Member Categories

OSA Member Categories

OSA offers Member categories with customized benefits and services to meet the information needs of those with an interest in optics and photonics. The title of each category links to further details including member dues, benefits and designation requests.

Individual Members are scientists, engineers, academicians, business leaders or other professionals with an interest in optics and photonics.

Student Members are college-level undergraduate or graduate students who devote at least half of their time to academic coursework.

Industry Members are companies of all sizes that aim to build their businesses and amplify their results.  Membership in OSA connects your company with 270,000 executive-level members, customers and researchers in the optics and photonics industry.

The OSA Fellow is an honor reserved for no more than 10% of the total OSA Membership and is awarded to elected OSA Members or Senior Members who have made significant contributions to the advancement of optics. Candidates for Fellow Membership are nominated by peers who are themselves OSA Fellows and approved by the OSA Fellow Members Committee, OSA Awards Committee and OSA Board of Directors.

Recent Graduate Members have completed a college-level degree program within the last three years.

Emeritus Members are fully retired individuals who have been a member of OSA for at least 10 years. To qualify, an individual's age plus the number of years of their OSA Membership must equal a minimum of 75.

The Senior Member designation may be requested by well-established individuals with at least 10 years of significant professional experience since the time of their highest degree as a recognition of accomplishments or service within their field. Note: An OSA Member does not need to be a Senior Member in order to be nominated for Fellow status.

Honorary Member is the most distinguished of all OSA Member categories, and is awarded to those who have made unique, unparalleled contributions to the field of optics. The Presidential Advisory Committee recommends Honorary Member candidates for the consideration of the OSA Board of Directors.

Individual Members, Senior Members, Honorary Members, Emeritus Members, Fellow Members and Recent Graduate Members are eligible to vote in the annual election for OSA Vice President and Directors at Large.  Student Members are not eligible to vote in the annual election.





"[OSA Membership] opened a wealth of essential information for successful career accomplishments. Membership … has been a very enriching experience."
– John B. Goodell, Broad Spectrum Optics, LLC


"[OSA Membership provides] stimulating and inspiring interactions. New ideas and new visions."
– El-Hang Lee