The science of light, once confined to research labs and science fiction novels, has found its way into our everyday lives. The applications of optics can be seen everywhere. A list of more common examples of these applications include laser printers, fiber optic communication, internet switches, fiber optic telephone lines, compact disc players, credit cards bearing holograms, grocery checkout scanners, computers and eye surgery. The field of optics is an enabling technology and is growing at a rapid pace. Optical techniques are found in a wide range of areas such as surveying and construction, measurements of material parameters and deformation, flow measurements, communications, machine vision, laser cutting, drilling and welding, data storage, internet switches, optical computers and sensors etc. Surveys show that there is a growing demand for optical designers/scientists/ engineers every year. Opportunities for graduates in Optical Engineering are available in many industries, including automated inspection, consumer electronics, fiber optic communications, optical instrumentation, laser devices, radar systems, data storage etc.
** The Optical Engineering bachelor's degree program is one of the few in the country. This program provides a firm foundation for those interested in continuing thier studies in optics at the graduate level, as well as for those going into industry. The curriculum was developed by the faculty with input from industrial representatives as well as from renowned national and international optics educators. Because of the diverse applications of optics, the curriculum contains a mix of courses in physics and mathematics as well as humanities and social sciences. The Optical Engineering program at Rose-Hulman stresses laboratory instruction.
For information on courses and suggested curriculum, see the undergraduate course catalog.