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Optical Science and Engineering

Optical Science and Engineering

Program Description

The Ph.D. program in Optical Science and Engineering is typically 36 months in length (beyond the M.S. degree) with a total of 36 to 60 credit hours plus dissertation. The program is under the supervision of the Department of Engineering Physics. Specialization in the area of optical science and engineering, formerly known as electro-optics, was added in the mid-1970s with emphasis on the areas of lasers, optics and optical systems, optical processing, remote sensing and signature analysis, laser beam propagation and control, and photonics.

A program of study is largely determined by the areas and depth of knowledge required by the student in order to adequately carry out the research in his or her chosen specialization. Program content and length are embodied in the student's "approved program" and reflect departmental guidelines, as well as the school's doctoral degree requirements.

Admissions Requirements

Degree Required: A Master’s degree in a Physical Science or Engineering

Test Required: GRE - 156V/151Q (within the last five years)

GPA Required: 3.50 (MS); 3.00 (BS)

USAF Education Codes: 4KOY optical engineering

Waivers to the above criteria may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, individuals whose academic credentials fall below any of the above criteria are encouraged to apply.

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Outcomes & Objectives

Program Outcomes

  • This program is designed to produce graduates broadly educated at the highest level who are capable of actively identifying, conducting, directing, and evaluating research in electro-optics and photonics at the frontiers of knowledge.

  • The successful student should be able to perform duties as a research scientist/engineer and scientific manager in order to develop the basic science and technology base required for new Air Force weapons systems.

Degree Information

Degree Type: Doctoral


Delivery Method: In-Residence


Degree Requirements

  • Major coursework (24 hours)
  • Mathematics (12 hours)
  • Specialty Examination
  • Dissertation research (48 hours)
  • Admission to candidacy: One year before graduation
  • In-residence study: Three successive quarters
  • Present dissertation at a public defense

Graduate School Catalog

Faculty Research Areas

  • ADAPTIVE OPTICS
  • HOLOGRAPHY
  • HIGH ENERGY LASER PROPAGATION
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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
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