What is Pi Sigma Alpha?
Founded in 1920 at the University of Texas, Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for undergraduate and graduate students of political science, with over 440 chapters established in colleges and universities in the United States.
Benefits of Membership
Membership in an honor society is a worthy distinction in itself, and as a measure of academic achievement can provide a tangible advantage in a competitive world. All Pi Sigma Alpha members, regular and honorary, receive a certificate of membership and permanent enrollment in the society's membership rolls, maintained by the National Office. Upon request, the National Office will provide letters verifying membership to prospective employers or graduate schools. Because Pi Sigma Alpha is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, the United States Office of Personnel Management guarantees a higher entry-level grade to Pi Sigma Alpha members entering government service. Members are entitled to wear the Pi Sigma Alpha key at any time or the medallion with cap and gown at graduation and on other official occasions.
Pi Sigma Alpha gives students the opportunity for valuable administrative experience as chapter officers or organizers of chapter activities. Chapters can compete for the Chapter Activities Grants awarded each year by the National Office. Members are also eligible to compete for the Pi Sigma Alpha Graduate Scholarship, the Graduate and Undergraduate Best Paper Awards, and a one-year student membership in the American Political Science Association, funded by the National Office for one student selected by each chapter each year.
Qualifications for Membership
The purpose of Pi Sigma Alpha is to stimulate scholarship and interest in the subject of government by providing tangible recognition to students who have excelled in the field. Minimum standards for admission, established by the national constitution, are as follows: completion of at least fifteen quarter-hours or ten semester-hours of work in government, political science, international relations or public administration including at least one course not open to students in the first two years of collegiate work maintenance of an average grade of B or higher in all political science courses an overall academic standing in the upper third of the college class.
Individual chapters may, and often do, adopt higher scholastic standards in their by-laws than these national minimum requirements. Membership is possible only through local chapters.
The life of the honor society is carried on mainly at the chapter level with coordination by the National Office. The National Office also administers the following programs:
Programs for Pi Sigma Alpha Chapters and Students
Annual Chapter Activity Grant Awards
Annual Scholarship for Graduate Study in Political Science
Student membership in APSA (one per chapter per year)
Best Chapter Awards
Best Chapter Adviser Award
Best Graduate Student Paper Award
Best Undergraduate Student Paper Award
Publication of Pi Sigma Alpha Newsletter
Franklin P. Burdette Award, for the best paper presented at the APSA Annual Meeting
Pi Sigma Alpha Best Paper Awards, for the best papers presented at regional political science association annual
Pi Sigma Alpha Lecture at the APSA Annual Meeting
Pi Sigma Alpha Lectures at regional and state political science association annual meetings
For More Information
The National Political Science Honor Society
National Office 1527 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone:(202) 483-2512 - Fax: (202) 483-2657
Advisor: Dr. Kjersten Nelson
Phone: (701) 231-7129