Phi Alpha Theta
Dr. David Thomas
Phi Alpha Theta was established at the University of Arkansas on March 1, 1921. It has since grown to encompass 700 chapters in 50 states, more chapters than any other accredited honor society. P.A.T. 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." The society seeks to "bring students, teachers and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by members in a variety of ways."
The National Phi Alpha Theta Society sponsors a variety of benefits for its members. There are biennial conventions for undergraduate, graduate and faculty members; members at all levels are welcome to present papers. P.A.T. also sponsors special programs at the annual meetings of a number of the larger historical organization conferences such as the American Historical Association conference and the Organization of American Historians conference.
P.A.T. also publishes The Historian, a scholarly historical quarterly in which all members are invited to publish their work. The Historian is run from and edited in our department. Finally, the P.A.T. News Letter covers the activities of and provides information about P.A.T.
The national organization, which is proudly housed at USF, sponsors six annual paper prize awards. The Lynn W. Turner and Nels Andrew Cleven Founder’s Paper Prize Awards are open to undergraduate members. There also are various scholarship awards, almost all of them for students entering into or already engaged in graduate study in history. Students interested in either the paper prizes or scholarship awards should contact the National Society. You might want to ask for a copy of the booklet "This is Phi Alpha Theta" which details benefits available to members.
USF's Rho Nu chapter sponsors activities ranging from guest speakers to book discussions and film nights. Activities at USF depend on how active the members choose to be in a particular year. If you have suggestions for activities, please contact Chelsi Arellano, the chapter president.
Any interested students can apply for membership regardless of major. The requirements for Phi Alpha Theta membership are as follows:
- An undergraduate student must have completed at least 12 credit hours in history with a grade in all history courses averaging 3.1 or better. Undergraduate students must have a 3.0 grade average outside history, and must rank in the top 35 percent of their undergraduate class. You do not need to be an Honors College student to join.
- Graduate students must maintain a grade point average of 3.5 and have no incomplete classes in order to join.
- Lifetime membership is $60, which entitles the member to a certificate of membership, a membership card, and a one-year subscription to both The Historian and The News Letter. Once membership is received, it may be listed on resumes, or the member can purchase a pin to wear.
The Phi Alpha Theta Application can be accessed here, or stop by the Department of History's office, SOC 260, for more information.
The University of South Florida Department of History is also honored to be the home of The Historian, a globally-recognized and distributed publication affiliated with the national history honors society – Phi Alpha Theta. The Historian is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal receives submissions from professors and academics around the world on subjects ranging from 20th century Soviet and Japanese espionage to Greek Antiquity.