Degree Requirements

Phase I

New full-time students typically come into the OSE program via a one academic year teaching assistantship appointment in the department of physics or in one of the departments of engineering. The core phase of instruction consists of 19 semester hours of coursework in the following: Geometrical Optics (PH/OSE 541), Physical Optics (PH/OSE 542), Fourier Optics (PH/OSE 632), Lasers (PH/OSE 645), Radiometry (PH/OSE 546), Optical Testing (OSE 654), and Optical Testing Lab (OSE 653). To complete this phase and become eligible to continue, the student must pass the written Preliminary Examination (typically administered at the end of the spring semester) on the above topics. Only two attempts will be permitted. After successful completion of this phase, the student should have acquired the common optics background necessary for continuing in the doctoral program. It is the student’s responsibility to seek out a dissertation advisor during this first year and complete a draft Program of Study. Once the Preliminary Examination has been passed, a graduate committee will be formed and a final Program of Study will be completed and submitted to the OSE Program Director for review. The Program of Study will then be submitted to the Graduate School for final approval.

Phase II

Consists of completing coursework in the Program of Study. Much of this coursework will support the dissertation research to be conducted in Phase III. Credits earned toward a thesis-based master’s degree (including up to 9 hours of master’s thesis) may be applied to the doctoral degree. Phase II is completed when the student has passed the Qualifying Examination which is prepared and administered by the student’s graduate committee. This exam consists of both written and oral parts. Written questions are typically drawn from material covered in the courses listed on the Program of Study and may be written by any or all of the committee members. The student will be given a time limit for submitting the solutions (typically one week). The oral part of the exam consists of defending a proposal for dissertation research prepared by the student and distributed to the graduate committee at least two weeks prior to the exam. The proposal will demonstrate that the student is intimately familiar with the research to be done, that published research related to the proposal has been reviewed, and that the student has a clear understanding of how to proceed and can set realistic goals. If the student fails the Qualifying Examination, a second attempt will be scheduled. Only two attempts are allowed.

Phase III

Consists of all experimental and/or theoretical work needed to complete the student’s dissertation. These activities will be directly supervised by the student’s advisor with input from the supervisory committee obtained during regular meetings. There must be at least two supervisory committee meetings with the student before the dissertation defense. Since the Ph.D. is a research degree, recipients must demonstrate the ability to perform independent original research and to clearly communicate this work both in written and oral formats. A paper on the dissertation research must have been submitted to a recognized refereed technical journal before the Final Examination, which consists of a public, oral presentation and defense of the dissertation.

Advisement

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.

Additional Information

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.

Elective Optics Courses

The following elective optics courses are also available to students in the OSE program. See descriptions under indicated departments.

Electrical Engineering

Course Title Semester Hours
EE 532 OPTICAL SYSTEMS DESIGN 3
EE 543 OPTICAL COMM SYS & NETWORKS 3
PH 544 OPTOELECTRONICS 3
EE 570 OPTICS & PHOTONICS SYSTEM DESIGN 3
EE 604 DIGITAL IMAGE PROCESSING 3
EE 633 ELECTRO-OPTICAL ENGINEERING 3
EE 634 OPTICAL COMMUNICATIONS 3
EE 733 NONLINEAR OPTICS APPLICATIONS 3
EE 734 FIBER OPTICS 3
EE 735 STATISTICAL OPTICS 3
EE 738 OPTICAL TRANSFORMS/PATTERN RECOGNITION 3

Physics

Course Title Semester Hours
PH 544 OPTOELECTRONICS 3
PH 570 OPT & PHOTONIC SYSTEMS DESIGN 3
PH 642 OPTICAL PHYSICS 3
PH 651 QUANTUM MECHANICS I 3
PH 652 QUANTUM MECHANICS II 3
PH 733 QUANTUM DEVICES 3
PH 745 LASERS II 3

Mechanical Engineering

Course Title Semester Hours
MAE 677 OPTICAL TECH IN SOLID MECH 3
MAE 757 OPT TECH/FLUID MECHANICS 3