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The Graduate School in Photonics

Introduction to Institut d'Optique

Institut d’Optique Graduate School is one of the leading graduate schools in Photonics worldwide, participating actively in international networks such as Erasmus+. Institut d'Optique is a founding member of ParisTech and of Université Paris-Saclay.

Logo IOGS 100 ans

Celebrating 100 years of History in 2017, Institut d'Optique's community includes people such as Charles Fabry (1st General Director from 1917 to 1945), Alfred Kastler (President of the Board in the 1960s), Alain Aspect (Augustin Fresnel Chair Professor & Scientific Advisor today).

After a few decades in downtown Paris, Institut d'Optique moved to larger premises in Orsay, South of Paris, in the mid-1960s. Growth continued and nowadays, Institut d'Optique is located:


  • in Bordeaux

Architecte M. Raguenaud

  • in Saint-Etienne


International students stay usually on Campus Paris-Saclay.

Education offer at Institut d'Optique

Institut d'Optique provides a first class education with a wide range of courses covering all aspects of light sciences and light technologies, with degrees at Master level or higher (PhD).

Education English

Institut d'Optique's MScEng (Diplôme d'ingénieur) is the most favoured degree by the photonics industry in France. With 35% of MScEng graduates continuing into PhDs worldwide (4th rank out of 168 engineering schools in France), it is also a key access to the academic world.

Research at Institut d'Optique

Institut d'Optique's research labs offer a comprehensive choice of Master thesis projects and opportunities for PhD research or PostDoc positions in fundamental and applied fields of optics and photonics.

Laboratoire Charles Fabry (Paris-Saclay campus):

  • Biophotonics
  • Lasers
  • Nonlinear materials & applications
  • Nanophotonics & electromagnetism
  • Atom optics
  • Quantum optics
  • XUV optics
  • Imaging systems & Physics of images

LP2N (Bordeaux campus):

  • Nano-optics and quantum systems
  • Light and Matter Waves in artificial media
  • Innovative imaging and quantitative biology
  • Computational and optical systems, mixed reality
  • Industrial partnership, metrology and photonics

Laboratoire Hubert Curien (Saint Etienne campus)

Institut d'Optique has been home of Société Française d’Optique (National Optical Society in France) since its creation, and European Optical Society was created at Institut d’Optique from a merger of two pre-existing societies in 1993.

Institut d'Optique has its own optical devices workshop, where its craftsmen shape extremely accurate optical devices, hand polished down to a half-nanometer-precision that machines cannot reach. These unique devices are used by researchers at Institut d'Optique and by external users worldwide, including foreign research centres, the aerospace industry...

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Institut d'Optique has its own innovation and entrepreneurship centre, called "Le 503" in reference to the building number on the Orsay campus. Historically, this building hosted the whole Institut d'Optique from the mid-1960s to 2006. It is now 100% dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship, hosting start-up companies in the field of photonics and hosting the Innovation & Entrepreneurship track (FIE) activites from the MScEng programme.

©Institut d'Optique Graduate School

This "Le 503" concept has been developed also on the Bordeaux campus. In Saint-Etienne, the Institut d'Optique community has access to local incubators and innovation facilities. Overall, almost 12 000 sqm are dedicated to these activities at Institut d'Optique.

Since 2008, about 2 start-up companies are created each year. Nowadays the ecosystem includes 37 companies, often recipients of prizes and awards in their field (three MIT Technology Review Best World Innovators under 35, one 3D Technology Awards 'Software of the year' for Stereolabs...).


Pierre  Baladi
Head of international relations
Tél +33 1 64 53 32 08