Systems and Laboratory Automation Concentration

Systems and Laboratory Automation Concentration

The Systems and Laboratory Automation concentration focuses on electronics engineering, automation, computer interfacing, optics instrumentation, and mechatronics. The curriculum includes a core of courses in analog and digital electronics, digital system design, robotics, design and implementation of microcontroller-based instrumentation, and laboratory automation. All of the courses have a three-hour hands-on laboratory component for related, practical application of the course material. A research project is required and conducted under the supervision of a member of the Department's graduate faculty.

A complete description of program requirements can be found here: Program Bulletin

Thesis and Non-Thesis Options

 The program has both a thesis and non-thesis option. Both options can be completed in two years.

 The thesis option requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework credit and incorporates six hours for the thesis. The comprehensive exam is given over the thesis area only.

 The non-thesis option requires a minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework credit.  These hours include three hours of credit in directed research for the associated research project. The comprehensive exam is given in PHY 5405: Graduate Seminar.

Typical Program of Study for Systems and Laboratory Automation Concentration

First Year



(4) PHY 5330: Digital Electronics(4) PHY 5735: Microcontrollers
(4) PHY 5730: Analog Systems(4) PHY 5740: Sensors and Transducers
(0) PHY 5011: Applied Physics Colloquium(0) PHY 5011: Applied Physics Colloquium
(3) Grad Elective(3) Grad Elective
Total: 11 required credit hoursTotal: 11 required credit hours

Second Year



(3) PHY 5550: Directed Research in Applied Physics(1) PHY 5405: Graduate Seminar
(1) PHY 5400: Professional Skills(3) Grad Elective 
(3) Grad Elective (3) Elective for full time
(3) Grad Elective(3) Elective for full time
Total: 10 required credit hoursTotal: 4 required credit hours


Common electives in Fall include:

(3) PHY 5020: Computational Methods in Physics & Engineering

(4) PHY 5430: Digital Systems

(4) PHY 5450: Programmable Logic Controllers

(4) PHY 5620: Optics

(4) PHY 5860: Physical Principles of Electron Microscopy

Common electives in Spring include:

(4) PHY 5435: Laboratory Automation

(4) PHY 5635: LabVIEW Interfacing and Robotics

(3) PHY 5845: Nanoscience and Technology

(3) PHY 5850: Advanced Materials Science Laboratory


For more information, contact Dr. Michael Briley (; 828-262-2432).