Start an OSA Local Section

Step 1: Recruit five OSA Members who represent the diverse optics and photonics community in your city/area/region.

  • At least ten members of the section must be OSA Members of any member type. Potential members may join online or email to request to join as a group with a single transaction.
  • OSA can reach out to local OSA Members in your area on your behalf to set up an initial meeting and/or gauge interest in starting a section.

Step 2: Elect Officers.

  • The section must have a President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary who are OSA Members.
  • Your chapter may establish additional officer roles, such as Outreach Officer, and elect members to these positions.

Step 3: Submit the OSA Local Section Application and Petition to Charter.

  • Download and complete the OSA Local Section Application. All fields must be typed.
  • When completing the application, it is important that the section demonstrates planned activities and a consideration of professional diversity for its membership.
  • Make sure you check the boxes stating that you accept the 'Statement of Intent' and the 'By-Laws' unless you will supply your own.
  • Email your application along with a scanned or digitally signed copy of the Petition to Charter to
  • If you have questions about this process or difficulty completing the application form, please e-mail

Application Review Period

Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Membership Department and you will be contacted if there are any questions or concerns. Your application will then be sent to the Member & Education Services Council for final review and approval.