Eligibility | Advantages | Service Requirement


Membership in Phi Alpha is open to BASW, MSW and PhD students in the School of Social Work at Michigan State University. A lifelong commitment to excellence, recognition for academic excellence, camaraderie, and support a re natural outcomes of Phi Alpha membership.

An undergraduate student is eligible for active membership when he or she has achieved junior status, achieved an overall grade point average of 3.2 or higher, and completed a minimum of 9 credits in the social work core curriculum.

A graduate student is eligible for active membership when he or she has been duly enrolled in the graduate School of Social Work, achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and completed a minimum of 27 credits in social work courses. Advanced standing master’s students with a 3.5 GPA will be eligible for membership after 6 social work credits in the summer session. 

Members initiated as undergraduate students who enter a graduate school of social work shall be continued as active members.

Any current member of the society may transfer membership to the MSU chapter when he or she has moved into its jurisdiction upon application to this chapter. 

The chapter will not discriminate on the basis of age, color, gender, handicapper status, height, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or weight.

The Advantages of Joining Phi Alpha Include:

  1. Becoming a member of a nationally recognized organization that supports high standards in social work education
  2. Participation in scholarly activities and social action events
  3. Working together with student colleagues and professors on social issues and creating a scholarly environment at the School of Social Work.
  4. Identification in your vitae as a Phi Alpha Honor Society member ensures acknowledgement of academic excellence and open doors for professional success.

Service Requirement

Our chapter of Phi Alpha requires new members to perform two volunteer service projects during the upcoming academic year. If a student joins in the spring, one volunteer service project is due that year. The service project can be something students are already doing in their community or t hey can be Phi Alpha, GRAD SAC, or Students for Social Work sponsored service projects.

A service project is any volunteer activity (no minumum hours) that is not connected to your field experience or job. Examples include: working at a soup kitchen, driving a neighbor to get groceries, volunteering at a 5K race. As long as a student is going above and beyond his/her normal activities, it l ikely counts. As you make your decision whether to join Phi Alpha, please remember that you will be committing yourself to perform two service projects this academic year.

Can a person volunteer at the same agency twice or do they have to volunteer at two different places for the service projects?
The events can be through the same agency, but need to be two different events. For example, you cannot attend the soup kitchen twice and count it as two separate events. However, if you are volunteering for two different events like “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” and “Medical Advocacy&rdq uo; from the Sexual Assault Program on campus this would count. Any questions, please email a Board Member.

Who needs to complete a service project?
If you are an MSW from MSU you do not have to complete any service project because they carry over. However, if you are transferring your membership from another university, you must complete two service projects. New members must complete two projects as well.