Programs and Awards
The life of the honor society is carried on mainly at the chapter level with coordination by the National Office. Pi Sigma Alpha seeks to promote excellence in the study of political science through a variety of programs, some of direct benefit to student members and local chapters and others targeted more generally at the profession of political science. The programs especially for chapters and student members are:
- Chapter Activity Grants Competition, which gives chapters an opportunity to win grants for projects they might not otherwise be able to afford, and gives students excellent experience in writing proposals and budgets, carrying out funded activities, and writing reports. The program announcement goes out in the fall of each year with a late November deadline; the awards committee meets in early December and announces grants immediately thereafter.
- Best Paper Awards for Graduate and Undergraduate Students, for which each chapter advisor may nominate one undergraduate and one graduate student paper per year. Nominations are due on June 1; winners are announced by July 15. The cash awards amount to $250 each for the best graduate and undergraduate student papers, and $100 apiece for runners-up.
- Best Advisor Awards, to honor long-serving chapter advisors whose contribution to his or her chapter has been outstanding. Nominations must come from department chairs by June 1, with the winner announced by July 15. Three awards are made each year, and each award is $1,000.
- Best Chapter Awards, are cash awards of $250 to one or two chapters in each of three college enrollment categories. The selection is based on chapters' annual reports to the National Office, and other evidence of extraordinary levels of activity. The winning chapters may use the prizes for any activity they wish. APSA Student Membership Awards. Each chapter is entitled to award a one-year student membership in the American Political Science Association to one outstanding student each year. Chapters need only identify the student to the National Office for the membership to be instated.