The advancement in the fabrication of low-dimensional semiconductor structures has made it possible to grow zero-dimensional electron-hole systems called quantum dots (QDs). In recent years, there have been extensive studies on III-V semiconductor QDs. In this paper, we have formulated the absorption spectra of realistic QD systems with dot size distribution described by a Gaussian function. The dots were approximated as cubic boxes having finite potentials at the boundaries. The effects of size nonuniformity on the optical absorption spectra of few realistic QD systems were analyzed, and the results have been compared with ideal dots having infinite potentials at the boundaries. © 2007 American Institute of Physics.