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The National Criminal Justice Honor Society

What is Alpha Phi Sigma?

Alpha Phi Sigma is the national honor society for criminal justice. The society recognizes scholastic excellance by undergraduate and graduate students in the criminal justice sciences.

Membership Qualifications

All students must have completed one-third of the credit hours required for graduation by a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accreditation organization. They also must be recommended by a local chapter advisor or faculty member.

Undergraduates must maintain a 3.0 Cumulative GPA and a 3.2 in the Criminal Justice field while graduate students are required to have a 3.4 GPA in all graduate courses. Students must rank in the top 35% of their class. In addition, applicants must have completed at least four courses in a Criminal Justice major, or equivalent.


Alpha Phi Sigma was founded in 1942 at Washington State University. The organization was initially directed by Dr. V.A. Leonard. Throughout the 1970's and into the 80's Alpha Phi Sigma has experienced rapid growth and is presently considering the admission of new chapters.

Over the years the National Office has been located at Washington State University, Midwestern State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Texas Woman's University, and the University of Dayton. Local chapters are located throughout the United States.

National Recognition

Alpha Phi Sigma is the nationally recognized honor society for students of criminal justice.

The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) granted Alpha Phi Sigma affiliate status in 1975. Since 1978, Alpha Phi Sigma has held its national convention in conjunction with the annual ACJS meeting. The Academy's continued support of Alpha Phi Sigma serves to enhance Alpha Phi Sigma's purpose--the recognition of scholarly acievement in the field of the criminal justice.

Alpha Phi Sigma was admitted to the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) in 1980. Membership in ACHS is restricted to fully accredited honor societies. ACHS presently counts among its member chapters the nation's most prestigious college honor societies.


The organization of Alpha Phi Sigma includes a national office located on the campus of a member chapter. Four national student officers (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer) are elected by the membership annually. There are also four national criminal justice faculty advisors.

Local chapters are established at universities throughout the United States. To gain admission as a chapter, a university must have a minimum of ten student members and a designated faculty advisor.

Eligible students who are enrolled at a university without a local chapter can gain admission to Alpha Phi Sigma upon the completion of an application form accompanied by the recommendation of a criminal justice faculty member.

Why Join Alpha Phi Sigma?

  • Recognition of Achievement: The hard work and personal sacrifice that is required to achieve scholastic excellance deserves recognition.
    Alpha Phi Sigma membership designates you as an outstanding student by national standards. Indication of this on your resume will make yours standout from many others.
  • National Newsletter: Active members receive a bi-annual national newsletter which reports on areas of concern to the criminal justice sciences and the society.
  • Special Awards: Each year the national office awards a cash scholarship to one member. Awards are also given to students who complete the Annual Call for Papers. Local Chapters also compete for the outstanding national chapter service award which is presented each year.
  • Annual Convention: A national convention is held each year. The convention is held in conjunction with the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and presents a wide range of programs and activities.

Last Updated 8/13/18

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