The National Political Science Honor Society
Founded in 1920 as the national political science honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha is devoted to promoting excellence in political science and to reward those who excel. Membership in Pi Sigma Alpha is widely recognized as a mark of achievement. There are now more than 550 chapters in colleges and universities throughout the United States.
The Connecticut College chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha, Omicron Beta, was established on May 1984 when Professor Marion Doro was department chair.
The organization receives into membership senior undergraduate and graduate students of government/international relations who attain exceptional standards of scholarship and academic distinction.
Membership in an honor society is a worthy distinction in itself and, as a measure of academic achievement, it can provide a tangible advantage in a competitive world. All Pi Sigma Alpha members receive a certificate of membership and permanent enrollment in the society membership rolls, maintained by the national office. Upon request, the national office will provide letters verifying membership to prospective employers or graduate schools. Because Pi Sigma Alpha is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, the United States Office of Personnel Management allows its members to apply for federal government positions listed at a higher entry-level grade than non-member candidates.
On a competitive basis, moreover, the national office bestows awards for the best honors theses in the country.
As an example, Michael Mell (IRL major, Class of 2000) won second place nationally for the best thesis, "The Effects of Economic Reform on Chinese Politics." Dorothy James supervised his honors thesis. He went on to graduate school at Columbia University in the School of International and Public Affairs.
Qualifying GOV and IRL majors and minors are invited to join Pi Sigma Alpha early in the spring semester of their senior year. There is a modest one-time initiation fee.
For more information about the organization, visit the Pi Sigma Alpha National Office website.