Phi Alpha Theta is a national history honor society. Its stated mission is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, good teaching, publication and the exchange of learning and ideas among historians. It endeavors to bring students, teachers and writers of history together for intellectual and social exchanges, which promote and assist historical research and publication by its members in a variety of ways.
Phi Alpha Theta offers much to those interested in history. Membership provides many scholarly opportunities by means of meetings, conferences and publications. It also fosters relationships with people of like interest, through social as well as professional interaction. For those considering graduate study, regardless of the field, membership provides an excellent reference on one’s graduate school applications, as well as vital experience and preparation for future professional participation. For those not planning on graduate study, membership can still offer valuable preparation in many different career fields, as well as an impressive reference on one’s resume.
The requirements for membership are as follows. One must have completed 12 semester hours in the field of history (only classes with the prefix HIST count), have a 3.1 GPA in the field of history and a 3.0 overall grade. One does not need a major or minor in history to join Phi Alpha Theta. The costs of membership are low. There is a one-time $40 initiation fee, with no further costs for maintaining a lifetime membership.
The Chi Theta chapter of Phi Alpha Theta at Ouachita Baptist University was founded in 1976 with twelve charter members. Their faculty advisor was Dr. Tom Auffenberg, now chair of the history department of Ouachita. The Chi Theta chapter has remained active to this day, with over 280 people joining its ranks during the course of its 27-year history. It has sponsored numerous scholarly and social activities, and has provided untold opportunities to its members over the years. In April of 2003, the Chi Theta chapter hosted the Phi Alpha Theta state meeting.