The Field of Photonics
Photonics is the science and technology of generating, controlling, and detecting photonics, which are particles of light.
Photonics is an enabling technology that is used across a wide array of industries. From medicine to the military, and from consumer electronics to communications, photonics makes many other technologies we use possible.
Check out our more extensive website on the general fields and applications of photonics here: https://photonics.creol.ucf.edu
There are about 35,000 companies in the United States that hire photonics engineers. Some are well known, like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Verizon, Northrop Grumman, and Lockheed.
Others are not as well known, such as General Cable, Newport, and Optigrate.
We have had our graduates hired at companies such as Luminar, Harris, and Qorvo Semiconductor in addition to the ones mentioned above.
Preparing to Enter the Major
You should be preparing by taking as much math as possible, preferably taking up to Calculus I. Physics is also an important class to take to gain some knowledge, but we prefer to you take and excel in mathematics.
One year of chemistry is required before you can take CHS 1440, a course required for all engineering majors at UCF. If you have not completed chemistry in high school, you will need to take CHM 1032.
Yes! Please contact Mike McKee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being Successful in the Major
With all engineering degrees, we recommend that you study at least 3 hours for every 1 hour in the classroom. If you are enrolled full time, with 12 credit hours, you will study at least 36 hours outside of class, for a total educational time commitment of 48 hours per week.
UCF has a tutoring center – https://sarc.sdes.ucf.edu/tutoring – it is best to take advantage of tutoring early in the semester and not wait until you are in trouble in the course. The Society of Optics Students also has regular study times.
For many students, this is unavoidable, but consider the following scenario:
A student has to work 30 hours a week to pay for college, but also wants to take 15 credit hours. To be successful, the needs to study 45 hours per week in addition to 15 hours spent in class. With the additional work hours, the student has 90 hours per week committed.
This is likely an unsustainable schedule. Since there are only 168 hours per week, and the student will need to sleep, eat, and travel to classes, it is nearly impossible to be successful and work at this level. It is would be best to either decrease the number of work hours to reduce the number of courses taken.
So the best solution is to balance work and your studies so that you can eat, sleep, and take care of yourself without burning out.
YES! At the beginning of each semester, create a weekly calendar of your classes, exams, work, and plot out study blocks. Remember that each week, you should study 9-12 hours for each class you take (1 credit hour = 3 hours of study time). You should spread this study time out over several days rather than cram in all studying for one class in a single day.
For more advice on creating a personalized study plan, see this site: https://www.howtostudy.com/create-a-study-plan/
Courses to Take
It really does not matter but there are a couple of conditions for entrance into the courses.
- CHS 1440 requires one year of high school chemistry or CHM 1032.
- CHM 2045C requires that you pass the Chemistry Placement Exam.
CHM 2045C is a course that is designed for chemistry and biology majors. We recommend you take CHS 1440, but this class fills up fast so register early.
This depends. It is best to look at the current catalog to determine how credit can be given for AP or IB tests. In the catalog, check the section called “Accelerated Educational Opportunities” and check the prerequisites required for the course at the end of the catalog.
For example, in the 2018-2019 catalog, with a score of 3 or more on the AP Calculus AB test credit is awarded for MAC 2311 Calculus I. When examining the course description for MAC 2312, only a score of 5 on the AP test is acceptable enrollment directly into Calculus II. Therefore, the student will need to enroll in MAC 2311.
No. There is different content in EGN3211. The College of Engineering allows ENG3211 to be used for COP 3223, but it does not count the other way.
This course list can change from time to time. The most up to date list is found in your myKnight Audit in the section called “Restricted Electives” Click on the “view all” to see the entire list of available courses that count for our major.
To access the full slate of classes in the major, you need to change your program from pending to the PSE Major. This is done in my.ucf.edu.
- Navigate to the student center
- Find the drop down menu called “Other Academic…”
- Select “Change Major: Request”
- Search for PHTNSCI-BS
Students in the Photonic Science and Engineering program may take up to 9 credit hours of master’s level coursework and use those classes to satisfy PSE restricted elective requirements and master’s track coursework. Students who wish to take these courses must satisfy the following:
- Have and maintain a UCF and Major GPA of at least 3.5.
- Complete OSE 3200 Geometric Optics and OSE 3052(L) Introduction to Photonics + Lab.
- Complete prerequisites for required for those courses being substituted.
Select the courses you will take. You will be given a permission number to enroll. Enrollment approval is dependent on space availability. Complete the Bachelor’s to Master’s Approval form in the semester prior to enrollment in the course.
Yes! You can earn 1 credit hour per semester, up to 3 semesters total. You will take this as course number OSE 4912 Directed Independent Research.
Get the Restricted Course Form and have the faculty researcher who will be supervising your research to approve it. They will need to provide a syllabus as well for each semester in which you are enrolled.
Senior Design courses subject the students to an environment unlike the majority of their previous curriculum.Students will encounter aspects of engineering design not found in prior coursework. Students will be responsible for their own learning as a team. In other classes, students are given homework, quizzes, labs, and tests in a structured and scheduled manner, but in Senior Design it is the team’s responsibility to schedule their project, assign responsibilities, build the functioning device or system that meets specifications, and document the results of the team’s efforts in written reports.
Prior to obtaining a permission number to enroll in Senior Design I, please review the following:
- Begin now to find ECE students who will form your team.
A team is typically made up of one to two PSE students and two to three ECE students. Teams are a size of three to four students.
- Begin to think of project.
Meet with Dr. Hagan now to discuss the idea. You need to initiate this meeting with him. The project should have significant photonics technologies, but it does not have to be a new idea. It just needs to be a new idea to you.
- Keys can be issued for A207, the Senior Design Lab, but they are only provided to PSE students.
University regulations require that there must be two people present in the Senior Design Lab at all times. Keys must be returned by the last day of exam week in the semester in which you complete Senior Design II. The lab must be cleaned prior to the return of the key.
Prior to obtaining a key, all students in your group must enroll in and complete the Laser Safety Course: http://www.ehs.ucf.edu/res-training Course number EHS-309.
Download the Senior Design Form, get it signed and return it to Mike McKee so he can issue a permission number for you to enroll.
Opportunities for Students
Yes. While do not formally coordinate these activities, we very much encourage students to work with the Office of Experiential Learning for internships. If a student wants to do undergraduate research, they will need to contact one of our faculty directly and ask if there is an opportunity. You can also earn 1 credit hour per semester. Use the Restricted Course Form to seek approval for the research credit.