Honor Societies

Alpha Chi, Gamma Chapter 

Alpha Chi is a national college honor society that admits students from all academic disciplines. It promotes academic excellence and exemplary character among college and university students and honors those who achieve such distinction. Membership is by invitation and is limited to the top-ranking 10 percent of APU’s junior and senior undergraduates and the top-ranking 10 percent of students in the graduate programs. APU’s California Gamma Chapter was chartered in 1969.

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

Alpha Phi Sigma, Department of Criminal Justice

Alpha Phi Sigma (AΦΣ) was established in 1941 to recognize student excellence in the fields of criminal justice and law. The goal of the honors society is to provide networks to professional opportunities including grants and scholarships for current students, career development, and honors at graduation. Membership requires undergraduate students to declare criminal justice as their major, to complete three full-time college semesters, to carry a cumulative GPA of 3.2, and to have a minimum of four courses in the criminal justice major. Graduate students shall be enrolled in a graduate program in criminal justice or related field, have completed four courses, and have a minimum GPA of 3.4 on a 4.0 scale or rank in the upper 25 percent of their class.​

For more information, contact the Department of Criminal Justice at criminaljustice@apu.edu or (626) 815-5094 or visit alphaphisigma.org.

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta), Department of Biology and Chemistry

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is a society for students, particularly undergraduates, dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending 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 553 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 students. The idea of an honor and professional society for biology students spread rapidly and, by 1925, the society became 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 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.

For more information, visit tri-beta.org or contact Joshua Morris in the Department of Biology and Chemistry at jmorris@apu.edu.

Lambda Pi Eta, Department of Communication Studies

Lambda Pi Eta is the official honor society of the National Communication Association and a member of the prestigious Association of College Honor Societies. Each member must maintain an exceptional grade-point average and display a commitment to the field of communication. The organization promotes outstanding scholarly achievement in communication studies and explores professional options.

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 several 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 who give guidance to students on choosing and applying to graduate schools. The society further provides financial assistance to help students with such expenses as graduate school application fees and some travel to prospective graduate schools.

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

Phi Alpha, Eta Iota Chapter, Department of Social Work

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 closer 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 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.

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

Phi Alpha Theta, Department of History and Political Science

Established in 1921 at the University of Arkansas and open to undergraduates, graduate students, and history professors, Phi Alpha Theta’s mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. Azusa Pacific University became home to the Alpha-Omicron-Tau chapter of Phi Alpha Theta in 2014.

Membership in Phi Alpha Theta is a lifetime membership and is not limited to history majors. Members receive a membership certificate and four issues of the Phi Alpha Theta journal, The Historian. To join, undergraduates must have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours (four courses) in history and have achieved a minimum GPA of 3.1 in history and an overall 3.0 GPA or better.

For more information, contact the Department of History and Political Science at historyps@apu.edu.  

Phi Delta Epsilon, Mu Chapter, Department of Biology and Chemistry

Phi Delta Epsilon (PhiDE) is an international medical fraternity that creates physicians of integrity with a lifelong commitment to the guiding principles of philanthropy, deity, and education through fellowship, service, mentoring, and formal training in leadership, science, and ethics. The California Mu chapter of PhiDE was chartered at Azusa Pacific University on April 17, 2010, and has since provided premedical students with various resources, including networking with doctors and students at other universities, leadership training at regional and international conferences, and opportunities to participate in various internships and medical education programs. Additionally, PhiDE members at APU have participated in community service through a wide variety of local organizations such as the Glendora Teen Center, Habitat for Humanity, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and have raised more than $7,000 to support Children’s Miracle Network, Phi Delta Epsilon’s official philanthropic partner.

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

Phi Delta Phi, Department of History and Political Science

Phi Delta Phi is the oldest legal organization in continuous existence in the United States, predating even the American Bar Association. Phi Delta Phi celebrates academic excellence and embraces the finest attributes of professionalism and scholarship. Since its founding, Phi Delta Phi has emphasized to students and lawyers alike the importance of their calling. 

Phi Delta Phi’s Pre-Law Society was established in 2012 to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to join Phi Delta Phi. The Pre-Law Society strives to develop students’ knowledge of law and help them make an informed decision about pursuing a legal career. Members are exposed to information regarding the LSAT, law school admissions, life as a law student, professional responsibility, and varying careers in the legal field. Azusa Pacific University was chartered in March 2014 as a member institution of the Pre-Law Society. Membership is open to undergraduate students who have an interest in the study of law and who meet the minimum qualifications.

For more information, contact the Department of History and Political Science at historyps@apu.edu.  

Pi Sigma Alpha, Alpha Eta Delta Chapter, Department of History and Political Science

Pi Sigma Alpha is the only national honor society for undergraduate and graduate students of political science. There are more than 600 chapters established in colleges and universities in 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. The Azusa Pacific University 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 and Washington semester programs and for best paper awards.

Members must be of junior or senior class standing, and complete at least 10 units of political science courses (one of which must be 300-level or higher). Transfer students must have completed at least 6 of the 10 units at APU. Students must maintain an average grade of B or higher in all political science courses, and overall academic standing must be in the upper one-third of the college class.

For more information, contact the Department of History and Political Science at historyps@apu.edu.  

Psi Chi, Department of 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 Susan Ferrante in the Department of Psychology at sferrante@apu.edu.

Sigma Alpha Pi, Department of Leadership and Organizational Psychology

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 more than 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. 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.

For more information, contact the Department of Leadership and Organizational Psychology

Sigma Delta Pi, Phi Omicron, Department of Modern Languages

Sigma Delta Pi is the national collegiate Hispanic honor society. Founded in 1919, it is the only honor society for students studying Spanish in four-year colleges and universities. In order to be nominated for membership, students must show a genuine interest in the Hispanic culture through the completion of at least three years, or the equivalent, of college Spanish, including a third-year course in Hispanic literature or Hispanic culture and civilization. Students must also average a grade of B or better in all Spanish coursework and be ranked in the upper 35 percent of their class. APU’s chapter was established in 2003 under the name Phi Omicron.

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

Sigma Iota Epsilon, Theta Kappa Chapter, School of Business and Management

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 enrolled in or have successfully completed graduate coursework in the MBM program.
  • Maintain a minimum GPA of 3.5 in graduate coursework.
  • Have completed 9 units of graduate coursework, including at least 3 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 (626) 812-3085.

Sigma Tau Delta, Alpha Epsilon Tau, Department of English

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 Department of English.

To qualify for membership, the candidate must be an English major or minor, have completed two courses in English beyond the requirement of WRIT 110, have completed three or more semesters of college work with an overall GPA of 3.3 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 in the Department of English at aivanovcraig@apu.edu.

Sigma Theta Tau, Iota Sigma Chapter, School 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.

Students in baccalaureate nursing programs may qualify for membership after completing half of the nursing curriculum, ranking in the upper 35 percent of their graduating class, and achieving a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. All potential applicants must meet the expectation of academic integrity. APU’s chapter is Iota Sigma.

For more information, visit apu.edu/iotasigma or contact the School of Nursing at (626) 815-5386.

Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

Each year, deans and chairs from all schools and colleges nominate 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 more information, contact One Stop | Undergraduate Enrollment Services Center at onestop@apu.edu