Pi Sigma Alpha

Pi Sigma Alpha Membership Standards

Pi Sigma Alpha is classified by the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) as an “upper division, specialized” honor society. The academic requirements for membership eligibility follow those set by ACHS for this category of honor society, and are specified in the Pi Sigma Alpha Constitution, Article I, “Membership.”

Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha is open to undergraduate and graduate students currently taking courses in government, political science, international relations, public administration, or a related interdisciplinary area and enrolled in institutions where chapters are located.

Undergraduates must meet the following criteria:

Graduate students must meet the following criteria:

Additional Chapter Membership Criteria

Individual chapters may, in their bylaws, add to these criteria. Chapters may NEVER reduce the basic national criteria. Additional chapter criteria must be based strictly on academic achievement, and they must be measurable. A chapter may increase the GPA requirement for admission, for example, but not require that eligible students be voted into membership by other members, or impose any non-academic requirement such as community service. Chapters are also discouraged from imposing any requirement that involves subjective evaluation, such as a paper competition, which will almost inevitably result in disputes. They may not include extracurricular requirements or any sort of “pledging” process.

Members should follow the guidance of the Chapter Advisor when writing the section of their bylaws which lists admission requirements, and should feel free to consult with the National Office whenever there is a question. 

Faculty Membership

Members of the faculty of the department, school, or division in which the chapter is located are automatically eligible for membership.

Membership Transferability

Membership in one chapter is transferable to membership in another chapter when the member (student or faculty) moves to another institution where there is a chapter.

Honorary Membership

Chapters are entitled to award two honorary memberships per year to “any person of recognized ability and achievement in the field of political science.” 


If you meet the eligibility requirements, and if your school has a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, you should find out from the Chapter Advisor or Department Chair the procedure for becoming a member. Students may NOT "join" Pi Sigma Alpha through the national office, but may only become members through their campus chapters. If you know your school has a chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha but you believe it to be inactive, you should speak to your Department Chair about reactivating it.