A graduate student works at a light table in a photonics lab.

The professional master’s program in Photonics provides comprehensive coverage of core photonics technologies, training in modern CAD tools and understanding of recent developments. We emphasize modern photonics fabrication techniques, with all students getting the chance to have projects fabricated in the college clean room.  

Through flexible core course options and electives, students enrolled in the Photonics program may pursue a 9-credit hour certificate or a 30-credit hour degree. Many courses offer distance learning options through the Graduate School. Please refer to our course schedule for more information.

The Colorado Photonics Industry Association serves as the advisory board for this program, as well as providing internship and job opportunities for our students. 

Courses  Flyer

While 20th-century technology was defined by the growth of electronics, the 21st century belongs to photonics. LEDs will light households powered by photovoltaic panels and filled with displays and cameras communicating by optical fiber to distant owners wearing virtual reality glasses. Laser 3D printing will transform manufacturing. New microscopes and telescopes will peer into the depths of living cells and distant galaxies. Photonics graduates will command skills in design, fabrication and laboratory practice to place them at the forefront of these industries and many more not yet invented.

Photonics is the electrical engineering sub-discipline concerned with the generation, modulation, radiative or guided transmission, sensing and detection of optical-frequency signals. Application areas include optical telecommunications, medical instrumentation, photovoltaic power generation, quantum information processing, optical instruments and environmental sensing. While some of these industries are mature, photonics continues to rapidly grow into new industries such as LED lighting and on-chip silicon photonics for multi-core CPUs. 

The Photonics courses lead to a Master of Engineering or Professional Master of Science degree through successful completion of 30 credit hours under the rules of the corresponding degree:

  • Any four Photonics core courses
  • Six electives, chosen either from the pool of program electives, or from an approved list of other graduate-level electives, or a combination of both.
  • Students must first be admitted to the Graduate School with an Photonics sub-plan for course credit towards the ME degree, the Professional MS degree, or through our concurrent BS/MS degree.

Nine hours of graduate-level coursework, made up of any three of the six core photonics courses, will be required to complete the certificate program. You must get at least a B in each course, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 is required to remain in good academic standing.

Graduate students pursuing a Photonics Certificate are not required to matriculate into the program sub-plan through a master's degree, although degree-seeking students enrolled in the program will be given course registration priority.

Admission to the Graduate School is not required for students pursuing only the Certificate.

Certificate credit hours may be applied towards a full master’s degree, provided the student is admitted to the Graduate School. However, credit hours may not count towards both a BS and a master’s degree.