ΠΣΑ


Zeta Lambda Chapter - Celebrating 40 years as a Chapter in 2013

Pi Sigma Alpha is the National Political Science Honor Society. The Zeta Lambda Chapter conducts two initiations per year typically toward the end of the fall and spring semesters.

To be eligible for Pi Sigma Alpha, students must have junior standing,  have completed at least ten semester-credits of work in political science including at least one upper-division course, with an average grade of B or higher in those courses.  Students also need to have both an overall GPA of 3.0 and a POLS GPA of 3.0.  Students do not have to be political science majors to qualify for membership.

Graduate students must have completed 9 graduate credits in political science with no grade lower than a B.  Undergraduate coursework does not count towards graduate student eligibility, and graduate students must be pursuing a degree in political science (public administration) to qualify for membership. Students interested in Pi Sigma Alpha should contact the faculty adviser – Sara Gubala in SBS 201J or 880-7802 or smgubala@lamar.edu

Pi Sigma Alpha was founded in 1920 at the University of Texas for the purpose of bringing together students and faculty interested in the study of government and politics. Professor C. Perry Patterson was an early leader of the first chapter and served as national president of PSA from 1920 until 1932. The success of the honor society at the University of Texas prompted other institutions to apply for chapters, with the Universities of Oklahoma and Kansas establishing chapters by 1922. In March of that year the society held its first national convention at the University of Oklahoma.

Growth in the honor society was gradual throughout the 'twenties and 'thirties and accelerated after the Second World War; today there are over 650 chapters throughout the country. There is at least one college or university with a Pi Sigma Alpha chapter in every state and the District of Columbia and, as of 1995, the U. S. territory of Guam.

The Articles of Incorporation of Pi Sigma Alpha state as one of its purposes "to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science." The society functions at the national level, sponsoring programs and events of value to the profession and teaching of political science, and at the chapter level. Each chapter is encouraged to provide a framework for enriching the exposure of its members and the wider university community to the study of government and issues of public concern. The goals of Pi Sigma Alpha are consistent with the aims of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) as set out in the ACHS Booklet of Information. This material provides a good framework for understanding the meaning and value of a political science honor society and its place on an American campus, and makes worthwhile reading.