American Physical Society

50,000 members
Education staff lead: Theodore Hodapp,

  • Be the leading voice for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity
  • Provide effective programs in support of the physics community and the conduct of physics
  • Collaborate with national scientific societies for the advancement of science, science education and the science community
  • Cooperate with international physical societies to promote physics, to support physicists worldwide and to foster international collaboration
  • Promote an active, engaged, and diverse membership, and support the activities of its units and members

Education and Diversity

  • Be a leading voice in physics education and diversity programs, creating and partnering in models that can be replicated by other scientific societies.
    • Serve physics departments by providing access to knowledge regarding best practices for teaching and learning physics, and for ensuring strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
  • Provide innovative programs that enhance student physics education for the 21st century.
    • - Raise the levels of physics competency among students by leading programs focused on increasing the quality of physics instruction.
    • - Provide leadership on policy issues involving STEM education.

Physics Teacher Education Coalition

The mission of PhysTEC is to improve and promote the education of future physics teachers.

  • PhysTEC Goals
    • Transform physics departments to engage in preparing physics teachers
    • Demonstrate successful models for increasing the number of highly qualified teacher of physics prepared at colleges and universities
    • Spread best-practice ideas throughout the physics teacher preparation community

Department Chairs Meetings

The American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers jointly organize the Physics Department Chairs Conference. This conference is part of a series of conferences that have been organized biennially for the past three decades. Conferences are now organized annually. Topics are assembled by chairs and a steering committee including leadership from both APS and AAPT.

Education Conferences

APS sponsors a number of conferences and workshops on a variety of educational topics. These were stand-alone meetings, typically held at our headquarters building in College Park, MD. Past conference topics include:
  • Distance Education / Online Learning Workshop
  • Graduate Education Conference
  • Learning Assistants Workshop
  • Building a Thriving Undergraduate Physics Program
  • SPIN-UP Workshops
  • REU Site Leaders Workshop

Premier Contribution to Faculty Development

New Faculty Workshop
  • A focus on the introductory course along with lessons that apply to advanced undergraduate and graduate courses
  • Presentations surrounding effective teaching ideas that can be reproduced with minimum time and effort
  • Exploration of new developments in physics and astronomy curriculum and pedagogy
  • Materials provided for immediate application in the classroom
  • Facilitated discussions between new faculty, guided by a resource person. Popular topics include: promotion and tenure issues, dual-career couples, time management, and balancing professional and personal activities
  • Opportunities to meet with program officers from the National Science Foundation's research and education directorates

Additional Undergraduate Education Activities of APS