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BSc Optical Sciences and Engineering

Optical engineers use lasers, lenses, spectrometers and other light-manipulating systems to design equipment for manufacturing, medicine, communications and space exploration. Join the Optical Sciences and Engineering program from University of Arizona to learn more.

Quick Facts

Full-time Duration: 4 years
Starting in: August, January, May
Tuition Fee: $37,116 per year
Location: Tucson, United States

Optical engineers at the UA are world-leaders in designing and fabricating highly specialized optics. Students work alongside faculty and professionals on projects of global significance, such as the Giant Magellan Telescope, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, and OSIRIS-REx, an unmanned probe set to launch in 2016 and land on and sample an asteroid before returning to Earth.

The optical sciences and engineering major has four tracks:

  • Optics: upper-division optics courses
  • Optoelectronics: circuits and electromagnetism
  • Optical materials: materials science
  • Optomechanics: statics, dynamics and design

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“Choosing the Master’s program for Physiological Sciences at the University of Arizona was one of the best decisions I could have made in my education. Our department is warm and collaborative, offering an array of research topics and techniques underneath a vast and integrative umbrella of physiology. Beyond my research experience, I was presented with teaching opportunities, which I feel honed my skill of scientific communication. Having the dynamic research/teaching/class schedule not only kept me active but helped me reinforce material in multiple contexts. Overall, this program was exactly what I wanted in my segway into the medical sciences… and with my teaching assistantship paying for my tuition, how could I say no?”​

Andrew Wojtanowski // MS 2016


Graduates of the Optical Sciences and Engineering program from University of Arizona are ready to work in optical design, optical fabrication and testing, lasers, optical detectors, optical instrumentation, and optical fiber communications — and to successfully pursue higher degrees and an academic career.

Optical engineers do research and development in medicine and the military, develop new lenses for space telescopes, improve fiber optic systems, and design metamaterials with unique optical properties.

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