Loyola University Chicago

Department of Political Science

Pi Sigma Alpha

Founded in 1920 at the University of Texas, Pi Sigma Alpha is the national honor society for undergraduate and graduate students of political science, with over 440 chapters established in colleges and universities in the United States.

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, regular and honorary, receive a certificate of membership and permanent enrollment in the society's membership rolls, maintained by the National Office. Upon request, the National Office will provide letters verifying membership to prospective employers or graduate schools. Because Pi Sigma Alpha is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, the United States Office of Personnel Management guarantees a higher entry-level grade to Pi Sigma Alpha members entering government service. Members are entitled to wear the Pi Sigma Alpha key at any time or the medallion with cap and gown at graduation and on other official occasions.

Pi Sigma Alpha gives students the opportunity for valuable administrative experience as chapter officers or organizers of chapter activities. Chapters can compete for the Chapter Activities Grants awarded each year by the National Office. Members are also eligible to compete for the Pi Sigma Alpha Graduate Scholarship, 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.

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 are as follows:

  • Completion of at least four courses within the Department of Political Science (including one 300-level course)
  • Junior standing (completion of at least 60 credit hours)
  • A GPA in your Political Science classes of at least 3.3
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.0

Application forms are available at the LSC departmental office. For more information, see our Chapter Constitution.

Programs for Pi Sigma Alpha Chapters and Students

  • Annual Chapter Activity Grant Awards
  • Annual Scholarship for Graduate Study in Political Science
  • Student membership in APSA (one per chapter per year)
  • Best Chapter Awards
  • Best Chapter Adviser Award
  • Best Graduate Student Paper Award
  • Best Undergraduate Student Paper 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 meetings
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Lecture at the APSA Annual Meeting
  • Pi Sigma Alpha Lectures at the regional and state political science association annual meetings

For more information, please contact the faculty advisor, Dr. Eric Hansen (ehansen4@luc.edu).