Day: June 1, 2022

Photonics – the use and study of light

EE majors may take photonics courses for EE elective credit, or may follow requirements to earn a Concentration in Photonics – which is listed on the diploma.

View a sample Photonics Concentration flowchart (2021-2022).

Photonics is using light energy to do work: sensing, imaging, communication. Photonics entails the control of photons in making systems faster, more efficient and more accurate, in a wide range of applications from energy generation to detection to communications and information processing. Robotic sensing and vision, space photography, medical instrumentation, imaging, and satellite communication are a few areas using photonics.

Students study laser systems, optics, and the control of photons/light.

EE2190, Introduction to Photonics, offered spring semesters.

EE3190, Optical Sensing and Imaging, Spring semesters.  Prereq: MA3521/20; JR/SR.

EE3290, Photonic Material, Devices, and Applications, Spring semesters. Prereq: EE3140 or EE3090 or PH2400.

EE4490, Laser Systems and Applications, check schedule for semester offered.  Pre-req: EE3140.

Companies hiring MTU photonics majors include Raytheon, NAVSEA and CRANE. To add the Photonics Concentration, submit a request in MyMichiganTech curriculum changes .

Photonics elective courses (6 credits minimum with the concentration): BE4250,BE4410,EE4240,EE4252, EE4253,  EE4290,  MSE/PH4292, PH3410,PH4510,PH4640

We are unique!  Very few universities offer an undergraduate photonics program.  For additional information on courses, SPIE, OSA or getting involved in research, contact:

  • Dr. Durdu Guney,  EERC 729,    dguney@
  • Dr. Chris Middlebrook,  EERC 628,  ctmiddle@

Cool Beams!

Grades, probation and suspension

Grades, probation, and suspension:

If you are earning low grades, see your academic advisor early on. See your instructor(s) early on to get a good understanding of the tasks at hand. Once you get on probation, it can be a very long and difficult process to get yourself back to Good Academic Standing. If your grades do not improve after two semesters, consider whether or not you are in the right major. Continuing on probation two consecutive semesters, leads to a notice of academic suspension, which can be appealed.

The Career Services advisors can be helpful in exploring majors if you are thinking you want to change.  If you are thinking of changing majors, but do not know what, meet with one of our advisors for undecided students.

If you are overwhelmed, unable to focus on homework and studying for exams, experience test anxiety, are depressed, or have high anxiety, call our Center for Student Mental Health and Well-being at 906-487-2538. Learn new study skills and how to focus on what’s important to you, in order to reach your personal goals.  If you are on probation and interested in one of our very helpful workshops or programs or events, see options here.

When you are in a tough class, and you just “give up”, do you really want to take the class again? Seek help as soon as you know you need it.    See the instructor and the academic advisor. Go to the learning center.

These 3 situations result in Probation status:  1) Cumulative GPA falls below 2.0  2) your semester GPA falls below 2.0  3) Departmental GPA falls below 2.0 (after reaching 16 department credits).

Repeating courses:  You may repeat a course with a grade of CD or lower.  For a 3rd attempt, obtain permission from the Dean of Students and your Academic Advisor and Financial Aid.  Your most recent grade is used in your GPA calculation(s), even if it is lower.  The prior grade drops out of your GPA calculation(s).  If a course is required for your major and you do not pass the 3rd attempt, you will not be able to complete degree requirements for your major, and have to change your major.

What to shoot for early on, to be successful in EE and/or CpE:

In Computer programming (CS1121, CS1122 or CS1131), Math (MA1160, EE1110, MA2160, MA2321, MA3521) and Physics(Ph2100, PH2200)  achieve an A or B grade (but at least a C), to be successful in subsequent major classes and in your career.

EE3901 – Design Fundamentals (substitutions)

Courses which may substitute for EE3901 – Design Fundamentals, 2 credits.

1. ENT 3964(1) Project Management
AND ENT3958(1) Engineering Ethics.

Usually offered:

ENT3964 – online in summers; spring (JR or SR standing)

and ENT3958 – spring

Prereqs: ENG1101 or (ENT1001 and ENG1100) (JR or SR standing)ENG 1101 or (ENG 1001 and ENG 1100

  2. OSM 4300(3) – Project Management

Usually offered:

Summer online; fall; spring

Pre-Requisite(s): BUS 2100 or CEE 3710 or MA 2720 or MA 3710 or EE 3180 or BE 2110 or MA 2710

Instructor permission required to request EE3180 as prereq.


Your academic advisor will need to adjust your online degree audit for this substitution.

Email them when you are enrolled or complete the course(s).

Linear Algebra and Differential Equations

Linear Algebra and Differential Equations:  what EE and CpE majors need to know

  • MA2321 and MA3521 are Accelerated and taken in same semester.
  • Lin Alg (MA2321 or MA2320) is the pre-req for Diff Eq(MA3521 or MA3520)
  • Students must pass MA2321 to continue on in MA3521
  • MA2320 is same course as MA2321, but uses full semester to complete
  • MA3520 is same course as MA3521, but uses full semester to complete after MA2320.
  • MA2321/MA3521 is the accelerated-pace option (take at least 14 credits)
  • MA2320 and MA3520 is the two-semester option
  • Diff Eq (MA3521 or MA3520) is a pre-req to Circuits II (EE2112)
  • Linear Algebra and Diff Eq are prereqs to Signals & Systems (EE3160).

Environmental Applications concentration – BSEE

The concentration in Environmental Applications with the bachelor of science in electrical engineering helps prepare students to contribute as EE’s in fields related to environmental quality. Opportunities exist in environmental remote sensing, air quality, water quality, and related fields.

The concentration may be pursued using the 2015-2016 catalog year or later.

Concentration coursework, 18 credits:  (2015-2016)
(may be completed in years 3 and 4)

CEE 3501 Environmental Engineering Fundamentals (or CEE 3503 if unable to take CEE 3501 in fall)
CEE 3502 Environmental Monitoring & Measurement
Remote sensing sequence:  1. EE 4252 and GE 4250 or 2. EE 2190 and EE3190
Two Environmental Quality Engineering courses from this list:
CEE 4502 Wastewater Treatment Principles and Design
CEE 4503 Drinking Water Treatment Principles and Design
CEE 4504 Air Quality Engineering and Science
CEE 4505 Surface Water Quality Engineering
CEE 4507 Application of Sustainability Principles
CEE 4511 Solid and Hazardous Waste Engineering

See Judy Burl, EERC 131, for help with planning. Walk in to EERC 131, or schedule an advising appointment here.

The concentration credits take the place of EE 4250, Approved electives, and 9cr. EE electives on the BSEE.

Engineering Fundamentals courses: ENG1101, ENG1102

The First-year engineering courses are offered by the Engineering Fundamentals Department, and are required for most engineering majors.

As a prerequisite, the Spatial Visualization test must be passed prior to enrolling in  ENG 1101 or ENG 1102.  Take ENG1002 along with your first ENG course if you do not achieve a score of at least 19 on the Spat Vis test.  Transfer students with credit for ENG1101 must pass the Spatial Visualization test before enrolling in ENG1102. (or take ENG1002 prior to taking ENG1102)

Email or go to the Engineering Fundamentals Department to take the spatial visualization test:  Dillman 112,   906-487-3057

ENG Courses

Objectives of Engineering Fundamentals courses:

  • To develop an appreciation for the engineering profession
  • To develop proficiency in the use of computers to solve engineering problems
  • To introduce fundamental engineering and design concepts
  • To improved technical communication skills
  • To understand ethics and it’s importance in the engineering profession

Photonics Electives – for Concentration

BSEE – Photonics Concentration Electives          (see flowcharts)

A minimum of  6 credits of the following are required with the Photonics Concentration:

Be sure to look up latest pre-reqs and semester offerings in the online course descriptions and Schedule of Classes.

BE 4250 (3) Biomedical Optics,   Even Springs      (Lin Alg, Diff Equ, and MA3160)

BE 4410 (3) Medical Imaging,  Odd Springs   (BE 3700 and BE 3710)

EE 4252 (4) Digital Signal Processing and it’s Applications,  Fall     (EE3160)

EE 4253 (3) Real Time Signal Processing,  Spring    (EE4252)

EE  5522(3) Digital Image Processing,   Spring  (EE3190 and EE3160) Not Spring 2014.

MSE/PH 4292 (3) Light and Photonic Materials,   Fall    (PH2200(C))

PH 4510 (2) Introduction to Solid State Physics,   Fall   ((PH2300 or 1360) and PH2400 and (CH11150/51) and Diff Equ)

More about the BSEE – Photonics Concentration.

Engineering GPA – ENGPA

The ENGPA, engineering GPA, is calculated with a set of first-year engineering classes.  The ENGPA is used as a milestone for determining success in the foundations of engineering.  These classes make up the ENGPA:

  • CH1150 and CH1151
  • MA1160 or MA1161
  • MA2160
  • ENG1101 or (ENG1001 + ENG1100)
  • ENG1102
  • PH2100 and PH1100
  • UN1015 or UN1001

The Electrical & Computer Engineering Department requires a 2.75 ENGPA as one of the requirements to transfer into the EE, RE or CpE major.

ENGPA calculator instructions and more details.