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Phi Alpha Theta & The History Club

Phi Alpha Theta 

So what is Phi Alpha Theta?

Phi Alpha Theta is the national honor society in history. It was first organized at the University of Arkansas in 1921. Since then it has grown to more than eight hundred chapters and has more chapters than any of the other accredited honor societies. The Zeta Chapter at Ohio State provides leadership for The History Club, which is open to any student, regardless of major or eligibility for Phi Alpha Theta. 

"We are a professional society whose mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. We seek to bring students and teachers together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by our members in a variety of ways."

Each spring, OSU’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honor society, inducts new members, who are invited to join based on their excellent scholarship in history. Eligibility is determined after each autumn semester and invitations extended to those who 1) have completed at least 15 semester credit hours in history with at least a 3.1 GPA in those courses; 2) have maintained at least a 3.0 GPA overall; and 3) rank in the top 35% of their class. Founded in 1927, the Zeta Chapter at Ohio State is the oldest in Ohio and among the oldest in the United States.

What is the difference in Phi Alpha Theta and History Club?

If you are confused about the difference, don't be! The History Club is an informal organization that brings Ohio State University students interested in history together for extracurricular activities. The faculty and the department help facilitate these activities. The History Club began in 1999 under the leadership of the Zeta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honorary Society. You do not have to be in Phi Alpha Theta to take part in the History Club.

The History Club meets every Tuesday at 5:00 PM on the second floor of Dulles Hall. Ohio State students of all majors are welcome! The Ohio State History Club has an Instagram page. Follow them at @osu_historyclub.

What does Phi Alpha Theta do?

  • Publishes a scholarly magazine, The Historian.
  • Holds biennial national conventions, where students and professors meet to exchange ideas and present research papers.
  • Sponsors regional meetings of Phi Alpha Theta.
  • Awards scholarships to help students pursue their studies in history.