Student Organizations


There are two student organizations in the Masters of Historic Preservation Program at UGA.


Sigma Pi Kappa Honor Society

Student Historic Preservation Organization

The Student Historic Preservation Organization (SHPO) at The University of Georgia is a graduate student organization that serves students of the Master of Historic Preservation (MHP) program.

this place matters

SHPO at UGA aims to provide supplemental instruction catered to the desires of MHP students, opportunities to engage in preservation activities in Athens and the Northeast Georgia area, and a community of those with a mutual interest in heritage conservation. Examples of extracurricular sessions provided in the past include lectures, workshops, career enhancement seminars, alumni networking opportunities and social events.

Social Activities

In the fall, SHPO participates in College of Environment and Design tailgating in the Founder’s Memorial Garden on home game days. This is a great opportunity to cheer on the dawgs and also mingle with faculty, students, and alumni. SHPO also participates in college wide social events such as Third Friday, a social gathering held on the third Friday of each month and hosted on a rotating basis among the students in each of the three graduate programs.


Conference Participation

SHPO assists students in attending preservation conferences, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation Conference held each fall. SHPO also attends Preservation South, a conference held for students and by students of historic preservation in the southeast United States. Preservation South was held for the first time in 2012 at the University of Georgia, and was organized by SHPO members. The conference now rotates among preservation schools in the South.
MHP students spent a day volunteering with SHPO at a state park.

Volunteer Oportunites

SHPO offers students opportunities to volunteer in local preservation efforts. SHPO participates in Hands on Athens each year, held by the Athens Clarke Heritage Foundation. In 2014, SHPO also did hands on preservation work at Nolan’s Crossroads, assisting in the stabilization of a turn of the century neoclassical mansion outside Madison, Georgia. In the fall of 2016, SHPO volunteered at the William Harris Homestead in Monroe, GA assisting in cleaning up the family cemetery.  The organization also volunteered with a state park clean up day at Watson Mill Bridge State Park and at Anadalusia, the homestead of author Flannery O’Connor.

For more information, and to be notified regarding upcoming meetings and events, like us on Facebook.

For other questions, contact the board at



Sigma Pi Kappa Honor Society

Sigma Pi Kappa is the international honor society for students of historic preservation. The society was founded in 1991 by MHP faculty here at the University of Georgia College of Environment and Design. The chapter at UGA is the Alpha Chapter.  The purposes of Sigma Pi Kappa and its chapters are to encourage and stimulate scholarship, foster interest and accomplishment, and provide and promote leadership in the field of historic preservation.

Sigma Pi Kappa 2015 1

The Greek letters ΣΠΚ represent Scholar, Protector of Cultural Resources.

UGA students who have completed at least one-half of the MHP degree requirements, attaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 on a 4.00 scale, will receive an invitation to join Sigma Pi Kappa. After accepting the invitation and paying a one-time $25 membership fee, students will be invited to an initiation ceremony held each year at UGA during spring semester.

sigma pi kappaSigma Pi Kappa Brochure


Recognizing the need to acknowledge scholastic and professional achievement in historic preservation, faculty members of the Master of Historic Preservation Program in the School of Environmental Design at the University of Georgia, the nation’s oldest state-chartered university (1785), organized, founded and constituted Sigma Pi Kappa as an international honor society.

The founding ceremonies were held on May 4, 1991, and included an organizational meeting and the initiation of the Society’s first members.

Since its inception at the University of Georgia, twelve additional chapters of Sigma Pi Kappa have been chartered.

Click here to see where additional chapters have been chartered
Alpha: University of Georgia
Beta: Georgia State University
Gamma: Cornell University
Delta: Ball State University
Epsilon: Southeast Missouri State University
Zeta: Savannah College of Art and Design
Eta: Bucks County Community College
Theta: Mary Washington College
Iota: University of Vermont
Kappa: Eastern Michigan University
Lambda: University of Kentucky
Mu: University of Maryland
Nu: College of Charleston

Motto and Purpose

Sigma Pi Kappa, an honor society for historic preservation students, faculty, and distinguished professionals, promotes, recognizes, and rewards superior scholarship and leadership achievement in academia and in the actual practice of historic preservation. It is the only honor society focused specifically on historic preservation.

Sigma Pi Kappa, through various activities of its chapters and members, fosters scholastic leadership within their universities, colleges, or schools, promotes high ideals in historic preservation education, and maintains an organization which assists in worthy endeavors for the benefit of students and the profession of historic preservation.

Sigma Pi Kappa has been endorsed as the official honor society of the National Council for Preservation Education.

FullSizeRenderSigma Pi Kappa International Initiation, April 2014

Membership Eligibility

Eligibility for membership in Sigma Pi Kappa is based on the following criteria:

  • Students who are enrolled in graduate or undergraduate programs meeting the standards of the National Council for Preservation Education (NCPE) and who have completed at least one-half of the degree requirements, attaining a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 on a 4.00 scale at the graduate level or a 3.50 at the undergraduate level are eligible for membership in Sigma Pi Kappa.
  • Full-time faculty employed at institutions offering one or more courses in their historic preservation curriculum are eligible for membership in Sigma Pi Kappa.
  • Alumni who have demonstrated exemplary scholarly or professional achievements in the field of historic preservation since graduation and who promote the ideals of the Honors Society are eligible for membership in Sigma Pi Kappa.

All members receive a membership certificate, suitable for framing. ΣΠΚ pins and charms are available for an additional $35.

Membership Categories

There are four distinct membership categories in Sigma Pi Kappa:

  • Charter Members are those individuals, faculty, and students who are members of a new collegiate chapter at the time a charter is granted. These members shall be accorded the privilege of signing the chapter charter.
  • Distinguished Members are those persons recognized at an international or national level as educators (but not necessarily faculty members of a historic preservation program) for their scholarly or professional achievements which have advanced the philosophies, art, and science of the historic preservation profession. These members are nominated by Sigma Pi Kappa chapters.
  • Honorary Chapter Members are those persons recognized as having made scholarly or professional contributions to the advancement of the profession of historic preservation. This membership shall be accorded by chapter election with an endorsement by the Directors of the Society.
  • Chapter Members are those students, faculty, alumni, and other individuals who meet membership requirements as listed above.

Want to establish a Sigma Pi Kappa chapter at your university?

There is a simple procedure for students and faculty who want to join Sigma Pi Kappa by having an honor society chapter established at their institution.

Click here to see the procedure
  1. The program director, or a faculty member who will serve as chapter advisor, should submit the Application for Chapter Formation.
  2. At this time, we also invite you to submit your first Membership Proposal Form with each member’s $25 initiation fee (NOTE: the faculty program director WILL NOT be asked to pay the fee). This proposal should include the advisor, other full-time faculty interested in membership, as well as those students who meet membership qualifications. All faculty and students involved in the chapter organization, either as organizers or initiates, will have the designation of a Charter Member in your institution’s chapter of Sigma Pi Kappa. Please make photocopies of the proposal form as necessary.
  3. Upon review of the application for chapter formation, Sigma Pi Kappa will provide you with instructions for chapter organization ceremonies as well as the format used for the initiation of members. In addition, you will receive a Charter, suitable for framing, to be signed by all Charter Members and displayed in an appropriate location at your institution. We will also provide individual membership certificates for distribution at the initiation ceremony and a Sigma Pi Kappa pin for the faculty program director.

NOTE: The Membership Proposal and the initiation fees should be submitted together at least three weeks prior to the date proposed for your organization ceremonies and initiation of members.

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