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College of Human Environmental Sciences

Phi Alpha Honor Society - Chi Delta Chapter

Phi Alpha Honor Society logo"Through Knowledge - The Challenge to Serve"

The purpose of Phi Alpha Honor Society is to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. 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.

The Chi Delta Chapter at the University of Missouri-Columbia became an official chapter of the National Phi Alpha Honor Society on March 20, 1991.

2018 BSW Inductees2018 BSW Initiates

2018 MSW Inductees2018 MSW Initiates

History of Phi Alpha, National Honor Society for Social Work Students -

"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, 1960. For more than a year this committee worked on the constitution and other administrative matters. The name Phi Alpha and the keys were adopted from the local chapter which existed at Florida State University.

The constitution and formal organization was completed in 1962, and six chapters qualified to become "charter chapters." There were: Florida State University, Michigan State University, Ohio North University, Central State College, University of Dayton and the University of Tennessee. Over 380 chapters are now in existence, and the addition of new chapters is continuing."


Chi Delta Chapter Information from Constitution

Eager to promote a closer bond among students of social work and to enter into a more intimate fellowship with those dedicated to the promotion of humanitarian goals and ideals by a professional group for which specialized preparation is deemed imperative, students and faculty involved in social work education at the University of Missouri-Columbia resolve to sponsor a Chapter of Phi Alpha National Honor Society, thereby to foster high standards of training for social work and to invite into pledges of fellowship those who have attained excellence of scholarship and distinction of achievement as students of social work.


  1. To recognize and promote scholastic achievement among students and faculty involved in the undergraduate and graduate social work program at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
  2. To recognize, improve, and further the goals of social work in the community, state, nation, and the world.
  3. To stimulate interest in preparation for a career in social work.
  4. To encourage continued study and research at the undergraduate level, the graduate level, and in professional practice.
  5. To recognize those professional social workers whose service, contributions, and leadership are held in esteem.

As permitted by the National Office, the Chi Delta Chapter has established higher eligibility requirements than the minimum requirements of the National Phi Alpha Honor Society.

General Membership

Students are invited to join Phi Alpha, Chi Delta Chapter based on their eligibility. At the beginning of each full semester (fall & winter), academic criteria is reviewed for all professional BSW & MSW students. Eligible students will receive a letter of invitation to join via their student e-mail account.

Undergraduate Students:

Undergraduate students shall be enrolled in the institution represented by the chapter, have declared a major in social work, have completed 9 semester hours of required social work courses or at least 37.5% of the total hours/credits required for the degree, whichever is later achieved, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

Graduate Students:

Graduate students shall be enrolled in a graduate program in social work, have completed 9 semester hours of required social work graduate courses or at least 37.5% of the total hours/credits required for the graduate degree, whichever is later achieved, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

To accept an offer of membership into the Chi Delta Chapter, members must complete the acceptance form and submit their payment by the specified deadline date. All checks should be made payable to Phi Alpha.

All members initiated into Phi Alpha, Chi Delta Chapter enjoy life-long membership in Phi Alpha Honor Society. Each member is invited to an initiation ceremony to take the membership pledge and receive their official membership certificate.

A lifelong commitment to excellence, recognition for academic excellence, camaraderie, and support are natural outcomes of Phi Alpha membership.

An initiation fee of $30.00 is required by the National Society, and a $20.00 fee is retained by the local chapter to support chapter activities and the gold medallion presented to all eligible active members at graduation.

Active Membership

Active membership in the Chi Delta Chapter is rewarded with the Phi Alpha gold medallion. It is engraved with the member’s name and graduation date and can be worn over the gown at graduation. A Chi Delta member is considered "active" when they complete the following chapter requirements:

  • Attend one campus or community event per semester that address the needs of marginalized or other populations addressed by the social work profession. Members must provide documentation (i.e. flyer, program, literature, etc) to satisfy this requirement (see meeting/event opportunities below);
  • Complete 8 hours of community service/volunteerism each semester of membership (see service oppportunities below);
  • Submit documentation forms for attendance and hours completed by the deadline each semester.

Phi Alpha Medallion

Semi-Active Membership

Members who are unable to attend the required number of meetings may choose Semi-active status in the Chi Delta Chapter. Semi-active members complete and document all the required service hours each semester (as listed under Active Membership) but are exempt from all meeting requirements. Semi-active members are presented with a gold Phi Alpha lapel pin.

Phi Alpha pin

Eligible students are invited to join the Chi Delta Chapter and participate in the Initiation Ceremony which is held at the beginning of each semester. Initiates take the pledge of membership, sign the membership book, and are presented with a certificate of lifetime membership, ribbon, and button from the National Office.

Initiation is generally the first chapter meeting of each semester and counts toward the meeting attendance requirement. Current Chi Delta members, MU faculty & staff, and members from other chapters are invited to attend.

Chapter Advisors

Current Phi Alpha officers

  • President: Emory Grigsby
  • Vice President:Samantha Lovett
  • Secretary: Kayla Jones
  • Treasurer: open
  • Historian: open

All members will be subscribed to the phialpha-l listserv to receive information about upcoming events each semester.

Please note that while we have a few events that are pre-planned, any service that you do can count for this requirement. You are encouraged to find service opportunities and you do not need an officer signature for your individual service—just be sure that someone at the agency can sign off on your log form that you were there!