Student Chapter Benefits

OSA Student Chapter Benefits

Award winner

OSA Student Chapters receive a wide array of exclusive benefits and valuable career-building opportunities.

Outlined below are just some of the benefits offered to OSA Student Chapters and their members. But beyond this support, participating in an OSA Student Chapter helps each student member to gain technical knowledge and establish lasting relationships with peers and mentors.

Grants and Awards

Start-Up Funds - Each new Student Chapter receives $250 USD in start-up funding to help get the chapter off the ground. Information on starting and funding a chapter is available online.Note: Start-up funds must be requested within the first year of establishing a chapter.

Activity Grants - Chapters have the opportunity to apply for annual Activity and Youth Education Grants (ranging from $100 to $750 USD) to support professional development, youth education outreach and various chapter events. Program details are available online.

Traveling Lecturer Grant - Chapters have access to an annual Traveling Lecturer Grant allowing them to host an esteemed professional of their choice at a chapter event. Program information and a directory of available speakers are available online (login required).

Excellence Award - OSA annually recognizes two outstanding Student Chapters in the areas of advocacy, youth education and professional development programming. Winners receive an Excellence Award certificate and a $1,000 USD cash prize. Information is available online.

Global Networking

Leadership Conference - A representative from each chapter receives a travel grant to attend the annual Student Chapter Leadership Conference, which is held in concert with the OSA Annual Meeting "Frontiers in Optics." Conference activities include technical and professional development sessions and many opportunities for networking.

International OSA Network of Students (IONS) - IONS meetings are technical and professional development-focused events that are organized and managed by Student Chapters. OSA provides funding and administrative support for IONS meetings.

Web and Social Media - OSA provides complimentary website hosting and social media opportunities for Student Chapters. Contact for details.

Programs and Materials

Youth Education Resources - Educational outreach is one of the most important ways OSA and OSA Student Chapters support local communities and inspire tomorrow's young scientists. OSA offers a variety of online resources and classroom materials, which are primarily free of charge. Visit the ‘Youth Education’ section of to view a complete listing of available resources and to order materials.

Student Chapter Handbook - A complete guide to OSA Student Member and Student Chapter benefits, upcoming conferences, networking opportunities and more!

Student Chapter Media Kit - Each new Student Chapter receives an OSA Media Kit, including a customized OSA logo and chapter flag for use at meetings and events.


“My most valuable experience has been as a member of The Pennsylvania State University OSA Student Chapter. We have the liberty to choose and plan activities, at the same time receiving help and input from OSA officials when need be. This has helped me to grow both professionally as well as personally.”

– Subhasis Chaudhuri, The Pennsylvania State University

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