While the entire world is at a standstill due to the novel coronavirus, the United States is additionally in the midst of an election year. General election primaries have been halted, the national party conventions have been moved, and we even experienced a quiet televised debate with no audience or handshakes to promote social distancing guidelines. Before all of this, an impeachment occurred. Regardless of political leanings, it’s an exciting time to be a Political Science major, and today, we’re taking a look at the organization that celebrates those students: Pi Sigma Alpha.
Political Science is defined as, “a social science concerned chiefly with the description and analysis of political and especially governmental institutions and processes.” Students who major in this liberal arts field study government in theory and practice which includes, but is not limited to: party politics, elections, branches of government, policy, political behavior, and social movements. Due to the well-roundness of the degree, graduates often move on to careers in business, finance, consulting, government work, foreign service, teaching, social work, and law.
Founded in 1920 by members of the government department at The University of Texas, Pi Sigma Alpha was created to “encourage the scientific and practical study of problems of government, to foster reforms in our governmental machinery, and to aid in the education of the electorate in the problems of government.” In its centennial year, Pi Sigma Alpha boasts their first graduating class in 1920 to include a future Supreme Court Justice and U.S. Attorney General, a future U.S. Ambassador, and a number of future attorneys. Today, with over 850 chapters and 300,000 members, graduates include “feature national, state, and local political leaders, one president, three Supreme Court justices, and dozens of members of Congress.”
Eligibility for membership is open to juniors, seniors, and graduate students who have completed 10-15 credit hours (depending on the specific institution’s credit guidelines) in political science or government while maintaining an average grade of B or higher. Students must also be ranked in the top one-third of their entire class, but they are not required to be political science majors.
You’ll notice Pi Sigma Alpha members standing out at graduation while wearing their black, red, and white honor cords.
As a reminder, our team continues to operate with a modified business solution, complete with remote and isolated order processing locations. Our goal is to safely deliver honor and recognition gear to schools and institutions to have ready for their students once graduation ceremony dates have been reworked.
Like all graduates of The Class of 2020, political science majors are starting their professional careers during unprecedented times and we'll be cheering for them extra loud while they celebrate their accomplishments!