Santa Clara University is proud to host 25 prestigious national honor societies in the liberal arts, sciences, business administration, and engineering. These socieities reflect a long tradition of academic excellence, tracing their origins back at least 50 years. Some date from the 19th century and one dates from the 18th century.
- Alpha Sigma Nu
Alpha Sigma Nu, the national Jesuit honor society, was founded at Marquette University in 1915. The Santa Clara University chapter was installed in 1942. Alpha Sigma Nu upholds the Jesuit values of academic excellence and service to the University and the community. Juniors and seniors who are in the top 15 percent of their class and have a demonstrated record of service and loyalty to the Jesuit ideals of education are eligible for membership.
College of Arts and Sciences
- Alpha Delta Gamma
Alpha Delta Gamma, the national Medieval and Renaissance studies honorary society, was founded in 1993 by the Program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies of the College of William and Mary in order to recognize faculty and students who share a love for the European Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Alpha chapter at Santa Clara was founded in 2000. Alpha Delta Gamma strives to encourage the highest ideals of scholarship and intellectual attainment. To be eligible, a student must be a declared candidate for a minor in Medieval and Renaissance studies, have completed at least three courses in the program, and have earned a grade point average of 3.0 overall and 3.1 for the courses in the program.
- Alpha Kappa Delta
Alpha Kappa Delta, the national sociology honor society, was founded at the University of Southern California in 1920. The Santa Clara University chapter, Alpha Mu, was founded in 2000. The society’s primary goal is to encourage social research for the purpose of service. To be invited to join, a student must be a sociology major of junior or senior standing; have an overall grade point average of 3.3 or higher; have completed at least four sociology courses at Santa Clara; and must have successfully completed at least Sociology 119 and 120 in the research sequence.
- Alpha Psi Omega
Alpha Psi Omega is the national theatre arts honor society founded in 1925 at Fairmont College. Chapters are called “casts,” and the Alpha Gamma Psi cast at Santa Clara University was started in 2000. Alpha Psi Omega has sponsored the formation of theatre honors societies with the aim of encouraging dramatic production at every step in a person’s academic career. The Alpha Gamma Psi cast provides an opportunity for student leadership and a regard for academic excellence and active participation in the Department of Theatre and Dance.
- Beta Beta Beta
Beta Beta Beta, the national honor and professional society for students of the biological sciences, was founded in 1922, and the Santa Clara University chapter was established in 1994. As a national organization, this society emphasizes a threefold program for the local chapter members: to stimulate scholarship, disseminate scientific knowledge, and promote biological research. Membership is reserved for those who achieve a superior academic record and demonstrate a special aptitude for the life sciences. Associate membership is for students with exceptional potential who are just beginning formal study and research in biology.
- Eta Sigma Phi
Eta Sigma Phi, the national classics honorary society, was founded at the University of Chicago in 1914 and became a national organization in 1924. The Epsilon Psi chapter of Eta Sigma Phi was founded at Santa Clara University in 1987. Its primary purposes are to further the spirit of cooperation and good will among members of the classics profession, to stimulate interest in the study of the classics, and to increase knowledge of the art, literature, history and culture of ancient Greece and Rome. To be eligible for nomination to membership, a student must have completed five quarters of college work, including at least three courses in classics (language, literature, history, or some aspect of culture) and have achieved a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in both the classics courses and overall.
- Kappa Delta Pi
Kappa Delta Pi, an international education honor society, was founded in 1911 at the University of Illinois. The Santa Clara chapter was established in 1996. Organized to recognize excellence in education, Kappa Delta Pi elects to membership those who exhibit the ideals of scholarship, high personal standards, and promise in teaching and allied professions. To be eligible for membership, students must have completed five quarters of college work, have at least 18 quarter hours of professional education courses programmed, rank in the upper 20 percent of their class, and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better.
- Lambda Alpha
Lambda Alpha, the national anthropology honors society, was founded in 1968 at Wichita State University. The Santa Clara chapter was established in 1999. The society seeks to encourage and stimulate scholarship and research in anthropology by recognizing and honoring superior achievement in the discipline and among students. To be eligible for membership, students must have achieved junior status, completed five courses in anthropology, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.3, and have a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in anthropology.
- Lambda Pi Eta
Lambda Pi Eta, the official communication studies honorary society of the National Communication Association, was founded at the University of Arkansas in 1985. Theta Rho, the Santa Clara University chapter, was established in 1999. The goals of Lambda Pi Eta are to recognize, foster, and reward outstanding scholastic achievement; stimulate interest in the field of communication; provide an opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas about the field; establish and maintain close relationships and understanding between faculty and students; and explore options for further graduate studies. Members must be a communication major or minor; have junior standing; be in good standing at the University; have completed 20 quarter units in communication; have a grade point average of 3.0 overall and of 3.5 in communication courses; and must rank in the top 35 percent of their class. Students are also required to complete a service requirement each quarter.
- Phi Alpha Theta
Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society, was founded in 1921 at the University of Arkansas. The Lambda Upsilon chapter was established at Santa Clara University in 1966. The chapter has been active in encouraging student research in history by sponsoring an annual undergraduate research journal, workshop, and conference. Members are elected to membership on the basis of excellence in the study and writing of history.
- Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest national honor society, was founded in 1776 in Williamsburg, Virginia, by students at the College of William and Mary. The Pi chapter at Santa Clara University was installed in 1977. Its purpose is to celebrate excellence in all scholarly endeavors and to encourage educational breadth, including languages, mathematics, the sciences, and the humanities. Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa signifies that a student has achieved an outstanding academic record as indicated by grades and intensive study in both a second language and college mathematics, as well as a general breadth in coursework.
- Phi Lamba Upsilon
Phi Lambda Upsilon, the national chemistry honor society, was founded in 1899 at the University of Illinois “for the promotion of high scholarship and original investigation in all branches of pure and applied chemistry.” It was the first honor society dedicated to a single scientific discipline. Santa Clara University participates in the membership-at-large program, which extends recognition to outstanding chemistry students who are not enrolled at an institution where an active chapter of the society is located. Members must have senior standing, be in the top 20 percent of their chemistry class, and have a minimum grade point average of at least 3.5.
- Phi Sigma Iota
Phi Sigma Iota, the international foreign language honor society, was founded in 1922 at Allegheny College. The Beta Delta chapter was installed at Santa Clara University in 1982. The society recognizes outstanding ability and achievement in languages, literatures, and linguistics. It stimulates advanced work in these fields, fosters intercultural understanding, and promotes a spirit of amity between our own people and other peoples of the world. Juniors and seniors with at least four advanced-content courses completed in a qualifying language, a grade point average of 3.25 in that language, and a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 may be eligible for membership.
- Phi Sigma Tau
Phi Sigma Tau, the national honor society in philosophy, was founded at Muhlenberg College in 1930 as Alpha Kappa Alpha. In 1955, it was incorporated as Phi Sigma Tau. The Santa Clara University chapter received its charter in 1986. Its essential purpose is to promote ties between philosophy departments in accredited institutions and students in philosophy nationally. To be eligible for membership, students must have completed five quarters of college work, rank in the upper 35 percent of their class, and have completed at least three courses in philosophy with a grade point average of 3.4 or higher.
- Pi Mu Epsilon
Pi Mu Epsilon, the national mathematics honor society, was incorporated in 1914 at Syracuse University. The California Eta chapter was founded in 1967 at Santa Clara University. The stated purpose of the society is to engage in activities designed to promote the mathematical and scholarly development of its members. Students may be elected to membership if they have completed at least two courses in mathematics in addition to a year of calculus and have completed their mathematical and general college courses with distinction.
- Pi Sigma Alpha
Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society, was founded at the University of Texas in 1920. Santa Clara University’s chapter, Rho Epsilon, was founded in 1988. The purpose of the society is to honor students and practitioners in political science and related subfields. Membership is granted to senior political science majors with a grade point average of 3.5 in political science and of 3.25 overall. Juniors with a grade point average of at least 3.7 in political science are also eligible for membership.
- Psi Chi
Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society, was founded in 1929. The Santa Clara University chapter was established in 1991. The purpose of the society is to encourage, stimulate, and maintain scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology. To be eligible for membership, students must have completed 12 or more units in psychology with a grade point average of 3.3, declared a psychology major or minor, and rank in the upper 33 percent of their class.
- Sigma Pi Sigma
Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, was founded in 1921 at Davidson College in North Carolina. The Santa Clara University chapter was founded in 1969. Sigma Pi Sigma endeavors to help students attain a clearer understanding of the powers of science, to promote further interest in the advanced study of physics, to foster the spirit of scientific research, and to encourage a professional spirit and collegiality among students of physics. Members are selected from the upper 25 percent of their class and must also have a grade point average of 3.25 in physics and mathematics.
- Sigma Tau Delta
Sigma Tau Delta, the national English honor society, was founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University. The Santa Clara University chapter, Phi Phi, was established in 1987. Sigma Tau Delta recognizes scholarly achievement in the English language and in literature in all its aspects, including creative and critical writing. Members must be in the upper 33 percent of their class and must also have a grade point average of 3.5 in English.
- Sigma Xi
Sigma Xi, the national scientific research society, was founded at Cornell University in 1886. The Santa Clara chapter was established in 1967. The purpose of the society is to encourage original investigation in pure and applied science. The requirements for full membership include noteworthy achievements in research as demonstrated by publications, patents, written reports, or a dissertation. Students who have demonstrated an aptitude for original scientific research are eligible for associate membership.
- Theta Alpha Kappa
Theta Alpha Kappa, the national theology and religious studies honor society, was founded in 1976 at Manhattan College. The Santa Clara chapter, Alpha Phi, was granted a charter in 1981. Theta Alpha Kappa seeks to encourage research, good teaching, and publication; to encourage an exchange of learning and thought among scholars; and to bring together students and teachers in intellectual and social fellowship. Religious studies majors and minors with a grade point average of 3.5 and a cumulative average of 3.0 who have completed 18 religious studies course units and are in the top 35 percent of their class are eligible for admission to the society.
- Upsilon Pi Epsilon
Upsilon Pi Epsilon, the computing sciences honor society, was founded at Texas A&M University in 1967. The Santa Clara Lambda chapter was established in 1990. Its purpose is to promote high scholarship and original investigation in the computing sciences. Students must be majors in a computing discipline. Undergraduates must possess a 3.25 GPA overall and in the major and must have completed at least 64 units of credit and rank in the upper third of their class.
Leavey School of Business
- Beta Gamma Sigma
Beta Gamma Sigma, the national business honor society, was founded in 1913. The Santa Clara chapter was founded in 1955. The mission of Beta Gamma Sigma is to encourage and honor academic achievement in the study of business and personal and professional excellence. Membership is offered to students who show promise of success in the field of business and rank in the top 10 percent of their junior class or in the top 10 percent of their senior class.
School of Engineering
- Pi Tau Sigma
Pi Tau Sigma, the national mechanical engineering honorary society, was founded in 1915 at the University of Illinois. The Santa Clara University Alpha Epsilon chapter was granted its charter in 1991. The objectives are to foster high ideals in the engineering profession, stimulate and support departmental activities, promote professional welfare, and develop leadership and citizenship. Members are selected from the top 25 percent of the junior class and top 33 percent of the senior class in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
- Tau Beta Pi
Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society, was founded at Lehigh University in 1885. The Santa Clara chapter was established in 1956. The purpose of the society is to offer appropriate recognition of superior scholarship and exemplary character in engineering students. Engineering seniors in the upper 20 percent of their class are eligible. These students must demonstrate exemplary character, personal integrity, breadth of interest, adaptability, and unselfish activity.