The Sigma Phi Alpha Honor Society was founded in 1958 by members of the Section on Dental Hygiene Education of the American Dental Education Association.
The Sigma Phi Alpha Honor Society Psi Chapter was initially founded at the Dental Hygiene Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University and was re-established in 1990 when the program moved to New York University College of Dentistry.
Membership in Sigma Phi Alpha is comprised of elected dental hygiene graduates from accredited dental hygiene programs with high scholastic achievement.
Faculty members who are selected for membership have been engaged in teaching in accredited schools of dental hygiene for at least three years full-time or five years part-time. One faculty member may be elected each year. Alumnae members are comprised of senior students who are elected on the basis of scholarship, service, leadership, and potential for professional growth. Membership is limited to 10% of each graduating class by program (i.e. pre-licensure, degree completion, graduate). Alumnae membership also may be conferred on qualified persons who graduated prior to the establishment of a chapter.
Transfer members are those members who move from one chapter to another, most often due to a move to another component area.