MS in Photonics

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

The Master of Science (MS) program in Photonics is designed to prepare students for technically demanding careers in industry as well as for post-master’s graduate studies in photonics or related fields. More specifically:

  • It allows students to take up to 28 credits of advanced engineering courses of structured and rigorous content in preparation for careers in industry as well as entry into PhD programs in photonics and related areas.
  • It requires students to build depth in a photonics specialization selected from areas such as lasers and applications, photonics materials and devices, and fiber optics and optical communications.
  • It requires students to perform 4 to 8 credits of independent research in the form of a thesis or a research project.
  • It affords students the opportunity to flexibly choose graduate electives to explore technical or professional interests within engineering.
  • It has a practicum requirement that is satisfied by doing a 4-credit thesis, a 4-credit project, or taking two project-intensive courses.

Admission to the MS degree in Photonics is based on the same academic standards as the MEng degree in Photonics with regard to standardized tests, undergraduate GPA, and undergraduate coursework preparation.


The MS Curriculum in Photonics requires completion of 32 graduate-level credits, while satisfying a specialization requirement and a practicum requirement. The remaining credits can be selected from a broad range of graduate electives. The credits of a course can only be used to fulfill the MEng requirements if the student receives a grade of C or better in the course. Student should also maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 across all graduate-level courses taken while enrolled in the MS program.

The specialization requirement is met by taking four structured graduate courses from a specialization. Students with appropriate prerequisites may petition to use two 700-level courses to meet the specialization requirement.

The graduate electives can be electrical & computer engineering (ECE) graduate courses, non-ECE College of Engineering graduate courses, or College of Arts & Sciences graduate courses in scientific/technical areas. You must obtain a grade of C or better in each graduate elective. Graduate electives may include at most 8 credits of courses at the 9XX level.

MS Specialization Areas in Photonics

The course listings for the various MS Specialization Areas in Photonics are listed below. Please consult the ECE Department for the most current updates to these listings.

Lasers and Applications

  • ENG EC 560 Introduction to Photonics
  • ENG EC 569 Introduction to Subsurface Imaging
  • ENG EC 570 Lasers
  • ENG EC 591 Photonics Laboratory I
  • ENG EC 760 Advanced Topics in Photonics
  • ENG EC 762 Quantum Optics
  • ENG EC 763 Nonlinear and Ultrafast Optics
  • ENG EC 764 Optical Measurement
  • ENG EC 765/BE 765 Biomedical Optics and Bio photonics
  • ENG EC 773/BE 773 Advanced Optical Microscopy and Biological Imaging

Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

  • ENG EC 560 Introduction to Photonics
  • ENG EC 563 Fiber Optic Communication Systems
  • ENG EC 568 Optical Fiber Sensors
  • ENG EC 591 Photonics Laboratory I
  • ENG EC 760 Advanced Topics in Photonics
  • ENG EC 770 Guided-Wave Optoelectronics

Photonics Materials and Devices

  • ENG EC 560 Introduction to Photonics
  • ENG EC 575 Semiconductor Devices
  • ENG EC 574 Solid State Devices
  • ENG EC 591 Photonics Laboratory I
  • ENG EC 760 Advanced Topics in Photonics
  • ENG EC 771 Physics of Compound Semiconductor Devices
  • ENG EC 774 Semiconductor Quantum Structures and Photonic Devices
  • ENG EC 777 Nano-Optics