Society of Physics Students (SPS)

Students drop a protected egg from a balcony onto the concrete below as part of a science experiment

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association specifically designed for students.

Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone interested in physics. Besides physics and engineering majors, our members include majors in chemistry, computer science, mathematics, biology, and other fields.

Within SPS is Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, which elects members on the basis of outstanding academic achievement. This unique two-in-one society operates within the American Institute of Physics, an umbrella organization for 10 other professional science societies.


The SPS exists to help students transform themselves into contributing members of the professional community. While your coursework develops a critical set of skills, much of what you need to flourish professionally is learned outside the classroom, including effective general and interpersonal communication skills and leadership experience. These can be gained by establishing a personal network of contacts, presenting scholarly work in professional meetings and journals, and organizing outreach events for the campus and the local community.

Locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, the SPS offers opportunities for this important enrichment to the student experience.


The Society of Physics Students was formed in 1968 with a constitution that combined its two "parent" organizations, the AIP Student Sections and Sigma Pi Sigma honor society. SPS now has more than 700 chapters on campuses across the country. About 5,000 students take part in chapter activities each year, making SPS the fourth largest physics society in the country. The associated honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma, now exists in about 450 of those chapters with more than 75,000 inductees throughout its history.

Learn more about Sigma Pi Sigma at its organization website.

PLNU SPS Chapter

Dr. Michelle Chen s is the PLNU chapter advisor and an adjunct professor in the physics and engineering department. You can contact Dr. Chen regarding any questions you have about SPS or becoming a member.

PLNU SPS Bylaws 

The PLNU SPS chapter partners with other SPS chapters to host fun department events throughout the year. Events this past year included a Christmas party with a gingerbread house competition, a marble run, an egg drop, and a bridge-building contest.

View SPS Event Photos

You can apply online for membership to the PLNU SPS chapter. The current cost is $24 a year and includes a long list of benefits.