Welcome and thank you for your interest in our graduate programs! CREOL, The College
of Optics and Photonics offers Degrees in Optics at the Masters and Ph.D. levels. We
are always looking for talented individuals who have an interest in Optics and Photonics
and the graduate programs we offer. his part of the website is intended to
provide prospective students with more information about the field of Optics and
photonics, our graduate programs, and assistance to help guide you through the application
Who should apply?
There are no precise rules about this. Very few students get BS degrees in Optics,
so most of our students come to us from other disciplines. As a result, our student
population is very diverse, with backgrounds spanning from theoretical physics to
materials science to engineering.
Also, given that most of our students took the
initiative of moving to an optics program, we find that the average CREOL student
tends to be more enterprising than graduate students in traditional disciplines.
Additionally, many of our students find that their employment opportunities are
greatly enhanced. More specifically, students entering our graduate programs usually
have at least a BS degree in a closely related discipline. Most commonly, this is
a physics or electrical engineering degree. However, we also have successful students
with undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering, materials science, chemistry,
mathematics, etc. A strong math background is important, and some knowledge of electromagnetism
is preferred. Photonics technology students usually need to complete a traditional
engineering degree before applying to our programs.
Since you are reading this, you may not need to be convinced that the field of Optics
and Photonics is for you. However, Optics is a field that is rapidly growing and
is becoming increasingly pervasive in many diverse fields of science and engineering.
Just think of fiber optics and telecommunications, of medical imaging and cancer
research, Defense and Homeland Security and of many consumer technologies such as
digital cameras, high definition TVs and PDAs, which were made possible through
optics and photonics research. For more examples, please visit the
Optical Society of America
CREOL was founded as the Center of Excellence in Research in Optics and Lasers at
the University of Central Florida in 1985. The center rapidly grew in size and stature,
eventually becoming the College of Optics and Photonics, with over 40 faculty, more
than 60 research scientists and approximately 160 students specializing in all areas
concerning the science and engineering of light.
The college has become one of the
world’s largest and most respected institutes for scholarship in optics and photonics.
Our students have the opportunity to take classes from, and work with, some of the
world’s leading researchers. Most of our faculty have been recognized by the major
international optics societies in their promotion to the rank of “Fellow” of the
society. Additionally, the research programs in the college are extremely well-funded,
so that students are able to work on their thesis and dissertation projects in laboratories
furnished with all the latest and best equipment.
have received the education to help them become leaders and innovators.
Whether in industry or academia, our graduate students have gone on to invent new
technologies, formed new companies, head research groups at the leading universities
around the world, and held highly regarded positions in academia. See our
Many of our alumni shared their memories of CREOL to mark our 25th anniversary, as shown in this
How to apply
We encourage all students who are interested in applying for admission to complete
our pre-application process before they complete the UCF application. Our pre-application
is required to apply for funding from the College. There is no separate application
Optics in Other Degree Programs at UCF
Students interested in optics but wishing to pursue related PhD degrees, such as
electrical engineering, physics, mechanical engineering, etc., are encouraged to
carry out their dissertation research in optics under the supervision of a College
of Optics and Photonics faculty member. Such students are also encouraged to apply
for our fellowships when applying for admission to UCF. Application
for a fellowship should be initiated by filling out the Pre-Application
There is an undergraduate optics track in the physics BS degree program at UCF.
Information on this track is available from the
of Engineering offers an undergraduate electrical engineering technology degree
with a specialty in photonics. This is administered by the Department of Engineering
Technology in the College of Engineering & Computer Science
Online Graduate Catalog
The Online Graduate Catalog serves the function of outlining policies and procedures
that govern the academic process at UCF. The College handbook is an extension of
graduate policy specific to the College of Optics and Photonics.
For additional information
Office of Academic Programs