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What is Phi Alpha Theta?

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

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. Limited need-based financial aid is available to help cover the fee; for more information, please contact Dr. T.J. Fitzgerald (

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:

  • 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 create and sell “JMU History” t-shirts and sweatshirts annually.

Remaining a member in Good Standing in JMU's Tau Pi Chapter requires participating in 3 events per semester. 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.


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

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, Wilson 3033, or online.

Application Form

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

Contact Our Advisor

Dr. T.J. Fitzgerald
Wilson Hall, 4012

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