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Sigma Phi Omega Honor Society

Sigma Phi Omega (SPO) is the national academic honor and professional society in gerontology.  It was established in 1980 to recognize both the excellence of those who study gerontology and aging and the outstanding service of professionals who work with or on behalf of older persons.
The society provides a much needed link between educators, practitioners, and administrators in various settings where older persons are served.

SPO seeks to promote scholarship, professionalism, friendship, and services to older persons, and to recognize exemplary attainment in gerontology/aging studies and related fields.

Why should I join?

Your $25 student membership fee:

  • Helps support the activities of your local chapter.
  • Provides a testament to your academic excellence and looks great on a CV.
  • Allows you access to networking events, social events, skills building workshops and video recordings of the PhD speaker series with the latest gerontology research.

What are the member benefits?

  • Connect with SPO members to build collegiate relationships and receive mentorship
  • Attend our chapter social events like a welcome back party, Alzheimer’s Walk, dinner outings, Duck Tour, bowling, holiday celebrations, comedy night, and the induction ceremony 
  • View videos of the PhD speaker series and participate in skills building brown bags.  Sample topics include: How to Work a Conference, Grant Writing Do’s & Don’ts, Everything You Wanted to Know About Careers in Teaching, Careers in Aging Panel
  • Receive discounts to SPO social events and graduation honor chords
  • Strengthen your leadership skills through local or national board membership
  • Compete for awards in academic excellence, civic engagement, or professional achievements.
  •  Keep connected and share ideas in our national newsletter

How do I join? 

Student membership is open to students who are majoring or minoring in gerontology/aging studies and related fields and are in at least their second term of enrollment. Also, to be eligible for membership in SPO, student must meet these minimum grade point average requirements on a 4.0 scale:

  • undergraduates: minimum 3.3 GPA
  • graduate students: minimum 3.5 GPA

Download a membership application

If you would like more information about SPO, visit the national chapter’s website. 

Chapter By-Laws


Prospective Undergraduate Students & General Inquiries

Phone: 617.287.7338

Academic Program Directors

Gerontology PhD & Research/Policy MS programs
Kathrin Boerner, PhD 

Management of Aging Services MS and Graduate Certificate programs
Ellen Birchander, MS

Aging Studies BA and minor program, & Frank J. Manning Certificate program (Undergraduate)
Jeffrey Stokes, PhD

Mailing Address

Department of Gerontology
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125-3393