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.
You'll have ample opportunities to put your classroom lessons into practice through directed research in a variety of interdisciplinary areas. Your research experience will include individual guidance from a faculty member, using the most modern equipment.
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.
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.
We are one of the few colleges in the country to offer an optical engineering program, and were the first college to have an accredited program (ABET) in optical engineering. Our program provides a firm foundation for those interested in continuing their studies in optics at the graduate level, as well as for those going into industry.
Minors & Certificates
You can tailor your educational experience by adding a minor or certificate in specific areas of interest.
Learn about the latest happenings, student research and more in physics & optical engineering at Rose-Hulman.
Letfullin Expanding Global Nanomedicine Knowledge as Fulbright Scholar
Research Symposium Highlights Students’ Discoveries
Oakley Observatory to Provide Close-Up View of Rare Solar Eclipse
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.
Our photonics, fiber, acoustics, and semiconductor magneto-optics laboratories are equipped with leading edge technology for undergraduate and graduate research projects.
Our state-of-the-art introductory physics laboratories have modern equipment to help you master the concepts you learn in the classroom.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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."