Pi Alpha Alpha: The Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration

Pi Alpha Alpha: The Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration

Melissa W.

What does a content specialist, media director, government affairs director, and a publicist have in common? They’re all members of public affairs teams, and likely members of the honor society, Pi Alpha Alpha!

Established in 1974 by NASPAA, Pi Alpha Alpha “began with the goal to encourage excellence and recognize students who have gone above and beyond in the study of public policy and administration.” 

On their website, PAA boasts its membership benefits as: 

  • Acknowledgement of academic achievement 
  • Job-search assistance 
  • Networking benefits 
  • Ability to serve others in public service
  • Scholarship and award opportunities

In order to qualify for membership, undergraduate students must be working toward a degree in public affairs, be in the to 10% of their graduating class, have completed a minimum of 15 credit hours in public administration/policy, maintain a minimum of a 3.5 GPA in degree-related coursework, and hold a 3.0 minimum GPA in all other courses. Graduate students must maintain a minimum of a 3.7 GPA in public administration coursework.

Headquartered in Washington DC (not surprising!), PAA currently has 167 active chapters and 30,000 members worldwide. You’ll recognize these public service members on graduation day by their light blue and yellow/bright gold honor cords.

Below is an example of a product offered at Senior Class Graduation Products, though students are recommended they check with their chapters for specific purchasing information.

light blue and white honor cord from senior class graduation products

Are you a member of Pi Alpha Alpha? Let us know in the comments!


Cover photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash

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