Psi Chi

The International Honor Society in Psychology and the Psychology Club at ECU

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What is Psi Chi?

Psi Chi was founded in 1929 for the purposes of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship, and advancing the science of psychology. Psi Chi is one of the largest honor societies in the United States with more than 890 chapters. Our chapter programs are designed to help our members become aware of opportunities in the field of psychology and to interact with other members, faculty, and other psychologists. These programs also make active efforts to nourish and stimulate professional growth and to provide practical experience in the field. The National office is located in Chattanooga, Tennessee and consists of a council of psychologists who are Psi Chi members. Undergraduate and Graduate men and women who meet the requirements are welcome to join. Psi Chi is a member of The Association of College Honor Societies (APA), and is an affiliate of the American Psychological Association (APS).

What is the Psychology Club?

Whereas Psi Chi is a national honor society, the Psychology Club is a less formal organization that is based here at ECU. With the exception of the graduation and induction ceremonies, ECU’s chapter of Psi Chi and the Psychology Club perform all activities and hold all meetings together. This club is open to anyone who wants to learn more about professional psychology and get more involved with other students and faculty members in the Psychology Department. Unlike Psi Chi, there are no membership requirements so anyone is welcome to join the Psychology Club and attend the joint meetings that typically occur every other week.

Why Join?

There are unique advantages to joining Psi Chi. Membership is valuable to you as a student for many reasons: In addition to meeting other academically talented students with similar interests, you will have contact with professional psychologists whom you may get to know on a personal level. Through Psi Chi, members gain a sense of community with others in psychology and an identification with the discipline. Members may develop one-on-one relationships with professors who can involve them in research projects, and write meaningful letters of recommendation for them. Becoming involved in Psi Chi is great experience and looks excellent on a resume; it is difficult to gain leadership and creative experience that many professional occupations and graduate schools look for.

Benefits of Psi Chi

Psi Chi at ECU

Psi Chi began at ECU in 1966 under the leadership of Dr. William Grossnickle. Throughout the years Psi Chi has endeavored to serve the Department and all students in psychology. Most notably, the Psi Chi Library (Rawl 302) continues to provide a quiet place to study, handy reference books, and an alternative “conference room” for student research projects and commitee work. Because of the hard work of Psi Chi members in the past, we also have an endowed scholarship for an undergraduate student each year. Dissatisfied by the impersonal nature of the University graduation ceremony, ECU Psi Chi members began coordinating a departmental graduation ceremony. The ceremony is well attended, anxiously anticipated by graduates and their families, and includes a nice reception afterward. We have also sponsored a Faculty-Student Pot Luck Luncheons in past semesters to encourage student-faculty interaction outside of the classroom.

While departmental service projects are important, the emphasis of programming is on students. Psi Chi helps psychology students better understand the field of psychology, the career options available in psychology, and ways to become more involved in your education at ECU. We have speakers each semester who discuss getting into graduate school, research opportunities at ECU, and careers in psychology. There is always a speaker who is currently working in the field and will share with us what their job is like and how they got there.

Psi Chi also offers students the opportunity for leadership. Each year we elect officers to lead the chapter for the following year. We also have a number of committees that operate to implement the projects of the organization. We invite everyone to learn organizational skills, influence skills, and to improve your public speaking skills by becoming an officer or committee chair for Psi Chi.


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    Contact Psi Chi and Psychology Club President: Caroline Knox (

    Psi Chi Faculty Chair: Dr. Faye Knickerbocker