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Sigma Pi Sigma - The National Physics Honor Society

Students with majors and minors in the Department of Physics and Astronomy are eligible to earn membership in the national honor society in physics, Sigma Pi Sigma (ΣΠΣ).

The national requirements for becoming a member of ΣΠΣ are:

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.

The faculty of the Physics and Astronomy Department at Vanderbilt University have established the following local criteria to nominate undergraduate students at Vanderbilt for membership:

  1. have finished at least three semesters of college;
  2. Physics majors must have finished a first-year physics sequence and at least one additional course required for the major in physics.  Physics minors or Astronomy minors must have finished at least three regular courses required for the minor; and
  3. have an overall GPA of 3.3 and a GPA in technical (physics, astronomy, math, computer science) courses of 3.3.

The faculty have the discretion to use their judgment in making exceptions to these rules.

Normally, new members of ΣΠΣ are identified by the Undergraduate Program Committee in early April and formally inducted into ΣΠΣ on reading day (the day between the last day of classes and the start of the final exam period).