Social Work

  • Phi-Alpha Honor Society


    "Through knowledge - the challenge to serve"


    The purpose of Phi Alpha Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and to promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership, those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.

    History Of Phi Alpha Honor Society

    The concept of a national social work honor society came from a group of undergraduate social work students at Michigan State University in 1960. Investigation revealed that local chapters existed at three schools. Those three schools along with a few other schools formed a National Honor Society Committee in November 1960. For more than a year this committee worked on the constitution and other administrative matters. The name Phi Alpha and the key were adopted from the local chapter that existed at Florida State University. The constitution and formal organization were completed in 1962, and six chapters qualified to become "charter chapters." They were: Florida State University, Michigan State University, Ohio Northern University, Central State College, University of Dayton and the University of Tennessee. Over 155 chapters are now in existence, and the addition of new chapters is continuing.

    Phi Alpha offers membership to social work students, faculty, and practitioners. Each chapter is free to develop a program to meet local needs. The National Council is the policy-making body and meets each year at the time and place of the Annual program meeting of CSWE. Each chapter has one voting representative on the Council.


    (back to top)


    Chapter Membership

    National Qualifications For Chapter Membership

    1. A chapter of Phi Alpha Honor Society may be established at Colleges and Universities with MSW and/or BSW program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education or accepted into candidacy status.

    2. A college or university must designate its desire to become a chapter of Phi alpha by filing an application with the National Faculty Advisor. The application must be signed by six applications including one faculty member.

    3. The application shall contain a brief history of the college or university and a brief history of the social work program. The chapter constitution and By-Laws, indicating compliance with National Standards, are part of the application process.

    4. Local chapters shall be designated according to the letters of Greek alphabet.

    (back to top)


    Individual Membership

    National Qualications For Individual Membership

    1. An undergraduate student is eligible for membership after achieving the following national requirements and meeting local chapter requirements.

      • Declared social work as a major.

      • Achieved sophomore status.

      • Completed 8 semester hours or 12 quarters hours of required social work courses.

      • Achieved an overall grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)

      • Achieved a 3.25 grade point average in required social work courses.

      • Local chapters may establish high eligibility requirements.

    2. A graduate student is eligible for membership after achieving the following national requirements and meeting local chapter requirements.

      • Completed one term of course work with the minimum number of social work

      • Achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.5 (based on a 4-point scale)

      • Local chapters may establish high eligibility requirements.

    3. Membership is available to all full-time social work faculty.

    4. Each chapter may select two persons each year for honorary membership. This recognition is available to persons outside the program who have made significant contribution to the program and/or society. Membership certificates for honorary members are provided by the National Office without cost to local chapters.

    (back to top)


    Membership Dues

    Membership Dues

    1. A charter fee of $20 for each new chapter.

    2. A lifetime membership fee of $8 for each individual member.

    3. Membership dues are subject to change, but an increase within the next years is not anticipated.

    (back to top)


    National Office Services Offered

    Services Provided By The National Office

    1. Annual meeting in conjunction with the CSWEAPPM.

    2. A chapter membership certificate.

    3. Phi Alpha banner for each chapter.

    4. Individual membership certificates.

    5. A Phi Alpha ribbon and button for each member

    6. Brochures.

    7. Information about ordering items with the Phi Alpha logo. Pins, pendants, medallions, plaques, shirts, and caps are available from outside vendors.

    8. Consultation.

    (back to top)