We report the successful fabrication and optical study of submicron waveguide structures based on AlGaN/GaN multiple-quantum wells (MQWs). The MQW structures were grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition on sapphire substrates and the waveguides were fabricated by electron-beam lithography and inductively coupled plasma dry etching. The waveguides were patterned with a fixed width of 0.5 μm but with orientations varying from -30° to 60° relative to the a of GaN. Optical emission from these structures was studied by photoluminescence spectroscopy. The peak position and linewidth of the emission peak were found to vary systematically with the orientations of the waveguides and followed the sixfold symmetry of a wurtzite structure. This is most likely related to the anisotropy of the exciton/carrier diffusion coefficient along the different crystal orientations in the quasione-dimensional case. The implication from the results is that in proper designs of photonic and electronic devices where submicron structures are fabricated in III nitrides one must consider the orientations of the structures.