Admission Requirements for Optical Science & Engineering


In addition to fulfilling admission requirements set by Graduate School, applicants must also have:

  • A bachelor's degree in science or engineering from an approved college or university;
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 overall;
  • A combined score of 300 on the verbal, quantitative and analytical sections and at least 3.0 in the writing section of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • For international students,TOEFL (iBT): All sub-scores greater than or equal to 18; Or IELTS: All sub-scores greater than or equal to 6.5.
  • Three letters of reference.

The first step for any potential OSE student is to be accepted into the graduate school of UAH. The applications received by the graduate school will then be evaluated by a subcommittee of the OSE faculty before being recommended for admission to the program. An applicant whose scholastic record reveals a deficiency may, upon recommendation of the Program Director and the approval of the Graduate Dean, be admitted on a conditional basis, as per Graduate School regulations. However, that student must follow the Graduate School's policies in achieving unconditional admission status prior to taking the written OSE Preliminary Examination, normally given at the end of the spring semester.


A student admitted to the program will schedule a meeting with the OSE Program Director for initial advisement and it is the student’s responsibility to consult with all OSE faculty members in the area of specialization chosen by the student and arrive at a permanent advisor for dissertation research.

A graduate supervisory committee will be assembled when the student has passed the Preliminary Examination and selected a research project. The committee will include an advisor and a minimum of four other members. At least one of the committee members will be from a department other than the student’s home department, such as Physics. The fifth member may also be from another university or outside any university as long as approval to serve has been granted by the School of Graduate Studies. The composition of the committee will follow the rules governing such committees as set forth by the graduate school catalog. The graduate committee is charged with supervision and approval of the student’s research and course of study leading to the completion of all requirements for the degree.

Residency Requirement

The minimum period in which a Ph.D. in Optical Science and Engineering can be earned is three full academic years of graduate study.

Time Limit

All requirements for the doctoral degree must be completed in no more than five years after the student has passed the Qualifying Examination. Dated credits may be accepted if recommended by a student’s committee, the OSE Program Committee, and approved by the Graduate School. The student will be required to demonstrate competence in the dated course work.