Phi Alpha Theta

National Honorary Society for History

The mission of Phi Alpha Theta is to promote the study of history through the encouragement of research, teaching excellence, publication, and the exchange of ideas among historians. In fulfillment of this mission, Phi Alpha Theta endeavors to bring together students, teachers, and writers through a broad range of activities that assist historical understanding and research. First established at the University of Arkansas in March 1921, Phi Alpha Theta is now the largest accredited honor society in the United States with more than 700 chapters located throughout the nation. Visit national Phi Alpha Theta on Facebook! 


Upcoming Phi Alpha Theta Events

Friday, April 1:  Lunch with Matt Field, plenary speaker at the history conference: Matt is a WIU alumnus and now Exhibits & Education Program Specialist at the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC. He is interested in talking with WIU students about career opportunities in history.

Saturday, April 2:  Phi Alpha Theta history conference: Everyone is welcome to come to the conference for free if you wish to hear the presentation of papers and participate in discussion. Anyone wishing to participate in the full conference (Friday night April 1 reception, Saturday breakfast and lunch, Civil War walking tour post-conference) should pay $10.

Saturday, April 23:  Volunteer opportunity at the Western Illinois Museum in downtown Macomb (201 S Lafayette Street), from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Volunteers help sort and document museum artifacts. This is excellent experience for those of you interested in a career in archives or museums, and a potential avenue to an internship.

Sunday, April 24:  Initiation ceremony for new Phi Alpha Theta members in Macomb's Old Bailey House (100 S Campbell Street), beginning at 2:30 p.m. with refreshments.  The initiation ceremony is at 3:00 p.m., followed by Sue Scott, Western Illinois Museum, on "What is Public History?"


Phi Alpha Theta at WIU

Western Illinois University is home to the Omicron Omicron chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Student Organization for 2010. Each year, our local chapter sponsors a number of activities for its members and the community at large. Click here for membership application.  Submit the application to the local chapter advisor.  For more information on the local chapter, contact Dr. Tim Roberts , WIU's Phi Alpha Theta Faculty Advisor.

Phi Alpha Theta's officers for 4/2016-12/2016:

President Jillien Zudell

Chapter Advisor  Dr. Tim Roberts

Secretary/Treasurer Kamren Minnaert

Co-Editor Ivy Padula

Co-Editor Alexander Vlastnik

Department Chair Dr. Simon Cordery

Membership Requirements

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of 12 semester hours (4 courses) in History, achieve a minimum GPA of 3.1 in History, and a GPA of 3.0 or better overall. Membership is not limited to History majors.

Graduate Students

Graduate students should have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours towards their Master’s Degree in History, and have a GPA of better than 3.5.





Spring 2013 Phi Alpha Theta Initiation



Spring 2012 Phi Alpha Theta Initiation


WIU's Phi Alpha Theta chapter sponsors an on-line journal of student research, the Western Illinois Historical Review .



Spring 2011 Phi Alpha Theta Initiation


 The Spring 2010 Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference was held March 27 here at Western Illinois University. Thirty-three students from nine colleges and universities, including seventeen from Western Illinois University presented papers at the Spring Regional Conference.


Drs. Ute Chamberlin & Ed Woell (right) with WIU participants at Spring 2010 Phi Alpha Theta Regional Conference

National Activities and Programs

The national organization of Phi Alpha Theta sponsors a variety of programs for the benefit of its members. Among these are: biennial conventions for undergraduate, graduate, and faculty members; annual awards in recognition of outstanding papers written by the society's members; and scholarships to support the study of history at the graduate level. In addition, Phi Alpha Theta publishes The Historian , a distinguished scholarly quarterly devoted to all fields of historical inquiry.

To request further information concerning Phi Alpha Theta, its national programs, activities, and scholarships, e-mail the society at phialpha@ptd.net .


Faculty Advisor Dr. Lee Brice (front left) with Spring 2010 Phi Alpha Theta Intiates



Spring 2009 Phi Alpha Theta Intiation

Phi Alpha Theta in the News




Spring 2008 Phi Alpha Theta Initiation at WIU

Phi Alpha Theta and the Associated Students of History , the Department's other student organization, frequently co-sponsor activities.