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Physics & Optical Engineering – Majors & Minors

Our program is designed to give you a strong foundation that will prepare you for a range of career opportunities. Your classroom studies will be reinforced with hands-on, learning and you can choose many specializations to tailor your learning experience to fit your areas of interest.

Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Physics

A physics degree will prepare you for further study at the graduate level, and for design and development work in industrial laboratories.

  • 88 Required Credits
  • 104 Elective Credits
192 Total Credits

Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics

An engineering physics degree will prepare you for a range of opportunities, including positions at leading-edge technology companies or graduate study. Students in our program often secure internships and employment with organizations such as NASA, Argonne National Laboratory, and Sandia National Laboratory.

  • 155 Required Credits
  • 40 Elective Credits
194 Total Credits

Requirements for Bachelor of Science in Optical Engineering

Our Optical Engineering program is one of the few undergraduate programs of its kind in the country. This degree will open the door to careers in many industries, including automated inspection, consumer electronics, fiber optic communications, optical instrumentation, laser devices, radar systems, and data storage.

  • 150 Required Credits
  • 44 Elective Credits
194 Total Credits

Minors & Certificates in Physics & Optical Engineering

Master of Optical Engineering

Our Master of Optical Engineering program includes a combination of coursework and a thesis project. See the course catalog for details.

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.

Man wearing goggles works with red laser in darkened lab.

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.

Woman reaches forward to adjust equipment.

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.

Two researchers in clean room-style hair coverings, goggles, and lab coats use tongs to handle a metal disc.

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."