Starting a Chapter

Please note: If your institution previously hosted a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma that is now inactive, please contact the national office to learn how you may reactivate. You can check our chapter listings to see if a chapter was previously chartered. If your institution is seeking a new chapter, please contact the national office before proceeding with the petition process described below.
Would you like to charter a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma at your institution?
Phi Eta Sigma can establish a chapter on the campus of your institution of higher learning, bringing recognition to the academically motivated first-year students enrolled there. To charter a chapter, the institution must:

  • Be a four-year degree-granting college or university.
  • Be accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency.
  • Offer degree programs in a diversity of programs.
  • Demonstrate support from the institution’s administration for chartering.
  • Express a commitment to the mission of Phi Eta Sigma to encourage, promote, and reward high scholastic achievement in its students, especially first-year students.
  • Appoint as chapter adviser a faculty or staff member who is committed to the tasks required for recognizing and rewarding academic excellence in first-year students through Phi Eta Sigma.
  • Demonstrate potential for sustaining and growing a strong local chapter (based on enrollment, retention & graduation rates).
  • Submit a petition for chartering with signatures of at least forty (40) undergraduate students, other than from the senior class. Students who sign the petition must meet requirements for membership in Phi Eta Sigma. Eligible students:

    1. are full-time undergraduate students;
    2. have a cumulative academic GPA of 3.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale for their first term, first two terms, or first year as a full-time student at the petitioning school;
    3. are taking a normal course load leading to a bachelor's degree.
Overview of Petitioning Process

  1. The faculty or staff member serving as chapter adviser will obtain from the registrar a list of students who meet Phi Eta Sigma membership requirements and call a meeting or send a notice to these eligible students. Students from all undergraduate classes who met Phi Eta Sigma requirements as freshmen at that institution should be invited to join the charter group. The students should be familiarized with Phi Eta Sigma through use of Society informational materials, which are available from the national office and the Society website.
  2. The petition must include a description of the institution and its compliance with the requirements for chartering. The petition requires a minimum of 40 signatures from students who qualify for Phi Eta Sigma induction. (See Petition Form A & Petition Form B )
  3. The petition should then be signed by the chapter adviser, the ranking student personnel administrator (usually dean of students or vice president for student affairs), and the president of the university.
  4. When the petition contains all the required signatures, the petition and any supporting documents should be submitted to the Executive Director at the Phi Eta Sigma national headquarters.
  5. The Executive Director will then forward the petition and supporting material to members of the Phi Eta Sigma Executive Committee for authorization to charter. The Executive Director will notify the petitioning institution of the Committee’s decision in 3-4 weeks after submission.
  6. Once the petition is approved, the chapter sets a date for chartering, allowing at least 4 weeks for preparation. The national office will provide several items to the chapter adviser to assist with preparations for the installation and induction ceremony. These will include information brochures, copies of the induction ceremony, guidelines for submitting membership records, and other materials.
  7. When the installation date is set, national prepares the charter and ships it to the adviser, along with a 2’ x 3’ crest, both of which are to be framed by the chapter.


Committee small
View the current leaders of Phi Eta Sigma.


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.