Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) and dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) have drawn great interest from both academics and industry, due to the possibility of low-cost conversion of photovoltaic energy at reasonable efficiencies. This review focuses on recent progress in molecular engineering and technological aspects of fused-thiophene-based organic dye molecules for applications in solar cells. Particular attention has been paid to the design principles and stability of these dye molecules, as well as on the effects of various electrolyte systems for DSSCs. Importantly, it has been found that incorporation of a fused-thiophene unit into the sensitizer has several advantages, such as red-shift of the intramolecular charge transfer band, tuning of the frontier molecular energy level, and improvements in both photovoltaic performance and stability. This work also examines the correlation between the physical properties and placement of fused-thiophene in the molecular structure with regard to their performance in OPVs and DSSCs.