5 academic honor societies for agriculture students


Academic honor societies can be an amazing part of a college or university experience — they’re places to make new friends, network for future jobs, and share ideas with your peers. While some of these societies are open to students of all disciplines, others academic honor societies are geared to specific courses of study, such as agriculture.

Below, we’ll talk about five of the most prominent academic honor societies that are open to agricultural students — a mix of both discipline-specific and non-specific societies. All of them have real value to offer to their members, but it’s up to you to look at them closely when choosing which ones to join. Annual fees may be required to stay active, and they all vary in terms of how often they will communicate with alumni members and hold gatherings. They also all differ in terms of how they invite new members — some may invite you simply based on your grade point average, while others may require that you ask an advisor or alumnus about an invitation.

Take a peek at these academic honor societies that are relevant for agriculture students:

Phi Beta Kappa

Arguably the most prestigious of the multi-discipline honor societies, it is unarguably the oldest still in existence. Phi Beta Kappa was founded at William & Mary in Virginia the same year the United States was founded, 1776. Only 10 percent of American higher learning institutions have PBK chapters, and only a select few students from those schools are invited to join this exclusive group.

MOTTO: Love of learning is the guide of life

Phi Kappa Phi

Phi Kappa Phi has a broader reach than Phi Beta Kappa among schools — including in many land-grand universities — and is open to anyone in any field of study. PKP was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, and membership is by invitation only for students who are ranked scholastically in the top of their class.

MOTTO: Let the love of learning rule humanity

Alpha Zeta

Founded in 1897 at Ohio State University, Alpha Zeta is the first and oldest collegiate society specifically for agriculture. Alpha Zeta is an honorary, professional society for students and industry professionals in the agriculture and natural resources fields. It has chapters in 74 institutions across the nation.

MISSION STATEMENT: Alpha Zeta is the professional agricultural organization dedicated to the highest levels of scholarship, leadership, integrity and service

Gamma Sigma Delta

In existence for more than 100 years, Gamma Sigma Delta is a faculty-governed society that selects members from junior and senior students, graduate students, faculty, and alumni for the promotion and recognition of high achievement. While Gamma Sigma Delta is an honor society of agriculture, it may elect members from related fields such as biology, botany, chemistry, etc.

MISSION STATEMENT: To advance agriculture in all its phases, to maintain and improve relations of agriculture to other industries, and to recognize the responsibility of its members to their fellow men. It seeks to encourage high standards of scholarship, worthy attainment, and a high degree of excellence in the practice of agricultural pursuits.

Delta Tau Alpha

The newest member of the group, DTA was founded at Southwest Missouri State College in 1960. Active members must have completed at least nine semester hours in agricultural courses and rank in the top 35 percent of their class.

MISSION STATEMENT: To promote and recognize scholarship and leadership accomplishments of agricultural students while emphasizing character development, to enhance undergraduate preparation for professional positions, to join with other agricultural student organizations in the promotion of agriculture

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