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College of Environment and Design


SHPO Collage 1

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 club run by MHP students for all grads and undergrads interested in historic sites and landscapes.

SHPO at UGA aims to provide supplemental instruction catered to the interests of students, opportunities to engage in preservation activities in Athens and the surrounding areas, and a community of those with a mutual passion for 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 tailgates for home games in the Founders Memorial Garden. This is a great opportunity to cheer on the Dawgs and mingle with faculty, students, and alumni. SHPO also participates in CED-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 to broaden their perspectives and meet outside professionals, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation PastForward Conference and the Georgia State Historic Preservation Conference. 

San Fran

 The 2018 National Trust PastForward Conference took students to San Francisco, where they visited Hyde Park Pier (left), reunited with alumni at the Palace of the Fine Arts (middle), and saw the iconic painted ladies (right). 

Chicago Collage 1

Students at the 2017 Conference had the opportunity to explore Chicago between sessions, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House (right). 

Volunteer 1


Volunteer Opportunities

SHPO members gain hands-on skills while helping the community through volunteer projects. Recently, members have acted as docents for house tours hosted by the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation; cleaned up trails at Watson Mill Bridge on Your State Parks Day; uncovered graves at Brooklyn Cemetery for the Athens MLK Day of Service; and mothballed an abandoned house with Historic Macon Foundation (at left)




For more information and to be notified regarding upcoming meetings and events, like us on FacebookFor other questions, contact the board at


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, making UGA the Alpha Chapter.  The purpose of Sigma Pi Kappa and its chapters is to encourage and stimulate scholarship, foster interest and accomplishment, and provide and promote leadership in the field of historic preservation.

Sigma Pi Kappa

2018 inductees
The Greek letters ΣΠΚ represent "Scholar, Protector of Cultural Resources." 

UGA students who have completed at least half of the MHP degree requirements with 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.

Photo of Sigma Pi Kappa Symbol

Sigma Pi Kappa Brochure


Recognizing the need to acknowledge scholastic and professional achievement in historic preservation, faculty members of the MHP program in the College of Environment and 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
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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.

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 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.

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  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.