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Program at a Glance

College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges - Most Innovative 2024

A High-tech Program for a Laser-focused Career

The Bachelor of Science in Photonic Science and Engineering degree prepares the next generation of engineers for the growing optics and photonics industry. Offered jointly by the College of Optics and Photonics and the College of Engineering and Computer Science, it’s the only bachelor’s of its kind in Florida — at a university that’s a leader in research and education in optical and photonic science and engineering.

Here, you’ll learn from world-renowned faculty, gain strong connections to industry and have the opportunity to take part in the active undergraduate student organization, the Society of Optics Students. Courses include lecture and laboratory activities to provide you with both the robust knowledge and real-world experience that top employers seek. Your studies are designed to prepare you for a rewarding career while fulfilling the rapidly growing needs of an industry that is finding applications in nearly every part of everyday life.

Graduates of the program have many opportunities available. With more than 35,000 U.S. companies in the field, you can explore industries including biomedical, aerospace, communication, energy production, data storage, defense and national security, information processing and advanced manufacturing. And for those looking to pursue an advanced degree, UCF’s Master of Science in Optics and Photonics is ranked nationally as one of the top 15 programs by U.S. News and World Report.

Related Programs:

Male student working on photonics and engineering project


The College of Optics and Photonics has a current membership of 70+ companies in its Industrial Affiliates Program.
Over the years, CREOL faculty have produced more than 260 patents and spun off 26 companies.
Projected job growth in photonics and engineering is 5%.
Median earnings for photonics and engineering graduates is $70,000.

Undergraduate Application Deadlines

May 1
November 1
March 1
July 1
November 1
March 1
March 1
September 1
January 1

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Course Overview

Laser Engineering and Laboratory

Cover basic laser phenomena, including the photon nature of light, absorption and spontaneous and stimulated emission of light, fluorescence, optical amplifiers, optical resonators and nonlinear optical wave conversion.

Gain an understanding of the principles and design of fiber-optic communication systems, including the integrated-optic and optoelectronic devices used in transmitters and receivers.

Get a first-hand look at mathematical and physical models of two- and three-dimensional imaging systems including gazing, scanning, interferometric, tomographic, and hyperspectral systems.

Photonics Knowledge You’ll Learn

  • Gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience with advanced photonics concepts allowing you to have a career in a multitude of companies.
  • Determine how systems should work, identify any complex problems that may arise and use creativity to develop new solutions.
  • Gain an understanding of other fields to increase communication, collaboration and project management among teams within various industrial environments.
  • Learn how to work on an interdisciplinary team.

Career Opportunities

  • Photonics Engineer
  • Engineering Manager
  • Optical Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Site Reliability Engineer
  • Validation Engineer

News and Updates

UCF Researchers Earn Top Spots in Their Fields in New Ranking of Scientific Impact
The rankings appear in a new study that used citation metrics to help gauge scientific impact in a broad range of fields. 
UCF’s Butterfly-Inspired Nanotech Makes Natural-Looking Pictures on Digital Screens
The digital displays are lit by surrounding light and are more natural looking than current displays that rely on bright lights hidden behind screens.
Colleges & Campus
UCF and SPIE announce $250,000 Endowed Scholarship Fund for Undergraduates Studying Optics and Photonics
The Soileau Family-SPIE Optics and Photonics Undergraduate Scholarship Fund will support undergraduate students with preference given to first-generation college students.
Colleges & Campus
UCF Master’s Programs in Emergency Management, Nonprofit Management Rank Among Top 5 in the Nation
In their recent 2021 Best Graduate Schools, U.S. News & World Reports ranked 27 UCF graduate programs among the top 100.

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