Joining Pi Sigma Alpha: A Game-Changer for Aspiring Political Scientists


It allows political science majors to connect with political scientists, lawyers, policy analysts, public relations specialists, and other professionals to obtain guidance and support.

It opens doors to opportunities for pol sci students, whether they intend to join the workforce immediately after earning their undergraduate degrees or attend graduate school.

Joining an honors society is a fantastic way for undergraduates majoring in political science to network.

Being invited to join a prestigious one is spectacular!

An example is Pi Sigma Alpha (PSA).

PSA is a prominent organization because it’s the only legit honor society for political science students in the United States — it has more than 740 chapters and more than 300,000 active and lifetime members.

It’s also known as the National Political Science Honor Society.

And it’s also known to be selective since it’s on an invitation-only basis.

To enjoy perks such as scholarships, networking opportunities, convention participation, and volunteer activities, being asked to become a PSA member is crucial.

Being an academically successful political science student is the key to an invitation.

Want to Get Into Pi Sigma Alpha? Here are the Secrets!

Some honors societies allow you to apply on your own.

Usually, you simply have to reach for an application form, complete it, submit it to the campus chapter office, and wait for the chapter advisor to contact you to bring the good news.

Of course, it’s vital to meet minimum requirements to get in.

Like other selective honor societies, PSA will invite you to become one of them if you’re worth it.

Eligibility Requirements to Meet

Before you hope to receive a PSA invitation, check that your college has a chapter.

Does it have one?

It’s time to spring into action to meet various eligibility requirements, most of which require you to be one of the best undergraduate students in your school.

But let me get one thing straight before I give you the requirements.

PSA is open not only to political science majors. It also welcomes students in political science programs such as American politics, global politics, international relations, public policy, and public administration.

Here are the things to meet to get a PSA invitation:

  • Completion of at least 10 semester hours of political science courses
  • Having a minimum grade of 3.0 in those courses
  • Having a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Being in the top one-third of the class

The criteria above are the basic national criteria for membership.

While PSA chapters may add further criteria, they cannot remove anything from the national criteria — additional ones must be based strictly on academic achievement and measurable, too.

So, How Much Does a PSA Membership Cost?

Membership fee to Pi Sigma Alpha costs $35.

But the good news is that it’s a one-time membership fee — after shelling out the amount, you won’t have to pay any more additional ones throughout your being a PSA member.

There’s no need to worry about annual dues to stay in the honors society!

However, don’t be surprised if your college chapter charges you more than $35 as local chapters can charge their initiates additional fees to fund locally held PSA programs and activities.

You will receive your membership certificate after paying the membership fee.

Speaking of which, the basic $35 membership fee covers the induction ceremony and a membership certificate, but other paraphernalia aren’t — the lapel pin, for instance, comes with a $2 price tag.

Here are some optional regalia and other items and the cost of each:

Certificate plaque$40
Graduation cord$17
Graduation tassel and charm$17
Journal and pen$15
Key pin$12
Writer’s bundle$10

Joining Pi Sigma Alpha: Is It Worth It for a Pol Sci Student?

Whether you are a political science major or enrolled in a political science degree, you may enjoy the opportunity to join a prestigious honor society that’s the only one of its kind in the US.

Getting an invitation to become a member means you are one of the best in your class.

But is it worth your time and $35?

Before agreeing to get into PSA, you must weigh the pros and cons of membership because, like your commitments to your studies, family, and peers, being a member will consume your resources.

PSA Membership Perks to Enjoy

The one-time membership fee grants you access to a variety of exclusive benefits.

Some of them can help you with your college career, while others can be valuable when it’s time for you to send your resume to your dream company or your application to a prestigious graduate school.

Let’s check out some of the advantages of a PSA membership:

  • Grants and awards. Eligible members may receive funding for their educational pursuits and Washington, DC internships, and also awards for having the best class paper and thesis.
  • Networking opportunities. Student conferences allow members to present their research and connect with political science students, faculty members, and career professionals across the land.
  • Discounts. As a member, you can join the American Political Science Association (APSA) or take Kaplan prep courses (if you wish to gear up for graduate school) at a discounted rate.
  • GS-7 level federal employee. Your PSA membership can be a plus if you are eyeing a professional or technical career in the federal service, as it meets one of the requirements for a GS-7 occupation.

Downsides to Think About

Everyone admires it, but Pi Sigma Alpha isn’t the ultimate honors society.

Membership may offer numerous benefits, but political science students must also make sacrifices that, without careful planning and time management, may do more harm than good to their educational pursuits.

Here are some of the cons of an exclusive PSA membership:

  • It isn’t free. While the membership fee of $35 is one-time and not the highest among honors societies, it’s still not $0, plus PSA chapters may ask local members to pay additional dues for program support.
  • Engagement is necessary. To enjoy some of the advantages of being a member, you should devote some of your time and energy, which means you must carefully balance your duties in and outside the campus.
  • Limited reach. Just because you are a political science student doesn’t mean you have no interest in other areas, and PSA won’t allow you to explore those to become a more well-rounded student.

Read Next: Is joining Phi Beta Kappa Worth it?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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