What and Who We Are

We are a peer support and mentorship program for first year graduate students in physics and astronomy. For many students, the transition from undergraduate to graduate school can be difficult, as students balance TA responsibilities, classes, and research. Our goal is to make this transition easier. We hope to foster connections and community that go beyond this program and follow our students as they make their journey into academia.

We are free and open to all students. We especially encourage underrepresented students to apply. PhD, Master’s, and post-baccalaureate students are all welcome.

SU(5) is organized by and for graduate students. Learn more about our board and organizing team here.

What We Do

We provide a space for students to share difficulties, successes, hopes, and worries about graduate school. Students meet every two weeks online in groups of four. Each group is assigned a senior graduate student mentor as an additional resource. Every week, students share their own experiences and talk about the week’s assigned topic. These meetings are short, but provide students time to reflect and support one another.

How to Join

If you are an incoming graduate student and are interested, go to the join tab above and fill out the form, and you should hear from us shortly.

If you are a current graduate student and interested in becoming a mentor, feel free to get in touch via our email at the top. All we need is just a little info about yourself!

Inclusion & Diversity

We aim to build an inclusive environment for students of all identities. This is critical to building a space in which students can feel supported and listened to. We do not tolerate any racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, or otherwise discriminatory or demeaning language at any point during the signup process or the duration of the program.

We named our program after the Lie group SU(5), which was used in one of the earliest formulations of a grand unified theory, the Georgi-Glashow model. Our logo references the pattern of particle charges predicted by the model (click here for a picture). Our logo is designed by Elisabeth Siegel.

Our Inspiration

SU(5) is modeled on SUBgroups, a peer support program for first year graduate students in mathematics. We are inspired and encouraged by their mission of equity and inclusion.