Text Size Default Text SizeDefault Text Size Large Text SizeLarge Text Size Largest Text SizeLargest Text Size Print Print this Page

Sigma Pi Sigma

What is ΣΠΣ?

Founded 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.

Sigma Pi Sigma exists to:

  • Honor outstanding scholarship in physics
  • Encourage interest in physics among students at all levels
  • Promote an attitude of service of its members towards their fellow students, colleagues, and the public
  • 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 chapters are restricted to colleges and universities of recognized standing that offer a strong physics major. The chapters receive into membership undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, and a few others in closely related fields. Students elected to membership must attain high standards of general scholarship and outstanding achievement in physics.

Certain high numerical standards for admittance are established by chapter bylaws and the national constitution. Undergraduate candidates must be in the upper one-third of their class in general scholarship to meet the minimum standard that chapters may use. A higher minimum average is often established for physics courses. Undergraduate candidates must have completed at least three semesters of full-time college work and at least three semester courses in physics that can be credited toward a physics major. Graduate students and faculty members may be elected at any time. Students who are not physics majors can be elected if they meet the standards and have demonstrated an interest in physics.

A chapter can elect to active membership qualified students and faculty members in nearby colleges that do not have a Sigma Pi Sigma chapter. Physicists in industry and government laboratories, as well as secondary school physics teachers, can be elected based on their professional record.


Cost of Membership

Even though the new member pays dues only once, Sigma Pi Sigma membership is for a lifetime. Each new member pays to the National Office an entrance fee of $54.00 at the time of their reception into Sigma Pi Sigma. This fee also includes a one-year membership in the SPS. If already a member of SPS, the Sigma Pi Sigma fee is only $30.00. The fee includes the cost of the official lapel pin, a certificate of membership, and a membership card. There are no annual dues to Sigma Pi Sigma or special assessment other than the original entrance fee. The entrance fee must be paid prior to reception into membership.

Sigma Pi Sigma fees pay a portion of the cost of operations of the society. The remainder comes from SPS dues, alumni contributions, and AIP funds.

Voluntary contributions of Sigma Pi Sigma members fund three annual programs that support undergraduate physics:

Voluntary contributions of Sigma Pi Sigma members fund several annual programs that support undergraduate physics including:

  • Sigma Pi Sigma Chapter Project Awards
  • Scholarships
  • Community outreach physics programs for grades K-12
  • Encouragement to future science teachers
  • Awards for undergraduate research
  • Grants for student presentations at professional meetings
  • Recognition for faculty advisors
  • Programs for summer intern

Benefits of Membership

In addition to the official lapel pin, certificate of membership and membership card, all members of Sigma Pi Sigma receive complimentary subscriptions to Radiations Magazine, the official publication of Sigma Pi Sigma. Members also receive notice of events through quarterly emails from the Sigma Pi Sigma Director.

Sigma Pi Sigma members also have the opportunity to attend local Sigma Pi Sigma and SPS events as a way to share their experiences with the younger members of the physics community, to network with their peers, to keep up with the latest trends in physics, and to meet new people. Find out what is going on in your region using the contact information in the SPS/Sigma Pi Sigma Directory.