Upsilon Sigma Honor Society

A word from the Editor

Hello and welcome to Upsilon Sigma, Pitt’s Urban Studies Honor Society! Upsilon Sigma is sponsored by the Urban Affairs Association, with the goal to “promote academic excellence and enrich the educational experience of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees related to urban studies.” As a member, you will have access to not only resources here at the University of Pittsburgh, but resources from the Urban Affairs Association and the support of our network of sister chapters across the nation. In our chapter, we hope to create a space for urban studies majors to share their ideas across our diverse range of experiences and interests—and support each other as we begin our trajectories as urban professionals. We host both department-wide and chapter-specific events throughout the semester: with opportunities for networking, service learning, lectures, and more. If you have an interest in the urban fabric and community-building, Upsilon Sigma is for you!


Noor El-Dehaibi, chapter Editor


The Upsilon Sigma Honor Society was created by the Urban Affairs Association (UAA) to recognize the academic achievements of undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in urban studies and related fields.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Urban Studies Program offers a major for students who have an interest in unraveling the complexities of the urban world. The major is interdisciplinary, meaning that students learn about urban and suburban realms as physical, environmental, social, cultural, economic, and political phenomena.


Upsilon Sigma is an international honor society dedicated to recognizing and encouraging excellence in scholarship, research, and leadership in urban studies and related fields. The mission is to promote academic excellence, enrich the educational experience, and recognize academic achievement in studies that enhance our understanding of the urban world. To accomplish this mission, the Upsilon Sigma Chapter of the University of Pittsburgh shall:

  1. Promote scholarly achievement, research, and encourage intellectual development
  2. Promote leadership and professional development
  3. Stimulate student and faculty dialogue to enrich the educational experience
  4. Encourage ethical and socially responsible behavior
  5. Overcome historic biases by encouraging diverse, equitable, and inclusive representation on the board and general membership
  6. Encourage student engagement in activities that serve the public good and enhance the well-being of urban communities


Members are those who have met the criteria of Upsilon Sigma and those established by the Chapter. The UAA Governing Board has established the minimum criteria for eligibility. They are as follows:

  1. Membership is limited to undergraduate students who demonstrate academic achievement in a degree in Urban Studies or a related field of study. All membership is national membership with local chapter affiliation.
  2. Candidates for undergraduate degrees may be inducted if they have:
  • Completed a minimum of 18 credit hours (or the equivalent) of coursework towards their major in Urban Studies, including completion of at least URBNST 0010 and URBNST 0050;
  • Attained at least a 3.5 GPA in coursework in their Urban Studies major (on a 4.0=A point scale);
  • At least sophomore standing (45 credits);
  • A declared Urban Studies major;
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.3 (on a 4.0=A point scale) and
  • Ranked in the top 25% of their major.

Nominations of collegiate members shall be made by the Chapter Advisory Council, National Society, or members of the local chapter. Election of new members shall be by majority ballot vote. Membership in the chapter is open to qualified candidates including persons with disability, without regard to age, color, gender, national origin, race, religion, and/or sexual orientation.


The bylaws of the Upsilon Sigma Chapter of the University of Pittsburgh can be viewed here (University of Pittsburgh only).


Sophie Beacom (President) 

Julia Ferri (Vice President)

Noor El-Dehaibi (Editor)

Rachel Walker (Treasurer)


Dr. Susan Lucas (Faculty Advisor)


2021 Inductees

  • Annalise Abraham
  • Connor Alcorn
  • Hannah Bailey
  • Sohpie Beacom
  • Mira Bhayroo
  • Matthew Brahms
  • Sophia Constantine
  • De'Jovia Davis
  • Anjali Desai
  • Ella Donley
  • John Dwyer
  • Noor El-Dehaibi
  • Julia Ferri
  • Hannah Lempert
  • Elizabeth Madison
  • Andrea Pauliuc
  • Natalie Petrini
  • Anya Reiser
  • Shoshannah Stone
  • Mythri Sundar
  • Rachel Walker