Distinguished & Honorary Members 

Honorary Members 

The most distinguished of all the member categories, Honorary Membership is awarded to those who have made unique, seminal contributions to the field of optics. Honorary Members receive a complimentary lifetime membership and other special recognitions of their distinguished status, including complimentary meeting registrations and journal subscriptions. View a list of Honorary Members and learn more about the nomination process.

Fellow Members

Members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics may be proposed for election to the class of Fellow. The number of Fellows is limited by the society's bylaws to be no more than 10% of the total Membership and the number elected each year is limited to approximately 0.5% of the previous year's membership total. Candidates for Fellow Membership are nominated by current Fellow Members. The Fellow Members Committee reviews each nomination and recommends candidates to the Awards Council and Board of Directors annually.

Senior Members

Senior Membership provides established individuals with the opportunity to request a designation that recognizes their experience and professional accomplishments or service within the optics and photonics field. Senior Membership is the highest distinction for which members can apply and reflects professional maturity and experience.  It is a separate category from Emeritus Status. Members can self-nominate, or be nominated, for Senior Membership.

To qualify for Senior Membership, individuals should have at least 10 years of cumulative professional experience (since completion of first degree) in optics and/or optics related field and be an active Optica Member with a minimum of five years of cumulative professional membership (Student membership not included). Applications for the 2022 class are now open and are due annually on 28 February.