Upsilon Sigma Honor Society


The University of Pittsburgh's Urban Studies Program is launching a new chapter of the Upsilon Sigma Honor Society. This Honor Society recognizes the top scholars within the Urban Studies Program, and functions to foster leadership and intellectual development within the Urban Studies community.


Upsilon Sigma 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).


The inaugural members of Upsilon Sigma will be inducted in Spring 2021. Stay tuned for contact details.