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Photonic Communications Engineering (Certificate NDP)  
Program Description
Earn a professional graduate certificate in Photonic Communications Engineering to gain interdisciplinary skills, or freshen up your current expertise and knowledge. If you are a traditional student or an industry member with a degree in a related field you can complete this certificate in the classroom, or from the comfort of your home or office. 
The College of Optical Sciences, together with the Center for Integrated Access Networks (CIAN) provide interdisciplinary, cutting edge education, and research to professionals and students. The Information Age has created the need for greatly increased data transfer and storage. Communication technology breakthroughs will have impacts in virtually all areas of modern life, including: telepresence; social networking; telemedicine; distance learning; and information services to remote regions of the world, to name a few. In order to lead new technology innovations and work with colleagues from a wide variety of disciplines, engineers require experience in entrepreneurship and an appreciation for the economic impact technology has on global markets. Innovation that is application-driven requires a broad understanding of systems level engineering, market place demand, and technology commercialization processes. 
The Professional Graduate Certificate in Photonic Communications is a 15 unit professional graduate certificate designed to provide an opportunity for graduate students and industry members who possess related degrees to earn a certificate in the engineering specialization of Photonic Communications. The courses are offered via distance learning and on campus. Graduates of this program will be poised to contribute to the photonic communications industry by creating technology solutions to address the global demand for improved telecommunications; and by possessing the necessary vision and knowledge base to successfully venture into technology commercialization. Graduates of the certificate program in Photonic Communications Engineering will hone these important skills and in turn will benefit the UA, the State of Arizona, and the global communications and information technology industry.  
Students’ goals, options and commitments may change over time, so the college allows students interested in the M.S. in Optical SciencesM.S. in Photonic Communications Engineering, or Ph.D. in Optical Sciences to apply their 15 units from the Graduate Certificate program toward the requirements of the higher degree.
Department/Academic Unit(s)

College of Optical Sciences -

The mission of the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences is to provide the state of Arizona and the nation with an internationally pre-eminent program in education, research and outreach in all aspects of the science and application of light.

The College of Optical Sciences, formerly known as the Optical Sciences Center, was established in Tucson, Arizona, in 1964 to fulfill a national need for more highly trained engineers and physicists in the optical sciences. Throughout its 50-year history, OSC has stood on the forefront of the field; today, it educates more students in optics than any institution in the U.S.

Read more about the work we do here in Dean Thomas L. Koch's welcome message.

College of Optical Sciences  
Campuses where offered
Main Campus - Tucson UA Online  
Admissions Contact
Lindsay E Loebig
Graduate Program Coordinator
Lindsay E Loebig
Director of Graduate Studies
Richard J Koshel
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Elise Bowler
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

Minimum Admissions Requirements:

  • 3.0 GPA or higher
  • GRE general test
  • TOEFL test for international students
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Updated CV
  • Unofficial or official transcripts

Please visit our Admissions Page for further details.

Standardized Tests

Required test(s): GRE, TOEFL for international applicants
Minimum TOEFL: 79

Minimum IELTS: 7

Financial Aid

Funding opportunities for certificate students are limited.  Please visiting our Tuition, Fees & Funding page for more information.

Applicants interested in loans or scholarships should visit the University of Arizona's Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid.  

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: December 10

International Applicants:

  • Fall: July 15
  • Spring: December 10
International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 4832

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Time Limit: 

  • 4 years 

Plan of Study:

Upon completion of the required 15 units of graduate courses, the student must submit a plan of study to the Graduate College's degree certification office. At that time, the certificate will be posted to the student's transcript.

Course Work: 

Graduate Certificate in Photonic Communications Engineering students at the College of Optical Sciences must complete five three-unit graduate courses with a grade of B or better, for a total of 15 units of OSC graduate credit. The Graduate Certificate program requires continuous enrollment in at least three units, and international students completing the Graduate Certificate on campus must enroll in nine units, per residency requirements.

Required Courses:

1. One of the two following courses:

2. One of the two following courses:

  • a. OPTI 500 D  E  F: Photonics Communications Engineering II (3 units)
  • b. OPTI 510R Photonics (3 units)

3. OPTI 501: Electromagnetic Waves (3 units)

4. OPTI 539A: From Photonics Innovation to the Marketplace (3 units)

5. OPTI 503A: Mathematical Methods for Optics and Photonics (3 units)

Minor Requirements
The Academic Unit has not provided this information. 
Student Handbook  
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Last revised 15 Mar 2018