This paper presents an analytical model for the internal capacitances of short-channel ion-implanted GaAs MESFETs under dark and illuminated conditions. The device structure considered in this study is a normally-on self-aligned GaAs MESFET with indium tin oxide (ITO) as the Schottky metal for the gate electrode of the device. The gate area of the device is illuminated by an optical radiation of 0.87 μm from an external source which is coupled into the device through the semitransparent ITO metal at Schottky-gate to modulate the electrical and microwave characteristics of the device. The nonanalytic Gaussian doping profile commonly considered for the channel doping of an ion-implanted GaAs MESFET has been replaced by an analytic Gaussianlike function for the simplicity of the present model. The two-dimensional (2D) potential distribution obtained by solving the 2D Poisson’s equation by including the effect of photo-generated carriers due to the incident optical radiation has been utilized to model the depletion region width below the gate of the short-channel GaAs MESFETs. The depletion width model has then been used to model the internal gate-source and gate-drain capacitances of the device operating under both the linear and saturation regions. The effect of illumination on the Schottky junction at the gate of the MESFET has been modeled by considering an induced photo-voltage developed across the junction that is superimposed on the applied gate bias voltage. The proposed model has been verified by comparing the theoretically predicted results with simulated data obtained by using the commercially available ATLASTM 2D device simulator.