AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

Team Facts & News

From 1986 to 2017, the United States Teams have brought home: 61 Gold Medals, 43 Silver Medals, 29 Bronze Medals, and 11 Honorable Mentions. — AAPT.ORG

2018 Physics Olympics Team Banner

2018 U.S. Physics Team

Each year, AAPT and the American Institute of Physics (AIP) sponsor a competition for high school students to represent the United States at the International Physics Olympiad Competition. The mission of the U.S. Physics Team Program is to promote and demonstrate academic excellence through preparation for and participation in the International Physics Olympiad.  Photos of the 2017 Team and camp are available on Flickr.

Students outside of the United States wishing to take the F=ma exam PLEASE NOTE:

The F=ma test can be taken by people outside the United States, however there must be a way to verify that the testing center/proctor is legitimate.  In the event that the testing center cannot be verified to the satisfaction of the exam coordinator, the F=ma exam will not be sent and AAPT will be under no obligation to refund the test fee.

The USAPhO is an exam for U.S. residents by invitation.  Please note that although we will allow students outside of the U.S. to take the F=ma exam, as of 2017 we are no longer allowing students who are not located in the U.S. to take the USAPhO exam.  A cut-off score will be established on the F=ma so that individuals who score at or above the cut-off will be sent an invitation to sit the USAPhO exam.  Additional individuals may be invited to sit the exam based on other criteria, even though they did not make the published cut-off score.  Approximately four hundred individuals will be invited to sit the USAPhO.

The U.S. Physics Team is a training program for U.S. citizens.  Selection for the U.S. Physics Team is by invitation, based primarily on the scores of the USAPhO and F=ma; participants must be eligible and capable of competing at the International Physics Olympiad that year.  Obtaining a gold on the USAPhO does not guarantee an invitation to the U.S. Physics Team; some individuals may be invited to the Team who do not obtain a gold.  It is expected that members of the U.S. Physics Team will have been attending high school in the U.S. in the academic year that they are selected for the Team.  Because of the nature of the training program, members of the U.S. Physics Team can participate in the program at most twice.

Important Dates

December 4, 2017 - F=ma Registration Deadline

January 23 and January 31, 2018 - F=ma Testing Dates (PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE TWO TESTING DATES ONLY)

April 2018 - USAPhO Testing, exact date TBA.

May 2018 - U.S. Physics Team Training Camp, University of Maryland

July 21-29, 2018 - International Physics Olympiad, Portugal



Contact Information

For more details and information about the U.S. Physics Team, please contact AAPT's Programs department at 301-209-3340 or programs@aapt.org