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A PhD student prepares samples for imaging cells using a quantitative phase microscope at the Institute of Optics.

Institute of Optics aims for 50 percent increase in faculty

A $12 million challenge fund presents an opportunity to increase the program’s prominence at a critical time for the optics field.

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A graduate student prepares samples for imaging cells using a quantitative phase microscope to measure angularly resolved light scattering from single cells in order to size organelle distributions, in the lab of optics professor Andrew Berger.

HOME MS Program

The Hybrid Optics Master’s Education (HOME) program offers the world-renowned Institute of Optics MS, taking advantage of the best remote-learning practice and a special in person component crafted to meet the needs of busy professionals.

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Students with a professor in a lab

Educating the next generation of optics leaders

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Studying light's generation, propagation, detection and interaction with matter

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Students with portable "Eye Profiler"

Combining physics, engineering, chemistry and materials science

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Major & Minor

Pursue a degree or take courses in optics or optical engineering.

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Graduate Studies

We emphasize collaboration and collegiality in our master’s and doctoral programs.

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Optics Research

Research includes quantum optics, nanophotonics, optoelectronics, and more.

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Artist's rendering of Europa Clipper Spacecraft flying over a Jupiter's Europa moon.


Advanced Lens Design teaches optics through teamwork

A popular optical engineering course equips students with technical and professional skills while putting them on the radar of industry-connected alumni.

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In the News

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Industry Partnerships

Industrial Associates Program

The IA Program provides training and informational benefits to participating companies and allows the Institute to learn more about industry needs and concerns. This exchange improves our partners’ ability to use modern optical technology while increasing our ability to educate individuals to assume key roles within their companies.

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Working Here

Current Openings

View current job openings for students/graduates and faculty.

Lasers from the Omega lab.


Federal funding bolsters Rochester’s development of next-generation lasers

The National Science Foundation grant will connect University, industry, and business partners to grow the region’s laser workforce.

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A graphic image depicting light-matter interactions.

Quantum Center

Center for Quantum Electrodynamics for Selective Transformations (QuEST)

QuEST is an interdisciplinary team exploring creative strategies to enable new chemical reactivities beyond the traditional paradigm of chemistry by utilizing quantum light-matter interactions between molecules and radiation inside an optical cavity.

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Our Commitment

Why Study at the Institute of Optics?

We are committed to giving you the education, mentoring, and tools to thrive in this growing field. Our graduates go on to careers at major universities, industrial and governmental labs, top companies, or their own business.

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108700average salary

On average, Institute of Optics graduates are earning $108,700.

Career Outcomes

Career outcomes graph for a major in optics (class of 2022).
100% of responding 2022 graduates reported a positive career outcome.

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Want more information about the Institute of Optics? Contact us.