Major Requirements

Optics and optical engineering majors are required to take a total of 130 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.

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.

In order to graduate, a “2.0” overall GPA is required. In addition, students must achieve a GPA of “2.0” in each of the following areas:

  • All optics courses attempted
  • MATH 16X, 14X, or 17X series
  • PHYS 12X or 14X series
  • All cluster courses
  • WRTG 105 or authorized equivalent

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.)
ECE 210: Circuit Analysis for System Thinking
OPT 211: MATLAB for Optics Majors I (2 cr.)
OPT 212: MATLAB for Optics Majors II (2 cr.) or CSC 161 Introduction to Programming
OPT 223: Quantum Theory of Optics
OPT 225: Optical Sources and Detectors
OPT 241: Geometrical Optics
OPT 242: Aberrations and Testing
OPT 261: Interference and Diffraction
OPT 262: Electromagnetic Theory
OPT 287: Math Methods for Optics and Physics
Three technical electives (consult your 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)
MATLAB for Optics Majors (OPT 211 and OPT 212, 4 credits total or OPT 211 and CSC 161, 6 credits total)
Chemistry course
CHEM 137: Chemical Principals for Engineers is preferred, but students may take CHEM 131: Concepts, Systems, Practice I (AP score of 4 or 5 also satisfies)
MATH 161: Calculus IA and MATH 162: Calculus IIA (AP scores may give credit and/or placement)
MATH 164: Multidimensional Calculus
MATH 165: Linear Algebra with Differential Equations
PHYS 113, PHYS 122–123, PHYS 121–123, or Honors Physics 141-143*
ECE 210: Circuit Analysis for System Thinking
WRTG 273: Communicating Your Professional Identity
Three technical electives required
WRTG 105 or WRTG 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 PHYS 12X series. Consult with faculty advisor if you’re planning to take honors physics.