About Us

  1. What is Phi Eta Sigma?
  2. Who is eligible to join?
  3. How do I join?
  4. Must I be inducted at a particular time?
  5. What if I received the invitation to join PES, but never returned the information and still want to join?
  6. Is Phi Eta Sigma a social fraternity?
  7. Must I maintain my average?
  8. What do I get for the national membership fee?
  9. Who is eligible for the scholarships?
  10. Why should I join Phi Eta Sigma?
  11. Who participates in the national convention and leadership workshops?

What is Phi Eta Sigma?

Phi Eta Sigma is a national honor society for college freshmen. Our goal is to encourage and reward academic excellence among first-year students in institutions of higher learning.

The oldest and largest freshman honor society, Phi Eta Sigma was founded at the University of Illinois on March 22, 1923. We now have more than 360 chapters throughout the Unites States and more than 975,000 inducted members.

Phi Eta Sigma was voted membership into the Association of Honor Societies in 1937. Only three societies had longer continuous membership. Our members take a great deal of pride in the 75-year accomplishments of our society despite the fact that we have the lowest membership fee of any member of the association.

Who is eligible to join?

On campuses with a chapter of Phi Eta Sigma, all first-year students are eligible to join who have a cumulative gradepoint average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale at the close of any full-time curricular period during their first year.

How do I join?

Freshmen who receive a 3.5 GPA or higher their first or second semester of Freshman year will receive an invitation to join Phi Eta Sigma during the beginning of the next semester. (For example, freshmen who receive a 3.5 or above the first semester will receive an invitation via e-mail second semester.)

Must I be inducted at a particular time?

Although you will prefer to be inducted with your classmates, you do not lose eligibility by missing induction. You may be inducted at a future date.

What if I received the invitation to join PES, but never returned the information and still want to join?

Generally we only induct students following the close of the first or second semesters of their freshmen year, but if you are still interested in Phi Eta Sigma please contact us again early in the Spring semester. At this time, we have already sent our Fall induction membership list to Phi Eta Sigma Nationals and cannot induct any more members who were invited to join in the Fall.

Is Phi Eta Sigma a social fraternity?

Although we may have social events, we are not a social fraternity. There is a dignified ceremony to which your parents and friends may be invited. We have projects and activities promoting academic excellence and campus and community service, but your participation is optional.

Must I maintain my average?

No, lifetime membership is conferred upon induction.

What do I get for the national membership fee?

Your national membership fee pays for your academic pin and your membership certificate. It pays a portion of the expenses for a chapter delegate to attend the national convention and leadership workshops. The national magazine, the FORUM of Phi Eta Sigma, and the study pamphlet, HINTS on Learning and Studying, are provided to chapters on a complimentary basis.

A portion of the membership fee goes to the Founders Scholarship Fund, which provides thirty-five or more national graduate or undergraduate endowed scholarships of up to $5000 each and seventy-five or more national undergraduate of $1000 each.

Who is eligible for the scholarships?

Cash scholarships of up to $5000 and awards of $1000 are provided to members of Phi Eta Sigma selected by the national scholarship committee. Members applying for the scholarships and awards must be nominated by their chapters.

Applications will be available during the Spring Semester at our office at LAS General Curriculum Office, at the Illini Union Bookstore Building, Floor 5, MC-317.

Why should I join Phi Eta Sigma?

Phi Eta Sigma is an outward recognition of personal accomplishment, and serves as an incentive for continued high scholarship. It provides students the opportunity to meet scholars from all academic disciplines on campus and to join them in promoting academic excellence and campus and community service. Also, you may apply for scholarships provided by national and by some local chapters.

Membership to Phi Eta Sigma identifies you to employers and professionals and graduate schools as a person of superior academic ability and a commitment to campus and community service.

Who participates in the national convention and leadership workshops?

Every chapter has the opportunity to nominate a student delegate to attend the biennial national convention and leadership workshops. The national office pays for the delegate’s airfare and/or automobile mileage, housing and convention meals. Student delegate chair and staff all convention committees, elect all national officers, and provide guidance for the future. At each convention, three students are elected to serve a two-year term on the national Executive Committee. Student leadership and a commitment to service are a major strength for Phi Eta Sigma as future options are planned.