Start a student chapter

Starting a student chapter can be a rewarding way to make the most of your Optica student membership. Follow the steps below and your university can begin to take advantage of the many benefits and services Optica offers its chapters.

Note: A university cannot have more than one Optica student chapter. We recommend that you check the directory before beginning the application process. If there is already a chapter at your school, you are encouraged to participate with the existing chapter, which you may join when activating or renewing an Optica student membership or by emailing studentchapters@optica.org.

Step 1: Recruit five Optica student members and a faculty advisor
  • A miminum of five students are needed to create a chapter. These students must also hold active Optics student memberships. Students may join online indepently or email membershipteam@optica.org to request to join as a group with a single transaction. For every ten student memberships paid for by the chapter, Optica will provide five extra at no charge.
  • Don't know who hold an active student membership at your university? E-mail studentchapters@optica.org and we can assist. 
  • A chapter must have a faculty advisor to serve as a liaison between your chapter and your university.
Step 2: Complete the student chapter application
  • Before you start this step, make sure you have:
    • Secured the required five Optica student memberships
    • Determined the officer and advisor roles
    • Established a chapter name (maximum of 40 characters)
    • Created a chapter email for officers to receive messages in one location (we recommend using gmail)
    • Obtained a certification letter from your university that recognizes your chapter as an official organization
Step 3: Review process
  • Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed within four weeks.
    • If denied, feedback will be given and the chapter will have the opportunity to make adjustments and reapply.
    • If approved, chapter officers will receive an email with information on how to log into the Grants Database (where the chapter will submit applications for funding) and the Member Management Portal (where the chapter will update basic chapter information and the roster).
  • Funding of USD 350 will be provided either by check (for U.S. chapters) or wire (for chapters international chapters) within three weeks of approval.

Status updates can be requested by emailing studentchapters@optica.org.