Psi Chi is the International Honor Society in Psychology, founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology.
Membership is open to qualified graduate and undergraduate students who are making the study of psychology one of their major interests. Psi Chi is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. Psi Chi's sister honor society is Psi Beta, the national honor society in psychology for community and junior colleges.
Psi Chi serves two major goals:
- To provide academic recognition to its inductees
- To nourish and stimulate professional growth, and provide practical experience and fellowship through affiliation with the chapter
The national organization provides programs to help achieve these goals, including society and regional conventions, research award competitions and certificate recognition programs.
Quick fact: There are currently more than 500,000 lifetime members of Psi Chi.
- You must be enrolled as a student at VCU
- You are at least a second-semester sophomore
- You are a psychology major
- You have completed at least 12 semester hours of psychology coursework at VCU
- You have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA at VCU
- You have at least a 3.3 GPA in psychology courses at VCU
Any chapter may establish minimum scholastic requirements that are higher than the national minimum qualifications. Membership in Psi Chi is open to qualified candidates of any age, sex, sexual orientation, race, handicap or disability, color, religion, and national and ethnic origin.
Benefits of Being a Member
Psi Chi is a springboard for professional growth. Members have opportunities to promote their research, gain national and international recognition, meet and interact with leaders in their field, and meet Psi Chi members of other chapters who also will be future leaders.
The experience gained by working with Psi Chi is excellent for building up a resumé. Additionally, the U.S. government recognizes membership in Psi Chi as meeting one of the requirements for entrance at the GS-7 level in the federal service.
A culmination of the benefits mentioned above is knowing that many members — by their caring, dedication, perseverance and hard work — have made it possible to encourage young persons interested in psychology to strive for excellence.
How to Join
Students become members by joining the chapter at the school where they are enrolled. Psi Chi chapters are operated by student officers and faculty advisers. Together they select and induct the members and carry out the goals of the society. All chapters register their inductees at the Psi Chi national office.
If you would like to join Psi Chi and meet the membership requirements, please complete the following steps:
- Review the application instructions and fill out the online application at psichi.org.
- Complete the form, including the application checklist, at the end of the application instructions document.
- Make a copy of your unofficial VCU transcript.
- Provide the $75 membership fee ($55 for national membership and $15 for the local chapter) via cash, check (make payable to VCU Psi Chi), or money order.
- Place all above materials in a sealed envelope and drop off in Dr. Donahue's mailbox in the reception office of 806 W. Franklin St.
The membership fee includes a personalized certificate of membership, newsletters and a reception in your honor following the induction ceremony. There are no annual dues or other fees.
The induction ceremony and reception to acknowledge your achievements will be held each spring. However, you may apply at any time and membership decisions are made throughout the academic year. Those who are unable to attend the induction ceremony will be able to pick up their membership materials later.
Psi Chi meetings take place approximately every other week during the fall and spring semesters (time, day and location chosen at beginning of each semester). These meetings are open to all Psi Chi members, as well as psychology majors/minors interested in joining.
Held each semester, this fair is open to all psychology majors and minors. Attendees are able to meet with representatives from in and outside of VCU. For example, VCU psychology doctoral students are available to answer questions about graduate school, and VCU faculty members are available to discuss their respective programs (e.g., Psychology, Nursing, Education, and Social Work). Representatives from outside organizations (e.g., ChildSavers, Richmond Behavioral Health Authority) provide information about possible internships/volunteer work, as well as educational materials. Attendees can also obtain guidance on CV/resume building, applying to graduate school, 492/494 courses, and more.
This program introduces students to various topics in psychology (e.g., research methods and ethics) and prepares students for a future in the field (e.g., application process to graduate school, potential careers). Program participants are paired with a psychology graduate student from the members' preferred program: Biological/Health, Clinical, Counseling, Developmental, or Social. Participants are then required to attend monthly individual meetings with the graduate student, as well as monthly group workshops. Members who fulfill all requirements earn a certificate of completion. Individuals interested in joining Psi Chi are permitted to attend the monthly workshops.
Approximately once per semester, Psi Chi members are invited to tour the Center for Psychological Services and Development. The center, managed by psychology faculty members, provides a training ground for clinical and counseling psychology graduate students. Psi Chi members get an up-close look at the facilities and are able to ask detailed questions about this area of the field.
Psi Chi is dedicated to servicing the community through volunteer work. Those projects chosen are based on the interests of members who actively participate in our organization. The below section describes some of our previous or ongoing projects.
- The Healing Place (substance abuse treatment center for men): Books, towels/washcloths, notebooks
- CARITAS (services for the homeless population): Toiletries
- Central Virginia Food Bank (provides food to those in need and educates the community about healthy food choices): All perishable and non-perishable food items
- Richmond Animal Care and Control (animal rescue and adoption services): Toys, towels and blankets, collars and leashes, treats
- William Byrd Community House (education, health and crisis services): Books for children
Carver Elementary School Greenhouse Project
Assisted with the renovation and cleanup of the greenhouse. Future work will include mentoring students on science projects that involve the greenhouse.
Faison School for Autism
Assisted with the annual Pumpkinpalooza Fair to raise money for the school.
All psychology majors and minors were invited to attend the showing of a chosen movie (voted on by all Psi Chi members) during select semesters.