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Form a Student Chapter or Club

SPIE Student Chapters offer opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, perform outreach in the community, develop professional and leadership skills, form partnerships with industries, and can be a very rewarding student member experience.

Educational Institution Requirements:

The educational institution must have at least one of the following:

  • Graduate Degree Program or equivalent in Physics, Engineering, or other optics-related field (e.g. MSc In Biomedical Optics) with ability to specialize in optics coursework.
  • Bachelor's Program or equivalent program specific to optics (e.g. BSc in Laser Technology; excludes broad programs such as BSc in Electrical Engineering)
  • Certificate programs specific to optics (e.g. Precision Machining - Optical Fabrication)

As well as: 

  • Support for student optics research from professors specialized in the field

Membership Requirements:

  • Potential chapter advisor - This individual must be a full-time faculty at the educational institution who is also a current Early Career Professional or Regular SPIE Member. 
  • A minimum of 10 current SPIE Student Members affiliated to the educational institution. 

Applicant Requirements: 

  • Applicant must be a current SPIE Student Member at the educational institution. Potential chapter advisors are not permitted to apply. 


Even if the above educational institution, membership, and applicant requirements are met, the formation of a chapter is not guaranteed. There may be reasons as to why an SPIE Student Chapter may not be a good fit. These reasons often include lack of previous member engagement with SPIE and/or lack of research specific to furthering optics and photonics technologies or applications.  


Stage 1 - SPIE Optics and Photonics 2021 Review deadline of 1 May 2021.

  • Chapter Interest Application 
  • Review: If approved, the application moves to Stage 2

Stage 2 - SPIE Optics and Photonics 2021 Review deadline of 1 June 2021. 

  • Complete Chapter Application 
  • Review: After the deadline, applications are reviewed. If approved, the application goes to the Board of Directors for certification. 
  • Certification: At one of our four annual Board of Directors meetings, the chapter application will go up for certification. 
  • Notification: After the Board of Directors certifies the chapter, the chapter applicant is notified of official approval. 

To apply: 

To apply, please login to the SMapply Application here using your SPIE username (email) and password. If you have forgotten your account information, please open this link and click "Forgot Username" and/or "Forgot Password."

Photonics West 2021 Applications currently approved for Stage 2: Your application deadline has been extended to 27 November 2020 in an effort to accommodate extra challenges students are facing this year.