top of page

Why Join Phi Eta Sigma?

Founded in 1923, Phi Eta Sigma is the nation's oldest and largest academic honor society for first-year college students with more than 1.25 million members.  Phi Eta Sigma is more than a line on a resume for our members - we are a community of scholars.

We are a nationally recognized and certified member of the Association of Collegiate Honor Societies (ACHS). Phi Eta Sigma prides itself in providing meaningful programming, contributing to our community through service and philanthropy, and recognizing our students by awarding  $300,000 annually to our members. 

Untitled design (1).png

Click on the logo to read more about ACHS.


Current members who assist the national office in chartering a new chapter of Phi Eta Sigma will receive $500 per chapter, up to $2,000 per academic year. Chartering a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma requires five students who meet the membership criteria and volunteer to serve officer roles for the chapter once it is founded, plus a faculty/staff advisor. Connecting with friends at other four-year colleges or universities that don't currently have a Phi Eta Sigma chapter is a great way to get one going. As you gather interest, be sure to fill out the chapter referral form to the left, and contact our Assistant Director of Operations and Chapter Expansion, Brett Hudson, to help the new officers and advisor make the chapter official. He can be reached at


Student at Existing Chapter — Bryan

Student at Prospective Chapter — Charlie

Bryan contacts his friend Charlie who attends a different university that doesn't currently have an active chapter of Phi Eta Sigma. Bryan passes along requirements to Charlie, who finds the other four students for officer positions and a chapter advisor. Charlie and the chapter advisor talk to Brett Hudson at Phi Eta Sigma HQ, who helps them get the petition approved by the National Board of Directors. After the new chapter's first induction ceremony, Bryan gets mailed a check for $500.

REQUIREMENT — The student at the prospective chapter must have officers/advisor(s) identified and a meeting with Brett set up within 14 days of the referral form submission to hold the current student's claim to that university. Otherwise, another student can submit a referral form for that school and thus earn the $500 in the allotted time period.

Screenshot 2023-08-02 at 3.58.11 PM.png
Chapter Referral Program

Benefits of Membership


More than $300,000 in scholarships are awarded annually by the national organization, and thousands are awarded by local chapters.*


For nearly a century, membership in Phi Eta Sigma has been a nationally recognized symbol of achieving an exceptional academic record in one's first year of college.  

Phi Eta Sigma members join a diverse community of leaders, innovators, creators, collaborators, and scholars. We provide opportunities for connections at the local, regional, and national levels.


Through their local chapters and the national office, Phi Eta Sigma members have unique access to engaging programming centered on our core values of a well cared for mind, health, and character.*


*Click the titles of Programming and Scholarships to read more.

Membership Eligibility

Membership Eligibility

On campuses with an active chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, any first-year student meeting the following requirements is automatically eligible for membership 

A  grade-point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale at the end of any full-time curricular period.


A class rank in the upper 20 percent of their class.



Is taking a full-time academic courseload 

**These requirements may very between local chapters. To be sure about your specific campus requirements, contact your local chapter adviser.

Q & A

Q & A

What is Phi Eta Sigma?

Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society for first-year college students. Our goal is to encourage and reward academic excellence among first-year students in institutions of higher learning. The oldest and largest first-year honor society, Phi Eta Sigma was founded at the University of Illinois on March 22, 1923. We now have more than 375 chapters throughout the United States and more than 1,000,000 inducted members.


Who is eligible to join?

On campuses with a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, all first-year students are eligible to join who have a grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale at the close of any full-time curricular period during their first year. 


Must I be inducted at a particular time?

Although you will prefer to be inducted with your classmates, you do not lose eligibility by missing your induction opportunity. Check with the local chapter adviser to learn how and when you may be inducted.


Is Phi Eta Sigma a social fraternity?

Although some chapters have social events, we are not a social fraternity. There is a dignified induction ceremony to which your parents and friends may be invited. Most chapters have projects and activities promoting academic excellence and campus and community service, but your participation is optional.


Must I maintain my grade point average?

No. Lifetime membership is conferred upon induction.


What do I get for the national membership fee?

Upon induction you will receive a membership certificate and academic key or tie tac. Along with that, your one-time membership fee guarantees you lifetime membership into the society.


Who is eligible for the scholarships and awards?

Any active member of Phi Eta Sigma may apply for a scholarship. Members applying for the undergraduate scholarships and awards, as well as the Scholar-Leader of the Year Award, must be nominated by their chapters. Members interested in graduate scholarships may submit applications directly to national; chapter nomination is not required for graduate applications, but endorsement by the chapter adviser is recommended. 

Scholarship application forms are available from chapter advisers. The national deadline is set each year by the national headquarters office and the local deadline is set by the chapter. Many local chapters also award scholarships.


Why should I join Phi Eta Sigma?

Phi Eta Sigma is an outward recognition of personal accomplishment. It provides opportunities for personal growth, leadership development, and campus and community service.


Who participates in the national convention and leadership workshops?

Every active chapter has the opportunity to nominate a student delegate to attend the biennial national convention and leadership workshops. The national office pays for the delegate's registration fee, housing and convention meals. Student delegates chair and staff all convention committees, elect all national officers, and provide guidance for the future. At each convention, three students are elected to serve a two-year term on the National Executive Committee. Student leadership is a major strength for Phi Eta Sigma in directing the Society’s future.


Is there a Phi Eta Sigma chapter at my school?

Please visit our Chapter Listings to find specific chapters 


How can an institution apply for a Phi Eta Sigma chapter?

Establishing a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma begins with leadership, specifically a faculty or staff member who desires to provide national honor society recognition and rewards to students who achieve academic excellence during their first year of higher education. If you are interested in re-chartering or establishing a new chapter of Phi Eta Sigma at your college or university, please email to learn more about the process.

How can I apply for Phi Eta Sigma scholarships and awards?

To learn how to apply, click here. For additional information, contact your local chapter adviser.

bottom of page