information in their resume.

Applying for Funding

The College of Optical Sciences does not guarantee funding for M.S. students. Once the student has started their studies in our department, research or teaching assistant positions may be available but are not guaranteed. There is no supplemental application with your admission application to be considered for funding since no funding is provided entering the program. Funding options are only available to on-campus students. To see the current tuition and fees rates, please visit the Tuition Calculator.

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.

For more information about the MBA degree program requirements or completing the Eller admission application, please email Steve Morrison, assistant director of the Full-Time MBA program, smorriso@email.arizona.edu or (520) 626-3391.

Click to View/Hide Program Requirements

Time Limit

Most students fulfill the M.S. degree requirements in two and a half years. The full dual degree program takes an estimated three to four years.

Plan of Study

Students are required to complete one plan of study for each master's degree program. These plans of study must be submitted during the fall semester of the second year of the program. Note that 17 units may be "double-dipped" toward meeting the dual degree requirements.

Transfer Courses

The two required three-unit MBA courses will be considered transfer units.

Coursework

Students pursuing the M.S. in Optical Sciences and MBA Dual Degree must complete all classes in both the College of Optical Sciences and the Eller College of Management with grades of B or higher. The M.S. in Optical Sciences requires 35 units of credit: 26 units of optics coursework and laboratories, three units of OPTI 909: Master’s Report, and two three-unit MBA courses (six units total) that will count toward both degrees.

The final exam will consist of an oral presentation based primarily on the master's report and the MBA summer project.

MBA Requirements

The MBA portion of the dual degree has its requirements set by the Eller College of Management. For more information please contact Steve Morrison, Director of Full-Time MBA Program, at smorriso@email.arizona.ed u or 520-626-3391.

 

M.S. in Optical Sciences, Industrial Track

Requires 32 units of coursework & on-site work experience for the degree.

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

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

Click to View/Hide Program Description

The Master of Science in Optical Sciences Industrial Track program blends the traditional legacy of OSC’s academic excellence with real-world, hands-on experience in an industrial laboratory setting. This program is currently only available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

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M.S. in Optical Sciences Industrial Track Application Requirements

Fall 2018 M.S. Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: July 15, 2018
International Students: May 1, 2018

Spring 2019 M.S. Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: December 10, 2018
International Students: September 1, 2018
A submitted online application with all supporting documents, including submitted letters of recommendation, should be complete by this deadline. Documents submitted after the date cannot be guaranteed review.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related field.
  • Coursework should include four semesters of calculus including differential equations, two or more semesters of college physics and an electromagnetism course. A course in linear algebra is also recommended.
  • 3.0 GPA
  • International applicants: TOEFL 79, IELTS 7.0, or CESL Endorsement.
  • Willingness to relocate to another city for the work experience portion after the first year.

Review Timeline

M.S. admission is offered for both the spring and fall semesters. Review is comprehensive examining all elements of your application. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This means that admission review is done periodically throughout the application cycle. You will be notified of your decision via email.

1. Application
  • Complete the University of Arizona Graduate College admission application online. There is no separate application for the College of Optical Sciences.
  • Select “Yes” on Question 11, Are you interested in being considered for the Industrial Track M.S. program?
  • Optical Sciences does not offer application fee waivers.
2. Transcripts
  • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to the online application. All submissions must be in English. Please note that these uploads are not considered your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are required only if admitted. Information on what is considered an official transcript can be found here.
3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
  • Send your official GRE scores to the University of Arizona (code number 4832) through ETS. Scores sent to this general code will be directed to Optical Sciences. You do not need to add a college code. Be prepared to enter your scores when completing your online application.
  • Subject scores are optional. The Physics GRE is not required.
4. Three or More Letters of Recommendation
  • Recommendations are submitted electronically and 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.
  • Recommendation letters are submitted using the recommendation module in the Graduate College online application. You will input the recommender’s name and email, and they will be emailed a link to upload their electronic letter into the online system. If a recommender is having issues uploading their letter, they can email admissions@optics.arizona.edu.
5. Statement of Purpose
  • Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  • There are no specific prompts for the statement of purpose. Suggested topics to discuss are: why you are interested in optical sciences, your career goals, any specific optics area or professors that you are interested to work, and why you believe you are a strong candidate for the M.S. program. This is also your opportunity to address any lapse in grades or other past academic issues.
  • Upload your electronic statement to your Graduate College online application.
6. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Your resume or CV should include any work experience, research, publications, or activities that will demonstrate your ability to be a successful M.S. student.
  • Upload your electronic resume/CV 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, IELTS, or CESL Endorsement). This includes students applying to 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.
  • Optical Sciences accepts CESL Endorsement. The student must receive the endorsement during or close to the application deadline. 
  • Exemptions for submitting English proficiency scores are explained on the Graduate College website.

Supplemental Documents

Applicants who have publications should not include the actual papers with their application. Instead, applicants can include the publishing information in their resume.

Applying for Funding

The College of Optical Sciences does not guarantee funding for M.S. students. Once the student has started their studies in our department, research or teaching assistant positions may be available, but are not guaranteed. There is no supplemental application with your admission application to be considered for funding since no funding is provided entering the program. Funding options are only available to on-campus students. To see the current tuition and fees rates, please visit the Tuition Calculator.

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.

Click to View/Hide Program Requirements

Time Limit

The M.S. Industrial Track program requires that students follow a two-year duration for completion of the degree. The College of Optical Sciences will consider exceptions to this timeframe on a case-by-case basis. The University time limit for a Master’s degree is six years. Extensions of time will be granted only in exceptional circumstances. The average time for all forms of the M.S. degree for full-time students is 2.5 years.

Plan of Study

The plan of study must be filed by the end of the second semester in residence. With approval of the student's major professor, a C-graded course may be included on the plan of study as long as the student's GPA remains 3.0 or higher. However, the student and his or her major professor should carefully consider the value of retaking a course in the event of a C grade.

Ethics Courses

University of Arizona graduate-level ethics courses may count toward the M.S. in Optical Sciences Industrial Track in special circumstances. Approval of such coursework must be obtained from the associate dean for academic programs prior to enrollment in such courses.

Transfer Courses

If you are transferring units, please be aware that the time to completion limit begins with the year of your transfer units. Students must complete an evaluation of transfer courses by the Graduate College and then via a second form to be approved by the associate dean during their first semester. With approval from the College, up to six units of credit for appropriate graduate courses may be transferred from other universities.

Transfer courses are to be entered in the transfer section of the plan of study by the student's second semester in residence.

Coursework

Thesis 

The student must complete a minimum of 32 units of University of Arizona graduate credit in optics or optics-related courses, including eight units of OPTI 910: Thesis and at least two units of optics laboratory courses. Most graduate courses are three units, so a typical student would take at least eight academic and laboratory courses and enroll for an additional eight units of thesis credit.

The M.S. in Optical Sciences Industrial Track final examination is an oral exam based primarily on the content of the thesis.

Example Course Schedule for an Industrial Track Student:

Cohort YearFallSpring
First Year
- OPTI 501 (3 units)
- OPTI 502 (3 units)
- OPTI 512R (3 units)
- Optics Elective (3 units)
- OPTI 505 (3 units)
- OPTI 503 (3 units)
- OPTI 511R (3 units)
- Optics Elective (3 units)
Second Year- 910 Thesis (4 units)- 910 Thesis (4 units)

Note: An option is to move the Optics Electives of the first year to the respective semester of the second year.  This coursework would be completed via the College’s distance-learning program.

Laboratory Requirements 

All students must include at least two introductory optics laboratory courses as part of their plan. These classes should provide hands-on experiences to help the students learn the fundamentals that are taught in the core lecture classes. While two lab courses are required, additional laboratory courses are strongly recommended. Some students may qualify to have one lab requirement waived by the associate dean for academic programs. Waiver of a lab requirement does not reduce the overall total number of units required for the degree. The classes currently offered that satisfy this laboratory requirement are:

  • OPTI 502L: Fundamentals of Applied Optics Laboratory
  • OPTI 505L: Fundamentals of Physical Optics Laboratory
  • OPTI 511L: Lasers and Solid-State Devices Laboratory
  • OPTI 512L: Mathematical Optics Laboratory
  • OPTI 513L: Optical Testing Laboratory
  • OPTI 515L: Optical Specifications, Fabrication and Testing Laboratory
  • OPTI 521L: Introductory Optomechanical Engineering Laboratory
  • OPTI 523L: Optomechanical Engineering Laboratory
  • OPTI 524L: Optical Systems Engineering
  • OPTI 569L: System Programming for Engineers
  • OPTI 571L: Optical Physics Computational Laboratory
  • OPTI 586L: Polarization in Optical Design Laboratory
  • OPTI 587L: Photonic Communications Laboratory
  • PHYS 578: Laser Spectroscopy and Atomic Structure

M.S. in Photonic Communications Engineering

Requires 30 units of coursework to complete the degree.

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

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

Click to View/Hide Program Description

The Master of Science in Photonic Communications Engineering educates engineers on how to address modern photonic engineering challenges with an emphasis on entrepreneurship and industrial relevance. The program pairs classes in systems-level engineering, marketplace demand and the technology commercialization process with course material in leadership dynamics, technology management, ethical professionalism and communication.

Click to View/Hide Application Requirements

M.S. in Photonic Communications Engineering Application Requirements

Fall 2018 M.S. Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: July 15, 2018
International Students: May 1, 2018

Spring 2019 M.S. Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: December 10, 2018
International Students: September 1, 2018
A submitted online application with all supporting documents, including submitted letters of recommendation should be complete by this deadline. Documents submitted after the date cannot be guaranteed review.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related field.
  • Coursework should include four semesters of calculus including differential equations, two or more semesters of college physics and an electromagnetism course. A course in linear algebra is also recommended.
  • 3.0 GPA
  • International applicants: TOEFL 79, IELTS 7.0, or CESL Endorsement

Review Timeline

M.S. admission is offered for both the spring and fall semesters. Review is comprehensive examining all elements of your application. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This means that admission review is done periodically throughout the application cycle. You will be notified of your decision via email.

1. Application
  • Complete the University of Arizona Graduate College admission application online. There is no separate application for the College of Optical Sciences.
  • Optical Sciences does not offer application fee waivers.
2. Transcripts
  • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to the online application. All submissions must be in English. Please note that these uploads are not considered your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are required only if admitted. Information on what is considered an official transcript can be found here.
3. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores
  • Send your official GRE scores to the University of Arizona (code number 4832) through ETS. Scores sent to this general code will be directed to Optical Sciences. You do not need to add a college code. Be prepared to enter your scores when completing your online application.
  • Subject scores are optional. The Physics GRE is not required.
4. Three or More Letters of Recommendation
  • Recommendations are submitted electronically and 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.
  • Recommendation letters are submitted using the recommendation module in the Graduate College online application. You will input the recommender’s name and email, and they will be emailed a link to upload their electronic letter into the online system. If a recommender is having issues uploading their letter, they can email admissions@optics.arizona.edu.
5. Statement of Purpose
  • Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  • There are no specific prompts for the statement of purpose. Suggested topics to discuss are: why you are interested in optical sciences, your career goals, any specific optics area or professors that you are interested to work, and why you believe you are a strong candidate for the M.S. program. This is also your opportunity to address any lapse in grades or other past academic issues.
  • Upload your electronic statement to your Graduate College online application.
6. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Your resume or CV should include any work experience, research, publications, or activities that will demonstrate your ability to be a successful M.S. student.
  • Upload your electronic resume/CV 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, IELTS, or CESL Endorsement). This includes students applying to 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.
  • Optical Sciences accepts CESL Endorsement. The student must receive the endorsement during or close to the application deadline. 
  • Exemptions for submitting English proficiency scores are explained on the Graduate College website.

Supplemental Documents

Applicants who have publications should not include the actual papers with their application. Instead, applicants can include the publishing information in their resume.

Applying for Funding

The College of Optical Sciences does not guarantee funding for M.S. students. Once the student has started their studies in our department, research or teaching assistant positions may be available, but are not guaranteed. There is no supplemental application with your admission application to be considered for funding since no funding is provided entering the program. Funding options are only available to on-campus students. To see the current tuition and fees rates, please visit the Tuition Calculator.

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.

Click to View/Hide Program Requirements

Time Limit

  • Six years; however, it is possible to complete the program in one year.

Plan of Study

The plan of study should be submitted by the beginning of your third semester. Completed plans of study should be submitted to the Academic Programs office in Meinel 403 for approval and processing to the Degree Certification Office at the Graduate College. If your coursework changes at degree completion, a change of study plan form will be submitted.

Transfer Courses

Upon admission to the program, you may transfer up to six units of relevant coursework from other universities, pending approval from the M.S. in PCE committee.

Coursework

Please note the coursework curriculum requirements and electives below changed starting with the Fall 2015 semester.

COURSEWORK - BEGINNING FALL 2015

The M.S. in Photonic Communications Engineering is comprised of 30 units. Students may opt to write a thesis (four units) or to take an approved elective lecture course (three units) and OPTI 589 (one unit). The following courses, worth 26 units, are required:

The following courses are approved electives:

COURSEWORK - BEFORE FALL 2015

The M.S. in Photonic Communications Engineering is comprised of 30 units. Students may opt to write a thesis (four units) or to take an approved elective lecture course (three units) and OPTI 589 (one unit). The following courses, worth 26 units, are required:

The following courses are approved electives:

Laboratory Requirements

Working professionals with applicable industry experience may have the opportunity to waive one or both laboratory course requirements.

Professional Graduate Certificate in Optical Sciences

Requires 15 units of coursework to complete the degree.

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

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

Click to View/Hide Program Description

The Professional Graduate Certificate in Optical Sciences is designed for working professionals would like to supplement their practical knowledge with formal coursework. The program’s rich variety of classes allows students the opportunity to explore the broad fundamentals of optical sciences or to choose courses of particular relevance to their immediate needs.

Click to View/Hide Application Requirements

Professional Graduate Certificate in Optical Sciences Application Requirements

Fall 2018 Graduate Certificate Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: July 15, 2018
International Students (online only): July 15, 2018

Spring 2019 Graduate Certificate Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: December 10, 2018
International Students (online only): December 10, 2018
A submitted online application with all supporting documents, including submitted letters of recommendation should be complete by this deadline. Documents submitted after the date cannot be guaranteed review.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related field.
  • Coursework should include four semesters of calculus including differential equations, two or more semesters of college physics and an electromagnetism course. A course in linear algebra is also recommended.
  • 3.0 GPA
  • International applicants: TOEFL 79, IELTS 7.0, or CESL Endorsement

Review Timeline

Graduate certificate admission is offered for both the spring and fall semesters. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This means that admission review is done periodically throughout the application cycle. You will be notified of the decision on your application via email.

1. Application
  • Complete the University of Arizona Graduate College admission application online. There is no separate application for the College of Optical Sciences.
  • Optical Sciences does not offer application fee waivers.
2. Transcripts
  • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to the online application. All submissions must be in English. Please note that these uploads are not considered your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are required only if admitted. Information on what is considered an official transcript can be found here.
3. One or More Letters of Recommendation
  • Recommendations are submitted electronically and 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.
  • Recommendation letters are submitted electronically using the recommendation module in the Graduate College online application. You will input the recommender’s name and email, and they will be emailed a link to upload their electronic letter into the online system. If a recommender is having issues uploading their letter, they can email admissions@optics.arizona.edu.
4. Statement of Purpose
  • Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  • There are no specific prompts for the statement of purpose. Suggested topics to discuss are: why you are interested in optical sciences, your career goals, any specific optics area or professors that you are interested to work, and why you believe you are a strong candidate for the Certificate program. This is also your opportunity to address any lapse in grades or other past academic issues.
  • Upload your electronic statement to your Graduate College online application.
5. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Your resume or CV should include any work experience, research, publications, or activities that will demonstrate your ability to be a successful certificate student.
  • Upload your electronic resume/CV to your Graduate College online application.
6. 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 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.

Applying for Funding

The College of Optical Sciences does not offer funding for graduate certificate students. To see the current tuition and fees rates, please visit the Tuition Calculator.

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.

Click to View/Hide Program Requirements

Time Limit

  • Four years.

Plan of Study

Upon completion of the required 15 units of graduate courses, the student must submit a plan of study to the Graduate College's degree certification office. At that time, the certificate will be posted to the student's transcript.

Coursework

Graduate Certificate students at the College of Optical Sciences must complete five three-unit graduate courses with a grade of B or better, for a total of 15 units of OSC graduate credit. The Graduate Certificate program requires continuous enrollment in at least three units, and international students completing the Graduate Certificate on campus must enroll in nine units, per residency requirements.

Transfer of Credits

Up to three units of appropriate graduate courses may be transferred from other universities and applied to the certificate. Transfer units must be pre-approved by the Associate Dean. After approval, a GradPath transfer form must be submitted to the Graduate College. The process must be completed before the end of the student's first semester in the Graduate Certificate program.

Upon admission, Graduate Certificate students may apply up to six units completed in nondegree graduate status toward the program requirements.  Please note that OPTI 597B does not count toward certificate requirements.

Professional Graduate Cert. in Photonic Communications Engineering

Requires 15 units of coursework to complete the degree.

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

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

Click to View/Hide Program Description

The Professional Graduate Certificate in Photonic Communications Engineering is designed for professionals to contribute to the photonic communications industry by creating technology solutions to address the global demand for improved telecommunications, and by possessing the necessary vision and knowledge base to successfully venture into technology commercialization.

Click to View/Hide Application Requirements

Professional Graduate Certificate in Photonic Communications Engineering Application Requirements

Fall 2018 Graduate Certificate Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: July 15, 2018
International Students (online only): July 15, 2018

Spring 2019 Graduate Certificate Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: December 10, 2018
International Students (online only): December 10, 2018
A submitted online application with all supporting documents, including submitted letters of recommendation, should be complete by this deadline. Documents submitted after the date cannot be guaranteed review.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related field.
  • Coursework should include four semesters of calculus including differential equations, two or more semesters of college physics and an electromagnetism course. A course in linear algebra is also recommended.
  • 3.0 GPA
  • International applicants: TOEFL 79, IELTS 7.0, or CESL Endorsement

Review Timeline

Graduate certificate admission is offered for both the spring and fall semesters. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. This means that admission review is done periodically throughout the application cycle. You will be notified of the decision on your application via email.

1. Application
  • Complete the University of Arizona Graduate College admission application online. There is no separate application for the College of Optical Sciences.
  • Optical Sciences does not offer application fee waivers.
2. Transcripts
  • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to the online application. All submissions must be in English. Please note that these uploads are not considered your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are required only if admitted. Information on what is considered an official transcript can be found here.
3. One or More Letters of Recommendation
  • Recommendations are submitted electronically and 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.
  • Recommendation letters are submitted electronically using the recommendation module in the Graduate College online application. You will input the recommender’s name and email, and they will be emailed a link to upload their electronic letter into the online system. If a recommender is having issues uploading their letter, they can email admissions@optics.arizona.edu.
4. Statement of Purpose
Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  • Your statement of purpose should be no more than two pages.
  • There are no specific prompts for the statement of purpose. Suggested topics to discuss are: why you are interested in optical sciences, your career goals, any specific optics area or professors that you are interested to work, and why you believe you are a strong candidate for the Certificate program. This is also your opportunity to address any lapse in grades or other past academic issues.
  • Upload your electronic statement to your Graduate College online application.
5. Résumé or Curriculum Vitae
  • Your resume or CV should include any work experience, research, publications, or activities that will demonstrate your ability to be a successful certificate student.
  • Upload your electronic resume/CV to your Graduate College online application.
6. 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 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.

Applying for Funding

The College of Optical Sciences does not offer funding for graduate certificate students. To see the current tuition and fees rates, please visit the Tuition Calculator.

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.

Click to View/Hide Program Requirements

Time Limit: 

  • 4 years 

Plan of Study:

Upon completion of the required 15 units of graduate courses, the student must submit a plan of study to the Graduate College's degree certification office. At that time, the certificate will be posted to the student's transcript.

Course Work: 

Graduate Certificate in Photonic Communications Engineering students at the College of Optical Sciences must complete five three-unit graduate courses with a grade of B or better, for a total of 15 units of OSC graduate credit. The Graduate Certificate program requires continuous enrollment in at least three units, and international students completing the Graduate Certificate on campus must enroll in nine units, per residency requirements.

Required Courses:

1. One of the two following courses:

2. One of the two following courses:

  • a. OPTI 500 D  E  F: Photonics Communications Engineering II (3 units)
  • b. OPTI 510R Photonics (3 units)

3. OPTI 501: Electromagnetic Waves (3 units)

4. OPTI 539A: From Photonics Innovation to the Marketplace (3 units)

5. OPTI 503A: Mathematical Methods for Optics and Photonics (3 units)

Minor in Optical Sciences

Ph.D. Students in Other Majors: Requires 12 units of coursework to complete the degree.

Ph.D. in Students in Optical Sciences: Requires 9 units of coursework to complete the degree.

 

 

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Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be enrolled as a current Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona. Minors are not available to master’s students.
  • University degree in optics, engineering, physics, mathematics, or a related field.

How to Declare Your Minor

Please visit the Graduate Advisor in Meinel 403D to discuss the requirements of the minor. You can also email the advisor at admissions@optics.arizona.edu or call (520) 621-8418.

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Minor Requirements (Students Majoring in Other Disciplines)

Students majoring in other disciplines must complete 12 units of approved College of Optical Sciences coursework with a grade of B or higher. One College of Optical Sciences faculty member is required to serve on the minor student's oral comprehensive exam committee (faculty members with a joint appointment in the student’s major department are highly recommended).

Study plans for students wishing to minor in optical sciences must be approved by the associate dean of academic programs. When completing the Plan of Study in GradPath, the student will select Optical Sciences as the minor and Richard J Koshel (jkoshel@optics.arizona.edu) as the Minor Advisor. In general, approval will be only given to plans in which at least nine of the 12 units are courses for which the College of Optical Sciences is the home department.

Minor Requirements (Students Majoring in Optical Sciences)        

The University of Arizona requires all doctorate students to declare a minor. Current OSC Ph.D. students can declare both optical sciences for their major and minor or declare a minor with an outside department. The minor in optical sciences requires 9 units, which also count toward the 54 unit major requirement.

When completing the Plan of Study in GradPath, the student will select Optical Sciences as the minor and their faculty advisor as the Minor Advisor.

Non-Degree Seeking

No minimum coursework is required.

Fall 2018 Non-Degree Seeking Deadlines
Domestic: August 1, 2018
International (online only): August 1, 2018

Spring 2019 Non-Degree Seeking Deadlines
Domestic: December 21, 2017
International (online only): December 21, 2017

Click to View/Hide Application Requirements

Graduate Non-Degree Seeking Application Requirements

Non-degree admission allows individuals to take graduate-level coursework without committing to a graduate degree.

Fall 2018 Graduate Certificate Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: July 15, 2018
International Students (online only): July 15, 2018

Spring 2019 Graduate Certificate Deadline (On-Campus & Online)

Domestic Students: December 10, 2018
International Students (online only): December 10, 2018

Requirements

The minimum requirement for Non-Degree seeking graduate admission is the receipt of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university/college or a final degree awarded from a comparable institute of higher education as evaluated by the University of Arizona Graduate College.  There is no GPA requirement for graduate Non-degree seeking students. 

Review Timeline

Non-degree admission is offered for both the spring and fall semesters. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis by the Graduate College. This means that admission review is done periodically throughout the application cycle.

1. Application
  • Complete the University of Arizona Graduate College admission application online. Make sure to apply to the appropriate campus: UA Online for online applicants and Main Campus for on-campus applicants.
2. Transcripts
  • Upload PDF scans of institute-issued transcripts or diplomas to the online application. All submissions must be in English. Please note that these uploads are not considered your official transcript.
  • Official transcripts are required only if admitted. Information on what is considered an official transcript can be found here.
3. Proof of English Proficiency (International Applicants Only)

All international students must submit English proficiency test scores (TOEFL or IELTS).  This includes students applying to non-degree seeking 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.

Applying for Funding

The University of Arizona does not offer funding for non-degree seeking students. Non-degree students are not eligible for the WRGP/WICHE program or for federal financial aid (FAFSA). To see the current tuition and fees rates, please visit the Tuition Calculator.

Contact

For more information about graduate degree program requirements or completing an admission application, please email gradadmissions@grad.arizona.edu or call (520)621-7815

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Requirements

The minimum requirement for non-degree seeking graduate admission is the receipt of a U.S. Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited university/college or a final degree awarded from a comparable institute of higher education as evaluated by the University of Arizona Graduate College. There is no GPA requirement for graduate non-degree seeking students. 

Applying for Funding

The University of Arizona does not offer funding for non-degree seeking students. Non-degree students are not eligible for the WRGP/WICHE program. To see the current tuition and fees rates, please visit the Tuition Calculator.

Non-Degree Seeking Requirements

Non-degree seeking students may enroll in any graduate-level optical sciences courses as long as they meet the minimum requirements for the class. Graduate non-degree students can also take undergraduate level courses (only offered on-campus) or courses in other departments.

  • Up to 12 units of graduate credit earned in Non-Degree status may be applied toward a graduate degree once the student obtains admission to a degree program.
  • Up to 6 units of graduate credit earned in Non-Degree status may be applied toward a graduate once the student obtains admission to a certificate program.
  • An applicant who has earned a minimum of 6 graded graduate units in the major from the University of Arizona, with a GPA of 3.0 or better, is eligible to be admitted to the relevant degree if recommended by the program. 
  • Non-degree seeking students must enroll in at least 1 unit every spring or fall semester, or the Graduate College will be removed from the program and will need to reapply.

To see more, please visit the Graduate Admissions page.

For More Information

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