The Physics Scholars Program

The Physics Scholars Program (PSP) is a student-led program run by SPECTRA that aims to bridge the gap between high school and college physics for those in need and interested in majoring in physics. If you are a prospective physics major and feel like you could benefit by getting involved, let us know you're interested by filling out this form!

About the Program

PSP is a preparatory course run by SPECTRA for first-year undergraduates. The goal is to help undergraduates from various backgrounds build skills and confidence to become a physics major and pursue physics beyond the introductory level. In the fall, PSP students meet for weekly active learning sessions that will cover a number of fundamentals that will be relevant for all physics courses and research. In the spring, PSP students participate in directed reading and research with a graduate student in one of their fields of interest.


Spectra is a society for diversity and inclusion in physics. The student group is comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctorates from Columbia University with the purpose of connecting and promoting underrepresented students in the field of physics. This group seeks to foster a strong and supportive physics community on campus in order to facilitate collaboration and mentorship among peers and faculty in the Physics, Applied Physics, Medical Physics, Earth Physics, Biophysics, Applied Math, and Astrophysics departments.

Ensuring Equity in the Introductory Classroom

The CDI encourages all first-year students to seek out PSP on their path to becoming a physics major at Columbia. It is a great way to gain experience in research, build up valuable skills and meet other members of the community. It is also an essential program in building equity in the introductory classroom and ensuring the retention of many more diverse students to our undergraduate program.