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Honor Societies

Alpha Kappa Delta Pi Delta Phi
Kappa Gamma Pi Pi Sigma Alpha
Lambda Alpha Psi Chi
Lambda Pi Eta Sigma Delta Pi
Mortar Board Sigma Pi Sigma
National Society of Collegiate Scholars Sigma Tau Delta
Order of Omega Sigma Theta Tau International
Phi Alpha Theta Theta Alpha Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa Upsilon Pi Epsilon
Phi Sigma Tau  
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Alpha Kappa Delta

the international sociology honor society, is dedicated to the ideal of "investigating humanity for the purpose of service." The goal of Alpha Kappa Delta is to promote human welfare through the association of a fellowship group interested in developing scientific knowledge that may be applied to the solution of social problems. Eligibility for membership in this society requires that students be officially declared sociology majors or demonstrate a serious interest in sociology. Students must have achieved junior standing, successfully completed at least four courses in sociology, and accumulated the equivalent of a grade point average of 3.25.

Kappa Gamma Pi

is the national Catholic college graduate honor society. Members are graduates who have demonstrated academic excellence and outstanding service and leadership during their college years. As candidates, they pledge to continue to provide examples of scholarship, leadership, and service in their personal and professional lives. This commitment is the difference that distinguishes nomination to Kappa Gamma Pi as one of the most relevant and prestigious awards on campus. Kappa Gamma Pi was founded in 1926 at the National Catholic Educational Association Conference of Catholic Colleges. Today, more than 41,000 graduates of 139 Catholic colleges are Kappa Gamma Pi members. They live throughout the United States and in many foreign countries. Their successful lives and careers exemplify outstanding leadership and service in church, profession, and community. Kappa Gamma Pi has members from the first graduating classes of USD to the present. These members are Catholic men and women as well as men and women of other faith communities. In January, graduating seniors who have a GPA of 3.5 or above receive a letter from the Provost informing them that they are qualified by reason of their academic achievement to apply for membership in Kappa Gamma Pi. If they have exemplified outstanding leadership and service during their years at USD, they are encouraged to submit a letter of recommendation and an essay to the selection committee. Kappa Gamma Pi sponsors the St. Catherine Medal, awarded at the Honors Convocation, for outstanding leadership and service as well as the Cornaro Scholarship for members of Kappa Gamma Pi pursuing graduate studies. Currently, the Cornaro Scholarship is $3,000.

Lambda Alpha

the national collegiate honor society for anthropology, was founded to encourage and stimulate scholarship and research in anthropology by recognizing and honoring superior achievement in the discipline among students, faculty, and other persons engaged in the study of anthropology. Undergraduate students who have completed not less than 12 semester-hours in anthropology, with a grade point average of not less than 3.0 in these courses, and a cumulative quality point average of not less than 2.5 may apply for membership.

Lambda Pi Eta

is the official communication studies honor society of the National Communication Association (NCA). The goals of Lambda Pi Eta are to recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement; stimulate interest in the field of communication; promote and encourage professional development among communication majors; provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas about the field; establish and maintain close relationships and understanding between faculty and students; and explore options for further graduate studies. To be eligible for membership, students must have completed 60 semester hours in undergraduate credit courses; have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0; have completed the equivalent of 12 semester hours in communication courses with a grade point average of at least 3.25 in these courses; be in the upper 35 percent of their graduating class; and be currently enrolled as a full-time student in good standing.

Mortar Board

is a national honor society for college seniors which was founded in 1918 and chartered on the USD campus in the fall of 2000. The society recognizes in its members the qualities of scholastic achievement, outstanding leadership, and dedicated service to the university and the community. There are over 200 active chapters of Mortar Board at colleges throughout the country. To be eligible for membership, students must have junior standing in the spring semester with an overall GPA that places them in the top 35 percent of their class. Moreover, students must have participated and excelled in leadership and service activities during their college years. They must submit an information sheet, a resume, a letter of recommendation from a USD faculty member, and a personal essay for review by the current Mortar Board members. Admission to Mortar Board at USD is highly competitive and is restricted to approximately 30 students each year. USD's Mortar Board chapter is an active student organization and expects full participation from its members. Chapter members participate in bi-weekly meetings, an annual Faculty Appreciation Dinner, tutoring and other service activities, interaction with San Diego's Mortar Board Alumni Chapter, social events, and fundraising for the STRIVE scholarship, which chapter members established for college bound seniors at Kearny High School who have excelled in scholarship, leadership, and service. Mortar Board members have the opportunity to apply for local and national Mortar Board scholarships and fellowships to be used for graduate study. Each year in February a letter is mailed to juniors who are in the top 35 percent of their class. The letter invites those students to submit their essay, letter of recommendation, and other required information for consideration for Mortar Board membership. Selected students are "tapped" in one of their classes by USD Mortar Board members. The Mortar Board Initiation ceremony occurs in April.

National Society of Collegiate Scholars

aims to recognize and celebrate high achievement among first- and second-year students in all academic disciplines; encourage and promote high standards throughout the collegiate experience; provide opportunities for personal growth and leadership development for members; organize and encourage learning opportunities through community service; and foster an overall appreciation for the value of the higher education experience.

Order of Omega

seeks to recognize students who have attained a high standard of leadership in inter-Greek activities; encourage such students to continue along this line; inspire other students to strive for similar conspicuous attainment; bring together the most representative fraternity and sorority members; create an organization which will help to mold the sentiment of the institution on questions of local and intercollegiate affairs; and bring together members of the faculty, alumni, and student members of the institution's fraternities and sororities on a basis of mutual interest, understanding, and helpfulness.

Phi Alpha Theta

promotes the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas. We seek to bring students, teachers, and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by our members in a variety of ways.

Phi Beta Kappa

is the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States, Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1776 and has evolved to become the nation's leading advocate for the liberal arts and sciences at the undergraduate level. The society's distinctive emblem, the golden key, is widely recognized as a symbol of academic achievement. USD received its Phi Beta Kappa charter in 2003 and is one of only 270 chapters nationwide. To be eligible for membership, students must be majoring in an area of the liberal arts or sciences, hold senior standing, and have attained a GPA that places them in the top 10 percent of their class. Additional criteria for selection include intellectual integrity, tolerance, and a broad range of intellectual interests. Each spring a campus committee composed of Phi Beta Kappa faculty invites a select group of students to become members in the Society. Students who accept the invitation are then initiated into the Phi Beta Kappa Society in a formal ceremony. For more information about Phi Beta Kappa and the USD chapter, including the names of past inductees and faculty members, please follow this link to the chapter home page.

Phi Sigma Tau

serves as a means to award distinction to students who have both high scholarship and a personal interest in philosophy; promote student interest in research and advanced study in this field; provide opportunities for the publication of student research papers of merit; encourage a professional spirit and friendship among those who have displayed marked ability in this field; and popularize interest in philosophy among the general collegiate public.

Pi Delta Phi

is the national French honor society in which French majors and minors who maintain high scholastic standing and serve actively in the French Club are eligible for membership.

Pi Sigma Alpha

promotes the discipline of political science, which includes the related fields of government, public administration, and international relations; stimulates productive interest in political science; provides a forum for free intellectual discussion; and promotes the continuing search for knowledge by way of speakers, presentations of papers, and use of informal discussions while adhering to the principles of freedom of expression and thought.

Psi Chi

has a purpose to encourage, stimulate, and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly psychology, and to advance the science of psychology.

Sigma Delta Pi

is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society in which Spanish majors and minors who maintain a high scholastic standing are eligible for membership. Sigma Delta Pi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is affiliated with the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese.

Sigma Pi Sigma

exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics, to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels, to promote service to all, to provide for a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics, and to help them in their professional development.

Sigma Tau Delta

is the international English honor society. The USD chapter, Alpha Nu Mu, confers distinction for high achievement in the study of English language and literature, provides cultural stimulation on campus and promotes the surrounding community interest in literature and the English language.

Sigma Theta Tau International

is the honor society for the profession of nursing. The honor of membership is conferred on baccalaureate and graduate students in recognition of their superior scholarly achievements. The purpose of the organization is to recognize superior scholarship, foster high professional standards, encourage creative work, strengthen commitment to the ideals and purposes of nursing, and recognize the development of leadership qualities. Founded in 1922 by six nursing students, there are now chapters in more than 94 countries.

Theta Alpha Kappa

the national honor society for theological and religious studies, recognizes outstanding scholarship in theological and religious studies and supports further study of these subjects. Membership is an honor conferred on students who have demonstrated academic excellence in these fields and in their general education.

Upsilon Pi Epsilon

Upsilon Pi Epsilon (UPE) is the first and only existing international honor society in Computing and Information Disciplines. Its purpose is to promote the Computing and Information disciplines. Members are chosen not only for their scholastic achievement excellence in a computing science program, but also for distinguishing themselves as true professionals by meeting the standards of the society.