The Master of Science in Optics program is intended for students with a bachelor’s degree in optics, electrical engineering, physics, or closely related fields. The program is interdisciplinary and combines optical science and engineering.
CURRICULUMThe Optics MS program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. The program offers a thesis and nonthesis option. Students are allowed considerable freedom in planning their study programs, although some foundation Optics courses are strongly recommended as core courses and two research methods/laboratory courses are required.
|Total Credit Hours Required:|
Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree|
Additional notes on the curriculum:
- A minimum of 24 credit hours of formal graduate courses is required in the thesis option of which at least 12 credit hours must be formal Optics (prefix OSE) courses. A minimum of 27 credit hours of formal graduate courses is required in the nonthesis option of which at least 18 credit hours must be formal Optics (prefix OSE) courses. The remaining credit hours can be thesis or other elective and research courses as permitted in the option.
- At least 6 credit hours of approved optics or related science and engineering research methods/laboratory courses are required in both options. At least one must be in Optics or approved as an Optics substitute.
- Up to nine credit hours of appropriate graduate courses from accredited universities may be transferred with approval from the College of Optics and Photonics. Only courses with grades of “B” or better can be transferred.
Required Courses—15 Credit Hours
Core—9 Credit Hours
The following foundation courses are strongly recommended for all students unless they can demonstrate knowledge sufficient to waive the course in which case they will take an additional elective.
- OSE 5041 Introduction to Wave Optics* (3 credit hours)
And two of the following three courses:
- OSE 5203 Geometrical Optics and Imaging Systems (3 credit hours)
- OSE 6432 Guided Waves and Optoelectronics (3 credit hours)
- OSE 6525 Laser Engineering (3 credit hours)
* Note that OSE 5041 may be substituted by the student taking both OSE 6111 Optical Wave Propagation and OSE 6115 Interference and Diffraction.
Research Methods/Laboratory—6 Credit Hours
At least 6 credit hours of approved Optics and related science/engineering research methods/laboratory courses are required from the list below. At least one must be in Optics (OSE). One required laboratory may be waived if the student can demonstrate an equivalent hands-on proficiency in that laboratory specialization. These research methods/laboratory courses count toward the formal graduate course work requirement.
- OSE 6234C Applied Optics Laboratory (3 credit hours)
- OSE 6455C Photonics Laboratory (3 credit hours)
- OSE 6526C Laser Engineering Laboratory (3 credit hours)
- OSE 6615L Optoelectronic Device Fabrication Laboratory (3 credit hours)
- Other graduate-related science and engineering methodology labs may be taken with approval by the College of Optics and Photonics.
Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours
All students are required to take a minimum of 9 credit hours of electives. If students substitute OSE 6111 and OSE 6115 for OSE 5041, then the number of elective hours is reduced to 6 credit hours.
Any graduate course with an OSE prefix may be an elective with the approval of the adviser. In addition, the following courses are also accepted toward meeting the Optics (OSE) course work requirement.
- EMA 5610 Laser Materials Processing (3 credit hours)
- PHY 5455 Modern X-Ray Science (3 credit hours)
- PHZ 5505 Plasma Physics (3 credit hours)
- Other appropriate engineering and science courses may be taken with approval by the College of Optics and Photonics.
A listing and description of courses offered by the College of Optics and Photonics is found in the "Courses" section of the Graduate Catalog Menu at the top of the page.
Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours
The thesis option requires at least 6 credit hours of thesis research.
- OSE 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)
Independent study and directed research credit hours are not allowed toward the degree requirements. The student must prepare an approved program of study and form a thesis committee upon completion of nine credit hours. The MS thesis committee consists of three members, with at least two regular graduate faculty members from the College of Optics and Photonics. Students are required to write a thesis and pass an oral exam based primarily on the topics of the thesis and course work.
Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours
The nonthesis option requires an additional 6 credit hours of electives.
- Electives (6 credit hours)
Up to 3 credit hours of directed research (OSE 6918) or research report (OSE 6909) may be included as electives with prior approval of the College of Optics and Photonics although they are not counted toward the required 27 credit hours of formal course work. Students must prepare an approved program of study upon completion of nine credit hours. Students are required to pass a final oral comprehensive examination based primarily on the subject matter of the courses taken. The purpose of the exam is for the student to demonstrate his or her basic knowledge of the fundamentals of optics and photonics.
The nonthesis master's requires a minimum of two methods/laboratory courses as described above. These laboratory courses involve a substantial amount of independent learning on the part of the student. For example, laboratory reports must include sections on the theoretical and historical background behind the phenomena explored in laboratory experiments, and students are expected to obtain this background information on their own by researching the scientific literature. One required Optics laboratory may be waived if the student can demonstrate an equivalent hands-on proficiency in that laboratory specialization. These methodology/laboratory courses count toward the formal course work requirement.
INDEPENDENT LEARNINGAll students must take a minimum of two graduate methodology/laboratory courses in Optics or a closely related field that include experiments, research and laboratory reports. Nonthesis students also engage in directed research or research report. Thesis students enroll in 6 hours of thesis credits during the completion of their research study.
For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.
Before completing general UCF graduate application requirements, all applicants for programs in the College of Optics and Photonics are recommended to complete the pre-application process. The pre-application is located at http://www.creol.ucf.edu/Academics/Prospective/PreApplication.aspx.
In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:
- One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
- A bachelor’s degree in Optics, Electrical Engineering, Physics, or closely related fields.
- Official, competitive GRE score taken within the last five years.
- Goal Statement: Please choose the Personal Statement option. Your Personal statement should describe your career goals. Please include why you want to come to CREOL and how the MS will help you achieve your ulitmate career goals.
- Three letters of recommendation.
Students with degrees in related fields may be required to take undergraduate articulation courses determined by the program director on a case-by-case basis.
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International Transfer Applicants
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Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website
, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information
section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.