Major Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Optical Sciences and Engineering Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Optical Sciences and Engineering is an ABET-accredited program jointly administered by the UA College of Engineering and the Wyant College of Optical Sciences. A minimum of 128 units is required to earn the degree.

  • 18 to 26 units of General Education that does not also meet major requirements;
    • Foundations Writing Program includes 3 to 9 units depending on placement,
    • Foundation Mathematics is completed using MATH requirements in the major,
    • Foundation Second Language is waived for Engineering majors,
    • Exploring Perspectives includes 9 units in the Artist, Humanist, and Social Scientist areas. Natural Scientist is completed in the major requirements,
    • Building Connections includes 9 units from various disciplines, and
    • UNIV 101 (1) and UNIV 301 (1) may be waived for some transfer students. All others can expect to complete UNIV 101 in the first year and UNIV 301 after completing all other General Education requirements.
  • 44 to 46 units of Engineering Foundation Coursework;
    • 3 units of Introduction to Engineering (students who do not begin as a first time freshman at UArizona may use a substitute course with advisor approval),
    • 13-15 units of MATH to include calculus 1 and 2, vector calculus, and differential equations,
    • 8 units of Chemistry to include general chemistry 1 and solid state chemistry,
    • 8 units of Physics to include mechanics and electricity & magnetism, and
    • 12 units of Optical Sciences to include geometrical optics, physical optics, labs, and programming.
  • 36 to 38 units of Advanced Engineering Coursework;
    • 3-5 units of Electrical & Computer Engineering,
    • 6 units of Senior Design,
    • 3 units of Mathematical Analysis, and
    • 30 units of core Optical Sciences courses.
  • 18 units of Technical Electives;
    • at least 6 units from the College of Engineering (this includes OPTI courses),
    • up to 6 units at the 200 level (ECE 175, CSC 110, SFWE 101, and OPTI 100H are allowed in this count),
    • all courses must be STEM related.

Technical Electives

Technical Electives allow students to explore engineering, mathematical, and natural science topics to increase the breadth of knowledge or to focus on a specific field for a more in-depth understanding. Students may follow one of many paths in completing this requirement.

  • Tracks: A specific track may be followed in Opto-Electronics, Opto-Mechanics, Opto-Materials, or Biomedical Optics. All others follow the Optics Track.
  • Minors: Minors may be followed to complete this requirement. Not all minors will meet the 12 units of upper division.
    • Popular Engineering minors followed by OSE students in the past include: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering.
    • Popular STEM minors followed by OSE students in the past include: Astronomy, Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics & Data Science, among others.
  • Experiential credits: up to 6 units of Directed Research or Independent Study may be used towards technical electives. The units must be administered by a STEM unit at the University of Arizona. Internship credits are not allowable for this requirement.
  • Other courses: Technical writing courses are allowed. Art classes in animation are considered. Courses relevant to one's chosen profession may be entertained. Discuss other courses with the Academic Advisor.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing indicates that students pursuing degrees in the College of Engineering are ready for junior and senior engineering classes, i.e. 300- and 400- level courses. It requires successful completion of many of the courses listed in the first through fourth semester of the four year academic plan, with at least 12 units completed at the University of Arizona, and no admission deficiencies. Under special circumstances, a student may be deficient in one or two classes. However, deficiencies must be completes in the first semester in which the advanced standing was granted. Your advisor will assist in the Advanced Standing application in the spring semester when OPTI 210 is taken.

OSE requires a 2.5 grade point average among the following courses:

  • ENGR 102 (A/B), ENGL 101/102/109H
  • MATH 125 or 122 (A/B), 129, 223, 254
  • CHEM 151, MSE 110, PHYS 141 or 161H, PHYS 241 or 261H
  • OPTI 201 (R/L), OPTI 202 (R/L), OPTI 210, OPTI 280

Options to Consider

Given the wide range of research and inventions in optics, it is imperative OSE graduates are prepared for the many avenues that may lie ahead of them. Thus, students can consider the following options in their program.

  • Senior Capstone Experience: OSE students are allowed to take part in the McGuire New Venture Development Program (MNVDP)in place of Senior Design. The project must include some form of optics. If the MNVDP is completed in the junior year, the student may use the units in the Technical Elective area or in place of Senior Design.
  • Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) in Optical Sciences: Excelling students may apply to the AMP to utilize 12 units from their senior year in both the BSOSE degree and an MS degree. The 12 units include 9 required units that take the place of 9 other required units in the program plus 3 units of elective in OPTI at the 500 level.
  • Patent Law: Students may apply to take the Patent Law Bar Exam upon successful completion of the OSE degree under the Category B, Option 4 of the General Requirements Bulletin. Attendance in Law School is NOT required to take the exam and become a patent agent.

Current UArizona Students

Contact your advisor for questions and concerns.

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