Transparent magnesium aluminate spinel (MgAl2O4) ceramics doped with Ce3+ and Tb3+ ions were fabricated by Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) technique. Complex characterization of the optical and photoluminescent properties of the sintered ceramic was carried out. The redshift in the in-line transmittance spectrum for RE ions doped spinel ceramics is observed. The photoluminescence spectrum excited by nitrogen laser consists of broad emission band with a maximum at λem = 435 nm for the MAS:0.1Ce ceramics The possible nature of this luminescence can be due to radiative transitions in the cerium ions from 5d to 4f level. There are a series of emission bands in 400 - 700 nm spectral range for MAS:0.1Tb ceramics. In the "blue" spectral region the complex host centers such as F-type centers are recorded. The luminescence decay kinetics analysis for all ceramics samples is performed. The effect of cerium and terbium oxide on the optical, photoluminescent properties of MgAl2O4-based transparent ceramics is discussed.