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Phi Alpha Theta

Phi Alpha Theta (ΦΑΘ) is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history. The society has over 400,000 members, with some 9,000 new members joining each year through 970 chapters nationwide. Link to their web page here.

The Vanderbilt University chapter of Phi Alpha Theta is student run, with a faculty adviser. The Department of History invites qualifiers to apply for lifetime membership twice during the academic year. The qualifications for membership are set by the National office and are as follows:

“Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours (4 courses) in History, achieve a minimum GPA of 3.1 in History and a GPA of 3.0 or better overall. A maximum of 3 credit hours of online, transfer, or AP credits may be applied to the membership eligibility requirement.  Membership is not limited to History majors.   A chapter advisor may also require that the student be ranked in the top 35% of their class.  The chapter advisor has the discretion of making eligibility requirements for his/her chapter more (but not less) stringent than the national requirement..”

Vanderbilt University History Department has a requirement that a student's overall GPA must be 3.5 or better.

There is a one-time initiation fee of $50.00 per student that is collected during the two qualifying events.

2016-2021 Faculty Adviser is Professor Thomas Schwartz



With the guidance of the Faculty Adviser, the President of the VU chapter arranges for events throughout the year.  

Members are also encouraged to apply to the scholarships and conferences sponsored by the national office. For a detailed listing of the P.A.T. extensive awards program, visit the Prizes/Awards section of their website.


updated September 2021