RSO - Pi Sigma Alpha

What is Pi Sigma Alpha?

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. 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.

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.

Benefits of Membership

Chapter Membership Benefits:

Chapter membership benefits include (1) leadership opportunities such as valuable administrative experience as chapter officers or organizers of chapter activities, (2) networking opportunities with peers and faculty, (3) independent research opportunities, (4) grants and scholarships by the National Society, (5) attending an annual research conference, and (6) proudly wearing PSA honor regalia at graduation!

National Membership Benefits:

  • Entitled to wear the medallion and honor cord with cap-and-gown at graduation and on other official occasions.
  • All Pi Sigma Alpha members, regular and honorary, receive a certificate of membership and permanent enrollment in the society’s membership database, maintained by the National Office.
  • Upon request, the National Office will provide letters verifying membership to prospective employers or graduate schools.
  • Eligible to apply for the Pi Sigma Alpha/Howard Penniman Scholarships for Graduate Study in Political Science, the Nancy McManus Washington Internship Scholarships, and for Best Paper Awards. 
  • Chapters can compete for the Chapter Activity Grantsawarded each year by the National Office. 
  • Because Pi Sigma Alpha is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies(ACHS), the U. S. Office of Personnel Management allows its members to apply for federal government positions listed at a higher entry-level grade than non-member candidates. 
  • Members All ACHS honor society student members are also entitled to automatic tuition reductions for Washington internship programs run by the Washington Internship Institute, the Fund for American Studies, and The Washington Center
  • The National Office supports the awarding by each chapter of a one-year student membership in the American Political Science Associationfor one member each year. 
  • Entitled to wear the Pi Sigma Alpha key at any time.

Qualifications for Membership

To join the local U of A chapter, students need only have interest in the political science field (you can be any major). There is a yearly fee of $15.00 to be a part of the local chapter. All chapter fees should be paid to the local chapter treasurer at the University of Arkansas – Venmo is @psauark to pay yearly dues (or to donate). For national membership, there is a one-time national initiation fee of $35.00. To join the local U of A chapter, you may use one of two processes:

  • Use the QR code provided on this website, or
  • Apply through HogSync – search for Pi Sigma Alpha – the membership application is under "forms."

Minimum standards for national membership admission, established by the national constitution, are:

For Undergraduates (Juniors and Seniors):

  • Complete at least one-half of the credits required by their institution for the baccalaureate degree (60).
  • Completion of at least ten semester-credits (or fifteen quarter-credits) of work in political science, government, international relations, public administration, or a related interdisciplinary area (which includes significant political science curriculum), with an average grade of B or higher in those courses.
  • An overall GPA of 3.5 or higher

For Graduate Students:

  • Completion of at least nine hours of graduate work in political science (or related areas) with no grade lower than a B (Undergraduate coursework does not count towards graduate student eligibility).

Social Media

Instagram Logo  @uarkpsa

The National Pi Sigma Alpha Newsletter is published twice per year, in Fall and Spring.

Pi Sigma Alpha logo
2024-2025 Officers:

Advisor: Eric Button, Ph.D.

QR Code that leads to PSA join link

Scan the QR code here to reach our Pi Sigma Alpha sign-up form.