UNC Charlotte | Graduate Programs in Optical Science and Engineering

FAQ

Applying

About the Program

Post-Application



Q. What is required to apply for OSE graduate study at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte?

For successful admission into the Ph.D. program in Optical Science and Engineering, the following are general guidelines:

  1. A baccalaureate or master’s degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, optics, or a related field with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.2 (A = 4.0) in the major. In the case a candidate presents a master’s degree at application, a minimum graduate GPA of 3.2 (A = 4.0) on all graduate work is required.
  2. A minimum combined score of 1100 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE General Test (tests taken prior to August 1, 2011). A minimum combined score of 301 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE revised General Test (tests taken on or after August 1, 2011). A minimum score of 720 (or 156 revised GRE score) on the quantitative section is desirable.
  3. Admission to the program for students who are not native English speakers will require the TOEFL exam, with a minimum score of 220 (computer-based test), 557 (paper-based test) or 83 (Internet-based test).
  4. Three strong letters of recommendation, at least two of which must come from faculty in the applicant’s current or previous academic program. All letters should be written by individuals in a position to judge the applicant’s likely success in a Ph.D. level program. Letters should address the applicant’s suitability for a Ph.D. program and ability to complete the program in a timely fashion.

For successful admission into the master program in Optical Science and Engineering, the following are general guidelines:

  1. A baccalaureate or master’s degree in physics, chemistry, mathematics, engineering, optics, or a related field with a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.0 (A = 4.0) in the major.
  2. A minimum combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE General Test (tests taken prior to August 1, 2011). A minimum combined score of 293 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE revised General Test (tests taken on or after August 1, 2011).  A minimum score of 700 (or 155 revised GRE score) on the quantitative section is desirable.
  3. Admission to the program for students who are not native English speakers will require the TOEFL exam, with aminimum score of 220 (computer-based test), 557 (paper-based test) or 83 (Internet-based test).
  4. Three strong letters of recommendation, at least two of which must come from faculty in the applicant’s current or previous academic program. All letters should be written by individuals in a position to judge the applicant’s likely success in a master level program. Letters should address the applicant’s suitability for a master program and ability to complete the program in a timely fashion.



Q. What documents must be submitted for consideration?

Applicants must complete the UNC Charlotte online application for graduate admission.

As part of the online application process, the following will be required:

  1. Uploaded unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Applicants offered admission will be required to submit official transcripts.
  2. Official GRE scores.  If you would like your scores to be added to your application as quickly as possible, you can hand carry the mailed result of your exam to the Graduate School in Cato Hall and ask that the scores be added to your application.  The exam results are typically mailed to you 7-10 days after you take the exam.
  3. Official TOEFL scores (if the previous degree was from a country where English is not the official language).
  4. A minimum of three letters of reference.
  5. Your Statement of Purpose essay that addresses professional goals and motivations for pursuing the degree, suitability for the program, and career goals following the program.



Q. What are your minimum GRE score requirements?

PhD program:

A minimum combined score of 1100 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE General Test (tests taken prior to August 1, 2011). A minimum combined score of 301 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE revised General Test (tests taken on or after August 1, 2011).  A minimum score of 720 (or 156 revised GRE score) on the quantitative section is desirable.

MS Program:

A minimum combined score of 1000 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE General Test (tests taken prior to August 1, 2011). A minimum combined score of 293 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the GRE revised General Test (tests taken on or after August 1, 2011). A minimum score of 700 (or 155 revised GRE score) on the quantitative section is desirable.



Q. My TOEFL score is just below the minimum requirement.  Can I still be considered for admission?

Yes you can, but the OSE program director must make a special request to the Graduate School.  TOEFL scores below the minimum can impact your eligibility for a teaching assistantship.



Q. What do you look for in an applicant?

We look at an applicant’s entire application package. This includes GPA, GRE, and TOFEL scores, a strong research background, a broad education experience, and three strong letters of recommendation.



Q. Do I have to take the GRE?

Yes. Please see the above admission requirements section.



Q. What is UNC Charlotte’s Institution Code for the GRE/TOEFL?

The UNC Charlotte’s Institution Code is 5105.



Q. How can I obtain an admissions application to Graduate School?

Instructions, deadlines, and forms for applying can be found at the following site: http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/future-students/admissions/apply-now.



Q. What is the application fee and can it be waived?

The current application fees can be found at the following website: http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/future-students/admissions.  It must be received before your application can be reviewed.  It cannot be waived.



Q. I have (or am currently) attending a graduate program, can I transfer credits?

Students who have taken graduate coursework but have not earned a graduate degree may transfer up to six semester hours of coursework. Students who have earned a Master’s degree may transfer up to 30 semester hours.



Q. How much does it cost to attend Graduate School at the UNC Charlotte?

Finances are a major concern for many graduate students and most need to plan carefully for their graduate student years. The UNC Graduate School offers useful information to help you budget your graduate study. A detailed breakdown of tuition and related fees can be found at http://finance.uncc.edu/controllers-office/student-accounts/tuition-fees/. In addition, information about financial aid can be found at http://finaid.uncc.edu/. Teaching assistantship support and sometimes tuition support are available.  Priority is given to highly qualified applicants and to those that apply early.  Initial financial award decisions are made by the first of March for the following fall admission.  Financial awards after this date are possible.



Q. What types of graduate funding are available?

Most graduate students are supported by competitive assistantships with tuition support. The Graduate Assistant Support Plan (GASP) is a highly competitive multi-year support package used to cover tuition to top quality doctoral students (http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/funding-resources/tuition-awards). In addition, incoming graduate students are generally offered teaching assistantships.  Students typically transition to research assistantship support within the first year in the program. Other type of funding resources such as financial aids and externally funded awards can be found at http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/funding-resources.



Q. Are there required placement exams?

There are no required placement exams.  The admissions committee will recommend pre-requisite coursework if needed. 



Q: What is the deadline for applying to the program?

There is no definite deadline, and applications are accepted until all positions are filled. However, early applications are highly encouraged as this ensures full consideration and maximizes the chance of financial support. For the fall semester, the first financial award offers are made by March 1st.  It is advisable to have your application submitted and complete by March 1st to be considered for these first awards.  Additional awards may be offered after this date.



Q. Where do I find the Optical Science and Engineering program in the online application?

The OSE program is an inter-departmental and inter-college academic program that encompasses optical science and optical engineering research areas.  It is administered through the Department of Physics and Optical Science, which is a Department in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, therefore it is listed under the College of Liberal Arts and Science in the online application.



Q. Can you send me a catalog and/or program information?

Catalogs are no longer printed and mailed, but you can visit our website to view the catalog online http://catalog.uncc.edu



Q. I would like to tour UNC Charlotte. Do you have tours for Graduate Students?

Yes, Campus tours are available through the Graduate School. Please contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at (704.687.3366). You may also schedule a visit through the program director by contacting Wendy Ramirez at wramire1@uncc.edu.

Virtual Tour of UNC Charlotte: http://virtualtour.uncc.edu/

Campus Map: http://facilities.uncc.edu/DesignServices/campus_maps.asp



Q. What departments are involved in this interdisciplinary program and how can I find out more information about the participating faculties?

The OSE graduate program involves faculty from the following departments: Physics and Optical Science, Chemistry, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science. You can learn more about research interests and expertise by consulting the OSE web page http://optics.uncc.edu/.



Q: Can I view the Academic Calendar online?

Yes, it is available at: http://registrar.uncc.edu/printable-calendar



Q: I have already requested information. Why have I not received it yet?

Please email Mark Clayton at mclayton@uncc.edu and he will check on your request to ensure you receive the information requested.



Q. How can I find the status of my admissions application?

Please visit the following site for more information:  http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/future-students/admissions/check-your-application-status.



Q. Can I change my application after I have submitted it?

Once you have submitted your application online and you decide that you would like change your application to another program you will need to submit a new application and a new statement of purpose to the Graduate School.



Q. If I meet the required deadlines, when can I expect to receive a decision?

Admission to the UNC Charlotte’s OSE Ph.D. program is necessarily a selective process. To receive full consideration by the admission committee, you are advised to complete your online application by March 1st for admission the subsequent fall semester. A complete application means that all supplementary information has been received.  This ensures that you will be considered for the initial financial award offers.  For international students, admission decisions are typically made no later than June 1, allowing for adequate time to secure a visa.  In general, students can be admitted up through the middle of August for fall admission. 



Q. How will I be notified if I am admitted?

If you are recommended for admission by the Admissions Committee, the Director of the Optical Science and Engineering program will send you an email informing you of the decision and any financial offers available.  The director passes the admission recommendation to the Graduate School for review.  The applicant is then usually sent an official admission email from the Graduate School a few days later.  This email will include steps to finalize the admission and acceptance process.



Q. If I am offered a teaching or research assistantship, how do I formalize this offer?

Once you are admitted, you will be given the option to activate your UNC Charlotte 49er email. You should do so right away.  The assistantship contract offer will come to you through your new UNC Charlotte email account.  Please check your email regularly and promptly follow the instructions when you receive the assistantship offer.



Q. Will I receive an admission letter from the OSE program?

In addition to the admission information sent by the Graduate School, the OSE program director will email an admission letter with information regarding any tuition funding and assistantships included as part of the offer of admission.

 

There is a list of frequently asked questions through the Graduate School at UNC Charlotte that also might be of help.  It can be found at http://graduateschool.uncc.edu/future-students/admissions/frequently-asked-questions

If you still have a question, please contact Mark Clayton at mclayton@uncc.edu.