Phi Alpha Honor Society


The purpose of Phi Alpha Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideas. Phi Alpha fosters high standards of education for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.


Phi Alpha membership is invitation only. Social work students starting their Junior year in the advanced standing program and who are the top 30% of their class will receive an invitation to join the honor society. Members are required to attend meetings and complete 40 hours of service before the end of their senior year. Phi Alpha provides many service opportunities to reach the service requirement. 


Invited members are required to make one $50 payment for a life-time membership. The fee can be paid to Becky Montoya in Old Main 239B. Checks must be made out to SSWA Department USU. If you are mailing payment, please post to Becky Montoya – 0730 Old Main Hill – Logan, UT 84322. Fees may also be paid below, via PayPal.

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Benefits of Membership

  • Promotes humanitarian goals and ideas
  • Provides grants, awards, and scholarships
  • Recognition of academic excellence
  • Is the profession of social work’s internationally recognized honor society
  • Respected by employers, professional, and college admissions
  • National presentation opportunities
  • Lifetime membership
  • Membership certificate and lapel pin
  • Promotes socialization and bonds among students
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Community service projects
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Alumni participation
  • Opportunities for grants, awards, and scholarships
  • Student leadership award
  • Master of Social Work scholarships
  • Student membership support grant: designed for any student eligible for Phi Alpha membership whose situation makes it a challenge to pay the membership fee. 


 The concept of a national social work honor society came from a group of undergraduate social work students at Michigan State University in 1960. Investigation revealed that local chapters existed at three schools. Those three schools along with a few other schools formed a National Honor Society Committee in November of 1960. For more than a year, this committee worked on the constitution and other administrative matters.

The name Phi Alpha was adopter from the local chapter existing at Florida State University. The constitution and formal organization were completed in 1962, and six chapters qualified to become "charter chapters." The charter chapters were Florida State University, Michigan State University, Ohio North University, Central State College, University of Dayton, and the University of Tennessee. Over 450 chapters are now in existence, and the addition of new chapters is continuing.

Phi Alpha offers membership to social work students, faculty and practitioners. Each chapter is free to develop a program to meet local needs. The National Council of Phi Alpha, the organization's policy making body, meets once a year at the Council of Social Work Education's (CSWE's) annual program meeting conference. Each chapter has one voting representative on The National Council.