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Alpha Phi Sigma recognizes academic excellence of Undergraduate and Graduate students of Criminal Justice, as well as Juris Doctorate students. The goals of Alpha Phi Sigma are to honor and promote academic excellence; community service; educational leadership and unity. Alpha Phi Sigma is the only Criminal Justice Honor Society which is a certified member of The Association of College Honor Societies and affiliated with The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.


In September 1941, Dr. Vivian Anderson Leonard was asked by the president of Washington State University if he would accept the directorship of a Police Science Academic Program at Washington State. Dr. Leonard accepted the offer and became responsi-ble for developing a four year curricuum which would lead to a Bachelor's Degree in Police Administration.

Upon his arrival at Washington State, Dr. Leonard began to realize how important it was that a Police Science Honorary be established. The purpose of this honorary would be to promote excellence in scholarship and performance. In January 1942, Dr. Leonard met with seventeen Police Science majors at Washington state and Alpha Phi Sigma was established. Glenn Hill was elected as the first president and appointed a committee to draft the first Constitution and By-laws.


During its initial years Alpha Phi Sigma experienced only limited growth, but on March 24, 1976 in Dallas, Texas, the Executive Board of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences voted unanimously to designate Alpha Phi Sigma as the National Criminal Justice Honor Society. At this time, Alpha Phi Sigma had only fourteen chapters; however, since then, Alpha Phi Sigma has continued to grow and prosper at a very rapid rate and there are now over three hundred and sixty Chapters.

Over the years the National Officers have been located at Universities across the country, such as, Washington State University, Midwestern State University, Eastern Kentucky University, Texas Woman's University, Fairmont State College, Marshall University, Tarleton State University, Florida International University, Boise State University, University of Houston-Downtown.



  • Complete 12 hours of CJ undergraduate coursework
  • 3.2 GPA in CJ undergraduate coursework
  • 3.2 Overall GPA undergraduate coursework


  • Complete 9 hours of CJ graduate coursework
  • 3.4 GPA in CJ graduate coursework
  • 3.4 Overall GPA graduate coursework
  • Complete 12 hours of community service per semester (Fall and Spring semesters)

Other Requirements

  • 10 hours of community service (5 hours can be overlapped if also a member of the Professional Society of Criminal Justice Students)
  • One time fee of $80 ($50 national; $30 local)
  • Abide by Alpha Phi Sigma Constitution and by-laws
  • Attend club meetings
  • Participate in a least one club event (nonsocial) during semester
  • Be in good standing with the University
  • Abide by University requirements for student organization membership


Faculty Advisor:
Michael Cavanaugh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Criminal Justice

Department of Criminal Justice
One Main Street C-340 Commerce Building
Houston, TX 77002-1001

Telephone: 713-226-5578


Last updated or reviewed on 6/10/14

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