With the busy lives of students today, finding answers to the more specific questions and translating the Psi Chi Constitution, Handbook, and Bylaws may require more time than one may have with the transitioning of chapter officers, maintaining a job, parenting, and studying throughout the academic year. This column seeks to cut down the hassle by addressing and answering some of the uncommon and often misinterpreted membership policies of Psi Chi.
Some students interested in joining Psi Chi have a 2.9 cumulative GPA but their psychology GPA is more than 3.0. Can we accept those students?
Students must first and foremost rank in the top 35% of their graduating class, which is typically 3.2 or higher. The top 35% should be calculated for each graduating class, encompassing all majors and minors at your institution. Accepting students with a 3.0 cumulative GPA is only acceptable when the top 35% falls below a 3.0. To answer the question, no, those students do not qualify for Psi Chi membership.
One of my students wants to transfer her membership to our school’s chapter. What is the procedure?
All Psi Chi members are lifetime members. The only requirement to transfer an existing membership from one chapter to another for faculty or students is for them to submit a completed transfer form to the faculty advisor of the chapter to which they are transferring. With that information, the advisor can log in with the admin username and password (find the fifth bullet down, click on Certificates, then Transfer Certificates) and complete the necessary form online.
The Central Office will receive the notice and update the student’s record. If the transfer is submitted through the website, payment for new materials can be made by credit card or a PayPal account. Otherwise, mail the signed form with a check made payable to Psi Chi to the Central Office.
A fee is not required by the Central Office to transfer nor is it mandatory to order transfer materials. However, some chapters have local chapter dues, and those transferring in should meet the same requirements as the chapter’s current members. For those not requesting new materials, simply scan and email the signed form to
A student transferred last semester from another institution to ours and wants to join Psi Chi. When can we do this?
The student must complete at least one semester at your institution to establish his/her GPA, which is then used when verifying the top 35% of each class. Additionally, transfer students are to complete 9 hours of psychology at the institution at which they wish to join.
For example, Jane Doe completed 2 years at a Chattanooga State Community College (a junior college) and has recently enrolled at University of Tennessee (a 4-year university) as a 3rd-year student. Jane is required to complete a minimum of 9 psychology hours at the University of Tennessee before she is eligible to apply.
Once the 9 hours are satisfied at the University of Tennessee, her application is then compiled and processed by the advisor with all the others at that institution. This example also applies to those transferring from one baccalaureate or graduate degree-granting institution to another.
John is a Psi Beta member and just enrolled at our institution. Is he automatically a Psi Chi member?
Psi Beta and Psi Chi are two separate organizations. Psi Beta was established years after Psi Chi to provide similar benefits to junior colleges, whereas Psi Chi membership is only available to those enrolled at a baccalaureate or graduate degree-granting institution with an existing Psi Chi chapter. Therefore, no, he is not automatically a Psi Chi member and must apply once the academic requirements are fulfilled.
We cannot seem to keep our members active and involved. Can we implement attendance and service requirements?
Attendance and/or service requirements cannot be permitted. Psi Chi is an honor society, meaning anyone who meets the academic requirements as well as the local chapter requirements is entitled to join. More details can be found in the Psi Chi Handbook HERE (on page 3 in left side column in bold print).
The intention and desire to have an active chapter is understandable, but unfortunately nonacademic requirements go against the Psi Chi Constitutional requirements. However, incentives are a great substitute for this dilemma!
For example, members who attend five meetings and two fund-raisers a semester could be rewarded with a piece of graduation regalia or Psi Chi merchandise paid for by the chapter. Remember, though, that this is merely a suggestion, and implementing it requires two-thirds affirmative vote by those present at a chapter meeting.
How do I get more information?
• Online at www.psichi.org/about/ becomember.aspx
• E-mail questions to
• Call the Central Office at (423) 756-2044
New Psi Chi Central Office Staff Members
There have been a lot of exciting changes this year within the Psi Chi Central Office. Due to those changes, the Central Office staff has expanded. The new staff members have provided fresh ideas and energy as well as support. Their addition to the existing outstanding team has provided a better opportunity to assist chapters as well as individual members. Welcome, Jennifer and Chris!
Jennifer Baldwin is Psi Chi’s administrative assistant. She aids staff members according to their needs. Faculty advisors, officers, and individual members will find her assistance beneficial when inquiring about:
• merchandise orders
• member updates and verification
• login request for both advisors and individual members
• label list requests
• chapter officer assistance
Chris Evans is Psi Chi’s information systems manager, administering the technology needs for the Society. His responsibilities encompass the database and website as well as the hardware and systems used daily. Chris is currently creating more efficient methods of submitting chapter updates and reports. Faculty advisors, officers, and individual members will find his assistance beneficial when inquiring about:
• website issues and error messages
• instructions for online processes
• login requests