Membership Qualifications


Section 5.01 Membership in Phi Alpha Chapters.

Phi Alpha has Chapter Members who are local chapters of Phi Alpha and who consist of collegiate, alumni, professional, faculty, advisor, and honorary members (“Members”) as set forth below. “Chapter Members” may also be referred to
as “local chapters” or “chapters” within these Bylaws. Unless otherwise designated, all references to meetings of Members and other related provisions within this Article V shall apply to both Active and Honorary Members.

 Section 5.02  Criteria for Membership.

Members shall meet the following minimum criteria for membership. Any chapter, at its discretion, may establish higher or additional criteria, but below is the minimum criteria. Any individual applying for membership shall complete
any application procedure required. Any controversy concerning membership approval, categories, or criteria will be resolved by the Society Board of Directors, which has final authority and sole and absolute discretion in this regard.

(a) Active Members.

Members who have paid the one-time international fees and meet the qualifications for an active member classification shall be active members of the Society. Advisor Members shall also be active members of the Society, even though
an Advisor Member may not have paid the international fees, since Advisor Member international fees are waived as hereinafter provided under (v) hereinafter.

(i) Collegiate Members.

Collegiate members shall be students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate or doctoral programs at the time of initiation and have been recommended for membership by their local chapter who paid international fees.

a) Undergraduate Students.

Undergraduate students shall be enrolled in the institution represented by the chapter, have declared a major in social work, have completed 9 semester hours of required social work courses and at least 37.5% of the total hours/credits
required for the degree, whichever is later achieved, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

b) Graduate Students

Graduate students shall be enrolled in a graduate program in social work, have completed 9 semester hours of required social work graduate courses and at least 37.5% of the total hours/credits required for the graduate degree, whichever
is later achieved, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

c) Doctoral Students

Doctoral students shall require a masters in social work or related discipline, be enrolled in a doctoral program in social work, have completed 9 semester hours of required social work doctoral courses and at least 37.5% of the total
hours/credits required for the doctoral degree, whichever is later achieved, and rank in the top 35% of their class.

d) Invitational Only

Collegiate Members are admitted upon meeting criteria and by invitation only from the local collegiate chapter at the college or university where the Collegiate Member attends school at time of membership.

e) Requalification

If any other classification of Member (listed herein below) qualifies to become a Collegiate Member, then such Alumni, Professional or Faculty Member shall request that the local collegiate chapter admit said Member as a Collegiate
Member, which would enable such Member to serve as a collegiate officer. Notwithstanding the above, any Member who desires to become a Collegiate Member must not also be a tenured professor in social work at the college at which
said Member is seeking collegiate membership.

(ii) Alumni Members.

Alumni Members shall be a lifetime member who wishes to remain engaged. Alumni Members shall be affiliated with a collegiate chapter. Any Alumni Member must have been a Collegiate Member and automatically becomes an Alumni Member upon
graduation or transfer to a college or university without an active collegiate chapter as long as he/she was a Collegiate Member in good standing at the time of such graduation or transfer.

(iii) Professional Members.

Professional Members who met their collegiate chapter’s criteria, but did not apply for membership while in college, or meet the current collegiate chapter’s criteria if such chapter was not active or institute during their attendance
at said college, may apply for membership through their alma mater’s active collegiate chapter. Professional Members must have graduated from said school with a degree in social work and be employed in a position for which said
degree is required or highly desirable to apply for membership.

(iv) Faculty Members.

Faculty Members shall be a member of the faculty or has a professional designation (e.g., Director of Field Instruction) within the university or college that has a collegiate chapter. Faculty Members apply for membership through said
college’s chapter. Faculty Members must be employed full-time by said college or university and have at least a Master’s Degree in social work. If a faculty member intends to become a Phi Alpha Member for the purpose of serving as
a chapter advisor, they qualify as an Advisor Member as long as said faculty member is on the faculty of the college or university to which collegiate chapter he or she plans to advise.

(v) Advisor Members.

Advisor Members shall be the advisor of a collegiate chapter at the time of membership and shall meet the requirements of at least one of the other categories of active membership listed hereinbefore. While a Member is serving as an
advisor, that Member is an Advisor Member and must remain so during the entire time said Member serves as an advisor. Advisor Members are not required to pay the international fees, but may be required to pay any local chapter
dues in the chapter to which they are an advisor other than international fees that such local chapter assesses to each active Member. If an Advisor Member is no longer an advisor, then such membership shall convert to the membership
type under which Advisor Member qualified at such time of membership, but no assessment of international fees shall be assessed upon such Advisor Member’s conversion to other active membership.

(b) Honorary Members.

Honorary Members shall be persons, other than students, outside the Society who have provided distinctive contributions to the field of social work and are granted only by the sole permission of the Society. These membership are honorary
and do not have voting rights. Honorary Member are almost always bestowed by local collegiate chapters, but the Society shall also have the right, but not the obligation, to bestow such Honorary Member membership since such
membership does not contain the right to vote and will assign such Honorary Member a local chapter for affiliation.

(c) Payment of Fees.

Each active Member other than Advisor (Collegiate, Alumni, Professional, or Faculty) is required to have submitted the international fees to the Society through the local chapter to which they are affiliated prior to being declared
a Member of Phi Alpha or having any privileges of such membership. Advisor Members’ international fees are waived, but if such Advisor Member has already paid the international fees prior to becoming an Advisor Member, then no refund
will be issued. Each local chapter determines the amount of local dues, if any, that each membership class shall pay to said local chapter. Since Honorary Members do not vote and their membership is honorary, there are no international
fees or dues assessed to Honorary Members. If an Honorary Member desires to become an active member, said Honorary Member must (i) declare their intent to qualify for active membership and the type of membership requested to
their local collegiate chapter, (ii) meet the qualifications for the requested type of active membership, and (iii) pay the appropriate international and local dues for such membership in the same manner as any other person apply
for active membership of that particular membership classification. Individual lifetime memberships are $30.00. 

Honorary Membership

Each chapter may select two persons each year for honorary membership. Students that do not meet the Phi Alpha criteria are not eligible. This recognition is available to persons outside the program who have made significant contribution
to the program and/or society.

Student Support Membership

Designed for students eligible for Phi Alpha membership whose situation makes it a challenge to pay membership fees. Each chapter receives 2 memberships per academic year at no cost. Chapters are responsible for any chapter fees.

Social Work Faculty

Membership is available to all full-time social work faculty with a MSW from an accredited Social Work program. 

Chapter Advisor Membership

Phi Alpha will provide membership at no cost to chapter advisors.