Santa Clara University

History department

Phi Alpha Theta

                                                              phi Alpha Theta Key

History Honors Society Lambda Upsilon Chapter at Santa Clara University

Since its inauguration in 1921, the honor society known as Phi Alpha Theta (from the Greek philia, anthropos, theos, “Love, Humanity, God”) has promoted the study of History in colleges around the country and internationally by encouraging excellence in teaching and research. Students who have a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.1 GPA in History and have completed twelve credits of History courses are eligible to join. Santa Clara University’s Lambda Upsilon chapter was founded in 1966. Since then, it has achieved both regional and national prominence. Chapter members have garnered over a dozen awards at regional conferences just in the past decade. Our Lambda Upsilon-sponsored student research publication, Historical Perspectives, has been recognized in the national competition for the Gerald D. Nash History Journal Prize, winning second place in 2009 and 2011 and first place in 2013. The prize recognizes departments that promote serious student research by publishing a formal journal dedicated to student-written articles. In addition to co-editing Historical Perspectives with an advising faculty committee, the executive committee of our chapter, who are elected annually by members, organizes on-campus as well as off-campus activities connected with the study of History.

Statement of Purpose

Phi Alpha Theta, the international honor society in history, is an organization that promotes the study of history by encouraging research, teaching, publication, and the exchange of ideas among historians.

The Lambda Upsilon Chapter, established at Santa Clara University in 1966, is active in student and educational programs. Members are selected on the basis of academic excellence and dedication to the study and writing of history.

Requirements for Admission

Santa Clara students must have completed at least 88 units, have a 3.0 or greater cumulative grade point average, have taken at least four history courses, and have a 3.1 or greater cumulate grade point average in those history courses.

Membership Benefits

Your induction fee entitles you to:

  • a lifetime membership in the organization
  • a certificate of membership
  • a membership card
  • a year’s subscription to The Historian, a scholarly journal published under the auspices of the national organization
  • consideration for a scholarship for advanced study in history

Membership in an academic honors society adds luster to any academic record, whatever future occupational plan may be. In the civil service, membership in an academic honors society qualifies you for a higher salary step.

The best part of belonging to Phi Alpha Theta is the opportunity it offers members to share their work and ideas about history with their peers.

Initiation Ceremony

Each year, usually in Spring Quarter, we hold an initiation ceremony to welcome new members into the society.

Historical Perspectives

Each year the best papers written by students in the History Department are published in Lambda Upsilon’s undergraduate journal, Historical Perspectives. A student editorial board, assisted by two faculty members, reviews all papers submitted. Eight or nine papers of exceptional scholarship are printed in a bound journal and distributed to alumni, faculty, students, and friends of the Department.

Regional Conference

Each year in spring, one of the Northern California chapters of Phi Alpha Theta hosts a day-long student conference during which members of the society can present research papers and compete for cash prizes. Santa Clara participants always find these occasions immensely rewarding. At least one of the Lambda Upsilon presenters have won a prize every year.

Memorabilia

In addition to the certificate and membership card, the History Department will give you an honor cord to wear over your gown during Commencement. Clothing, jewelry, and other Phi Alpha Theta merchandise can be purchased through the organization's home web page (www.phialphatheta.org/merchandise.htm).

Faculty Advisor 

Professor Harry Odamtten
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For more information, contact:
Department of History
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053-0285

O’Connor Hall 16
(408) 554-4527

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