Pi Sigma Alpha (Rho Tau Chapter)

Pi Sigma Alpha logo.

The National Political Science Honor Society Pi Sigma Alpha is the only honor society for college students of political science and government in the United States. Formed in 1920, it is one of the oldest and most distinguished of national honor societies, with nearly 700 chapters in colleges and universities across the nation, and a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS).


The faculty advisor is Professor Jacob Neiheisel

Membership Requirements

UB's Rho Tau Chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha recognizes student achievement in political science scholarship. Membership in the chapter is based on four requirements. The applicant must:

  1. Have completed 12 credit hours of coursework in political science.
  2. Hold a GPA of at least 3.0 in his or her political science courses.
  3. Hold an overall GPA of at least 3.0 in his or her courses.
  4. Pay a one-time initiation fee of $35.

Once accepted, members receive a membership certificate, a Pi Sigma Alpha pin, the right to participate in local chapter activities and governance, and the right to wear a Pi Sigma Alpha honor cord and/or medallion to the graduation ceremonies.

Rho Tau Chapter Events

At the initiative of the chapter’s officers, the Rho Tau Chapter normally sponsors several events throughout the academic year. The Spring Initiation Ceremony and Research Presentation is an annual event. Several distinguished political scientists have made research presentations at these ceremonies. Past distinguished scholars include:

  • Prof. Jon Bond of Texas A&M University
  • Prof. William Mayer of Northeastern University
  • Prof. Kenneth Meier of Texas A&M University
  • Prof. Paul Diehl of the University of Illinois
  • Prof. James Stimson of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Prof. Helmut Norpoth of SUNY at Stony Brook
  • Prof. Forrest Maltzman of George Washington University
  • Prof. Doug Lemke of Pennsylvania State University
  • Prof. Robert Bates of Harvard University
  • Prof. Michael Lewis-Beck of the University of Iowa
  • Prof. Harvey Starr of the University of South Carolina
  • Prof. Paul Wahlbeck of George Washington University
  • Prof. Todd Donovan of Western Washington University
  • Prof. Arthur “Skip” Lupia of the University of Michigan