Society of Physics Students

What Is SPS?

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association for students of physics. Its aim is to promote teamwork, public outreach, and professional development. Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone interested in physics. The SPS chapter at East Carolina University was founded on April 22, 1968, and has been very active ever since. Besides physics majors, our members include students of chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, biology, and other fields.

Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, has been part of SPS since 1968, and elects members on the basis of outstanding academic achievement. This two-in-one society operates within the American Institute of Physics (AIP), an umbrella organization for ten other professional societies.

Learn more about the national SPS organization

Society of Physics Students

Why Join SPS?

SPS is focused on enhancing the undergraduate experience while preparing them to become contributing members of the professional community. SPS compliments science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) coursework by aiding members in developing important skills that include communication, teamwork, leadership, and networking. Additionally, members will learn how to present scholarly work at professional meetings and in peer-reviewed journals. Outreach services to the ECU campus and in local communities are also a priority. Whether regionally, nationally, or internationally, SPS is designed to enrich the student experience.

Meeting Times and Officers

The SPS at ECU group meets Fridays at 2:00 p.m. in Howell Science Complex E205. Field trips are occasionally planned, so please contact an SPS officer before coming to your first meeting. The current SPS officers are:

President — Garrett Leigh (
Vice President — Amilia Price (
Secretary — Chris Bonham-Janes (
Treasurer — Sydney Grose (


Students are encouraged to register for a national SPS membership ($24).


SPS operates within the AIP, which provides extra benefits for its members:

Message from the Chapter President

My experience in SPS has been amazing. We traveled together to Washington, D.C. in October 2022 for the SPS national conference. We bonded as a group, learned what’s happening in the world of physics today, networked, and connected with students from SPS Chapters all over the country. We all came back with a refreshed love of the subject. Physics is a tough field. It helps immensely to have a community that understands the struggles that can come with majoring in STEM. We are a very diverse group of students in terms of majors, backgrounds, ethnicities, genders, and interests. I am so proud of how accepting and supportive our chapter is. I encourage any STEM majors to join our community. We have study halls (with pizza), fun outreach events, research seminars, and graduate student panels. Feel free to email me if you are interested in joining us or coming to one of our events.

Sydney Grose
SPS ECU Chapter President