About Phi Alpha


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 adopted 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.

Wichita State University is proud to be the Beta Delta chapter of the Phi Alpha Honor Society since 1986 


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. 

Benefits of Membership

  • Recognition of academic excellence in Social Work Education
  • Membership in Social Work’s internationally recognized honor society
  • Social Work’s largest honor society
  • Networking opportunities with other social work students
  • Respected by employers, social workers, and college admissions
  • National presentation opportunities 
  • Lifetime membership
  • Membership certificate and lapel pin
  • Inclusion in the induction ceremony
  • Leadership opportunities in local chapter meetings
  • Membership in an organization that promotes humanitarian goals and ideas
  • Alumni Networking Opportunities
  • Mentoring
  • Student leadership award
  • Poster presentation competition 
  • Student membership support

Interested in Joining? Click Here!


Rheanna Pierce, LMSW, CA