APS Bridge Program

Building a Physics Graduate Student Association (from the Faculty Perspective)

Physics graduate students, like any group of professionals, need community. While this community may evolve spontaneously, a formal Physics Graduate Student Association (PGSA) can help ensure that it will be there when students need it.

Students engaged in formal associations often feel empowered to better support their peers and advocate for themselves. These organizations can also facilitate good communication between graduate students and faculty. They typically require few departmental resources to develop and sustain.

Below, we describe strategies for building and supporting a PGSA within your department.

Effective Practices:

Encourage a revolving chair-line structure to help sustain a PGSA.

Engage the PGSA in departmental activities.

Consider asking the PGSA to organize or help with outreach activities to introduce physics to the larger community surrounding your university.

For more tips about implementing PGSAs within your department, please see the Integration Into Community Section of the APS Bridge Program Student Induction Manual.