Guide to Recruiting of Undergraduate Physics Majors

Version 1. January 28, 2021

Recruiting includes promoting your undergraduate program, emphasizing its attractive features, and providing incentives for students who are not yet physics majors to join your program, in order to increase the number of majors and minors your department enrolls. This section includes guidance on how to develop a recruiting plan, promote the distinctive features of your program, and effectively recruit students at many stages, e.g., before they enter your institution, as they enter either directly from high school or as transfer students, and when they are in your introductory courses and courses for students in other programs at your institution. See the sections on Retention of Undergraduate Physics Majors and Departmental Culture and Climate for guidance on creating a program with a welcoming, inclusive, and student-focused culture that students want to join.


Effective recruiting practices increase the number of students entering your program and enrolled in courses, create and maintain community, increase the diversity of students coming into your program, and strengthen the viability, vibrancy, and climate of your department or program. Creating a successful recruiting plan enables faculty to contribute to the future of the discipline and the community.

Effective Practices

  1. Develop a comprehensive and collaborative recruiting plan and review it regularly

  2. Create and promote flexible pathways for students to major or minor in physics

  3. Connect with students in introductory and, if appropriate, service courses

  4. Connect with prospective students and other students at your institution using existing infrastructure

  5. Connect with high schools and/or community colleges to recruit for your program

  6. Promote the distinctive features of your program

Programmatic Assessments

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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