Chapter Governance

To remain in good standing and be eligible for support, APS Chapters must comply with the chapter governance structure.

Chapter name and institution

Chapter names must use the following naming: American Physical Society (APS) Chatper at [Name of Institution]

Each organization, such as a university, college, national lab, etc., may only have one established APS Chapter.


An active chapter must have at least five graduate student and/or early career scientist members who are also APS members in good standing. These students or early career scientists must also be attending, researching, or employed at the organization where the chapter will be established.

Please note that early career scientists are individuals who have received their final degree within the previous five years.

Only APS members can hold leadership positions, such as chapter officer, in an APS Chapter. Only APS members are also eligible for chapter grants or awards.


Each chapter must have at least three officers who are elected annually and must include a chair, vice chair, and secretary/treasurer. All of these officers must be both chapter and APS members. Other officers may include past-chair, outreach committee leader, etc.

Each officer term must be one year, and the vice chair should become the chair following the completion of their vice chair term.

One of the officers must be designated as the contact person for the chapter.

Chapters must have written guidance on officer duties and how they will be fulfilled if an officer is unable to perform them. Sample language may be: "An elected chapter officer can be removed from office by a two thirds vote of the membership, if they fail to perform their duties."

Officer duties

The chair should set agendas and preside over chapter meetings in collaboration with other officers.

The vice chair should assist the chair in carrying out chapter activities and should also assume the chair duties when the chair is absent.

The secretary/treasurer should keep chapter records, such as meeting minutes, officer elections, finances, events, etc. These records should be submitted in the chapter's annual report.

Faculty/staff advisor

Each chapter must have a non-voting faculty or staff advisor who is an APS member. The advisor must maintain regular contact with the chapter officers.


Chapters must report all election results to the APS Chapters Program Manger as well as changes to faculty or staff advisors.

Chapters must also submit an annual report to the APS Chapters Program Manger that includes election results, a summary of chapter-related activities, and acknowledgement of APS Chapter governance.

Code of Conduct

Anyone participating in a chapter meeting must agree to abide by the APS Code of Conduct. APS also encourages chapters to review APS Guidelines on Ethics as a way to further encourage ethical practices among chapter members.


APS may consult with the APS Chapters Advisory Committee to periodically change the chapter governance guidelines.

Chapters must agree to the APS Chapter Governance guidelines as part of their annual reports.

Join your Society

If you embrace scientific discovery, truth and integrity, partnership, inclusion, and lifelong curiosity, this is your professional home.