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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 Criteria

  1. Agree to participate in Phi Alpha meetings/activities and perfrom 3 hours of community service each semester
  2. At least 3.0 overall GPA for courses taken at, or transferred to, MSU, Mankato
  3. Achieved at least a 3.3 social work GPA, including foundation courses
  4. Currently enrolled in or already completed SOWK 441: Introduction to Social Work Generalist Practice

[PDF] BSSW application form (4 KiB)

MSW Membership Criteria

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

[PDF] MSW application form (70 KiB)

Faculty Advisors 

Sky Smith, MSW, LICSW

Phone: 507-389-5084,

Annelies Hagemeister, PhD, MSW, LISW 

Phone: 507-389-5078, 

Current Officers (Spring Semester 2018)                                                                                

President: Laura Berger,                                         

Vice President: Baylee Nelson,                                                             

Treasurer: Libby Guss,

Secretary: Bridget Epps,                                                             

Graduate Student Officer: Michelle Anklan,