Online courses from SPIE

Optics education where you want it, when you want it
A man taking an SPIE online course from his home

Learn from the experts, from anywhere

SPIE online courses are versions of our live courses designed to fit your schedule. Get access to the same experts in industry and academia, but learn at a time and place that works for you.

Courses are on demand and include immediate access, supplemental resources, access for one year, and digital certificates. Discounts are available for groups of five or more.

Jump to: List of online courses | Educational benefits for Members | Online course FAQ | Course login

Online courses

  • Systems Engineering and Large Telescope Observatories (SC1139) Paul Lightsey, Jonathan Arenberg

  • Photon Counting CT (SC1129) Mats Danielsson, Martin Sjölin, Mats Persson
  • Modern Diagnostic X-Ray Sources (SC1183) Rolf Behling
  • Tissue Optics (SC029) Steven Jacques

  • Electro-Optical Imaging System Performance (SC154) Gerald Holst
  • Uncooled Thermal Imaging Detectors and Systems (SC900) Charles Hanson
  • Introduction to Infrared and Ultraviolet Imaging Technology (SC1000) Austin Richards
  • Multispectral Image Fusion and Night Vision Colorization (SC1135) Yufeng Zheng, Erik Blasch

  • Morphological Image Processing: Principles and Applications (SC1297) Johan Debayle

  • What are Lasers Good For? (Part 1 of a 4-Part Series) (SC364) Breck Hitz
  • How Light Works (Part 2 of a 4-Part Series) (SC365) Breck Hitz
  • How Lasers Work (Part 3 of a 4-Part Series) (SC366) Breck Hitz
  • Modifying Lasers (Part 4 of a 4-Part Series) (SC367) Breck Hitz
  • Understanding Basic Laser Technology: 4-Part Series (SC369) Breck Hitz
  • Solid State Laser Technology (SC752) Norman Hodgson
  • Industrial Ultrafast Lasers for Micro-Processing and Applications (SC1285) Norman Hodgson

  • Practical Photoresist Processing (SC616) Ralph Dammel
  • Introduction to Microlithography: Chemistry, Materials and Processing (SC101-C) Ralph Dammel

  • Practical Optical System Design (SC003) S. Craig Olson
  • Introduction to Optical Alignment Techniques (SC010) Kenneth Castle
  • Introduction to Optomechanical Design (SC014) Daniel Vukobratovich
  • Fastening Optical Elements with Adhesives (SC015) John Daly
  • Testing and Evaluation of E-O Imaging Systems (SC067) Gerald Holst
  • Basic Optics for Engineers (SC156) Alfred Ducharme
  • Integrated Opto-Mechanical Analysis (SC254) Victor Genberg, Keith Doyle
  • Basic Optics for Non-Optics Personnel (SC609) Kevin Harding
  • Introduction to Lens Design (SC935) Julie Bentley
    Optical Materials, Fabrication and Testing for the Optical Engineer (SC1086) Jessica DeGroote Nelson
  • Optical System Design: First Order Layout - Principles and Practice (SC1102) Julie Bentley
  • The Proper Care of Optics: Cleaning, Handling, Storage and Shipping (SC1114) Robert Schalck
  • Stray Light Analysis and Control (SC1199) Eric Fest
  • Design, Modeling and Fabrication Techniques for Micro-Optics: Applications to Display, Imaging, Sensing and Metrology (SC1217) Bernard Kress
  • Optical Technologies and Architectures for Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) Head-Mounted Displays (HMDs) (SC1218) Bernard Kress
  • Designing and Specifying Digital Cameras (SC1231) Leo Baldwin
  • Mirror System Design with Freeform Surfaces (SC1272) José Sasián

  • Silicon Photonics (SC817) Jurgen Michel, Sajan Saini

  • Introduction to Optical Remote Sensing Systems (SC567) Joseph Shaw
  • Introduction to Optical and Infrared Sensor Systems (SC789) Joseph Shaw
  • Introduction to Lidar for Autonomous Vehicles (SC1232) Joseph Shaw

Educational benefits for SPIE Members

SPIE Members receive discounts on all online courses.
SPIE Student Members receive even greater discounts.
Click on individual courses in the list above for pricing.

SPIE Member enjoying a course at an SPIE event


Very good experience and learning setup. Good size for modules and good presentation. Just complicated enough to challenge but not overwhelm.

Really enjoyed the online format. I was able to take the course in chunks as time allowed and I had the energy and brain power to concentrate.

I had an interest in learning remote sensing and knew that SPIE was a good resource to look into.

The online format has been very convenient, and I am happy that I was able to take this course at my own pace.

Frequently asked questions about online courses

SPIE online courses are hosted on an open-source Learning Management System called Moodle, for a premium online learning experience. Courses are based on a single-user license, are asynchronous, and on demand, with access for one year from purchase.

Go to and login using your SPIE username and password. Your course(s) will be listed under My Courses.

The content of most SPIE online courses is very similar to the content presented at events, consisting of the instructor's slideshow presentation. Each module has clearly stated learning outcomes and includes a quiz to measure your mastery of the material presented.

See the list of online courses above.

Our catalog of courses is constantly growing. If there are particular courses you would like to see offered in the online format, please send your suggestions to

Course duration varies depending on the course and how many times you watch the videos for each module. Courses are based on live presentations of half-day (4 hours), full day (8 hours), or two day (16 hours) duration. The modules that make up courses are typically 30-60 minutes each.

Once you purchase an online course using the SPIE shopping cart, you will receive an email with a link to access your course.

If you purchased your course by invoice, this requires manual registration, which may take up to 48 hours. You will receive an email once you are registered. If you do not receive your registration email, contact

You will have one year of access to the course from the purchase date. Even after you have completed the course, you can still access the content and refresh your knowledge for up to one year after the purchase date.

Online courses operate under a single-user agreement and may not be shared with other parties. Each student must purchase their own registration. If your company is interested in purchasing multiple seats, discounts may be available. Please contact for more information.

Yes, SPIE awards digital badges and certificates upon completion of an SPIE online course. To receive these digital credentials, you must:

  • Complete the course within one year of purchase.
  • Complete the quiz for each module with a score of at least 90 percent.
  • Fill out the course evaluation at the end of the course.
  • Fill in your contact information in the space provided.

After successful completion, a certificate will be emailed to you. More information about digital credentials can be found at SPIE Digital Certificates.

Many of our online courses are transcribed. To see which courses include transcriptions see the individual course descriptions.

Any problems or additional questions should be sent to

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