Ross Spencer was born in Fillmore, Utah, and graduated from American Fork High School before enrolling at BYU.
Professor Spencer graduated from BYU with a degree in physics in 1974 and then earned a PhD in physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1979. He then worked on fusion energy research at Los Alamos National Laboratory for five years before coming to BYU to teach in 1984. He previously served as the chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and currently serves as a professor.
Brother Spencer served a mission in Germany and has served in the Church as a Sunday School teacher, a Scoutmaster, and a bishop.
Brother Spencer is married to Margo Eatough, who is also from American Fork and who graduated with a degree in music performance from BYU. They have five children.