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Department of


Phi Alpha Theta

The International Honor Society in History, Phi Alpha Theta, was organized at the University of Arkansas on March 17, 1921. Since that time it has grown to over six hundred and fifty chapters in fifty states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the Philippine Islands. It is the largest, in number of chapters, of the accredited honor societies holding membership in the Association of College Honor Societies. The total number of its initiates, since organization, is more than 150,000.

A viable society, Phi Alpha Theta is composed of chapters in properly accredited colleges and universities. All students in these institutions, who have completed the required number of History courses and are maintaining high standards in their college or university studies, are eligible for membership.


At the same time, Phi Alpha Theta is a professional society the objective of which is the promotion of the study of History through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and thought among historians. It seeks to bring students, teachers, and writers of History together both intellectually and socially, and it encourages and assists, in a variety of ways, historical research and publication by its members.

In addition to hosting initiation receptions in the fall and spring semesters, Phi Alpha Theta organizes numerous activities throughout the academic year, including field trips, film screenings, lectures, and community service events.


Membership is not restricted to History majors or minors. In order to be eligible for initiation, students must have achieved an overall GPA of 3.2 in at least 12 units of History. Students are also responsible for annual membership dues of $60.


  • Membership in a National Honor Society.
  • One-year subscription to The Historian.
  • Opportunity to present research papers at Phi Alpha Theta conferences.
  • Camaraderie of other USD students interested in history.


Prospective initiates should contact the Phi Alpha Theta Faculty Advisor,Dr. Kathryn Statler at or the Phi Alpha Theta President, Mike Tira at, for more information. Registration forms are available in the History Department office.