Association of College Honor Societies


Phi Alpha

Social Work

Admitted to ACHS: 2019

Founded at Michigan State University, 1962

No of Active Chapters: 433

Total Membership: 124223

Annual/current Membership: 10000

PURPOSE: The purpose of Phi Alpha Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideas. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.

Membership in Phi Alpha Chapters
Phi Alpha has Chapter Members who are local chapters of Phi Alpha and who consist of collegiate, alumni, professional, faculty, advisor, and honorary members ("Members") as set forth below. "Chapter Members" may also be referred to as "local chapters" or "chapters" within these Bylaws. Unless otherwise designated, all references to meetings of Members and other related provisions within this Article V shall apply to both Active and Honorary Members.

Criteria for Membership
Members shall meet the following minimum criteria for membership. Any chapter, at its discretion, may establish higher or additional criteria, but below is the minimum criteria. Any individual applying for membership shall complete any application procedure required. Any controversy concerning membership approval, categories, or criteria will be resolved by the Society Board of Directors, which has final authority and sole and absolute discretion in this regard.

Active Members
Members who have paid the one-time international fees and meet the qualifications for an active member classification shall be active members of the Society. Advisor Members shall also be active members of the Society, even though an Advisor Member may not have paid the international fees, since Advisor Member international fees are waived as hereinafter provided under (v) hereinafter.

Collegiate Members
Collegiate members shall be students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate or doctoral programs at the time of initiation and have been recommended for membership by their local chapter who paid international fees.

Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate students shall be enrolled in the institution represented by the chapter, have declared a major in social work, have completed 9 semester hours of required social work courses or at least 37.5% of the total hours/credits required for the degree, whichever is later achieved, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

Graduate Students
Graduate students shall be enrolled in a graduate program in social work, have completed 9 semester hours of required social work graduate courses or at least 37.5% of the total hours/credits required for the graduate degree, whichever is later achieved, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

Doctoral Students
Doctoral students shall require a masters in social work or related discipline, be enrolled in a doctoral program in social work, have completed 9 semester hours of required social work doctoral courses or at least 37.5% of the total hours/credits required for the doctoral degree, whichever is later achieved, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

Invitational Only
Collegiate Members are admitted upon meeting criteria and by invitation only from the local collegiate chapter at the college or university where the Collegiate Member attends school at time of membership.

If any other classification of Member (listed herein below) qualifies to become a Collegiate Member, then such Alumni, Professional or Faculty Member shall request that the local collegiate chapter admit said Member as a Collegiate Member, which would enable such Member to serve as a collegiate officer. Notwithstanding the above, any Member who desires to become a Collegiate Member must not also be a tenured professor in social work at the college at which said Member is seeking collegiate membership.

Alumni Members
Alumni Members shall be a lifetime member who wishes to remain engaged. Alumni Members shall be affiliated with a collegiate chapter. Any Alumni Member must have been a Collegiate Member and automatically becomes an Alumni Member upon graduation or transfer to a college or university without an active collegiate chapter as long as he/she was a Collegiate Member in good standing at the time of such graduation or transfer.

Professional Members
Professional Members who met their collegiate chapter's criteria, but did not apply for membership while in college, or meet the current collegiate chapter's criteria if such chapter was not active or institute during their attendance at said college, may apply for membership through their alma mater's active collegiate chapter. Professional Members must have graduated from said school with a degree in social work and be employed in a position for which said degree is required or highly desirable to apply for membership.

Faculty Members
Faculty Members shall be a member of the faculty or has a professional designation (e.g., Director of Field Instruction) within the university or college that has a collegiate chapter. Faculty Members apply for membership through said college's chapter. Faculty Members must be employed full-time by said college or university and have at least a Master's Degree in social work. If a faculty member intends to become a Phi Alpha Member for the purpose of serving as a chapter advisor, they qualify as an Advisor Member as long as said faculty member is on the faculty of the college or university to which collegiate chapter he or she plans to advise.

Advisor Members

Advisor Members shall be the advisor of a collegiate chapter at the time of membership and shall meet the requirements of at least one of the other categories of active membership listed hereinbefore. While a Member is serving as an advisor, that Member is an Advisor Member and must remain so during the entire time said Member serves as an advisor. Advisor Members are not required to pay the international fees, but may be required to pay any local chapter dues in the chapter to which they are an advisor other than international fees that such local chapter assesses to each active Member. If an Advisor Member is no longer an advisor, then such membership shall convert to the membership type under which Advisor Member qualified at such time of membership, but no assessment of international fees shall be assessed upon such Advisor Member's conversion to other active membership.

Honorary Members
Honorary Members shall be persons, other than students, outside the Society who have provided distinctive contributions to the field of social work and are granted only by the sole permission of the Society. These membership are honorary and do not have voting rights. Honorary Member are almost always bestowed by local collegiate chapters, but the Society shall also have the right, but not the obligation, to bestow such Honorary Member membership since such membership does not contain the right to vote and will assign such Honorary Member a local chapter for affiliation.

Payment of Fees
Each active Member other than Advisor (Collegiate, Alumni, Professional, or Faculty) is required to have submitted the international fees to the Society through the local chapter to which they are affiliated prior to being declared a Member of Phi Alpha or having any privileges of such membership. Advisor Members' international fees are waived, but if such Advisor Member has already paid the international fees prior to becoming an Advisor Member, then no refund will be issued. Each local chapter determines the amount of local dues, if any, that each membership class shall pay to said local chapter. Since Honorary Members do not vote and their membership is honorary, there are no international fees or dues assessed to Honorary Members. If an Honorary Member desires to become an active member, said Honorary Member must (i) declare their intent to qualify for active membership and the type of membership requested to their local collegiate chapter, (ii) meet the qualifications for the requested type of active membership, and (iii) pay the appropriate international and local dues for such membership in the same manner as any other person apply for active membership of that particular membership classification.

(1) Chapter Service Award - recognizes outstanding service conducted by chapter
Four $500 awards are presented per year. Phi Alpha reimburses up to $1,000 per chapter in travel expenses to participate in the poster presentation session at the Phi Alpha International Business Meeting at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting held each fall. Deadline 05.31

(2) Patty Gibbs-Wahlberg Scholarship - recognizes student scholarship, service and Leadership
Awards of $3,000. $2,000 and $1,000 are presented each year. The first place Winner receives an all-expenses-paid trip to present her or his work during the Student Session of the Association of Baccalaureate Program Directors conference held each spring. Deadline 05.31

(3) Student Leadership Award - recognizes outstanding student leadership consistent with the ideals and mission of Phi Alpha
The focus of the application is the student's leadership, service, impact, and commitment. The awards are: (1st) $1,000, (2nd) $750, and (3rd) $500. The first place selection will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to receive their award at the Phi Alpha Honor Society International Business Meeting held during the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting. Students are nominated by their Phi Alpha Chapter Advisor. Students must be active leaders of a Phi Alpha to be nominated. Deadline 05.31

(4) Advisor of the Year - recognizes outstanding service to chapters
Advisors are nominated by their students. A plaque is awarded. Phi Alpha reimburses all travel expenses to receive the award at the Phi Alpha International Business Meeting at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting. Deadline 05.31

(5) Poster Presentation Competition - recognizes outstanding service by chapters
Awards totaling $1,500 are presented each year. The competition is held in conjunction with the Phi Alpha International Business Meeting at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting. Deadline 10.01

(6) Chapter Grants - promotes and support chapters' engagement in service learning
The program supports activities consistent with the mission of promoting: (1) humanitarian goals and (2) bonds among students. Chapters are be funded up to $1,000 to conduct service projects in their communities. $6,000 is awarded each academic year. Chapters submit a brief account following the service project. Deadline 09.01 & 01.01

(7) Student Membership Support - is designed for students eligible for Phi Alpha membership whose situation makes it a challenge to pay membership fees. Each chapter receives 2 memberships per academic year at no cost. Chapters are responsible for any chapter fees.

(8) Chapter Support - supports chapters in organizing membership and new member recruitment
Running through April 2020, chapters may ask for and receive up to $100 toward an event or meeting. Chapters are asked to organize membership and invite students who are eligible to join Phi Alpha. Funds may be used for refreshments, materials, or other items. Chapters will also receive a Phi Alpha tabletop display. Chapters submit a brief account following the event or meeting.

(9) MSW Scholarship - recognizes student scholarship, service and leadership
Awards of $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 are presented each year. The first place winner receives an all-expense-paid trip to present her or his work during the Phi Alpha Executive meeting in conjunction with the Council in Social Work each fall. Deadline 05.31

OFFICIAL CONTACT: Tammy Hamilton, Coordinator, ETSU-Box 70679, ETSU-Central Receiving, 325 Treasure Lane, Johnson City, TN 37614

Tel: 423.439.7467  

Email: [email protected]  

Updated: 5/17/2019