Minor in Photonics

This minor provides an education in photonics, the science and technology of light and its applications for imaging, telecommunications, sensing, biology, manufacturing as well as some of the fundamental aspects of light-matter interactions.

Photonics is a multifaceted field of study: on the one side, the interaction of light with matter is playing a central role for many phenomena in physics (semiconductors, lasers, photodetectors, quantum communication), biology (microscopy, fluorescence) chemistry (linear and nonlinear spectroscopy) and materials sciences (organic materials). On the other side, light is an enabling technology that one finds in numerous industries, from displays to vision, robotics, image processing, manufacturing or photovoltaics. These photonics-related industries are extremely well developed in Switzerland and Europe and the mastery of light sciences and technologies opens many exciting career paths, both in industry and academia.

The course offer for this minor is quite broad and leaves significant freedom to the students, to either broaden their horizon in photonics, or to specialize in one of the following three topics: Foundations of photonics, Applied photonics or Biomedical photonics.

At the end of the Minor, the student will have deepen her/his understanding of light-matter interactions in a broad diversity of systems and will be able to develop solutions that use light for many different situations.

The Minor in Photonics (30 ECTS) complements the Master programs offered at EPFL, providing additional skills in the field of optics, optical engineering and related technologies. The program includes courses (20 ECTS minimum, all optional) that cover both the foundations of photonic sciences, as well as a broad selection of engineering-related courses with emphasis on applications in optical engineering.

A mandatory semester project (10 ECTS) related to photonics sciences or technologies is included in the Minor.

• The Minor may be taken by all the STI students (EL, MX, MT, GM) and the students from the Physics Section (PH).

• Students from other sections are more than welcome but prior authorization from their Section should be obtained.

• The Minor is only open to Master students who have selected a Master program with at least 90 ETCS.

• A minimum of 30 ETCS is necessary to obtain the Minor, usually corresponding to one semester of study

• All the requirements for the Minor should be completed before the student starts her/his Master thesis (usually in the 4th semester of her/his Master studies)

• The student’s choice to select the Minor should be announced no later than two weeks after the beginning of the first semester of her/his Master studies.

• The student’s choice should be confirmed before the end of the first semester of her/his Master studies.

• A student is allowed to give up a Minor after being enrolled. However, in order to obtain her/his Master degree, the student will still have to satisfy the rules relative to the Master diploma determined by the “Ordonnance du contrôle des études” as well as those applicable to her/his section.

• In addition, the credits (ETCS) earned in the frame of the Minor may be transferred to the necessary requirements to earn the Master degree as long as the student’s Section allows it. The credits earned in the frame of the Minor which are not valid for the requirements to earn the Master degree will be lost.

In order to obtain the Minor, a student will have to get at least 30 ETCS (European Credit Transfer System) made out of :

• at least 20 ETCS for courses (to be selected out of a list of more than 90 ETCS)
• 10 ETCS for a project

It should be noted that the classes taken by a student in the frame of the Minor are considered as a “group”. Hence the student has to obtain a mark of at least 4.0 for each of them.

To provide some coherence, the list of classes are grouped around three different tracks:

• Foundations of photonics
• Applied photonics
• Biomedical photonics

Students are however free to select the classes they wish within the list of courses, for a total of at least 20 ETCS. Courses outside of the list must be approved by the responsible of the Minor and you should then ask the delegate of your section to make them available for IS-academia registration.

In order to build a coherent study program in photonics, the students are asked to fill this form with the list of selected courses and send it by email to the responsible of the Minor.

The semester project (10 ECTS) is mandatory and can be done in any EPFL laboratory active in optics research. For this project, the students should contact laboratories of interest and define a project plan with the host laboratory and submit it to the responsible of the minor.

You should officially register to the courses and the semester project through the IS-Academia system.