Phi Alpha Theta was established on March 17, 1921 at the University of Arkansas by Professor Nels Cleven. Cleven had become convinced in his time at the university that a fraternity of scholars (open to men and women alike) was important to the study of history -- he invited students to a meeting to form the club, then called the "University Historical Society", on the 14th of March, and the society was officially recognized on the 17th. In April, the decision was made for the society to be known by the Greek letters PhiAlphaTheta.
The current membership requirements are relatively inclusive for an honor society -- students must have a 3.0 overall grade point average, and at least a 3.1 in their history courses. Students need not be majoring in history, but must have taken at least 12 credit hours of history classes.
The society is a charter member of the Association of College Honor Societies, and has over 275,000 members, with over 9,000 new members joining each year. Phi Alpha Theta publishes a quarterly historical journal entitled The Historian, which has over 12,500 individual subscribers and 1,000 library subscribers. Its current national headquarters are at the University of South Florida.
The society's official web site (http://www.phialphatheta.org)
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