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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.

Forming an SPIE Chapter can be exciting, but it also takes time and energy. Before you start the process, review the following requirements for educational institutions seeking to form a chapter. 

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. M.Sc. In Biomedical Optics) with ability to specialize in optics coursework.
  • Bachelor's Program or equivalent program specific to optics (e.g. B.Sc. in Laser Technology; excludes broad programs such as B.Sc in Electrical Engineering)
  • Certificate programs specific to optics (e.g. Precision Machining - Optical Fabrication)


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

If you are interested in forming an SPIE Student Chapter at your educational institution, please submit an SPIE Student Chapter Interest Form on SmarterSelect. Note that you will need to create a login to do so. Please note that all SPIE Student Chapter Interest Forms should be submitted no later than 2 weeks prior to cycle deadlines. 

Once we receive the form, we will review it within two weeks of the submission. If your educational institution meets our standards, we will then ask for you to complete a Student Chapter Application Packet. 

There are two cycles for Student Chapter Applications annually. 

  • The deadline for Cycle 1 is 15 June. Approved Cycle 1 Chapters will be announced in late August.
  • The deadline for Cycle 2 is 15 December. Approved Cycle 2 Chapters will be announced in mid-February of the following year.