What is Psi Chi?
Psi Chi is the National Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Membership is open to graduate and undergraduate men and women who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests and who meet the minimum qualifications. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Society (APS). Psi Chi's sister honor society is Psi Beta, the national honor society in psychology for community and junior colleges.
Psi Chi serves two major goals--one immediate and visibly rewarding to the individual member, the other slower and more difficult to accomplish, but offering greater rewards in the long run. The first of these is the Society's obligation to provide academic recognition to its inductees by the mere fact of membership. The second goal is the obligation of each of the Society's local chapters to nurture the spark of that accomplishment by offering a climate congenial to its creative development. For example, the chapters make active attempts to nourish and stimulate professional growth through programs designed to augment and enhance the regular curriculum and to provide practical experience and fellowship through affiliation with the chapter. In addition, the national organization provides programs to help achieve these goals, including national and regional conventions held annually in conjunction with the psychological associations, research award competitions, and certificate recognition programs.
Membership requirements for Psi Chi
The Psi Chi Constitution requires that undergraduate student applicants to Psi Chi:
- Must be enrolled as a student at UW-Madison
- Must be at least a second-semester sophomore
- Must be enrolled as a major or minor in a psychology program or a program psychological in nature that is equivalent to a psychology major (undeclared students may be admitted, but it is important to show commitment to psychology in the application)
- Must have completed at least 9 semester hours of psychology courses at UW-Madison
- Must be in the top third of your class- this is approximately 3.4 and will be published each semester.
- Must have a psychology GPA that is at least 3.0
* Undergraduate students who have transferred to UW-Madison and are interested in becoming a Psi Chi member must meet the requirements listed above, plus complete one semester at the new institution to establish a GPA and complete 9 hours of psychology courses at UW-Madison.
Applications will be evaluated by current Psi Chi members based on a statement of strong commitment, and research, volunteer and work experiences. A high grade point average alone is not sufficient to gain acceptance to Psi Chi. Students will not be admitted during the same semester in which they are graduating.
Psi Chi Activities at UW-Madison
All members are expected to actively participate in the Honorary Society. Currently there are six active committees:
Research Fair/Psychology Majors Open House
Newsletter: This Committee puts out one newsletter every month with information helpful to all Psychology Students. Sample articles include current research, interviews with new staff/faculty, upcoming events, relevant volunteer opportunities and other useful information. The newsletter is available in both electronic and paper formats.
Psi Chi Newsletter, Fall 2007
Brown Bags: This committee organizes presentations on different issues relevant to Psychology students. Presentations can be categorized into two areas: Graduate School and Research. During the fall semester representatives from different graduate school programs are invited to come and talk about their specific area of study. Throughout the year UW-Madison faculty are also invited to give a presentation on their current research for Psychology Undergraduates. Students are invited, and encouraged, to ask questions at both talks.
Research Fair/Psychology MajorsOpen House: This committee organizes the research fair and newly developed Psychology Majors Open House. The research fair is designed to have students ask different faculty members questions about their research so that they can think about which faculty’s lab they would like to work in (as this is an important piece for graduate school applications). This event occurs in the Spring semester. The Psychology Major Open House is currently in development. It is intended to assist freshmen and sophomore students explore the psychology major and decide if it is a route they would like to take. Volunteer agencies and organizations along with faculty will hopefully be available for this event.
Fundraising: This committee works with all of the committees to help raise money for their activities. This is an important piece of a successful year for this organization. In the future charity fundraising events will also occur. Current fundraising activities include Pizza and travel mug sales. Psi Chi is also working with the community service committee on the Polar Plunge, fundraising for the Special Olympics.
Initiation: This committee is assigned to evaluate applications from prospective members. This also includes advertising for the organization and evaluating the application process. The initiation committee is also assigned the responsibility of organizing the Initiation Ceremony during the spring semester.
Community Service: This newly formed committee is currently organizing volunteer opportunities for all Psychology students. These will be made available on the website. Along with this, they may bring in different agencies to speak about the opportunities they have for students, and in the future, they will organize an all Psi Chi community service event.
Psi Chi Officer Positions
Within the UW-Madison Chapter of Psi Chi there are five different officer positions:
President- Stephen Mack
Vice President- Alison Detloff
Secretary- Jenna vonBehren
Treasurer- Kelly Montenero
Social Chair- Amanda Riek
Each of these positions is new and they are currently in development. More information about what is involved in these positions will come, and additional roles may develop.
Other activities exist, but these five cover the majority of what the UW-Madison Psi Chi chapter does. Please see any of the Psi Chi officers or Stephanie Osborn for more information.
Applications for Psi-Chi are accepted in the fall and spring semesters. Deadlines are October 15th and February 15th, respectively. if the deadline falls on a weekend, applications will be due the following Monday. Applications shoud be submitted to Stephanie Osborn, either in her office (Room 428) or mailbox on the second floor. Please notify her if you have an questions regarding the application process.
Applications are available online at: