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Department of

Political Science and International Relations

Pi Sigma Alpha

Avi Spiegel, Ph.D., Pi Sigma Alpha faculty advisor

Pi Sigma Alpha is the only nationally recognized political science honor society. It was founded in 1920 at the University of Texas in Austin to encourage and recognize superior achievement in the study of government and politics at the undergraduate and graduate level. There are over 500 chapters in universities across the country with more than 6,000 students joining each year. The Theta Mu Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha at the University of San Diego was established in 1977 and over the years, hundreds of USD students have joined. The chapter has sponsored debates and seminars on important political issues and has worked with other campus organizations to help coordinate events. In addition, each year there are faculty/student dinners where there is an opportunity to socialize and discuss issues in a more informal environment. Upon joining Pi Sigma Alpha, you are a member for life and are eligible for various scholarships and awards.

To become a nationally recognized member, you must have an overall 3.2 G.P.A. as well as a 3.2 G.P.A. in either a political science or international relations major. In addition, two upper and two lower division classes in political science must be completed. The dues are $50.00. If you meet the academic requirements and are interested in becoming a member, please print and fill out a membership form (available below) or contactAvi Spiegel, Ph.D., at spiegel@sandiego.edu or (619) 260-2907 for more information.

Download the Pi Sigma Alpha application here.
Read more about the USD chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha on their facebook page.

Read our chapter's Constitution:

Constitution of Pi Sigma Alpha Theta Mu Chapter

ARTICLE I

Name

Section 1. Name. The name of this organization shall be Pi Sigma Alpha - Political Science Honor Society.

ARTICLE II

Purpose

Section 1. Purpose. The purpose of the Society shall be to stimulate scholarship and interest in the subject of government by providing tangible recognition to students who have excelled in the field.

ARTICLE III

Membership

Section 1. Classes. There shall be three classes of membership in the Society as follows: student, faculty, or honorary.

Section 2. Student Membership. Election to student membership shall be from among such USD students as may meet the following qualifications:
(a) Completion of at least two upper division and two lower division courses within the Department of Political Science;
(b) Maintenance of a GPA of at least 3.2 in the political science or international relations major; and
(c) Achievement of an overall level of scholarship placing them in the upper one-third of their college classes (i.e., an overall GPA of at least 3.2).

Section 3. Faculty Membership. Any member of the faculty of the administrative department, school, or division which offers a major sequence of courses in political science of the institution of the Society may be elected to faculty membership. Faculty members shall possess all the privileges of membership except that of being an officer of the Society.

Section 4. Honorary Membership. Any person of recognized ability and achievement in the field of political science may be elected an honorary member. No more than two such members may be elected by any the Society in any one year. Honorary members shall possess all the privileges of active membership except that of being an officer of the Society.

Section 5. Subsequent Service. All persons duly elected to membership (other than honorary) who are subsequently enrolled as students or are serving as faculty members in a different institution at which a chapter is located shall be deemed members of that chapter.

Section 6. Fees. Each member shall pay an initiation fee determined by the Society and any fee levied by the local chapter.

ARTICLE IV

Officers

Section 1. Officers. The officers of the Society shall be a President, a Vice President, and a Treasurer/Secretary.

Section 2. President. The President shall be generally responsible for the execution of the business of the Society.

Section 3. Vice President. The Vice President shall be generally responsible for assisting the President in the duties of that office.

Section 4. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall be generally responsible for the finances of the Society.

Section 5. Secretary. The Secretary shall be generally responsible for the record-keeping of the Society.

Section 6. Public Relations Officer. The public relations officer shall generally be responsible for publicizing the group’s events.

Section 7. The Executive Board shall be generally responsible for execution of tasks assigned by the President and/or Vice President. They shall act as voting representatives for the members of the Society.

Section 8. Vacancy. Vacancies shall be filled by another member of the Society by appointment by the President.

Section 9. Community Service Outreach Officer. The Community Service Outreach officer shall be generally responsible for administering all tasks in relation to community service. This includes making and maintaining contact with service organizations decided upon by the general body.

ARTICLE V

Nominations and Elections of Officers

Section 1. Nominations of Officers. Members of the Society shall be nominated by themselves or any other member of the society in good standing for office at the first meeting of each semester.

Section 2. Elections of Officers. Officers of the Society shall be elected by a majority vote of the society each semester.

Section 3. Nomination and Election of Officers Process Review. The nomination and election of officers process shall be reviewed each semester by the outgoing officers.

ARTICLE VI

Meetings

Section 1. Meetings of Officers. Meetings of the officers of the society shall be at the call of the President.

Section 2. Meetings of Members. Meetings of the members of the society shall be at the call of the President. The Secretary shall notify each member of the time and place of the meeting.

ARTICLE VII

Amendments

Section 1. Amendments. Amendments to this Constitution may be proposed and ratified by a majority vote of the Society.

ARTICLE VIII

Statements

Section 1. Nondiscrimination Statement. The Society will admit students without regard to their race, religion, color, sex, age, handicap, sexual orientation or national or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and other activities generally accorded or made available to members of the Society.