Programs & Awards  
SPS Internship Administration & Benefits
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SPS screens all applicants to find a good match for an organization’s specific needs and the student’s interests. SPS fully administers the program, provides paid housing (most likely at the George Washington University campus or American University campus), program orientation, and intermittent half-day field trips to broaden the interns’ exposure.

Interns receive a stipend of $4,500, paid in biweekly installments throughout the internship. SPS will also pay for transportation (airfare or mileage reimbursement) to/from Washington, DC, and daily transportation to/from the internship.

Note: Some organizations require interns to be U.S. Citizens.

Reporting Expectations

SPS interns submit a weekly journal entry highlighting their work and/or a particular experience associated with the internship, to the SPS project administrator. (View interns from previous years, and their journals.)

Sometime during the internship, each student gives a 15-minute professional presentation on his or her work, accomplishments, and overall internship experience to the staff scientists of the American Institute of Physics and invited guests.

Each student also presents their work at an SPS zone meeting or other regional science meeting during the following academic year. Students with exceptional presentations may be asked to speak about their internship at the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Summer meeting, or other member society meeting. All appropriate documents created by the student are published on the national Society of Physics Students web site, used to evaluate the current program, and benchmark/develop future SPS internships.


To the Student

  • Receive a unique learning experience, and a close-up look at the Washington, DC, physics and allied sciences community; create access to networking opportunities and professional connections
  • Integrate academic knowledge with field applications, improve competitiveness and improve marketability upon graduation
  • Enhance technical and interpersonal skills through meaningful and challenging professional assignments

To the Institution/Agency

  • Enrich and diversify organization’s programs and scientific endeavors through the efforts of eager, bright SPS undergraduate students
  • Secure direct contact with SPS students to facilitate/improve the understanding of this population of clientele
  • Provide future employee recruitment opportunities
  • Impact the development of tomorrow’s leaders in physics


  • Augment the professional element to SPS membership
  • Forge effective partnerships between SPS and other institutions and agencies
  • Develop highly skilled SPS graduates who may choose careers in science and/or managerial careers
Program Support

Organizations who partner with SPS to mentor a summer intern make a financial contribution to off-set program expenses.

SPS also derives support for this program from the American Institute of Physics (AIP).

The awards and scholarship programs of SPS are made possible, in part, through generous contributions of Sigma Pi Sigma members and friends. Scholarships and awards are supported by income derived from designated funds that have been provided as gifts. In this way, the physics alumni, and especially the Sigma Pi Sigma members, contribute to the generations of students who follow them.

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