The Institute of Optics

Undergraduate Program

Major Requirements

Optics and optical engineering majors are required to take a total of 129 credits for their degree. The requirements for each major are outlined below. To see an example of what these requirements look like mapped out over four years, see our sample schedule.

Required Optics Classes

OPT 201: Geometrical Optics Lab (2 cr.)
OPT 202: Physical Optics Lab (2 cr.)
OPT 203: Instrumentation Lab (2 cr.)
OPT 204: Sources and Detectors Lab (2 cr.)
OPT 223: Quantum Theory of Optics
OPT 225: Optical Sources and Detectors
OPT 241: Geometrical Optics
OPT 242: Aberrations and Testing
OPT 261: Interference & Diffraction
OPT 262: Electromagnetic Theory
OPT 287: Math Methods for Optics & Physics
3 technical electives - Consult optics advisor to choose courses

Required Classes for Optical Engineering Majors Only

OPT 310 Senior Design I
OPT 311 Senior Design II

Required Classes for Optical Majors Only

OPT 320: Senior Thesis I
OPT 321: Senior Thesis II

Required Foundational Courses for both Optical and Optical Engineering Majors

Computing course(s)
   Class of 2019 and beyond: Matlab for Optics Majors (OPT 211 and OPT XXX, 4 credits total)
   Class of 2016, 2017, 2018: One HSEAS common computing course - CSC 160
Chemistry course
   Class of 2019 and beyond: CHM 137 Chemical Principles for Engineers
   Class of 2016, 2017, 2018: CHM 131 Concepts, Systems, Practice I (AP score of 4 or 5 also satisfies)
MTH 161: Calculus IA and MTH 162: Calculus IIA (AP scores may give credit &/or placement)
MTH 164: Multidimensional Calculus
MTH 165: Linear Algebra with Differential Equations
PHY 121 – 123, or Honors Physics PHY 141– 143*
ECE 210: Circuits & Microcontrollers for Engineers or equivalent (Consult optics advisor to choose method for meeting this requirement)
Three technical electives required
WRT 105 or WRT 105E
One cluster in humanities or social sciences plus one course in the remaining academic division

*Honors physics does not follow the same semester sequencing plan as PHY 12X series. Consult with faculty advisor if you’re planning to take honors physics.

Note: This sheet is intended to serve as a suggested road map to an optics degree. Consult with your faculty advisor for guidance if your intended individual academic path differs from the suggested model.