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Photonics (BSc)


Note: The Department of Physics and Computer Science is conducting a review of its program offerings that may result in the elimination of the BSc in Photonics program after all currently enrolled students have graduated. As a result, we regret to inform you that we are no longer admitting new students into the Photonics program. We are continuing to offer a BSc in Physics program, which is almost identical to the BSc in Photonics program in years 1 and 2, and students admitted to either program have always been free to switch to the other one prior to entering year 3. If Photonics is eliminated as a separate program, students with an interest in this field will still be able to study it by choosing electives within the Physics program. However, the number of available optics and photonics electives may be reduced. Learn more about our BSc in Physics program.

Photonics is the study of how individual particles of light or packets of electromagnetic energy behave, and the application of this theory to the technologies associated with the generation, manipulation, transmission, amplification and detection of photons.

Just as electronics was the dominant enabling technology of the last century, it is anticipated that photonics will be the dominant enabling technology of this century. Photonics is used in many industries, including telecommunications, health care and life sciences, optical sensing, defence, environmental monitoring, nanotechnology and commercial electronics.

Our Photonics program provides a solid physics background with an emphasis on optical physics to provide a strong understanding of the theory and application of photonics. You’ll receive hands-on exposure to optics, fibre optics, opto-electronics and optical networks. Courses in computing, digital electronics and analog electronics provide background for the interfacing, design and simulation of photonic systems.

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Program Highlights

  • You can apply for the Professional Experience Program, which consists of a 12- to 16-month work term between your third and fourth years.
  • You can apply for the co-op option, which includes 2 work terms usually in the summers following your second and third year.
  • Photonics courses make extensive use of laboratory components where you apply concepts learned in lectures. With the generous support of corporate sponsors, Laurier is able to offer state-of-the-art undergraduate photonics laboratory facilities.
  • 80% of our graduates go on to do a master’s degree at top photonics schools such as Laval University, the University of Rochester, and Cornell University before taking jobs in industry.
  • Check out options to enhance your degree.

Sample Courses

  • Fibre Optics
  • Electromagnetic Theory
  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Lasers and Electro-optics
  • Photonic Devices
  • Optical Networks


  • Admission range of mid-70s.
  • English at 60%.
  • Advanced Functions at 60%.
  • Two of the following: Calculus and Vectors, Chemistry or Physics at 60%.
  • A combined minimum average of 70% is required in the prerequisite 4U Mathematics and 4U Science courses.
  • More admission requirements are available in our admissions toolkit.

International Baccalaureate Requirements

  • HL or SL English.
  • HL or SL Mathematics.
  • One of HL or SL Chemistry or Physics.
  • IB Minimum Score: 28.


Career examples of our graduates:

  • Optical engineer
  • Research engineer (radiation detection)
  • Nuclear research physicist
  • Financial analyst
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Sales and marketing manager (photonics devices)
  • Combat systems engineer
  • High school teacher
  • Systems engineer (telecommunication industry)
  • Quality assurance (optical products)

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