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University Catalog

Honor Societies and Programs

All Academic Disciplines

Phi Beta Kappa has been one of the most respected societies in the world for more than 200 years. Phi Beta Kappa was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Virginia. Within a decade, chapters arose at Yale, Harvard, and Dartmouth. The Wyoming chapter received its charter in 1940, and today fewer than 270 colleges and universities in the United States meet the strict qualifications for housing a chapter. UW faculty and administrators annually elect to membership fewer than one‑tenth of the leading scholars of the senior class, candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science. In exceptional cases a junior may be elected. In addition to having a distinguished academic record, a student eligible for Phi Beta Kappa must pursue a balanced and broad course of study, which includes a foreign language as well as courses in math, the sciences, and the humanities. At least 90 hours of the student’s course work must be in the liberal arts and sciences. Students are reviewed for eligibility and are notified by mail the spring of their election. Phi Beta Kappa promotes the ideal of a community of scholarship, and every year the Chapter sponsors an eminent visiting lecturer for the entire university.

The national honor society of Phi Kappa Phi, founded in 1897, recognizes and encourages superior scholarship in all curricula of the colleges and divisions of the university. No other honor society has higher academic standards for admission. Good character is also an essential supporting attribute for those scholars elected to membership. The University of Wyoming chapter of Phi Kappa Phi sets minimum cumulative grade point requirements at 3.500 for seniors, 3.800 for juniors and 3.900 for graduate students. In addition, there are minimum requirements in terms of hours completed at UW. Since the chapter may initiate no more than ten percent of the number of seniors in each college, the actual grade point cutoff is often higher than these minimums. In the spring of each year, students’ records are reviewed and letters of invitation are sent to those eligible for election to the society. Supplementing the work of its chapter, the national society awards fellowships for graduate study.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Agriculture majors - Alpha Zeta is a national honorary for students in agriculture who demonstrate academic excellence, character and leadership. Applications for membership are sent to eligible students. 

Gamma Sigma Delta is a national honor society open to students in agriculture. Potential members are invited to membership based upon academic excellence.

Phi Upsilon Omicron is a national honor society in family and consumer sciences. Potential members are invited to membership based on academic excellence and leadership.

College of Arts and Sciences

Art ‑ A Bachelor of Fine Arts in art is considered honorary.

Biology and Botany ‑ This Honors Program is for students majoring in biology or botany with strong interests in independent research with a focus in ecology, evolution, systematics, bioinformatics, biostatistics or data science. Application to the biology or botany honors program may be made after completion of the sophomore year with a cumulative grade point average of 3.300.

Chemistry ‑ American Chemical Society - The Department of Chemistry is closely associated with the Local Wyoming Chapter of the American Chemical Society. The American Chemical Society (ACS) is one of the largest scientific societies in the world - its purpose is to promote chemistry and educate the public on the impacts of the chemical profession on the economy, technology, and education. The ACS organizes both national and regional scientific meetings; our local section supports student travel to these meetings. The chemistry department also sponsors a Student Affiliates section of the ACS, which is mentored by a UW chemistry faculty member and serves the needs of our chemistry majors.

Communication - Lambda Pi Eta recognizes, fosters, and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement while stimulating interest in the communication discipline.

Criminal Justice - Alpha Phi Sigma - Epsilon Omega Chapter, criminal justice honorary. A national honorary society for Criminal Justice that recognizes the academic excellence of Criminal Justice students. Alpha Phi Sigma is a collaboration with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

English ‑ English Honors Program enables junior and senior English majors who carry a grade point average of 3.500 or better in their English courses to intensify and enhance their studies by working closely with a supervising faculty member to develop a senior honors project, a piece of writing on a topic in English studies. 

Sigma Tau Delta - Alpha Mu Omicron Chapter, international English honor society.

Gender and Women’s Studies - National Women’s Studies Association; one of its primary objectives promoting and supporting the production and dissemination of knowledge about women and gender through teaching, learning, research and service in academic and other settings.

Geography ‑ Gamma Theta Upsilon ‑ Eta Eta Chapter candidates must have completed three semesters of college coursework and three courses in Geography, with a grade point average of 3.000 or higher for these courses. Contact the Department of Geology and Geophysics/Geography Program for more information.

Geology ‑ Eligible students are Bachelor of Science degree holders with honors, majoring in geology or geophysics. They must meet an overall grade point average of 3.200, a grade point average of 3.200 in the major, and successful completion of an independent research project. Contact Department of Geology and Geophysics/Geography Program for more information.

History ‑ Phi Alpha Theta is a professional society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication, and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. It seeks to bring students and teachers together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by our members in a variety of ways. The society currently has over 400,000 members, with some 9,000 new members joining each year through 970 chapters nationwide.

International StudiesSigma Iota Rho: The purpose of Sigma Iota Rho is to promote and reward scholarship and service among students and practitioners of international studies, international affairs, and global studies and to foster integrity and creative performances in the conduct of world affairs. Membership provides public recognition of the best and the brightest students in the International Studies major and highlights the importance of contributing to the global community.

JournalismSociety of Professional Journalists, Sigma Delta Chi

Languages ‑ The Department of Modern and Classical Languages sponsors chapters of two nationally recognized Honor Societies in Spanish.

Alpha of Wyoming Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi - To honor those who attain excellence in the study of the Spanish language and in the study of the literature and culture of the Spanish-speaking peoples; to honor those who have made the Hispanic contributions to modern culture better known in the English-speaking world; to encourage college and university students to acquire a greater interest in and a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture; to foster friendly relations and mutual respect between the nations of Hispanic speech and those of English speech; to serve its membership in ways which will contribute to the attainment of the goals and ideals of the society.

Sigma Delta Pi National Spanish Honorary Society celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2019. Our very active UW chapter was recognized in 2011 as a national honor chapter. Each semester we initiate new members who meet high academic standards and are dedicated to the study and teaching of Spanish. Chapter awards and student scholarships include study abroad opportunities and recognition of outstanding scholarly research and writing.

MusicPresser Award is conferred by vote of the department faculty for outstanding senior in music.

Pi Kappa Lambda, selected by faculty on the basis of outstanding scholarship and musical accomplishments.

Physics and Astronomy - Sigma Pi Sigma: Sigma Pi Sigma (sigmapisigma.org) exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics, to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels, to promote an attitude of service, and to provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics.

American Physical Society (APS): The American Physical Society (www.aps.org) is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities. APS represents over 50,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, DC.

American Astronomical Society (AAS): The American Astronomical Society (aas.org) is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.

Political Science - Pi Sigma Alpha, Epsilon Beta Chapter seeks “to stimulate scholarship and intelligent interest in political science.” The society sponsors programs and events of value to the profession and teaching of political science. Membership provides public recognition of the best and brightest students in the Political Science major. Each chapter is encouraged to provide a framework for enriching the exposure of its members and the wider university community to the study of government and issues of public concern.

Pi Alpha Alpha, national public administration honorary. The purpose of Pi Alpha Alpha is to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship and accomplishment in public affairs and administration. Its objectives, such as fostering integrity, professionalism, and effective performance, promote the advancement of quality in the education and practice of the art and science of public affairs and administration. PAA membership identifies those with the highest performance levels in educational programs preparing them for public service careers.

Psychology - Psi Chi - The Psychology Department supports a chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. This local Psi Chi group functions within a larger Psychology Club that serves undergraduates interested in Psychology.  The chapter and club are jointly involved in many activities, including community service projects, peer advising and graduation festivities.

Sociology - Alpha Kappa Delta, the international honorary society for sociology. In addition, sociology majors with a 3.200 overall GPA, a 3.500 GPA in sociology courses and two 5000-level sociology classes graduate with honors in sociology.

College of Business

Accounting - Beta Alpha Psi, Delta Alpha Chapter, is the UW chapter of the national accounting honorary. Membership in this very active student honorary is awarded only to the very best accounting students.

Business Administration - Beta Gamma Sigma is the national scholastic honor society. It is the arm of the accrediting group, AACSB International. Membership is very selective and based on class rank and grade point average.

College of Education

Kappa Delta Pi - Alpha Mu Chapter is the university chapter of the international honor society in education. The purpose of the society is to promote excellence in and recognize outstanding contributions to education. Invitation for membership is extended to those persons who exhibit commendable professional qualities, worthy educational ideals and sound scholarship.

Mu Na Tau Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota is a Counseling Academic and Professional Honor Society International for counselors-in-training, counselor educators, and professional counselors. The mission of Chi Sigma Iota is to promote scholarship, research, professionalism, leadership, and excellence in counseling, and to recognize high attainment in the pursuit of academic and clinical excellence in the field of counseling. The CSI International homepage can be found at www.csi-net.org/index.cfm.  The local chapter, Mu Nu Tau, encourages the furtherance of high standards of scholarship and professional practice through study groups, speaker programs, workshops, colloquia awards, social activities, and networking opportunities.

College of Engineering and Applied Science

Engineering majors - Tau Beta Pi is a national honor society for all engineering majors. The purposes of the society are to honor outstanding student scholarship and to provide a spirit of liberal culture in the College of Engineering and Applied Science.  Membership is offered to outstanding junior, senior and graduate engineering students of high scholastic ability and exemplary character.

College of Health Sciences

Kinesiology - Phi Epsilon Kappa is a national professional fraternity dedicated to enhancing education, promotion of student research, community outreach, and professional development for persons pursing careers in health, physical education, recreation, and other related fields.

Nursing - Sigma Theta Tau - academic leadership honorary. The mission of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International is advancing world health and celebrating nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service.

Pharmacy - Rho Chi Society, Academic Honorary. The Rho Chi Society encourages and recognizes excellence in intellectual achievement and advocates critical inquiry in all aspects of pharmacy. The Society further encourages high standards of conduct and character and fosters fellowship among its members; Phi Lambda Sigma, Pharmacy Leadership Society - to support pharmacy leadership commitment by recognizing leaders and fostering leadership development.

Social Work - The purpose of the Epsilon Delta Chapter of the Phi Alpha Social Work National Honor Society at the University of Wyoming Division of Social Work is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. 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. The goals of Phi Alpha include the provision of service to the campus, local, and state communities in Wyoming; the promotion of social, economic and environmental justice on campus and in the community; and the development of student leadership skills.

University Honors Program

The National Collegiate Honors Council and The Western Regional Honors Council provide recognition for students, faculty, and administrators in the area of academic achievement, civic responsibility, and personal development.

College of Law

Law majors - Order of the Coif is an honorary society which recognizes legal scholastic excellence. Each year, the chapter may initiate into membership those students who graduate in the highest ten percent of their class.

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