Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society

Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society rewarding first-year scholarship. Their goal is to encourage and reward academic excellence among first-year students in institutions of higher learning.

Phi Eta Sigma was founded by three distinguished Phi Beta Kappa members, professors, and administrators at the University of Illinois on March 22, 1923, to encourage and recognize high scholastic achievement among members of the freshman classes. Phi Eta Sigma is the third most senior member of the Association of College Honor Societies, and is the oldest and largest first-year honor society. Phi Eta Sigma has more than 350 chapters throughout the United States and more than 950,000 inducted members. The University of Richmond chapter of Phi Eta Sigma was started in 1971 and was number 183.

Phi Eta Sigma was voted membership into the Association of College Honor Societies in 1937. Members take a great deal of pride in the 85-year accomplishments of the Society despite the fact that they have the lowest membership fee of any member of the association.

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  • Who is eligible to join?

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

  • 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 induction. You may be inducted at a future date.

  • Is Phi Eta Sigma a social fraternity?

    Although some chapters have social events, Phi Eta Sigma 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 average?

    No, lifetime membership is conferred upon induction.

  • What do I get for the national membership fee?

    Your national membership fee pays for your academic tie tac and your membership certificate. It pays a portion of the expenses for a chapter delegate to attend the national convention and leadership workshops. The national magazine, FORUM of Phi Eta Sigma, and the study pamphlet, HINTS on Learning and Studying, are provided to chapters on a complimentary basis.

    A portion of the membership fee goes to the Founders Scholarship Fund, which provides forty or more national graduate or undergraduate endowed scholarships of up to $10,000 each and forty or more national undergraduate awards of $1,000 each.

  • Who is eligible for the scholarships?

    Cash scholarships of up to $10,000 and awards of $1,000 are provided to members of Phi Eta Sigma selected by the national scholarship committee. Members applying for the scholarships and awards must be nominated by their chapters.