The Institute of Optics

Graduate Program

PhD Program

The doctoral program is designed to prepare its graduates to carry out independent, creative research in an industrial, academic, or government setting. Admission to the PhD program is very competitive, with approximately 12 to 15 students admitted each year.

For financial and application information, visit the apply to Rochester page.

The Institute’s PhD program is a combination of research, coursework, teaching assistantships, and thesis work that students complete over four or more years. The typical PhD schedule is outlined below:

First Year

Second Year

Third Year

Fourth Year and Beyond

*For more information about the PhD program, see the Graduate Handbook.

Students can also connect with optics professional outside the institute through regular research seminars, visits by internationally known optics researchers, and participating in Industrial Association events.