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Honors College


Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society for college freshmen. Its goal is to encourage and reward academic excellence among first-year students in institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest freshman honor society, Phi Eta Sigma was founded at the University of Illinois on March 22, 1923. The society has more than 300 chapters throughout the United States and more than 625,000 inducted members.

Phi Eta Sigma was voted membership into the Association of College Honor Societies in 1937. Only three societies have had longer continuous membership. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about Phi Eta Sigma.

Who is eligible to join?
On campuses with a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, all first-year students are eligible to join who have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale at the close of their first year.

Must I be inducted at a particular time?
Although you will prefer to be inducted with your classmates, you do not lose eligibility by missing an induction. You may be inducted at a future date.

Is Phi Eta Sigma a social fraternity?
Although some chapters have social events, we are not a social fraternity. There is a dignified induction ceremony to which your parents and friends may be invited. Most chapters have projects and activities promoting academic excellence, but your participation is optional.

Must I maintain my average?
No, life-time membership is conferred upon induction.

What do I get for the national membership fee?
Your national membership fee pays for your academic key or tie tac and your membership certificate. It pays a portion of the expenses for a chapter delegate to attend the national convention and leadership workshops. The national magazine, the FORUM of Phi Eta Sigma, and the study pamphlet, HINTS on Learning and Studying, are provided to chapters on a complimentary basis. A portion of the membership fee goes to the Founders Fund, which provides thirty or more $2,000 national scholarships and more than forty $1,000 national awards to undergraduates.

Who is eligible for the scholarships?
Cash scholarships of $2,000 and awards of $1,000 are provided to members of Phi Eta Sigma selected by the national scholarship committee. Members applying for the scholarships and awards must be nominated by their chapters. Your local chapter adviser has the application forms; national deadline is March 1. Many local chapters also award scholarships.

Why should I join Phi Eta Sigma?
Phi Eta Sigma is an outward recognition of personal accomplishment and serves as an incentive for continued high scholarship. It provides you the opportunity to meet scholars from all academic disciplines on your campus and to join them in promoting academic excellence. Also, you may apply for scholarships provided by national and by some local chapters. Membership in Phi Eta Sigma identifies you to employers and professional and graduate schools as a person of superior academic ability and performance.

Who participates in the national convention and leadership workshops?
Every active chapter has the opportunity to nominate a student delegate to attend the biennial national convention and leadership workshops. The national office pays for the delegate's air fare and/or automobile mileage, housing and convention meals. Student delegates chair and staff all convention committees, elect all national officers, and provide guidance for the future. At each convention, three students are elected to serve a two-year term on the national Executive Committee. Student leadership is a major strength for Phi Eta Sigma as future options are planned.

Learning Communities Initiative

Learning Communities

Living Learning Communities

First-Year Seminars

News and Announcements

Fall 2013 Honors Course Designation forms due 3rd Friday after fall semester begins

The deadline to submit the Honors College application for fall 2013 is April 15, 2013.

President Lectures Series

None at the moment

Past Lecturers

Raoul Wallenberg Humanitarian Lectures

Waldo Family Lecture Series on International Relations

Honor Groups

Phi Eta Sigma

Phi Kappa Phi

Other Honor Groups