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Phi Alpha Theta


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Dr. Dillard pie 2014

Phi Alpha Theta symbol

Dr. Butt pie 2014

What is Phi Alpha Theta?

Phi Alpha Theta (ΦΑΘ) is a national honor fraternity for undergraduate and graduate students and professors of history. The organization is dedicated to the study and promotion of history.

National Mission Statement: “We seek to bring students, teachers and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by our members in a variety of ways.”

Phi Alpha Theta at JMU

JMU’s Phi Alpha Theta, Tau Pi Chapter, was established in 1972. Today, Phi Alpha Theta requires members to attend monthly general body meetings and participates in a variety of events on campus.

·       Host the fall History department picnic

·       Host the annual “Pie-a-Professor” event

·       Present at the annual regional PAT conference

·       Present at the Biennial National Phi Alpha Theta conference (past locations  include Orlando, FL and Albuquerque, NM)

·       Fundraise  for philanthropic events, like Relay for Life

·       Field trips!

We are also responsible for a few JMU history traditions. As an organization, we established the Pie-a-Professor event to endow an annual book scholarship to history majors. We also created and sell the “I Survived 395” t-shirts annually!

Becoming a member in Good Standing in JMU's Tau Pi Chapter requires participating in 3 events per semester (Chapter Bylaws).

Tau Pi chapter recognizes these members by providing members in Good Standing at the Spring history ceremony in addition to earning the red Phi Alpha Theta sash for graduation.

 Application Process

Phi Alpha Theta is a no-hazing, non-discriminatory organization. All applicants that meet the academic admission requirements and pay the one-time organization fee are eligible to join.

          Undergraduate admission

Membership to both our chapter and the national chapter requires a minimum of 12-hours in history, a 3.1 or higher history GPA, and 3.0 or higher overall GPA. Applications are available in the department office, Jackson 201, or online.

          Graduate admission

Graduate admission can be earned by: a) transferring undergraduate membership or b) completing a minimum of 12 semester hours towards the Master's Degree with a GPA of better than 3.5 and completing approximately 30% of residence requirements for the Master's in History.  

            Application forms can be downloaded here: Application Form


The national chapter of Phi Alpha Theta offers a number of scholarships and paper competitions with cash prizes.  For more details, consult the national chapter webpage at

Contact our Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Galgano

History Department

Sheldon Hall 225

Office phone +1 540 568 6132