UNC Charlotte | Graduate Programs in Optical Science and Engineering

M.S. Optical Science and Engineering

Degree Requirements for M.S. With Non-Thesis Option

The Master of Science degree with non-thesis option in Optical Science and Engineering is awarded for completion of formal coursework and demonstration of competency in the core curriculum.

The minimum requirement for the M.S. degree with non-thesis option is 32 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Each candidate for the M.S. degree with non-thesis option must complete the following:

  • Present evidence of competency in the core curriculum by successfully completing 15 of 21 credit hours of core courses with a grade of B or above in each course
  • Complete a minimum of 15 credit hours of elective courses in addition to the core curriculum
  • Complete 1 credit hour of OPTI 6610 Seminar during the fall of the first academic year in the program
  • Complete 1 credit hour of OPTI 6611 Graduate Colloquium during the spring of the first academic year in the program
  • Prepare a plan of study detailing how you intend to satisfy the 32 credit hour requirement

Electives must be approved by the academic advisor and may include courses having a prefix of OPTI, PHYS, ECGR, MEGR, and NANO. Other courses may be considered. M.S. students should enroll in 6000- level courses when possible.

A student in the M.S. program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all coursework attempted for the degree.  An accumulation of two C grades will result in suspension from the program.  A grade of U earned in any course will result in suspension from the program.  An accumulation of three C grades or two U grades will result in termination from the program.

Degree Requirements for M.S. With Thesis Option

The Master of Science degree with thesis option in Optical Science and Engineering is awarded for completion of scholarly research that advances the knowledge base in the field and is demonstrated by a successful thesis defense.

The minimum requirement for the M.S. degree with thesis option is 32 credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree.

Each candidate for the M.S. degree with thesis option must complete the following:

  • Present evidence of competency in the core curriculum by successfully completing 15 of 21 credit hours of core courses with a grade of B or above in each course
  • Complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of elective courses in addition to the core curriculum
  • Complete 1 credit hour of OPTI 6610 Seminar during the fall of the first academic year in the program
  • Complete 1 credit hour of OPTI 6611 Graduate Colloquium during the spring of the first academic year in the program
  • Complete a minimum of 9 credit hours of OPTI 6991 Thesis Research
  • Select a thesis advisor and form an advisory committee
  • Prepare a plan of study detailing how you intend to satisfy the 32 credit hour requirement
  • Successfully submit an M.S. research proposal
  • Successfully defend the M.S. thesis

Electives must be approved by the academic advisor and may include courses having a prefix of OPTI, PHYS, ECGR, MEGR, and NANO. Other courses may be considered. M.S. students should enroll in 6000- level courses when possible.

A student in the M.S. program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all coursework attempted for the degree.  An accumulation of two C grades will result in suspension from the program.  A grade of U earned in any course will result in suspension from the program.  An accumulation of three C grades or two U grades will result in termination from the program.

Core Curriculum

All graduates of the program must demonstrate competency in the core curriculum.  Students may do so by completing 15 of the 21 available credit hours of core courses with a grade of B or above in each course.  The course makeup of the 15 credit hours, changing the course makeup, or withdrawing from a core course must be approved by the academic advisor or program director.  Competency is typically demonstrated by the end of the 3rd semester in the program.  With program director approval, students may demonstrate competency by passing a core competency exam.  Credit hours that would have been earned if the student had taken the course may be replaced by approved credit hours.

Core Courses

Fall

OPTI 6101      Mathematical Methods of Optical Science and Engineering (3)
OPTI 6102      Principles of Geometrical Optics (3)
OPTI 6102L    Geometrical Optics Lab (1)
OPTI 6105      Optical Properties of Materials (3)

Spring

OPTI 6103      Light Sources and Detectors (3)
OPTI 6104      Electromagnetic Waves (3)
OPTI 6106      Principles of Physical Optics (3)
OPTI 6106L    Physical Optics Lab (2)

Thesis Advisor and Advisory Committee

Each student in a program of study with the thesis option must have a thesis advisor and an advisory committee. The student should select the advisor before the end of the first year of residency.  The student and advisor determine the advisory committee by agreement. The advisor serves as chair of the committee and must be a member of the Optics Faculty and a regular member of the Graduate Faculty at UNC Charlotte. The advisory committee must have at least 3 members, one of whom is the chair. All members of the committee must be members of the Graduate Faculty and a majority must be members of the Optics Faculty. Composition of the advisory committee must be approved by the optics program director.

Plan of Study

After successful demonstration of competency in the core curriculum, students should prepare a plan of study which shows in detail how the student will meet the degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the optics program director.

Research Proposal

After successful demonstration of competency in the core curriculum, a student in a program of study that includes the thesis option will prepare a written research proposal. This should be completed within two years following admission to the program. The research proposal, also called the thesis topic proposal, must be approved by the advisory committee. The research proposal demonstrates the student’s knowledge of the relevant literature and the specific research problems and methods of study that, if successfully completed, will lead to an acceptable thesis.

Thesis

Each student in a program of study that includes a thesis option will complete a minimum of 9 credit hours of thesis research.  The student must submit a written thesis for final review to the advisory committee three weeks before the defense date.  The student must defend the thesis before the advisory committee at a presentation which is open to the university community. Upon approval of the written thesis and oral presentation by the advisory committee, the student has successfully completed the thesis requirement. The thesis must be written using a format acceptable to the Graduate School.

Residency Requirement

The student must satisfy the residence requirement for the program by completing 12 credit hours of continuous enrollment in coursework/thesis credit.  Residence is considered continuous if the student is enrolled in one or more courses in successive semesters until 12 credit hours are earned.

Transfer Credit Accepted

Up to 6 credit hours of approved coursework may be transferred from other accredited master’s and/or doctoral programs.  Only courses in which the student earned a grade of B or above (or its equivalent) can be transferred.  Credit for thesis research cannot be transferred.

Assistantships

Support for beginning graduate students is usually a teaching assistantship.  Continuing students are often supported by research assistantships.

Application for Degree

Students should submit an Application for Degree at the beginning of the term in which they anticipate graduating. Adherence to Graduate School deadlines is expected.