Master of Science (M.S.) Degree in Natural and Applied Sciences (Photonics Option)

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PAGE IS PROVIDED FOR REFERENCE ONLY. Students with an interest in this degree should refer to the Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics, Option in Photonics and the new Graduate Program in Photonics website.

A multidisciplinary program in photonics leading to an MS degree is currently offered by the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Physics with students pursuing the degree under Natural and Applied Sciences with an option in Photonics. A multidisciplinary program of course work is tailored to the goals of each individual student as he/she is mentored by a chosen faculty member from the Department of specialization and guided by his/her Advisory Committee. OSU also offers a multidisciplinary Ph.D. program in Photonics. Links to the Faculty Research programs are provided below.

Each student on entering the program will be advised by the Graduate Program Coordinator until the student picks a research advisor. The Graduate Coordinator will make sure the student is prepared to take specific initial courses in the curriculum and will advise the student accordingly. The student must choose a “home department” (presumably on the basis of his background and research interests) from either ECEN or Physics and choose a research advisor within the first two semesters of matriculation. The student will be required to form a Graduate Committee chaired by his research advisor and having at least one member from outside the student’s home department. For a student pursuing the bio-photonics track involving a research project directed by a faculty member from a Department other than Physics or ECEN the Graduate Coordinator will serve as Chair of the Advisory Committee. The student in consultation with the Advisory Committee will submit a detailed Plan of Study specific to the specialization and option before the completion of the 17th credit hour in the program. A student must give an oral presentation of his/her written thesis or report before the Graduate Committee.



A list of faculty from the departments of Chemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics who emphasize research problems and student involvement in areas related to Photonics can be found on the Photonics Faculty Directory.


Option Tracks

There are two options (tracks) leading to the MS degree in Natural and Applied Sciences (Photonics Option). Both tracks require a minimum of 24 credit hours of course work, with at least one course taken outside the student's specialization.


For the Thesis Track (Option) (30 credit hours)

  • Students must take at least one course in each of the Areas I - IV.
  • Students must take two courses from the Area V.
  • Students must have at least six credit hours designated as laboratory credit.
  • Students must take a minimum of six hours of research for the thesis option.
  • Research hours may count for the elective course.
  • Flexibility in courses permitted on the advice of the Graduate Program Coordinator.


For the Report Track (Option) (32 credit hours)

  • Students must take at least one course in each of the Areas I, II and IV.
  • Students must take two courses from the Area III.
  • Students must take additional course including area five to total 30 credit hours.
  • Students must have at least three credit hours designated as laboratory credit.
  • Students must complete a two credit hour report.


Courses: Natural and Applied Sciences/Photonics

Area I: Electromagnetics
  • PHYS 5313 Electromagnetic Theory
  • ECEN 5613 Electromagnetic Theory
  • PHYS 4813* Electromagnetic Radiation


Area II: Lasers
  • PHYS 5163 Lasers
  • ECEN 4843* Design of Lasers and Systems


Area III: Optics
  • ECEN 4823* Design of Optical Systems
  • PHYS 3213* Optics
  • PHYS 5123/ECEN 5803 Geometrical Optics
  • PHYS 5303/ECEN 5823 Physical Optics


Area IV: Quantum Mechanics
  • PHYS 5613 Quantum Mechanics I
    PHYS 4513* Introductory Quantum Mechanics


Area V: Advanced Topics
  • Optoelectronics
    • ECEN 5853 Ultrafast Optoelectronics
  • Spectroscopy
    • PHYS 5133 Laser Spectroscopy
  • Quantum and Nonlinear Optics
    • PHYS 6413 Nonlinear Optics
    • PHYS 6423 Quantum Optics
  • Solid State
    • PHYS 5663 Solid State Physics I
    • PHYS 6243 Semiconductors I
    • PHYS 4263* Introduction to Solid State Physics
    • ECEN 5333 Semiconductor Devices
  • Photonics Systems
    • ECEN 5833 Fiber-Optic Communication Systems
  • Electromagnetics
    • PHYS 6713 Advanced Electromagnetic Radiation
    • ECEN 5613 Electromagnetic Theory
  • Bio/Nano Photonics
    • PHYS 4313* Molecular Biophysics
    • CHEM 6420 Fundamentals of Nanotechnology
    • For students pursuing the bio/nano photonics option additional courses from departments other than ECEN and PHYS may be included.
  • Additional Laboratory Courses
    • PHYS / ECEN 68x0 Photonics Lab courses: Topics Vary (Lab)
    • ECEN 5843 Microelectronic Fabrication

*Senior level course which may be taken for graduate credit.