Quick Facts
  • Founded in 1923 at the University of Illinois, Phi Eta Sigma is the nation's oldest and largest honor society for first-year college and university students in all disciplines.

  • Inspired by the past and dedicated to the future, the Society's mission is to encourage and reward academic excellence among freshmen in institutions of higher learning.

  • The three Greek words appearing on our crest form the motto of the organization: 'Knowledge is Power.'

  • Since its founding, more than 1,100,000 scholars have been inducted into Phi Eta Sigma.

  • Phi Eta Sigma chapters are chartered on 378 campuses across the United States.

  • Hundreds of college and university faculty and staff volunteers share their time to serve as advisers to local chapters.

  • Approximately $300,000 in scholarships is awarded annually by the national organization, and many additional thousands are awarded by local chapters.

  • An important strength of Phi Eta Sigma is its form of government. It is governed by a Constitution and Laws generated by student delegates attending national conventions. At the biennial conventions, student delegates also elect the national officers and Executive Committee members.

  • Phi Eta Sigma conducts a biennial national convention of student members and chapter advisers from across the nation.

  • The official magazine of the honor society, The Forum of Phi Eta Sigma, is published annually and distributed to active members through the local campus chapters.


Dr. Thomas Arkle Clark, dean of men, along with fellow deans founded the first chapter of Phi Eta Sigma at the University of Illinois on March 22, 1923.

Q & A

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Get answers on some of our most frequently asked questions in our Q & A section.