B.S. in Optical Sciences & Engineering

The ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science in Optical Sciences and Engineering degree, housed in the College of Engineering and administered by the College of Optical Sciences, aims to:

  1. provide students with a first-rate education in the basic principles of optics and the mathematics and physics needed to understand the behavior of optical systems.
  2. provide students with experience in applying optical principles to engineering problems and in developing the laboratory and computer skills needed for a career in optical engineering.
  3. develop student's skills in effective communication and responsible teamwork, and to foster professional and ethical attitudes and a sense of social responsibility.
  4. teach students the design process and provide them with experience doing open-ended projects.

The B.S. in OSE program was built as a formal core curriculum with elective course concentrations called technical electives. Coursework can be completed in four years, though working students find extra time helpful. The core curriculum allows students to begin with a peer cohort in the third semester and remain in the cohort until completion.

The degree prepares students to work in optical design, optical fabrication and testing, lasers, optical detectors, optical instrumentation, and optical fiber communications directly after graduation — though approximately 50 percent of graduates choose to pursue higher degrees with great success.

Options within the program

The study of optics can be vast and attracts students of all kinds with varying interests. These are just a few ways students may tailor their degree.

  • Tracks: A specific track for technical electives may be followed in Opto-Electronics, Opto-Mechanics, Opto-Materials, or Biomedical Optics.
  • Minors: The technical elective requirement lends itself nicely to earn a minor of interest to the student. Popular minors include: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Astronomy, Computer Science, Physics, Mathematics, Statistics & Data Science, Technical Writing, among others.
  • Experiential credits: up to 6 units of Directed Research or Independent Study may be used towards technical electives.
  • Senior Capstone Experience: OSE students are allowed to take part in the McGuire New Venture Development Program (MNVDP) 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.
  • 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 University of Arizona Students
Prospective University of Arizona Students

If you have any questions about applying to the bachelor's degree program at the College of Optical Sciences, please contact the UA College of Engineering at engr-admissions@email.arizona.edu or 520-621-6032.