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Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society

Pi Sigma Alpha was founded in 1920 at the University of Texas; it is the national honor society for undergraduate and graduate students of Political Science. There are now more than 500 chapters established in colleges and universities in the United States.

Membership in an honor society is a worthy distinction in itself and as a measure of academic achievement can provide 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.

Pi Sigma Alpha gives students the opportunity for valuable administrative experiences as chapter officers or organizers of chapter activities. Members are eligible to compete for the Pi Sigma Alpha Graduate Scholarship, the Graduate and Undergraduate Best Paper Awards, and 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 for Junior and Seniors

  • Completion of at least 15 quarter hours or 10 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.
  • GPA of 3.0 or higher in all Political Science courses.
  • An overall academic standing in the upper third of the college class.

Minimum Admission Standards for Graduate Students

  • Completion of at least nine hours of graduate work in Political Science.
  • Maintenance of an average grade of B or higher in all Political Science courses.

Ohio University students who think they may qualify for admission to Pi Sigma Alpha admission should contact the department at


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
  • Scholarship for Graduate Study in Political Science
  • Student membership is APSA (1 per chapter per year)
  • Best Chapter Awards
  • Best Chapter Advisor Awards
  • Best Undergraduate Class Paper Award
  • Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis Award

National Programs

  • 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 the regional Political Science Association Annual meeting
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Lecture at the APSA Annual meeting
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Lectures at regional and state Political Science Association annual meeting