Founded in 1929, the Institute of Optics was the first optics education program in the nation.

The Institute of Optics is an academic department within the University of Rochester and grants undergraduate, master’s and PhD degrees in optics.

Through rigorous academic instruction, laboratory exercises, informal events, and networking opportunities, faculty and staff at the Institute of Optics are dedicated to providing a challenging and enjoyable educational experience in the broad field of optics.


Industrial Associates Program

Since 1974, the Institute of Optics has maintained an Industrial Associates Program. Currently, 49 companies are members. This mutually beneficial partnership provides training to industry partners, increases the Institute’s ability to educate students to assume key roles in the optics industry, and provides networking opportunities between industry partners and current students.

Optics Summer Short Course Series 

The Institute of Optics also runs an Optics Summer Short Course Series, which is a collection of short courses ranging from fundamentals to advanced topics in optical science and engineering. The courses are taught by national leaders in optics from the Institute and around the country.

75 years of the Institute of Optics

This volume of essays celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Optics is a comprehensive history dedicated to Rudolf and Hilda Kingslake whose association with the Institute spanned almost the entire time.