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Pi Sigma Alpha is the national political science honor society. Its purpose is to recognize and promote high academic achievement in the field of political science. It is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) and adheres to all the standards set by ACHS for an upper-division, specialized honor society. Becoming a national member provides certain benefits. These benefits include using it to build a resume, publish scholarly work via their academic journal, and receiving financial aid through scholarships. When applying for government employment you will be eligible for advanced entry at the GS-7 level. 

Students need not be political science majors to qualify for membership. Undergraduate requirements for national membership recognition include the following:

  • They must have completed at least one-half the credits required by their institution for the baccalaureate degree;
  • they must 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;
  • they must have achieved an overall GPA placing them in the top one-third of their whole class (e.g., junior or senior class).

The scholarships available to national members are as follows:

  • McManus Washington Internship Scholarship: the national committee will select four students who are interning in the Washington DC area during the summer or fall for this scholarship and is $2,000. Each chapter will submit one nomination to the committee. Nominations are due May 1 and recipients are announced by June 1. If you have been accepted for a Washington DC internship, contact the faculty advisor to be considered for the nomination.
  • PSA members are eligible to receive partial scholarships in conjunction with other institutions. These programs include the Washington Internship Institute, The Washington Center, and The Fund for American Studies. Application to these internships are sent to the respective institutions.
  • Howard Penniman Scholarship for Graduate Study: Students who decide to continue their education in political science may be eligible to receive this scholarship worth $2,000. The national committee grants it to five applicants, and each chapter nominates one student each. If you are planning to enter graduate school for political science in the next academic year, contact the faculty advisor to be considered for nomination. Applications must be received by May 1.

At BYU-Idaho, no initial application is necessary to become a nationally recognized member. If you are eligible, the faculty advisor will contact you via email, and will provide further details. More information about Pi Sigma Alpha can be found here