Guide to How to Serve as an Undergraduate Program Reviewer

Version 1. May 14, 2021

This section provides step-by-step guidance for individuals serving as

who contribute to a review of an undergraduate physics program. Such individuals advise departments and administrators about their current status, , and potential . Along with advice on deciding whether to accept an invitation, the section includes guidance on preparing for and conducting a site visit and developing a written report. For examples and templates, see the resources on Template for an External Reviewers’ Report, Program Review Timeline, Topics a Department Might Explore in a Program Review, Template for a Self-Study Report, Sample Agenda for an External Reviewers’ Site Visit, and Sample MOU for Engaging an External Reviewer for Program Review. For advice for departments undertaking a program review, see the section on How to Undertake an Undergraduate Program Review. Institution-specific requirements for program review vary widely, so not all recommendations will apply to all program reviews. Unlike most other sections of the EP3 Guide, this section describes a sequential process, and the effective practices should be studied and implemented in order.


contribute to a department’s self-assessment and planning by providing (1) perspectives, feedback, and analyses of issues and (2) a peer review of departmental programs, policies, and strategies for advancement. They help share effective practices that benefit students, departments, institutions, and the wider physics community. Reviewers benefit by expanding their knowledge of community practices, learning how to apply effective practices in other contexts, and preparing for their own department reviews.

Effective Practices

  1. Respond to an invitation to serve as an external reviewer

  2. Prepare for the visit

  3. Conduct the visit

  4. Develop the written report

The Cycle of Reflection and Action

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Nos. 1738311, 1747563, and 1821372. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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