Honor Society

Honor Society

Pi Alpha Alpha


The Public Administration Program at Penn State-Harrisburg is proud to host the Penn State Chapter of the Public Administration and Public Policy Honor Society.

Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA) was established in 1974 by NASPAA under the leadership of the first PAA president Don L. Bowen with ties to the American Society for Public Administration.  The honor society began with the goal to encourage excellence and recognize students who have gone above and beyond in the study of public policy and administration.

Within three years, 33 chapters were established and more than 600 members inducted. One of the earliest efforts to recognize academic excellence was the creation of the PAA Best Student Manuscript Award.  Governance meetings were, and still are, held to continue the tradition of advancing excellence, and the continued development of the honor society. 

At the first PAA National Conference, it was discussed what PAA’s future should be.

Dwight Waldo, in his PAA National Conference Keynote Address; April 9, 1978, said:

“My argument is this: the future of Pi Alpha Alpha is closely related to how significant Pi Alpha Alpha can be made with regard to the enterprise of public administration, more broadly, public affairs … What I see as the desirable evolution for Pi Alpha Alpha is active engagement with the area of public administration. “

Submitting an Application for Membership

MPA Graduate Requirements:

Master’s Degree Student Memberships – Students may be inducted from among the master’s degree students in the department provided:

  1. They have achieved and maintained an overall GPA of at least 3.7. 
  2. To submit a completed Pi Alpha Alpha application, please contact Dr. Jane Beckett-Camarata, Pi Alpha Alpha MPA Faculty Advisor for assistance.