Psychology Student Organizations

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Learning occurs outside as well as inside the classroom, which is why it is important to interact with your peers and faculty outside of class. These opportunities aid in making psychology more than an academic endeavor. They foster interaction between you and your peers and generate a greater sense of community.

Fortunately, we have two student organizations that aid in this goal. The first organization is the Psychological Society, which is open to anyone interested in psychology. The second organization is Psi Chi, the National Honors Society in Psychology.

The Psychological Society

The Psychological Society works to spread awareness of the science and discipline of psychology, improve the quality of the educational process and cultivate student/faculty relations.

Some of the benefits to students that the Psychological Society offers are:

  • Job/volunteer positions
  • Graduate school information
  • Information on research opportunities
  • Information on psychological conferences across the nation
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Advice and support
  • First-hand information from the Psychology Department
  • Peer tutoring/counseling

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Psychological Society, contact the chair of the Psychology Department, who will give you the names and email addresses of the organization’s president and faculty advisor. Freshmen and first-semester sophomores, along with advanced students, are encouraged to join the Psychological Society.

Also, consider submitting an application to Psi Chi. Both of these organizations have a mailbox in the Psychology Department. All inquiries regarding membership and activities may be directed to the organization president via this route.

See below for frequently asked questions about Psi Chi.

Psi Chi

Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purpose 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 main 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 and the American Psychological Society. Psi Chi functions as a federation of chapters located at more than 700 senior colleges and universities in the United States. A national council composed of psychologists who are Psi Chi members and who are elected by the chapters, guides the affairs of the organization and sets policy, with the approval of the chapters.

Our Psi Chi Chapter provides you with the opportunity to join Psi Chi if you meet certain standards required by Psi Chi and the Association of College Honor Societies (the governing body for college honor societies).

Membership in Psi Chi is an earned honor which is for life. A permanent record of your membership is preserved at the Psi Chi National Office and may be used for reference purposes such as applications for graduate school and jobs. The Psi Chi national membership fee is $25. This one-time fee is for lifetime membership, a certificate suitable for framing and a membership card. There are no annual national dues, but each chapter may have fees.

When you are inducted into Psi Chi, you become eligible to wear a Psi Chi honor cord, medal, key pins, charms, lapel pins, tie tacs, cloth emblems for blazers or sweaters, etc. A quarterly Psi Chi newsletter is sent to each chapter for distribution to the members. Psi Chi members are eligible to present research papers/posters at the national, regional, state, international and local conventions. Members may participate in undergraduate and graduate research award competitions. The names of new members and activities of chapters are published in the newsletter and preserved for historical purposes.

If you are interested in joining Psi Chi, please contact the chair of the Psychology Department, who will give you the names of the chapter's president and faculty advisor. The chapter will then determine if you are eligible for membership. We look forward to hearing from you.

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. Because the officers and faculty advisors are volunteers and their time is limited, anyone interested in joining Psi Chi should take the initiative and contact the Psychology Department, the faculty advisor and/or the local officers. If there is no chapter, it is worthwhile for qualified students to start a Psi Chi chapter.

All chapters register their inductees at the Psi Chi national office, where the membership records are preserved for reference purposes. The total number of members recorded at the National Office during the first 64 years is 252,000; many of these members have gone on to distinguished careers in psychology.

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 its 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. Also, the society publishes a quarterly Psi Chi newsletter which helps to unite and inform the members and to recognize their contributions and accomplishments.

The intrinsic value of membership is rewarding to the achiever in that recognition of excellence leads to self-fulfillment and thus to self-realization. By recognizing that what you do does make a difference, you are stimulated to higher productivity. Accomplishments are enjoyed more when shared with others. Furthermore, the contacts made through Psi Chi will be valuable throughout your educational and professional careers.

Concrete advantages of membership include:

  • A membership certificate and card which give tangible evidence of membership. 
  • References provided throughout one's lifetime (this service alone is worth the investment). 
  • Building up your résumé.

Psi Chi is a springboard for professional growth. Opportunities are made available to the members for promoting their research, receiving national and international recognition, meeting and interacting with leaders in their field and meeting Psi Chi members of other chapters who also will be future leaders.

The United States government recognizes membership in Psi Chi as meeting one of the requirements for entrance at the GS-7 level in the federal service.

Climaxing the benefits mentioned above is knowing that many individuals, by their caring, dedication, perseverance and hard work, have made it possible to encourage young persons interested in psychology to strive for excellence – to reach toward that attainable star.

The ultimate test of the value of any membership organization lies in the accomplishments of its members. In each year of Psi Chi's history, more and more members have undertaken graduate studies. Psi Chi is well represented in the professional ranks of all the behavioral sciences. The membership directory of the American Psychological Association is studded with the names of Psi Chi members, both active and alumni. This is only one example demonstrating that the society's purposes are being fulfilled.