Psi Chi (The National Honor Society in Psychology)
What is Psi Chi?
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 theAmerican Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). Psi Chi’s sister honor society is Psi Beta, the national honor society in psychology for community and junior colleges.
Psi Chi functions as a federation of chapters located at over 1,000 senior colleges and universities in the USA and Canada. The National Office is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A National Council, composed of psychologists who are Psi Chi members and are elected by the chapters, guides the affairs of the organization and sets policy with the approval of the chapters.
Psi Chi serves two major goals-one immediate and visibly rewarding to the individual member, the other slower and more difficult to accomplish, but offering greater rewards in the long run. The first of these is the Society’s obligation to provide academic recognition to its inductees by the mere fact of membership. The second goal is the obligation of each of the Society’s local chapters to nurture the spark of that accomplishment by offering a climate congenial to members’ creative development. For example, the chapters make active attempts to nourish and stimulate professional growth through programs designed to augment and enhance the regular curriculum and to provide practical experience and fellowship through affiliation with the chapter. In addition, the national organization provides programs to help achieve these goals, including national and regional conventions held annually in conjunction with the psychological associations, research award competitions, and certificate recognition programs.
The Society publishes a quarterly magazine, Eye on Psi Chi, which helps to unite the members, inform them, and recognize their contributions and accomplishments. The quarterly Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research fosters and rewards the scholarly efforts of undergraduate psychology students and provides a valuable learning experience by introducing them to the publishing and review process.
Students become members by joining the chapter at the school where they are enrolled. Psi Chi chapters are operated by student officers and faculty advisors.Together they select and induct the members and carry out the goals of the Society. All chapters register their inductees at the National Office, where membership records are preserved for reference purposes. The total number of memberships registered at the National Office is now over 500,000 lifetime members. Many of these members have gone on to distinguished careers in psychology.
Becoming a Member
Membership in Psi Chi is open to those who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests and who are students or faculty members in an institution where a chapter is located (if your school does not have a Psi Chi chapter, have you considered starting a chapter?). Undergraduate and graduate students and faculty members who meet the criteria below are eligible for membership. Students and faculty are elected to membership by the chapter at the institution, according to the provisions in the national Psi Chi Constitution. Membership in Psi Chi is open to qualified candidates of any age, sex, sexual orientation, race, handicap or disability, color, religion, and national and ethnic origin.
The Psi Chi Constitution requires that undergraduate student applicants to Psi Chi:
- Must be enrolled as a student at your school
- Must have established a GPA at your school
- Must be at least a second-semester sophomore
- Must be enrolled as a major or minor in a psychology program or a program psychological in nature that is equivalent to a psychology major
- Must have completed at least 9 semester hours or 14 quarter hours of psychology courses at your school
- Must have an overall GPA that is in the top 35% of their class based on rankings within sophomore, within junior, and within senior classes (if the cut-off for the top 35% is below 3.00, the applicant must have an overall GPA of at least 3.00 on a 4-point scale)
- Must have a psychology GPA that is at least 3.00 on a 4-point scale* Undergraduate students who have transferred to a new institution and are interested in becoming a Psi Chi member must meet the requirements listed above, plus complete one semester at the new institution to establish a GPA and complete 9 hours of psychology courses at the new institution.
The Psi Chi Constitution requires that graduate student applicants to Psi Chi:
- Must be enrolled as a graduate student at your school in a psychology graduate program
- Must have established a GPA at your school
- Must have an overall GPA of at least 3.00 on a 4-point scale in all graduate courses, including psychology courses** Graduate students who have transferred to a new institution and are interested in becoming a Psi Chi member must complete one semester at the new institution to establish a GPA in addition to the above requirements.
Regarding faculty who are chapter advisors or who want to join Psi Chi:
- The Psi Chi Constitution (see Article XII, Section 7) requires that all Psi Chi faculty chapter advisors be members of Psi Chi. If you are not a Psi Chi member, please send your membership registration form and fee as soon as possible.
- Psi Chi National Council policy requires that faculty chapter advisors be full-time faculty members and hold a doctoral degree in psychology.
- Psi Chi National Council policy requires that faculty members who want to join Psi Chi must be full-time faculty members at your school and have a doctoral degree in psychology or a psychology related field.
Undergraduate or graduate students transferring to a new institution who are already a Psi Chi member may transfer their membership to the new institution’s Psi Chi chapter by making contact with the Psi Chi faculty advisor, completing a Transfer of Membership form, and having the advisor sign and forward the transfer form to the Psi Chi National Office.
Psi Chi chapters may not impose any type of service activity as a condition for membership in Psi Chi-membership eligibility is based on academic performance.
Psi Chi chapters may use more stringent academic criteria for membership than those required in the Psi Chi Constitution, but they cannot use lower academic standards than those required in the Constitution.