APU Honor Societies

Alpha Chi, Gamma Chapter

Alpha Chi, a national coeducational academic honor society, promotes academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students, and honors those who achieve such distinction. Alpha Chi members have been "making scholarship effective for good" since 1922. The APU Chapter, California Gamma Chapter, was chartered in 1969.

Alpha Chi member recruitment occurs once a year in the fall semester, with the membership induction ceremony scheduled early in the spring semester. Membership is by invitation only, and is limited to the top-ranking 10 percent of APU's junior and senior undergraduates, the top-ranking 10 percent of adult and professional studies students, and the top-ranking 10 percent of students in the graduate programs. Invitations to join Alpha Chi are emailed to students' APU-designated email accounts. Those students invited to join Alpha Chi must complete the membership registration documents by the deadline noted in the invitation, as late membership applications are not accepted.

For more information, contact the Alpha Chi Gamma Chapter at alphachi@apu.edu.

Beta Beta Beta (Biology), Epsilon Gamma Chapter

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is a society for students, particularly undergraduates, dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending the boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research. Since its founding in 1922, more than 200,000 persons have been accepted into lifetime membership, and more than 520 chapters have been established throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

TriBeta was founded in 1922 at Oklahoma City University—the Alpha Chapter—by Frank G. Brooks and a group of his students. The idea of an honor and professional society for biology students spread rapidly, and by 1925, the society was a national organization. Biennial national conventions of student and faculty members began in that year, and in 1930, the society journal, BIOS, began publication of student research, articles of interest to biologists, and society news. As the society grew, it was divided into regional and district groups, each of which holds a convention annually.

At the heart of every district and national meeting are student research papers presented in the style of graduate meetings. Awards are given for outstanding individual and chapter accomplishment.

Membership Requirements

  • Undergraduate majors in biological science at an institution where a chapter of Beta Beta Beta is located
  • Shall have completed at least one term of the second year of a four-year curriculum or its equivalent
  • Shall have completed at least three term courses in biological science, of which at least one is not an introductory course, with an average grade of B or its equivalent in those biology courses
  • Shall be in good academic standing

For more information, visit tri-beta.org or contact the Department of Biology and Chemistry.

Lambda Pi Eta (Communication)

The purpose of Lambda Pi Eta is to promote scholarship and interaction among top undergraduate communication students, to provide avenues of presenting undergraduate research, and to enhance the undergraduate’s understanding of career opportunities and graduate school requirements.

To qualify for membership in Lambda Pi Eta, communication studies majors must:

  • Have completed 60 semester units of college work.
  • Have completed 12 semester units of communication studies courses.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Have a communication studies GPA of at least 3.25.
  • Be currently enrolled as a full-time student in good standing.
  • Display a commitment to the field of communication.

For more information, visit natcom.org/LambdaPiEta or contact Debra Cram, administrative assistant for the Department of Communication Studies, at dcram@apu.edu.

Pew College Society

The Pew College Society is a campus organization that helps promising undergraduate students gain admission into excellent graduate schools. Initiated with a series of grants from the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Society is now fully funded by APU. The organization sponsors seminars and lectures each year to promote scholarship on campus and to help students through the process of graduate school admission, including how to choose graduate schools, how to prepare for admissions tests, and how to improve one’s chances of acceptance. The Pew College Society also connects its members with faculty mentors and offers some financial aid for graduate school-related expenses such as applying.

What does Pew offer its members?

  1. The Pew College Society offers a series of seminars throughout the year that provide students information and training about graduate school and that challenge and inspire them intellectually. While most of these events are open to the entire campus community, Pew members get first priority in registration. Events include training sessions for the General Record Examination (GRE), workshops on strategies for applying to competitive graduate schools, and training sessions on writing graduate school admissions essays.
  2. Pew connects its members with mentors in their academic fields who will help them clarify their graduate school goals and help them work through the grad school selection and application process. These mentors, who are usually professors in the student’s discipline, are provided with free coffee cards that the mentor and student can use at the campus coffee shops as they discuss graduate school issues.
  3. Pew offers its members financial assistance (currently about $350 per member per school year) with expenses related to such grad school concerns as taking the GRE, paying application fees to grad schools, and traveling to visit grad schools. The Society also sometimes helps with funding for travel to academic conferences at which its members give papers and presentations.

To apply for membership, students must be a current undergraduate students at APU. Due to stipulations in the original grant that funded Pew, students applying to medical school or law school are not eligible.

For more information or to request an application, email Joseph Bentz, Ph.D., director of the Pew College Society, at jbentz@apu.edu.

Phi Alpha (Social Work), Eta Iota

Eta Iota is the local chapter name of the National Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society at APU. The purpose of Phi Alpha is to provide a close bond among social work students and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters high academic standards for social work students and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and service.

To qualify for Bachelor of Social Work membership, a candidate must:

  • Be a declared social work major.
  • Have senior status.
  • Have at least 90 semester hours of general and department coursework.
  • Exhibit both personal and professional integrity.
  • Possess a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.6.

To qualify for Master of Social Work membership, a candidate must:

  • Be accepted into the MSW program.
  • Possess a grade point average of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Full-time students must have completed 45 units.
  • Part-time students must have completed 53 units.

For more information, contact the Department of Social Work at (626) 857-2410 (Bachelor of Social Work) or (626) 857-2401 (Master of Social Work).

Phi Delta Epsilon (International Medical Fraternity), Mu Chapter

Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity creates physicians of integrity with a life-long commitment to their guiding principles of philanthropy, deity, and education through fellowship, service, mentoring, and formal training in leadership, science, and ethics. APU chartered its own chapter in 2010.

Phi Delta Epsilon has three types of membership: Premedical, Medical, and Graduate. The student chapter is the base of the Fraternity’s structure. Friendships are established there. All communications flow through the chapter and the benefits of membership in PhiDE are received through active participation in chapter activities and events.

Premedical and Medical students interested in becoming members of PhiDE, must start and/or join a chapter of PhiDE on their campus. Physicians may join with or without a local active graduate club.

Through a host of planned activities during the academic year, students develop leadership and professional skills, which complement a basic understanding of medical science. When the time comes to apply for medical school and to match for residency, active membership in PhiDE is evidence of that a student is well rounded and motivated. There are also many chapter activities to help relieve the stress of studying.

What are some of the benefits of membership in PhiDE?

There are many benefits in joining a chapter of PhiDE. These include leadership possibilities, forming an organization the way the students want to, and gaining valuable experience that will help you succeed in the future. In addition, by joining PhiDE, students join an elite group of future and current physicians who are committed to keeping their skills sharp and careers on track. Phi Delta Epsilon sponsors leadership and career-building seminars internationally, which allow members to network with physicians and members of other chapters. PhiDE is the oldest and largest medical fraternity in the world.

For more information, visit phide.org, or contact Joshua Morris, Ph.D., or Matthew Berezuk, Ph.D., in the Department of Biology and Chemistry at jmorris@apu.edu or mberezuk@apu.edu.

Pi Lamda Theta (School of Education)

Pi Lambda Theta, founded in 1910, is an international honor society and professional association in education. Its mission is to provide leadership for the profession, promote academic excellence at all educational levels, provide leadership development for members, foster an environment for professional growth, and recognize outstanding educators. As an honor society, the purpose is to recognize individuals of superior scholastic achievement and high potential for professional leadership. As a professional association, the purpose is to encourage independent critical thinking in addressing the challenges of education today.

Undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in a program leading to a career in education are eligible for membership in Pi Lambda Theta if the following criteria are met:

  • A grade-point average of 3.5 or higher based on a 4.0 scale and one of the following:
    • Status of at least second-semester sophomore and currently enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program with an intent to enter a career in education
    • Admission to a graduate degree program or a post-baccalaureate certification or credential program with an intent to enter a career in education, current enrollment, and completion of at least two graduate courses in that program

For more information, visit pilambda.org.

Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), Alpha Eta Delta Chapter

Pi Sigma Alpha is the only national honor society for undergraduate and graduate political science students.  More than 600 chapters now exist in colleges and universities across the United States, and a few outside of the U.S.  Pi Sigma Alpha is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) and is designated as a “Specialized, Upper-Division” society by ACHS.  Azusa Pacific University’s chapter, Alpha Eta Delta, was chartered in 2011.

All Pi Sigma Alpha members, regular and honorary, receive a certificate of membership and pin, and permanent enrollment in the society's membership rolls maintained by the National Office. 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 graduate study in political science, for Washington semester programs, and for best paper awards.

Membership Eligibility:

  • Junior or Senior Class Standing.
  • Completion of at least 10 units in political science courses, with at least one course at the 300-level or higher.  Transfer students must have completed at least 6 of the 10 units at APU.
  • Maintenance a B average or higher in all political science courses.
  • An overall academic standing in the upper one-third of the college class.

Pi Sigma Alpha’s objectives include: stimulate productive scholarship and intelligent interest in the subject of political science; seek the promotion of a better understanding towards political science among its members; and advance and diffuse knowledge and interest in political science.

For more information, email the APU Chapter, Alpha Eta Delta, at pisigmaalpha@apu.edu or visit the National Branch website at apsanet.org/~psa/.

Psi Chi (Psychology)

Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Society (APS). APU became a Psi Chi chapter in 2000.

For more information, visit psichi.org or contact Alan Oda, Ph.D., in the Department of Psychology at aoda@apu.edu.

Sigma Alpha Pi (Leadership)

The National Society of Leadership and Success, Sigma Alpha Pi, is one of the largest collegiate leadership honor societies in the country with chapters at over 300 campuses worldwide. The mission of the society is to build leaders who make a better world. To this end, the Society encourages community action, volunteerism, personal growth, and strong leadership from its chapters and members across the globe. Student members of the APU chapter participate in monthly lectures, small groups, and social events aimed at helping people discover and achieve their goals. Students are nominated and invited to join the society based on several factors, including academic success, leadership involvement, and commitment to leadership development and practice.

Sigma Delta Pi (Spanish), Phi Omicron

Sigma Delta Pi is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honors Society. Founded in 1919, it is the only honor society devoted exclusively to students of Spanish in four-year colleges and universities and is the largest foreign language honors society in existence. APU’s chapter was established in 2003 under the name Phi Omicron.

In order to be eligible, students must:

  • Have completed at least three years, or the equivalent, of college Spanish, including a third-year course in Hispanic literature or Hispanic culture and civilization.
  • Have an average grade of B or better in all Spanish coursework.
  • Be ranked in the upper 35 percent of their class.

For more information, visit groups.apu.edu/sigmadeltapi or contact Marcela Rojas, Ph.D., in the Department of Modern Languages at mrojas@apu.edu.

Sigma Iota Epsilon (Management), Theta Kappa Chapter

Sigma Iota Epsilon is the National Honorary and Professional Management Fraternity. As a professional fraternity, the SIE National Office and its 73 local chapters across the country conduct numerous programs aimed at bridging the gap between management theory and management practices. The Theta Kappa local chapter was founded in 2011 and represents APU’s Master of Business Management (MBM) program.

Membership Requirements

To become a part of Sigma Iota Epsilon, Theta Kappa chapter, graduate students must:

  • Be currently enrolled in or have successfully completed graduate coursework in the MBM program
  • Obtain and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in graduate coursework
  • Have completed nine units of graduate coursework, including at least three units of core MBM coursework
  • Have completed the SIE Membership Application and paid their membership fees

The goals of SIE are to stimulate interest and achievement in the field of management; to stimulate scholarship in management; to facilitate contacts between students and practicing managers; to recognize persons who have made contributions to the field of management; and to gain recognition of the contribution and value of scholastic achievement in the management discipline.

For more information, contact the School of Business and Management at Ext. 3835.

Sigma Tau Delta (English), Alpha Epsilon Tau

Alpha Epsilon Tau is the local chapter of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society. The society exists to:

  • Confer distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies.
  • Promote literary awareness on campus and in the surrounding community.
  • Foster the discipline of English in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing.
  • Encourage dialogue and scholarly reflection on faith and literature.
  • Provide opportunities for fellowship within the English department.

To qualify for membership, a candidate must:

  • Be an English major or minor.
  • Have completed two courses in English beyond the requirement of Freshman Writing Seminar.
  • Have completed three or more semesters of college work with an overall GPA of 3.0 or above, and an average of B+ or higher in all English courses.

For more information, visit english.org/sigmatd or contact Andrea Ivanov-Craig, Ph.D., in the Department of English at aivanovcraig@apu.edu.

Sigma Theta Tau International (Nursing), Iota Sigma

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, the only international honor society of nursing in the world, provides leadership and scholarship in practice, education, and research to enhance the health of all people. The honor society supports the learning and professional development of members who strive to improve nursing care worldwide. The Iota Sigma Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International established its charter at Azusa Pacific University in 1988.

For more information, visit apu.edu/iotasigma or contact the School of Nursing at Ext. 5385.

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

Through years of serving higher education, Who's Who Among Students exists as one of the most highly regarded and long-standing honors programs in the nation, having earned the overwhelming respect of college faculties and administrations. Each year, a committee nominates deserving students for listing in the national publication Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. This distinction is awarded on the basis of scholarship, leadership, and potential for future success.

For information, visit whoswhoamongstudents.com.

National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC)

The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) is the professional association of undergraduate honors programs and colleges, honors directors and deans, and honors faculty, staff, and students. NCHC provides support for institutions and individuals developing, implementing, and expanding honors education through curriculum development, program assessment, teaching innovation, national and international study opportunities, internships, service and leadership development, and mentored research. NCHC carries out its mission by serving honors professionals and by advocating support for and excellence in higher education for all students. In furtherance of this mission, NCHC has issued the following Core Values Statement:

The National Collegiate Honors Council values an atmosphere that promotes academic opportunity and challenge for honors students and faculty. Within this intellectual environment, members of honors communities demonstrate integrity, respect, and excellence. Through the honors experience, participants realize enhanced personal, social, and intellectual development. The NCHC recognizes the importance of life-long learning and social responsibility in preparing individuals for an increasingly complex world. These beliefs and values are reinforced among member institutions through the collegiality and shared purpose of the NCHC.

For more information, contact the Honors College at apuhonors@apu.edu.

Western Regional Honors Council (WRHC)

The Western Regional Honors Council (WRHC) is a professional organization of faculty, administrators, and students dedicated to the promotion and advancement of undergraduate honors education. The WRHC represents honors programs in universities and colleges across the Western Region through an annual conference, through regular newsletters and email communication, and through two business meetings, one held in the spring at the annual conference and one held at the NCHC annual conference.

For more information, contact the Honors College at apuhonors@apu.edu.