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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Phi Alpha Honor Society

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Phi Alpha
National Social Work Honor Society
Eta Alpha Chapter

History of Phi Alpha

The concept of a national social work honor society came from a group of undergraduate social work students at Michigan State University in 1960. Investigation revealed that local chapters existed at three schools. Those three schools along with a few other schools formed a National Honor Society committee in November, 1960. For more than a year this committee worked on the constitution and other administrative maters. The name Phi Alpha and the key were adopted from the local chapter which existed at Florida State University. The constitution and formal organization were completed in 1962, and six chapters qualified to become "charter Chapters." They were: Florida State University, Michigan State University, Ohio Northern University, Central State College, University of Dayton and the University of Tennessee. Over 110 chapters are now in existence (including the chapter at Columbia College which was started by Tom Sawyer) and the existence, and the addition of new chapters is continuing.

Phi Alpha offers membership to social work students and faculty, and each chapter is free to develop a program to meet local needs. The National Council is the policy-making body and meets each year at the time and place of the Annual program meeting of CSWE. Each chapter has one voting representative on the Council.


The purposes of Phi Alpha Honor Society are to provide a closer bond among students of social work and promote humanitarian goals and ideals. Phi Alpha fosters higher standards of training for social workers and invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.

BSSW Membership Information

The Eta Alpha Chapter invites into membership those who have attained excellence in scholarship and achievement in social work.

  1. Agree to complete at 3 hours of community service each semester.
  2. Completed BSSW courses SOWK 180W, 212, 214, 310, & 315  and all Social Work Program required courses completed to date with a 3.3 GPA.
  3. Achieved at least a 3.3 GPA, overall, for courses transferred to and completed at MSU, M.
  4. Be in or either have successfully completed one or more of the BSSW Social Work program's advanced practice courses (SOWK 441/Practice 1; SOWK 443/Practice 2; SOWK 445/Practice 3; SOWK 447 (SOWK 446); SOWK 450/455).

MSW Membership Information

  1. Completed 1 semester of the MSU, M MSW program.
  2. Achieved at least a 3.5 GPA (overall) for graduate courses transferred to or taken at MSU, M. 
  3. Agree to participate in Phi Alpha meetings/activities and perfrom 3 hours of community service each semester

[DOC] MSW Phi Alpha Application  (47 KiB)[DOC] Audio-Visual Form    (45 KiB)|    Community Service Form  

Faculty Advisors (Fall Semester 2017)

Sky Smith, MSW, LICSW

Phone: 507-389-5084,

Annelies Hagemeister, PhD, MSW, LISW 

Phone: 507-389-5078, 

Current Officers (Spring Semester 2017)                                                                                

President: Laura Berger,                                         

Vice President: Baylee Nelson,                                                             

Treasurer: Kayla Smith,

Secretary: Bridget Epps,                                                             

Graduate Student Officer: Michelle Anklan,