Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). Psi Chi's sister honor society is Psi Beta, the national honor society in psychology for community and junior colleges.
Psi Chi functions as a federation of chapters located at over 1,000 senior colleges and universities in the USA and Canada. The National Office is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee. A National Council, composed of psychologists who are Psi Chi members and are elected by the chapters, guides the affairs of the organization and sets policy with the approval of the chapters.
Psi Chi serves two major goals–one immediate and visibly rewarding to the individual member, the other slower and more difficult to accomplish, but offering greater rewards in the long run. The first of these is the Society's obligation to provide academic recognition to its inductees by the mere fact of membership. The second goal is the obligation of each of the Society's local chapters to nurture the spark of that accomplishment by offering a climate congenial to members' creative development. For example, the chapters make active attempts to nourish and stimulate professional growth through programs designed to augment and enhance the regular curriculum and to provide practical experience and fellowship through affiliation with the chapter. In addition, the national organization provides programs to help achieve these goals, including national and regional conventions held annually in conjunction with the psychological associations, research award competitions, and certificate recognition programs.
The Society publishes a quarterly magazine, Eye on Psi Chi, which helps to unite the members, inform them, and recognize their contributions and accomplishments. The quarterly Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research fosters and rewards the scholarly efforts of undergraduate psychology students and provides a valuable learning experience by introducing them to the publishing and review process.
Students become members by joining the chapter at the school where they are enrolled. Psi Chi chapters are operated by student officers and faculty advisors. Together they select and induct the members and carry out the goals of the Society. All chapters register their inductees at the National Office, where membership records are preserved for reference purposes. The total number of memberships registered at the National Office is now over 500,000 lifetime members. Many of these members have gone on to distinguished careers in psychology.
Requirements for Undergraduate Induction into Psi Chi
- Must be enrolled as a major or minor in a psychology program or a program psychological in nature that is equivalent to a psychology major
- Must be at least a second-semester sophomore with 39 hours total completed.
- 9 semester of psychology courses at your school
- Must have an overall GPA that at least 3.00.
- Must have a psychology GPA that is at least 3.00 on a 4-point scale
* Undergraduate students who have transferred to a new institution and are interested in becoming a Psi Chi member must meet the requirements listed above, plus complete one semester at the new institution to establish a GPA and complete 9 hours of psychology courses at the new institution.
Benefits of Psi Chi Membership
- Psi Chi provides national recognition for academic excellence in psychology, an honor which can be noted on employment applications, vitae, and resumés.
- Through membership in Psi Chi, students gain a sense of community with others in psychology and an identification with the discipline.
- Psi Chi provides a local, regional, and national forum for obtaining information and developing perspectives about the field of psychology, learning about educational and career opportunities, and forming meaningful professional networks.
- On the local level, chapter membership facilitates leadership development, interaction with other students who have similar interests, and service to the department and institution sponsoring Psi Chi.
- Members receive a membership card, certificate, and lapel pin, and, through chapter mailings, copies of Eye on Psi Chi. (Following graduation, members may subscribe to Eye on Psi Chi.)
- Psi Chi chapter activities provide students with valuable opportunities to develop one-on-one relationships with professors who can stimulate their interest in psychology, involve them in research projects, and write meaningful letters of recommendation for them.
- Psi Chi encourages student research at the regional and national as well as local levels through undergraduate and graduate research award competitions and provides opportunities for students to present research and receive certificates recognizing their accomplishments at regional and national psychological association meetings.
- Psi Chi provides over $250,000 annually in awards and grants to its student members, faculty advisors, and chapters.
- Psi Chi sponsors outstanding programs at regional and national psychological association meetings. Members benefit not only from the programs, but also from the opportunity to meet leading psychologists and students from other chapters.
- Membership in Psi Chi meets one of the requirements for entrance at the GS-7 level in numerous professional and technical occupations in the United States government.
- Membership is for life. The national registration fee of $35 is the only payment ever made to the national organization, which does not charge dues.
- As a member of Psi Chi, you are eligible for special offers from APA and APS when you join as a student member from either organization.
- Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), which offers in conjunction with the Washington Internship Institute (WII), $500 merit-based scholarships to members of Psi Chi who apply and are selected to WII's internship program.