Psi Chi, the psychology honor society at four-year universities and colleges, is Psi Beta’s older sister. While Psi Beta and Psi Chi have a lot in common, Psi Beta students who transfer must qualify for Psi Chi membership at the four-year college/university they attend. Having been a Psi Beta member has no bearing on eligibility for Psi Chi membership.
Many Psi Chi chapters welcome former Psi Beta members with open arms because they know that Psi Beta students provide excellent Psi Chi officer material. Depending on locally-set standards, Psi Beta transfer students may become eligible for Psi Chi membership during the second term of their junior year. But it is important to note that, like Psi Beta, Psi Chi chapters can choose to adopt higher-than-minimum eligibility standards. Some Psi Chi chapters have standards that preclude transfer students (even Psi Beta students) from becoming eligible until the second term of their senior year. At such colleges, transfer students may instead choose to join a psychology club, become involved in some other co-curricular activity, or form a Psi Beta alumni chapter with their former two-year college.
The only way to become a Psi Beta member is by qualifying for membership in a formally chartered Psi Beta chapter. If your college doesn’t have a Psi Beta chapter, you have two options. First, begin a grass roots movement to start a Psi Beta chapter at your college. You must have a faculty member who is willing to serve as an advisor. Potential advisors must have a Masters or higher degree in psychology (or a degree in a closely related field such as counseling or educational psychology).
For more information, see the new chapter application forms on this website. If you have further questions, you may also contact the Psi Beta Vice-President for your region, or the Psi Beta Executive Director (see council and staff on this website).
Your second option is to transfer to a college that does have a Psi Beta chapter. There is a definite connection between high quality psychology departments and psychology departments that provide the quality of student mentoring available through Psi Beta.
The founding advisor must facilitate completion of all the application forms. These forms are used as evidence that the college is eligible and appropriately prepared to have a Psi Beta chapter. Once the forms are submitted, all members of the National Council must review and approve them. Normally, it takes less than one semester to charter a new chapter, but sometimes it takes a little longer if incomplete forms are submitted or if the application fee is not submitted in a timely fashion.
The central purpose of an induction ceremony is, of course, to formally install new members into Psi Beta. While the “ceremony” can be as simple as distributing membership certificates during a regular Psi Beta meeting, it is much better to make the induction one of the semester’s high points. Formal induction ceremonies are great because they acknowledge the importance and academic achievement associated with Psi Beta membership. A terrific induction ceremony should be somewhat formal, include a keynote speaker on a psychological topic, followed by a candlelight ceremony in which the chapter president and new members recite the Psi Beta vows. The induction should be a joyous occasion to which family and friends are invited through formal invitations. Light refreshments are appropriate. For more information on the induction ceremony, please see the Psi Beta induction PowerPoint presentation under Psi Beta Media on this website.
Anyone can purchase Psi Beta merchandise. This new policy makes it possible for proud relatives and family members to purchase Psi Beta gifts for their Psi Beta member. Anyone can buy Psi Beta items for themselves or as a way to appreciate guest speakers, outstanding officers, well-deserving advisors, and others.
Send a request for a replacement certificate to the national office. Include $10 for handling and shipping. Be sure to include the name under which you were inducted into Psi Beta, the approximate date of the induction, and the college at which you were inducted. A staff person will verify your membership and issue a replacement certificate.