The University of Washington officially supports the honor societies listed below (other helpful links can be found at the UW's Honorary Societies page). Unless otherwise noted, the UW Honors Program does not have any direct affiliation with these organizations.
If you've been invited to join an honor society, be sure to research the organization before joining or submitting any membership fees. Please visit the ACHS (Association of College Honor Societies) page on How to Judge the Credibility of an honor society for more information.
If you are still in doubt, contact the University of Washington campus representative of that Honor society (who should be named in your letter of invitation).
Honor Societies at UW
National Society of Collegiate Scholars
The NSCS Honors Society is a service-based honors society that is sponsored in part by the UW Honors Program. The UW chapter is a service-based Honors Society which also offers scholarships, leadership development, travel, and career opportunities. Membership is open to students in freshmen and sophomore standing.
Phi Beta Kappa
UW's Phi Beta Kappa Homepage
Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most prestigious collegiate honor society, founded in 1776, with the Washington Alpha Chapter established in 1914. Phi Beta Kappa recognizes distinguished scholarship, especially in the acquisition of an education in the liberal arts and sciences. Students are elected to membership on the basis of GPA and breadth of education. For the 2006-2007 academic year, the minimum GPA for invitation was 3.75; 171 University of Washington students became new members of the UW chapter in 2005-2006. One distinctive requirement of Phi Beta Kappa is the completion of eight credits in 300- or 400- level courses of a liberal arts nature, not closely related to the student's major. The Washington Alpha Chapter hosts occasional lectures and colloquia.
Golden Key National Honour Society
UW's Golden Key Homepage
Golden Key is a national, nonprofit academic honors organization founded in 1977 for the purpose of recognizing and encouraging scholastic achievement among students from all academic fields. Membership is by invitation only, based on GPA. Every year, Golden Key invites the top 15% college juniors and seniors to join the Society. There are currently 700-800 members from all majors in the UW chapter. UW's Golden Key chapter is committed to providing services of good will and charity for both the University and the surrounding communities. The chapter sponsors lecture series and workshops to provide crucial (or fun) information and skills to college students. Off campus, they coordinate community services to benefit underserved populations.
UW's Mortar Board Homepage
Mortar Board is a national college senior honor society whose membership is based on scholarship, leadership, and service. The local Tolo chapter was founded in 1909 and became part of the national organization in 1925. Students of junior standing apply winter quarter for selection in spring quarter.
Phi Eta Sigma
UW's Phi Eta Sigma Homepage
Phi Eta Sigma is a freshman honor society, dedicated to honoring outstanding scholars and their academic achievements. In addition to personal recognition, Phi Eta Sigma's activities include service projects within the community. To qualify for admission, a student must attain a 3.50 quarterly GPA sometime in the freshman year. Members are required to participate in at least one community service activity each quarter in the year that they join. PES also schedules social events so that members can get to know one another.
UW's Tau Sigma Homepage
171 Mary Gates Hall
Tau Sigma is a national honor society for transfer students. Transfer students who receive a 3.5 or are in the top 20% of their class their first quarter at the UW are eligible to join. The mission of the honorary is for members to serve as advocates for other transfer students on campus, serve as possible ambassadors for the UW by visiting community colleges, and serve in leadership positions such as Orientation Leaders and TRIG Peer Instructors.