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UMass Sesquicentennial

University of Massachusetts Amherst

History Department

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Contact us:

History Dept., Herter Hall Room 612
University of Massachusetts
161 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003-9312

Tel. 413.545.1330
Fax. 413.545.6137

Phi Alpha Theta at the University of Massachusetts

Chapter Advisor: Prof. Garrett Washington,

The Department sponsors a chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. Phi Alpha Theta's mission is to promote the study of History through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. It seeks to bring students, teachers, and writers of history together both intellectually and socially; and it encourages and assists historical research and publication by its members in a variety of ways.

Why should I join?

Induction into the society allows students of history (majors and non-majors) to participate actively in research and the dissemination of research among an extensive network of scholars. These opportunities are available to students in the form of:

  • - Scholarships and Prize Contests. Visit the official Phi Alpha Theta website for current information on these opportunities.
  • - Opportunity to submit scholarly work to The Historian, the Society's quarterly journal. As part of its encouragement of historical study, the Society publishes The Historian a distinguished historical quarterly whose pages are open to its members for the publication of their studies in all fields of history. It also contains numerous reviews of scholarly books, news of historical activities, and other items of interest. The Historian has the second largest circulation among all historical journals published in the United States. Each initiate receives a one year subscription as part of the initiation fee.
  • - Presenting research at the Phi Alpha Theta Convention. At its biennial conference, students, undergraduate and graduate alike, are provided with the opportunity to meet distinguished historians and to present papers they have written. Phi Alpha Theta is one of the few honor and professional societies that encourages the presentation of papers by students at its functions. Outstanding historians appear on the program of every biennial convention so that members of the Society have the opportunity to hear their contributions to historical scholarship. Students and professors have the opportunity to get to know others interested in the field of history including their own particular fields of specialization and to enjoy the social and intellectual dialogue that takes place. The biennial convention is also the occasion for various special events and tours of historical interest. Phi Alpha Theta helps to underwrite the cost of transportation for one delegate from each chapter attending its conventions.
  • - Participating in Phi Alpha Theta programs at the annual meeting of other major History associations. The Society also presents special programs of its own at the annual meetings of the American Historical Society, the Organization of American Historians, the Southern Historical Association, the Western Historical Association, the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, and many State Historical Societies. In the future Phi Alpha Theta will extend its participation to other historical association's conferences as well.

At the local level, you are invited to participate in the various social and intellectual activities the Alpha Beta Eta Chapter provides for University of Massachusetts' members. Contact Professor Garrett Washington to learn of upcoming events.

Okay, sounds exciting. How do I join?



  • - You must have at least 12 completed history credits (Advanced Placement, CLEP, etc. credits do not count).
  • - Your cumulative grade point average in completed history courses must be at least a 3.1.
  • - You must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in ninety percent of the remaining non-history courses is also required.

For consideration for membership, the following need to be compiled, attached and submitted by either October 3rd or February 3rd to the Undergraduate History office, Herter 613.

  • - The membership application (see below)
  • - $50 cash for the lifetime membership and sash to wear at graduation, as well as a one-year subscription to The Historian. Your name will be printed in an upcoming issue of The Historian.

    Phi Alpha Theta Appointed Officers:
  • Events Coordinator: Justin Murphy
  • Outreach Coordinator: Luke Berquist


Download the membership application

Visit the Phi Alpha Theta website

Contact Garrett Washington, Chapter Advisor at UMass, for further information on this year's activities.