Why You Should Consider The Science National Honor Society

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of college students studying in a room with a table.

Why You Should Consider The Science National Honor Society

“The Science National Honor Society is a prominent scientific organization that will engender a new group of young thinkers who will be the future of industry, research, and scientific exploration for America.” – SNHS

Are you a high school student with a passion for science? Do you want to showcase your academic talents and broaden your scientific horizons? Joining the Science National Honor Society (SNHS) could be the perfect opportunity for you. In this article, we will delve into the benefits and requirements of SNHS membership, giving you a comprehensive overview of what this esteemed honor society offers.

What is the Science National Honor Society?

The Science National Honor Society (SNHS) is a prestigious group for high school students in the U.S. who excel in science. Its mission is to promote and recognize scientific thought among students. SNHS encourages deepening your understanding of scientific concepts and engaging in science-related activities, developing a passion for science both inside and outside the classroom. To join, you typically need a high GPA in science courses and overall academics, a genuine interest in the sciences, and often a recommendation from your science teachers.

SNHS offers various opportunities throughout the academic year to enhance your scientific knowledge and skills. You can participate in science fairs, research projects, community service activities, and leadership roles within society. The organization also hosts guest lectures, field trips, and other educational events to broaden your scientific horizons.
Three students walking in the campus.Being a member of SNHS is a mark of distinction. It boosts your college applications and provides networking opportunities with peers and professionals in the scientific community. Overall, SNHS aims to build a strong foundation in scientific literacy and inspire the next generation of scientists.

A closer look at what the Science National Honor Society does

The Science National Honor Society (SNHS) organizes various activities to promote scientific literacy and deep appreciation for the sciences among high school students. It is important to note that the chapters have the freedom to organize any events as long as they align with SNHS’ objectives. Here are some key activities and initiatives typically undertaken by SNHS chapters:

Research and Projects

Members can engage in scientific research projects independently and in groups. These projects often culminate in presentations, science fairs, or competitions, allowing you to showcase your findings.

Community Service and Outreach

SNHS chapters organize community service projects that promote science education and awareness. Activities include tutoring younger students, conducting science demonstrations at local schools, or participating in environmental clean-up efforts.

Environmental services like recycling programs on campus or in the city are popular activities for engaging students with the public and helping them develop presentation and interpersonal skills. Some groups organize campus-wide clean-ups, involving other students in these efforts on weekends or other suitable days, fostering a sense of community and environmental responsibility.

Educational Events and Lectures

Chapters frequently host guest speakers, including scientists, researchers, and industry professionals, to share insights into various scientific fields. Moreover, field trips to science museums, research labs, universities, and industry sites provide real-world exposure to scientific work.

Chapters visit local universities or colleges to observe real science in their community. For rural schools, ranches and farms offer excellent opportunities to see scientific operations in action. These visits help students connect with real-world applications of science and broaden their understanding of various scientific fields.

Competitions and Science Fairs

Members are encouraged to participate in local, regional, and national science competitions and fairs. Science Olympiad and Robotics competitions allow SNHS members to develop new skills and strive to bring recognition to their school through their hard work and dedication. These events provide a platform to present research and compete for awards and scholarships.

Leadership and Development

SNHS offers leadership opportunities within the organization, such as serving as chapter officers or committee chairs. These roles help you develop organizational, communication, and project management skills.

two computer scientists working in front of their computer

Overall, SNHS offers a supportive and enriching environment for exploring your scientific interests, developing your skills, and contributing to your community. SNHS plays a pivotal role in nurturing the next generation of scientists and innovators through its diverse activities and initiatives.

Who is eligible to be a member?

According to the SNHS by-laws, here are the criteria the students must meet to qualify for membership:

GPA Requirements

  • Maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 on an unweighted scale.
  • Achieve a minimum GPA of 3.5 in science courses.

Teacher Recommendations

  • Get recommendations from science teachers to verify academic performance and interest in science.

Chapter Discretion

  • Individual chapters may set higher GPA requirements if deemed necessary. Some chapters require that students join a specific number of science-related events to qualify and maintain their membership. We highly recommend that you refer to your local chapter’s eligibility requirements.

What does becoming a member of the Science National Honor Society mean to you as a student?

Becoming a Science National Honor Society (SNHS) member means being recognized for your dedication and excellence in science. It encourages you to strive for academic success and offers a supportive community where you can share your passion for science with like-minded peers.

View of students talking in front of a building.

Moreover, becoming a member of the SNHS means gaining several valuable benefits:

  • Academic Recognition: You are celebrated for your excellence in science, motivating you to continue striving for academic success.
  • Community and Collaboration: You join a supportive network of peers who share your passion for science, fostering collaboration, idea sharing, and lasting friendships.
  • Advanced Education: Participation in guest lectures, workshops, and field trips deepens your understanding of scientific concepts and their real-world applications.
  • Leadership Development: Taking on leadership roles within SNHS helps you develop important skills, such as organization, communication, and project management.
  • Service Opportunities: Engaging in community service projects with a scientific focus allows you to positively impact your community and develop a sense of social responsibility.
  • Prestige and Recognition: Membership adds prestige to your academic profile, enhancing college applications, scholarships, and future career opportunities.
  • Scholarship Opportunities: In your final year of high school, you can apply for SNHS scholarships to support your college education.

Does the Science National Honor Society offer scholarships?

The Science National Honor Society (SNHS) offers college scholarships to its members who demonstrate a strong passion for science, actively participate in their local chapter’s activities, excel academically, and exhibit leadership qualities.


Scholarships Offered by SNHS

Qualification Criteria

  • Must be a senior in high school.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5.
  • Complete and apply the online system by February 29, 2024 (Application is already closed).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is the Science National Honor Society prestigious? 

Yes, the Science National Honor Society (SNHS) is considered prestigious. Membership in SNHS is an honor that recognizes high school students for their academic excellence, leadership, and dedication to the sciences. Being part of SNHS enhances your academic profile and college applications and provides valuable networking opportunities, scholarships, and personal growth in scientific fields.

Young woman teaching kids in a library.

2. Are there costs involved in being a member? 

Yes, there are costs involved in being a member of the Science National Honor Society (SNHS). However, the chapter typically covers these costs if they want to establish one. Establishing a chapter requires a total fee of $300 ($400 for international chapters), which includes a $225 application fee ($325 for international) and a $75 annual membership fee. Individual chapters may also have their dues for members to cover the costs of activities and events.

3. Can I still join even if I am homeschooled?

They recommend the following for a homeschooled student interested in becoming an SNHS member:

  • The student should contact the advisor of a local chapter. If the advisor determines that the student meets eligibility criteria, then the student may join that chapter. Note that some teachers may allow a student from outside their school to join their chapter; however, some will not allow this arrangement due to the additional work involved. The decision is at the discretion of the chapter advisor.
  • When admitted to a local chapter, the student is required to participate fully in all events according to the bylaws of the SNHS and local rules set by the SNHS advisor and/or Chapter Officers.
  • Check the SNHS Chapter Directory for the nearest school chapter, then contact the advisor of that school about your interest in joining the chapter.

4. What do I have to consider before joining the Science National Honor Society? 

Before joining the Science National Honor Society (SNHS), consider the following:

  • Eligibility Requirements: Ensure you meet the GPA requirements (typically a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a GPA of 3.5 in science courses).
  • Teacher Recommendations: Obtain recommendations from your science teachers to validate your academic performance and interest in science.
  • Participation Commitment: Be ready to actively participate in chapter activities, events, and community service projects as required by the SNHS bylaws and local chapter rules.
  • Membership Costs: Know any membership fees and potential costs associated with joining and participating in the chapter.
  • Advisor Approval: Contact a local chapter advisor to discuss your eligibility and express your interest in joining.
  • Homeschool Considerations: If homeschooled, check with local chapters for policies on accepting students from outside their school.

5. What do SNHS alumni do after? 

Science National Honor Society (SNHS) alumni often pursue higher education at prestigious institutions and pursue careers in various scientific fields. Many attend Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia. They also enroll in top public universities like UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan, the University of Virginia, and UNC-Chapel Hill. Renowned research institutions such as MIT, Caltech, Stanford, and Johns Hopkins are common destinations for SNHS graduates. Additionally, specialized science and engineering schools like Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute attract many SNHS members.

Three students talking to a teacher while on a hallway.

Regarding careers, SNHS alumni excel in healthcare, engineering, technology, environmental science, and academia. They work as physicians and researchers at esteemed institutions like the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic, and as biomedical researchers at pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. In the engineering and technology sectors, they become software engineers and developers at leading companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple, and aerospace engineers at NASA and SpaceX.

Environmental science also draws many SNHS alumni, who work as environmental consultants and scientists at organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and as research scientists at national laboratories like Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Many alumni contribute to academia and research as professors and scientists at universities and institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

6. How is SNHS different from other honor societies? 

Many honor societies exist for high-achieving students, but the Science National Honor Society (SNHS) stands out for its focus on science. Joining SNHS means becoming part of a community passionate about scientific exploration, with opportunities to enhance your knowledge and skills in this field.

SNHS offers specialized resources tailored for science enthusiasts, including workshops, seminars, and conferences with experts in various scientific disciplines. These events help you expand your scientific knowledge, participate in professional discussions, and explore potential career paths in science.

Moreover, SNHS encourages participation in scientific competitions and conferences. Representing SNHS in these events showcases your abilities and exposes you to the wider scientific community, leading to collaborations, research opportunities, and even scholarships or grants.

7. I am an upcoming college student. Is joining the SNHS worth it?

Joining the Science National Honor Society (SNHS) can significantly enhance your college applications and serve as a platform for personal and academic growth.

Recognized as a Tier 3 extracurricular activity, SNHS indicates a strong interest in science and offers opportunities to assume leadership roles. This page explains how extracurricular activities can significantly impact your college applications.

SNHS provides networking opportunities with like-minded peers and the chance to participate in unique experiences or community service projects related to science. If you have time to contribute actively, involvement in SNHS can be highly rewarding.

However, merely joining SNHS without active engagement may not make a significant impact on college applications. Colleges value the depth of your involvement and leadership roles. Leading a major event or initiating a new community service project within SNHS can be a compelling addition to your application, showcasing your genuine interest in STEM.

How do I maximize my experience as a member of the Science National Honor Society?

To maximize your experience as a member of the Science National Honor Society (SNHS), consider the following strategies:

Active Participation

  • Attend Meetings Regularly: Make it a priority to attend all chapter meetings and events to stay informed and involved.
  • Engage in Activities: Participate in workshops, seminars, field trips, and other chapter-organized events to enhance your scientific knowledge and skills.

Leadership Roles

  • Run for Office: Consider running for a leadership position within your chapter, such as president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer.
  • Lead Projects: Take the initiative to lead or organize science-related projects, events, or community service activities.


  • Connect with Peers: Build relationships with fellow SNHS members to exchange ideas, collaborate on projects, and support each other’s academic pursuits.
  • Engage with Professionals: Take advantage of guest lectures and networking events to connect with scientists, researchers, and industry experts.

a male student reading a book in between shelves inside a library

Community Service

  • Initiate Service Projects: Organize or participate in community service projects that promote scientific literacy and benefit the community.
  • Volunteer: Volunteer for science fairs, educational outreach programs, and environmental clean-up efforts.

Academic Excellence

  • Maintain High Grades: Strive to excel in your science courses and maintain the GPA requirements for SNHS membership.
  • Pursue Research: Get involved in scientific research projects, either independently or through partnerships with local universities or organizations.

Competitions and Conferences

  • Participate in Competitions: Join science competitions such as the Science Olympiad, science fairs, and robotics contests to challenge yourself and gain recognition.
  • Attend Conferences: Attend scientific conferences and symposia to learn from experts, present your research, and network with other students and professionals.

Scholarship Opportunities

  • Apply for Scholarships: Take advantage of scholarship opportunities offered by SNHS to support your college education.
  • Seek Funding for Projects: Look for grants or funding opportunities for science-related projects you are passionate about.

Reflect and Document

  • Keep a Journal: Document your experiences, achievements, and lessons learned throughout your SNHS journey.
  • Prepare for College Applications: Use your SNHS involvement to strengthen your college applications by highlighting your leadership, community service, and academic achievements.

Participating in these activities and initiatives can help you make the most of your SNHS membership, gain valuable experiences, and build a strong foundation for future academic and career pursuits.


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