A bachelor's degree with a focus in optical engineering can prepare a graduate to obtain an entry-level position in the field. Master's and doctoral degree programs are for engineers who want to advance their education or embark on a career in optical research.
10 Top Electrical Engineering Schools
These institutions offer electrical engineering programs.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$46,704 (Undergraduate); $46,400 (Graduate)|
|Stanford University||Stanford, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$46,320 (Undergraduate); $45,729 (Graduate)|
|University of California - Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,431 (In-state Undergraduate); $11,220 (In-state Graduate)|
|California Institute of Technology||Pasadena, CA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$45,390 (Undergraduate); $43,710 (Graduate)|
|University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$15,054 (In-state Undergraduate); $15,023 (In-state Graduate)|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$50,665 (Undergraduate); $40,625 (Graduate)|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$12,204 (In-state Undergraduate); $13,452 (In-state Graduate)|
|University of Michigan - Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$13,856 (In-state Undergraduate); $20,638 (In-state Graduate)|
|Cornell University||Ithaca, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$49,116 (Undergraduate); $29,500 (Graduate)|
|Purdue University - West Lafayette||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral, Graduate Certificate||$10,002 (In-state Undergraduate); $9,208 (In-state Graduate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
- Biological and Agricultural Engineering
- Biomedical and Medical Engineering
- Ceramic Sciences
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Computer Engineering
- Drafting and Design Engineering
- Electrical Engineering and Electronics
- Engineering - Architectural
- Engineering Mechanics
- Engineering Physics
- Environmental Engineering
- Forest Engineering
- Geological Engineering
- Industrial Engineering
- Manufacturing Engineering
- Materials Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Metallurgical Engineering
- Mining Engineering
- Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- Ocean Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering
- Plastics Engineering
- Systems Engineering
- Textile Technologies
School Selection Criteria
Students interested in optical engineering programs may want to keep these factors in mind.
- Laboratory facilities and classes that concentrate on current trends in technology and engineering standards help prepare students for design work in the field, so students should consider how much emphasis a school's engineering department places on remaining up-to-date.
- Schools with career centers may help undergraduate and graduate students better achieve their employment goals.
- Some engineering positions may require licensure, for which an applicant may need a degree from an ABET-accredited program.
- Working individuals or others who cannot commit to full-time studies may wish to seek out online or distance-learning programs so they can set their own pace.
Bachelor of Science in Optical Engineering
A bachelor's degree program in this field is suitable for those looking for entry into the job market or individuals planning to continue their studies at the graduate level.
Master of Science in Optical Engineering
A master's degree program in optical engineering can provide the student with the education and skills needed to contribute to state-of-the-art optical development and research. In addition, laboratory work and a practicum are typically components of this program. Students may be able to choose from thesis-, course- and project-based program options.
Ph.D. in Optical Science and Engineering
A Ph.D. program in optical science and engineering is for engineers who want to contribute to advancements and research in optical technology. These degree programs usually require students to write a thesis or dissertation based on original research.
Optical engineering courses may be encompassed within broader engineering programs, such as electrical and computer engineering. There are a number of reputable public and private institutions that offer several engineering programs, but students should carefully review course options and lab technology when selecting a school.