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Psi Chi (ΨΧ) is a national honor society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. It is one of the largest honor societies in the world, with over 1,000 chapters and 400,000 members. Famous members of Psi Chi include B.F. Skinner and Philip Zimbardo.
Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS).
Psi Chi was founded by Fred Lewis and Edwin Newman, psychology students at the University of Kansas. Lewis and Newman first thought of a national organization for psychology students while working on research late one night in 1927. Over the next two years, they wrote to psychology faculty and students at various universities and formed discussion groups with other students. Psi Chi's first official meeting was in September 1929 at the American Psychological Association's annual meeting.
Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests, and who meet the minimum qualifications. Psychology majors who attend two year universities may join Psi Beta, Psi Chi's sister organization.
Undergraduate psychology must meet the following criteria in order to become members of Psi Chi:
- Complete 3 semesters or 5 quarters of college coursework
- Complete 9 semester hours or 14 quarter hours of psychology courses
- Rank in the top 35% of their class
- Have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
To join Psi Chi as a graduate student, one must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale in all graduate coursework. Psi Chi chapters may also induct full-time faculty who have a doctorate in psychology or a psychology-related field.
The above requirements are the national minimum academic standards. Local chapters of Psi Chi may elect to have higher academic criteria to join Psi Chi as allowed in the Psi Chi Constitution.
Psi Chi members may attend national and regional conventions, held yearly. Some chapters provide information on graduate study in psychology and assist members in the graduate school application process. Tutoring, community service, and social events are also common activities of Psi Chi chapters.
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