James C. Wyant College of Optical Sciences

The University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences educates students in all aspects of the study and application of light, performing internationally recognized research in optical engineering, quantum optics, applied optics and photonics, and image science.

The College of Optical Sciences is the world’s premier optical institute, with award-winning faculty members, a diverse student body, challenging courses, pioneering research programs and close relationships with the optics industry.

Optics is fast-paced, technologically challenging and rapidly changing. Our discoveries have initiated many of the revolutions seen in the field, and our faculty and staff work continually to reflect those changes in our programs.

Dean: Thomas L. Koch, Ph.D.

Degree Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Optical Sciences and Engineering
  • Professional Graduate Certificate in Optical Sciences
  • Master of Science in Optical Sciences
  • Master of Science in Optical Sciences and M.B.A. Dual Degree
  • Master of Science in Optical Sciences Industrial Track
  • Master of Science in Photonic Communications Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Optical Sciences

College Features

  • The B.S. in OSE, jointly administered by the College of Optical Sciences and the University of Arizona College of Engineering, focuses on optical design, fabrication and testing and the use of lasers, detectors, instrumentation and fiber communications. Students chose among optics, opto-electronics, optical materials and opto-mechanics elective tracks.
  • The Graduate Certificate offers working professionals an opportunity to supplement their post-baccalaureate practical knowledge with formal coursework.
  • The M.S. in Optical Sciences and Ph.D. in Optical Sciences degrees provide students with both theoretical knowledge and practical training in geometrical, physical, quantum and mathematical optics, preparing them for careers in academia, government, industry and defense at national and international levels.
  • Our graduate Distance Learning program allows students worldwide to take individual courses and to earn degrees remotely. The Graduate Certificate can be completed entirely online, and the M.S. in Optical Sciences only requires a single campus visit with industry laboratory experience.
  • The Dual Degree program offers students the opportunity to earn two graduate degrees concurrently: an M.S. in Optical Sciences plus a Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona Eller College of Management.
  • The Master of Science in Photonic Communications Engineering, offered in conjunction with the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences and the CIAN partner schools, educates engineers for modern challenges in photonics.
  • Our faculty includes Nobel laureates, professional society presidents, members of boards of directors, heads of industry, successful entrepreneurs and recipients of many local, national and international awards.
  • Our research opportunities encompass a broad set of technologies and techniques for exploiting the properties and applications of light, touching virtually field of science and industry.

College Statistics

  • 100+ courses
  • 25+ percent of curriculum available online
  • 150+ undergraduate students
  • 300+ graduate students
  • 1950+ degrees granted since 1968
  • Two Nobel laureates and five Regents’ Professors on faculty
  • 200+ industry-sponsored grants and contracts


Those graduation from the College of Optical Sciences benefit from excellent career opportunities. Amongst many other achievements, our graduates have become:

  • Captains of industry, serving as CEOs, senior scientists and consultants in various science, technology and engineering specialties.
  • Pioneering researchers at institutes and universities worldwide, including Sandia National Laboratories, Stanford University, the University of Stuttgart in Germany and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.
  • Innovators and inventors, holding patents on display technologies, medical instruments and alignment systems.
  • In-demand employees, averaging salaries of more than $80,000 right out of graduate school and holding positions with the Boeing Co., Microsoft, Raytheon Systems Co., 3M and other Fortune 500 companies.
Website: Primary Address:
1630 East University Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 210094
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Email: Phone Number:

(520) 621-6997

(520) 621-9613