The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Phi Alpha Theta

The UMass Amherst History 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. The society also encourages and assists historical research and publication by its members in a variety of ways. 

Chapter Advisor: Professor Garrett

Why should I join?

Induction into the Phi Alpha Theta 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 Prizes 

Visit the national Phi Alpha Theta website for current information on these opportunities. 

Publishing Opportunities 

Phi Alpha Theta's national headquarters publishes The Historian, a distinguished historical quarterly, which contains articles, 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. All members, including students, are invited to submit their work for publication, subject to a rigorous review process. The UMass Amherst branch of Phi Alpha Theta publishes the UMass History Journala publication devoted to showcasing the diverse historical work of undergraduate students. 


At its biennial conference, student members have the opportunity to meet distinguished historians and to present papers they have written. Phi Alpha Theta is one of the few professional societies that encourages the presentation of papers by undergraduate students at its functions. 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. 

Phi Alpha Theta also presents special programs 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.  

Campus Events 

At the local level, members are invited to participate in the various social and intellectual activities the Phi Alpha Theta chapter. Contact Professor Garrett Washington to learn about upcoming events. 

How do I join?

To be eligible to join, undergraduate students must complete a minimum of four (4) history courses of 3.0 of more credits each (earned in the classroom, online or through AP or transfer credits or a combination thereof); have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.1 in their history courses; and a 3.0 cumulative GPA in all. Membership is not limited to History majors.

For more information and to apply: Phi Alpha Theta Membership Application. Applications due in Fall by Sept. 14th and Spring by Feb. 12th.