What is SPS?

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association explicitly designed for students. SPS is dedicated to connecting and advancing students interested in physics. The organization was formed in 1968 when the American Institute of Physics (AIP) student societies and the Sigma Pi Sigma honors society were combined.

At UMD, SPS fosters community within our department and offers support and guidance for all of our members. We sponsor talks by faculty, graduate students, and even undergraduates. The many research facilities nearby welcome us for visits. We also offer course advice and peer tutoring, as well as a wide variety of social activities throughout the year.

Who Are We?

UMD's SPS chapter is made up of physics and non-physics majors. We represent undergraduates of all levels of knowledge and interest and our alumni have gone on to pursue a range of careers from Ph.D. physicists to computer programmers, industry professionals, and outreach specialists. We're a tight-nit group united by a common love of physics and we're always welcoming new members!

When do we meet?

During the academic year, meetings are every Thursday at 6 pm. We meet in Room 2136 in the Physical Sciences Complex (PSC), UMD's brand-new state-of-the-art physics research facility. Our meetings allow students to meet and get to know each other as well as professors and researchers invited weekly as guest speakers.

We also host lots of events outside of our regular meetings such as lab tours, workshops, guest lectures, parties, and more. Be sure to check out our upcoming events and our calendar for more opportunities to get involved!

SPS in the community

UMD's SPS chapter is especially active around the University and in the community. We help our Department with annual physics outreach events such as "Physics is Phun" and "Physics Discovery Days." In addition, we hold a blood drive each semester to help those in need in our community and even contributed to an exhibit at the Baltimore Children's Museum. Be sure to stop by our tent at Maryland Day for some amazing liquid nitrogen ice cream!

What do we do for our members?

Members have a unique opportunity to connect with our world-renowned faculty, learning about their research first-hand, being able to ask questions about professional level work, and taking the first steps to becoming involved in research of their own. Our department puts a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, and SPS is one of the many ways we try to begin our undergraduates on a successful path toward professional physics research.

Through events like our Undergraduate Research Fair and Undergraduate Research Showcase, students can discover which areas of research fascinate them most and gain invaluable experience presenting their work to their friends, peers, and professors.

Want to get involved?

It's easy! Anyone UMD affliate can be a member of SPS. Just come to one of our meetings. We also require our members to help out with a 1-hour coffee and donut shift once a week to help raise money for meeting food and activities. It's a great way to get involved and our department appreciates the coffee!

Check the Members tab for more info on membership, and to sign up for a donut shift

Back to Top