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Phi Alpha Theta
Phi alpha theta logo.png
Established March 17, 1921
National President James A. Ramage, Ph.D.
Members over 350,000

Phi Alpha Theta (ΦΑΘ) is an American honor society for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history. The society is a charter member of the Association of College Honor Societies and has over 350,000 members, with about 9,500 new members joining each year through 860 local chapters.



Phi Alpha Theta was established on March 17, 1921 at the University of Arkansas by Professor Nels Cleven. Cleven had become convinced in his time at the university that a fraternity of scholars (which would accept men or women) was important for the study of history. He invited students to a meeting to form the society (then called the "University Historical Society") on March 14, and the society was officially recognized on the 17th. In April, the decision was made for the society to be known by the Greek letters Phi Alpha Theta.

Publication and leadership

Phi Alpha Theta publishes a quarterly historical journal entitled The Historian, which has over 12,500 individual subscribers and 1,000 library subscribers. The society's national headquarters and the journal's editorial offices are located at the University of South Florida. The Historian splits the space in its quarterly issues between articles and book reviews. The book review section of the journal has been based at Ohio Wesleyan University since 1994.

James A. Ramage of Northern Kentucky University is the current president of Phi Alpha Theta, and Graydon A. Tunstall, Jr. of the University of South Florida is Executive Director. Kees Boterbloem of USF is managing editor of The Historian, and Richard Spall, Jr. of Ohio Wesleyan University is the journal's book review editor.

Membership requirements

Undergraduate students must have a 3.0 overall grade point average, at least a 3.1 in their history courses, and be in the top 35% of their class. Students need not be majoring in history, but must have taken at least 12 credit hours of history classes. Specific universities may develop higher qualifications. Graduate students must have a GPA of better than 3.5 and have completed approximately 30% of the residence requirements for the Master's Degree.

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