Bachelor of Science in Photonic Science and Engineering
University of Central Florida College of Optics and Photonics
USD 212 / per credit *
Earliest start date
* in State - out of State: $ 748.89 plus International Fees
Think about where you see the use of light in daily life – from the displays on your cell phone to the sophisticated technology needed to make the smartphone “smart”, photonics uses light to transmit, transfer, and store information. It’s an enabling technology, finding application is almost every industry and in many consumer products: Energy efficient lighting, cameras, satellite imagery, additive manufacturing, laser surgery, sensing, communication, entertainment, and much more. U.S. companies active in photonics employ 7.4 million individuals and account for $3 trillion in annual revenues. The photonics engineers employed by these companies are critical to their success.
Our Bachelor of Science in Photonic Science and Engineering will enable students to analyze and design optical and laser systems for a broad set of applications including manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunication, defense, security, and entertainment.
PSE students have many unique advantages at UCF. CREOL is home to faculty who are world renowned and leaders in the fields of optics and photonics.
Other strong advantages include:
- Strong undergraduate faculty who have lead the graduate programs to be ranked in the Top 15 nationally
- Strong connections to industry, enabling students to find internship opportunities
- Very active undergraduate student organization, the Society of Optics Students (SOS), which holds many events of value to our students.
- Strong academic advising program where students can get help as they register for courses and plan their degree program.
- One of only six programs in the United States that are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Learn More about Photonics
Lighting. Smart Fibers. Communication. Aviation. National Defense. Displays. Entertainment. Alternative Energy. Biology and Medicine. Sensing and Autonomous Vehicles.
Photonics will be fundamental in the 21st Century in an effort to improve technology, increase efficiencies, and advance a cleaner world.
Students who select the Photonic Science and Engineering program are required to complete coursework across four broad areas: General Education Program, Common Program Prerequisites, Engineering Core and Photonics Major Coursework:
General Education Program
Every state college and university in Florida requires the completion of coursework in five general areas for AA and B.S. degrees as part of a General Education Program. Types of courses included are English Composition, History and the Humanities, Social Studies and Biological or Environmental Sciences.
Common Program Prequisites
Common Program Prerequisites (CPPs) are taken as a PSE-pending major and form the foundation for all classes that follow. These courses include Calculus I, II, III, Differential Equations, Chemistry, and Physics I, II.
The engineering core of the PSE program focuses on electrical circuits, important for developing an understanding of how to design photonics technologies. Courses include Physics III, Linear Circuits I and II, Semiconductor Devices and Electronics I.
Photonics Major Coursework
Photonics major coursework consists of required course and restricted electives. The restricted elective differ from free electives in that students can only pick from a short list of approved electives, but still allows for flexibility in the types of courses a student will take.
While engineering lab courses are tied together and you receive a single grade for both the course and the lab, the photonics labs are separated from the lecture course. You will receive a grade for both rather than a single combined grade. The following courses should be taken concurrently, in the same semester.
- OSE 3200/OSE 3200L Geometric Optics + Lab
- OSE 3052/OSE 3052L Foundations of Photonics + Lab
- OSE 4410/OSE 4410L Optoelectronics + Lab
- OSE 4470/OSE 4470L Fiber Optic Communications + Lab
- OSE 4520/OSE 4520L Laser Engineering +Lab
- OSE 4830/OSE 4830L Imaging and Display + Lab
Senior Design I and II are the capstone courses for the program. Students are required to work with a group of 2-3 other students, from a field other than photonics, and design and build a working device that integrates significant photonics concepts.
Transfer Credit Evaluation
Substitutions for Photonic Science and Engineering requirements are on a course-by-course basis and must be approved by the PSE program. The decision is typically based on the degree of similarity of the two courses both in content and level of presentation. Regardless of transfer credit, the University and School residency requirements must be satisfied.
- Graduates have an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
- Graduates have an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
- Graduates have an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
- Graduates have an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
- Graduates have an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
- Graduates have an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
- Graduates have an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
Many Opportunities for Graduates
Graduates of the PSE program are in high demand and command high salaries. A typical starting salary is in the $60,000-70,000 range.
With over 3300 companies in 52 countries that produce photonics components, graduates have opportunities to work in the biomedical, aerospace, communication, energy production, data storage, defense and national security, information processing, or advanced manufacturing industries.
Plus, we have a strong master’s and Ph.D. program for those who wish to pursue an advanced degree. We have programs that allow students to easily transition to graduate school or earn graduate level credit while still earning their bachelor’s degree.