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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 checklist below to make sure that your educational institution meets our mimumum requirements:

  • Undergraduate program in physics or engineering
  • Concentration in optics through elective physics or optical engineering courses
  • Support for student optics research from professors specialized in the field

If you are concerned that your educational institution may not meet these minimum requirements, please email students@spie.org to discuss your potential chapter in further detail. 

Part of the chapter establishment process includes completing the SPIE Student Chapter Packet (350KB PDF).  A template (Word Document or PDF) for the petition and constitution is also provided. Take a look at these documents before you plan your chapter to ensure that you are aware of all of the requirements. 

Ready to begin the process? Below is a step-by-step guide for forming a student chapter:

  1. Students should seek out an SPIE member who will serve as the Student Chapter Faculty Advisor.  Search the online member directory to find current faculty members at your school or email students@spie.org
  2. Submit a petition signed by a minimum of 10 (paying) SPIE Student Members, or applicants for membership.  The petition must include:
    • Name and department of the intended Faculty Advisor
    • Signature of advisor (digital copies of signatures are acceptable)
    • Signature of Department Head where most of Chapter's students are enrolled
  3. A letter approving the SPIE Student Chapter as an official campus organization must be sent to SPIE from the Student Association or appropriate office of the institution.
  4. Submit a Constitution and Bylaws using the template provided.  Sections in bold may not be altered.
  5. Submit a school catalog or other documentation outlining accreditation, optics course curriculum, and a list of faculty.
  6. Send the completed package for approval by the SPIE Board of Directors or Executive Committee at one of their quarterly (January, April, August, October) meetings via electronic PDF copy to students@spie.org. Deadlines for 2017 Chapter Packets are 3 January, 7 April, 14 July, and 2 October.
  7. Once the packet is received, the applicant will receive an email confirming reciept of materials. 
  8. The review process generally takes one month from the date of deadline. This can be a long time to await a review! Feel free to hold officer elections, plan initial activities, and hold meetings during this time. 
  9. If approved by the SPIE Board of Directors or Executive Committee, the chapter advisor and student applicant will receive a notice via email and SPIE will ship an official welcome letter and certificate by mail to honor the new chapter. A chapter webpage will also be created to track members, benefits, and annual reports.
  10. Congrats! This is the point where the chapter is official!

If you have any questions regarding this process, please email students@spie.org