Pictured: the Alchemist by Jaume Plensa, located in front of the Stud.

List of PGSC officers

A full list of current and past PGSC officers and department committee representatives can be found here.

General structure of PGSC

The Physics Graduate Student Council is the graduate student government of the physics department. Late each spring or early each summer, the physics graduate student body should elect the officers to serve them on PGSC, which generally include some or all of:

  • General coordinators for PGSC – president, vice president(s), and treasurer to help steer PGSC’s activities and initiatives
  • Advocacy chairs to coordinate advocacy initiatives on behalf of the student body
  • Social chairs to manage the cookie socials, Friday pizza socials, faculty breakfasts, and/or Zoom events during pandemics
  • Careers chairs to interface with CAPD, the physics faculty liaison to CAPD, and the SPS careers chairs
  • GSC Council Representatives (3) to serve as representatives from our department to the MIT-wide graduate student government

The PGSC in the past has also had representatives/liaisons from each of the nine research areas to ensure representation and coordinate activities.

The PGSC also convenes the PGSC Admissions Advisory Council (nicknamed Grads Advising Graduate Admissions, or GAGA) that advises the chair of graduate admissions committee on the admissions process and carries out projects. Past projects have included revamping of graduate application prompts in fall 2020 and managing PhysGAAP. The PGSC should send out a call for GAGA volunteers when it manages elections each year.

Additionally, the student body sends representatives to the following department committees, whose appointments begin July 1 of every year alongside new faculty members of these committees:

  • 3 representatives to the Physics Values Committee (PVC), whose role is to ensure the Department upholds its values at a structural and systemic level (serve multiple semesters, chosen by the PVC by application as positions become available)
  • 3 representatives to the Admissions Committee, who read application files and help faculty choose who is admitted to the graduate program (serve two-year terms, elected in even years)
  • 2 representatives to the Colloquium Committee, who serve as the student voice on the committee that invites physicists to give colloquium talks (serve one-year yerms, 1 is elected by PGSC, the other by GWIP)
  • 1 representative to the Education Committee, who serves as the graduate student voice in department decisions about the academic program (serves a two-year term, elected in even years)

The PGSC highly encourages students to get involved in MIT governance more broadly.

The four physics divisions (ABCP, Astrophysics, the CTP, and LNS) often convene committees of their own, and you should look out for opportunities to get involved.

Examples more generally at MIT include serving on Institute Committees, the Science Graduate Student Council, graduate dorm governments, or serving on the MIT Graduate Student Council (GSC) and its many committees.

Additionally, the Graduate Student Council Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (GSC-DEI) seeks new department conduits each year. Contact current conduits to get involved.