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Physics & Optical Engineering

Our Physics & Optical Engineering program is designed to develop a strong foundation that will prepare you for a range of career opportunities. Your classroom studies will be reinforced with hands-on, personalized learning in leading-edge labs and facilities. You can choose many specializations in physics, engineering physics, and optical engineering to tailor your learning experience to fit your areas of interest.

Majors & Minors

We offer undergraduate majors, minors, and certificates in physics, engineering physics and optical engineering, as well as a graduate program in optical engineering.

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Physics

The physics curriculum is designed to develop a strong foundation in classical and modern physics, which will serve as a basis for future specialization, for additional study at the graduate level, and for design and development work in industrial laboratories.

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Engineering Physics

Engineering physics at Rose-Hulman provides students with a unique opportunity to learn the foundation concepts of physics and make a concentrated study in micro- and nano-technology.

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Optical Engineering

One of the few such programs in the country, our optical engineering program provides a firm foundation for those interested in continuing their studies in optics at thegraduate level, as well as for those going into industry.

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Minors & Certificates

You can tailor your educational experience by adding a minor or certificate in specific areas of interest.

Department News

Learn about the latest happenings, student research and more in physics & optical engineering at Rose-Hulman.

physics and optical engineering

Students’ Work Puts National Focus on RHIT Engineering Physics, Optical Engineering Programs

physics and optical engineering

Alumnus Receives National Distinction in Physics

Facilities & Resources

We believe the best way to learn is by doing, so we place emphasis on lab work with a hands-on approach. Our teaching, research, and MiNDs laboratories, and observatory, are stocked with modern equipment. Here, you’ll have the opportunity for hands-on undergraduate research experiences that most schools reserve for graduate students.

Male student wearing goggles aims laser in optics lab.

Research Labs

Our photonics, fiber, acoustics, and semiconductor magneto-optics laboratories are equipped with leading edge technology for undergraduate and graduate research projects.

Two female students work with optics devices in a laboratory as male professor looks on.

Teaching Labs

Our state-of-the-art introductory physics laboratories have modern equipment to help you master the concepts you learn in the classroom.

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MiNDs Lab

Our MiNDs laboratory will give you research opportunities in the area of micro/nano technology through courses and hands-on experiments in fabrication, characterization and modeling of micro/nano devices and systems.

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Oakley Observatory

Located just east of the main campus, Oakley Observatory is equipped for teaching, as well as conducting research in variable star photometry, searching for supernovae or searching for comets.

Careers in Physics & Optical Engineering

A degree in physics, engineering physics or optical engineering will give you the foundation for acareer with companies on the leading edge of technological advances, or to pursue graduate studies.

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Laser Engineer

A laser engineer designs, builds, and tests high-energy manufacturing or research laser equipment. A laser engineer will often collaborate with other technical personnel to assess and meet the needs of their client.

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Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers design, construct, and test aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. An aerospace engineer may need to evaluate materials and equipmentto ensure that they are optimal for use in aerospace applications.

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Research Physicist

Research physicists study physical phenomena, through observation and experiments, and apply physical laws and theories and analysis to solve problems. They work in a variety of industries including medical and defense.

Dr. Duree poses with his book Optics for Dummies.

Dr. Galen Duree

Dr. Duree, head of the Department of Physics and Optical Engineering, joined the faculty of Rose-Hulman in 1999. His areas of expertise include photorefractive phenomena, nonlinear optics, laser physics, ultra-short pulse laser phenomena. He authored the book Optics for Dummies an "approachable introduction to optical science, methods, and applications."