Association of College Honor Societies

Key information

  • Universities affiliated

    No university is yet affiliated to this group.

    • The Association of College Honor Societies is a community of national and international honor societies that promotes the values of higher education; fosters excellence in scholarship, leadership, service, and research; and adheres to the standards of honor society excellence. The Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), is a predominantly American group that serves a number of functions with respect to national collegiate and post-graduate honor societies. ACHS coordinates member organizations, facilitates communications between them, and provides both scholarships and an outlet for publication to members. ACHS member societies undergo periodic audits to validate their adherence to ACHS standards and their qualification for membership and ACHS certification.

      ACHS was formed in 1925 to create a network of affiliated societies and promote high standards for scholarship and leadership on campus. The intention of the founding societies was to establish and maintain desirable standards for groups wishing to call themselves honor societies. These standards include criteria for membership, governance and chapter operation. Four organizations were represented at a preliminary meeting held on October 2, 1925. They were Alpha Omega Alpha, the Order of the Coif, Phi Beta Kappa, and Sigma Xi.

      While ACHS certifies each of its members as legitimate, credible organizations, not all legitimate honor societies apply for membership in ACHS. Factors to evaluate in determining a non-member honor society's legitimacy include setting a high bar for minimum scholastic criteria, membership participation in society governance, membership invitation through campus chapters, and organizational transparency.

      The honor society standards set by the Association of College Honor Societies are recognized by the U.S. government's Office of Personnel Management for entry into government employment at GS-7 Level: "Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies listed... by the Association of College Honor Societies. Agencies considering eligibility based on any society not included in the following list must ensure that the honor society meets the minimum requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies." As such, the Association of College Honor Societies is the nation's only certifying agency for college and university honor societies.