Honor Societies

Honor Societies

You work hard for top grades. You’re passionate about your particular field of study. And you want to share your enthusiasm for learning with like-minded individuals.

Washington College shelters local chapters of several national honor societies for specific disciplines. Other honor societies, such as like Omicron Delta Kappa, recognize scholars who are also campus leaders.


The emphasis in this international sociology honor society is on service and scholarship. Upperclass students majoring or minoring in sociology are eligible if they have taken at least four courses in sociology at Washington College, maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 as well as a GPA of 3.0 in their sociology coursework, and are in the upper 35% of their class.

Beta Beta Beta, Rho Iota Chapter, is a national honor society for students dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study and extending the boundaries of human knowledge through scientific research.

KAO, Iota Chapter at Washington College, is an international honor society for students dedicated to the interdisciplinary environmental studies and sciences. The KAO honor society also promotes and encourages new students to enter environmental fields while providing a foundation to support the expansion of environmental research and contacts both here and abroad.

Lambda Alpha is the national collegiate honor society for anthropology. It was founded for the purpose of encouraging and stimulating scholarship and research in anthropology by recognizing and honoring superior achievement in the discipline among students, faculty, and other persons engaged in the study of anthropology.

This national dance honor society is open to students who maintain a 3.0 GPA and show outstanding ability in dance technique, performance, scholarship, choreography, literature, and/or production.

Omicron Delta Epsilon is the international honor society in economics. Our chapter is the MU chapter of Maryland.

Omicron Delta Kappa is the national leadership honor society, open to college men and women from all majors. Washington College’s Alpha Psi Circle of ODK also supports leadership education by sponsoring and organizing a series of colloquia, talks, and special events throughout the year. Learn more

The local chapter of the national history honor society, Phi Alpha Theta sponsors presentations, discussions and a lecture series. Members are invited to present thesis proposals at the annual meeting at American University in Washington, DC. Students may also submit writings for publication in the Historian, the organization’s academic journal.

The National French Honor Society is devoted to recognizing outstanding scholarship in the French language and to increasing the knowledge and appreciation for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world.

Pi Mu Epsilon is a non-secret honor society whose purpose is the promotion and recognition of scholarly activity in the mathematical sciences among students at the academic institutions that have been chartered as Chapters of the Society.

Phi Beta Kappa is the most highly regarded mark of academic distinction in America. Society membership is extended to only about 10 percent of the nation’s institutions of higher learning and only about ten percent of those institutions’ graduates. Learn more

The National Honor Society in philosophy is open to any student who has completed three semesters at an accredited college or university. Nonmajors are eligible. The successful applicant will be in the upper 35% of his or her class, and will have have completed at least three courses in philosophy or religion with an average of 3.4. Applications and details are available from Prof. Peter Weigel, Faculty Chapter Advisor, or Jennifer Sutphin, Student Officer. Membership carries no obligation beyond the application process. Phi Sigma Tau is administered in conjunction with the Philosophy Club at Washington College.

Students in the education program are eligible for the national honor society recognizing high standards in the study of education.

Open to political science students, Pi Sigma Alpha is the local chapter of the National Political Science Honor Society. Qualified students in the upper third of their class who have demonstrated productive scholarship and personal interest in government, international relations or public administration are selected annually for membership. The organization hosts various lectures and dinners. Informal discussions and debates pertaining to the political arena are also common.

Psi Chi is the local chapter of the national psychology honor society. Membership is awarded to psychology majors in the upper one-third of their class who have demonstrated productive scholarship in psychology. The organization hosts various guest speakers and sponsors occasional field trips to points of interest. In addition, members have the opportunity to explore the graduate school admission process.

Psi Chi encourages, stimulates, and maintains excellence in scholarship, and advances the science of psychology. Qualifying Psychology majors and minors (whose GPA are within the top one-third of their graduating class) are sent invitations to join each February. Learn more

The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) at Washington College

The NSLS is the largest leadership honor society in the United States. Our NSLS chapter at Washington College was started in 2018. Our local chapter is part of the national organization with 700+ chapters and over 1.4 million members. 

Students are selected based on exemplary leadership potential. As of 2021 we have 409 members who have access to:

The NSLS leadership program teaches the interpersonal skills that employers seek to give you an edge in the job market. Hear directly from current members as they share how their experience has changed their life.

If you become a member, some of the other benefits are:

  • Learn from exceptional leaders like former President Barack Obama during exclusive speaker broadcasts.
  • Meet new friends and make lifelong connections (on-campus and virtually).
  • Overcome challenges with success coaches shortcutting your way to success.
  • Access to private networking events. 

Visit the NSLS website to learn more about and accept your nomination. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Some of the common questions we receive are listed below. If you have any other questions, visit nsls.org to chat with a team member or email [email protected].

What do I have to do to become inducted?

Our five-step program takes approximately 12 hours over the course of the semester at your pace. 

Is this recognized on campus?

We are a Registered Student Organization (RSO). As of 2021, we had 409 in our chapter and there are more than 1.4 million members nationwide.

A national honor society in business, Sigma Beta Delta recognizes students in the top 20% of their class who aspire toward personal and professional improvement and a life distinguished by honorable service to humankind.

This national honorary society for Hispanic studies is encourages a deeper understanding of Hispanic cultures. Members work to foster friendly relations and mutual respect between the nations of Hispanic speech and native English speakers.

English majors and master’s candidates are eligible for membership in Sigma Tau Delta. The Mu Nu chapter recognizes students who excel in the study of English language and literature and offers them opportunities to enrich their education and careers. Active members must have completed at least three semesters with an A- average and rank in the top thirty-five percent of their class. Members may participate in conferences and conventions, and are eligible for grants and scholarships.

Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary society whose programs and activities promote the health of the scientific enterprise, reward excellence in scientific research and encourage a sense of companionship and cooperation among scientists in all fields. The Sigma Xi motto is Spoudon xynones, or “Companions in Zealous Research.” Promising undergraduate researchers who have presented their work at an external research conference are nominated by faculty mentors for membership. Learn more