What is Pi Sigma Alpha?
Pi Sigma Alpha is a national political science honor society based in Washington D.C. Its chapters are established in colleges and universities of accredited and recognized standing which offer a prescribed minimum program in political science. PSA is a prestigious organization that both encourages interaction among political science students and recognizes their achievements. Pi Sigma Alpha has 440 chapters with Approx. 25,000 members nationally.
Pi Sigma Alpha was founded in 1920 at the University of Texas for the purpose of bringing together students and faculty interested in the study of government and politics. Professor C. Perry Patterson was an early leader of the first chapter and served as national president of PSA from 1920 until 1932. The success of the honor society at the University of Texas prompted other institutions to apply for chapters, with the Universities of Oklahoma and Kansas establishing chapters by 1922. In March of that year the society held its first national convention at the University of Oklahoma. Growth in the honor society was gradual throughout the twenties and thirties and accelerated after the Second World War. There is at least one college or university with a PSA chapter in every state and the District of Columbia and, as of 1995, the U.S. territory of Guam.
Purpose of an Honor Society
The Articles of Incorporation of PSA state as one of its purposes "to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science." The society functions at the national level, sponsoring programs and events of value to the profession and teaching of political science, and at the chapter level. Each chapter is encouraged to provide a framework for enriching the exposure of its members and the wider university community to the study of government and the issues of public concern.
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 twelve 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.
- For undergraduates, maintenance of an average grade of 2.5 overall and a 3.00 or higher cumulative gpa in all political science courses.
- For graduate students, maintenance of an average grade of 3.50 overall.
- An overall academic standing in the upper third of the college class.
The membership of Pi Sigma Alpha shall consist of active, associate, honorary and probational classifications. Active members must be regularly enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students at the University of New Orleans, and satisfy the scholastic requirements set forth by Pi Sigma Alpha.
National dues are now $35.
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