Society of Physics Students

Sigma Pi Sigma

Beta Beta Beta

Kappa Mu Epsilon 

Society of Physics Students LogoThe Society of Physics Students, open to any person interested in physics, promotes the professional development of students, and the professional contributions that students make to the professional community and to society.

The SPS fulfills this mission through seven roles it has within the physics community.

  1. Encouraging undergraduate research experience as a teaching tool.
  2. Promoting science literacy and appreciation through physics outreach programs to grades K-12 and the general public.
  3. Through SPS alumni and the members of Sigma Pi Sigma, the Society maintains the only institutionalized structure the physics community has for communicating with the "friends of physics" that exist throughout all walks of life in society.
  4. The SPS provides an effective signpost for educating the student on the many career options, in addition to traditional physics, that come with a degree in physics. 
  5. The active SPS chapter is an especially effective student recruitment and retention tool for the physics department. 
  6. The SPS is a gateway society to the other professional societies in physics.
  7. The SPS provides training for leadership. Through SPS activities, students' professional development, communication skills, leadership qualities, and professional networking is enhanced in ways that cannot be realized in course work alone. 

There are nearly 6,000 SPS members in the United States, in nearly 700 chapters in colleges and universities. Membership dues are $20 per year.

The SPS also houses the physics honor society, Sigma Pi Sigma, which has some 75,000 historical members.

The Society sponsors several publications and programs that are of service to our members, and help our members and chapters be of service to physics and society.

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Sigma Pi Sigma LogoFounded in 1921, Sigma Pi Sigma is a member honor society of the Association of College Honor Societies. Our society has some 75,000 historical members. Election to Sigma Pi Sigma is a lifetime membership.

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) was formed in 1968 with the union of Sigma Pi Sigma and the AIP Student Sections. Today Sigma Pi Sigma is housed within the SPS.

Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics; to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels; to promote an attitude of service of its members toward their fellow students, colleagues, and the public; to provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics. Sigma Pi Sigma’s mission is not completed in the induction ceremony with the recognition of academic accomplishment. In the four dimensions of Honor, Encouragement, Service, and Fellowship, the mission of Sigma Pi Sigma takes a longer view.


Sigma Pi Sigma is the Physics Honor Society. Through election to Sigma Pi Sigma, distinctive achievement and high scholarship in physics are recognized and celebrated.

Sigma Pi Sigma Photo

By honoring high achievement in physics and upholding high standards for election into Sigma Pi Sigma, the Society provides an incentive for all physics students to rise to excellence. Sigma Pi Sigma is a source of encouragement to all students who study physics, whatever the ultimate level of performance achieved by the individual. Such encouragement ranges from promoting physics interest and science literacy in the general public, to challenging those who are pondering
their potential for earning higher degrees. Sigma Pi Sigma urges its members to demonstrate this encouragement through personal service.


With the recognition of accomplishment comes a responsibility to service at all levels. Nationally, Sigma Pi Sigma members can serve by helping to work for sound national science policies. Locally, Sigma Pi Sigma members can serve in community science education projects and liaisons, and in mentoring individual students. Such personal initiative provides opportunities for all members of the local community to learn more about physics, and provides visible testimony to the high standards of Sigma Pi Sigma membership. Our colleges, universities, and our Society know that when we become alumni, because we respect the personal struggle for excellence, we will support the generations of students that follow us. When the experience of Sigma Pi Sigma members is placed at the service of others at any level, then Sigma Pi Sigma touches more lives than may be counted by the number of its members. 

Service toward others is an offering of fellowship. This is another mission that our honor society fulfills through its members.


The criterion of Sigma Pi Sigma membership is proven excellence in physics. There are no generational boundaries. The first members were inducted in 1921 and new members are added every year. Sigma Pi Sigma members represent many
generations of experience and wisdom that can be focused on the matters that unite us. 

In Sigma Pi Sigma there are no professional boundaries. One finds all professions represented in the Sigma Pi Sigma membership. There are many practicing physicists among Sigma Pi Sigma members, but excellence in physics has opened
many career options to our members. Through their lives, physics has enriched the world beyond the narrow scope of the physics community. Sigma Pi Sigma reaches beyond specific disciplines, uniting a diverse group of exceptional people who have shared in the culture and traditions of physics. With the common thread of this shared background in physics, running through so rich a diversity of generations and professions, Sigma Pi Sigma promotes a spirit of community among its members and encourages them to offer their collective wisdom and perspectives in the service of the larger society.

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Beta Beta Beta LogoBeta Beta Beta Biological Society is a nationally recognized organization for undergraduate students dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study through education and research. The three goals of BBB are (1) the promotion of scholarship in the biological sciences, (2) the dissemination of biological knowledge, and (3) the encouragement of research. Our chapter has added the fourth goal of the nurturing of fellowship among biology students and faculty.

The Southwestern College chapter holds its meeting every other Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Beech 105. Chapter activities include seminars on biological research, social and sport activities, field trips, and involvement in education and environmental activism. Membership is open to all students with an interest in biology and the natural sciences.

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Kappa Mu Epsilon LogoKappa Mu Epsilon is a specialized honor society in mathematics, which was founded in 1931 to promote the interest of mathematics among undergraduate students. Its chapters are located in colleges and universities of recognized standing which offer a strong mathematics major. The chapters' members are selected from students of mathematics and other closely related fields who have maintained standards of scholarship, have professional merit, and have attained academic distinction. Both men and women are eligible for membership.
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