Pi Sigma Alpha National Honor Society in Political Science
The Alpha Zeta Lambda Chapter at Smith College (the 700th chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha) was founded by Mary Darby, Claire Stein-Ross, and Caroline Sutcliffe, all members of the graduating class of 2010. Formal recognition of the Smith chapter by the national office came on March 26, 2010. The first students were inducted into the society on April 20, 2010.
Article II I of the Smith College chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha details the requirements for membership:
- A minimum overall grade-point average (GPA) of at least 3.3;
- Not less than a 3.5 GPA in the major;
- Completion of at least six graded government courses;
- Be a senior, junior or second-semester sophomore in the government major;
- Pay the one-time chapter dues.
In the case of transfer students, graded courses in political science from other institutions may be used to reach the six courses required for application to Pi Sigma Alpha when the credits have been accepted for transfer by Smith College. If the applicant wishes to include these courses considered for admission to Pi Sigma Alpha, the applicant must submit an official transcript from the previous institution. In such cases all grades received in those courses accepted for transfer by Smith College will be used in the calculation of the GPA eligibility to Pi Sigma Alpha.
Benefits of Membership
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. All Pi Sigma Alpha members receive a certificate of membership and pin, and permanent enrollment in the society's membership maintained by the national office. Upon request, the National Office will provide letters verifying membership to prospective employers and graduate schools. Members are entitled to wear the Pi Sigma Alpha key at any time or the medallion and honor cord with cap and gown at graduation and on other official occasions. Members may apply for scholarships for both graduate study in political science and for Washington semester programs, and best paper awards.
Pi Sigma Alpha also gives students the opportunity for valuable administrative experience as chapter officers or organizers of chapter activities. Chapters can compete for Chapter Activity Grants awarded each year by the National Office. Members are also eligible to compete for Pi Sigma Alpha Graduate Scholarships, the Graduate and Undergraduate Best Paper Awards, and a one-year student membership in the American Political Science Association, funded by the national office for one student selected by each chapter each year. Members are also eligible to submit articles to the Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics, published twice per year.