Skip to main content






unnamed-2.pngTri-Alpha, also known as Alpha Alpha Alpha, is a national honor society for first-generation scholars. UC San Diego is the first UC to be chartered for Tri-Alpha, and is known as the Beta Kappa Chapter. This honor society is a way to celebrate the academic achievements of our first-generation students and is open to undergraduate, graduate, professional, medical, and pharmacy students. Faculty and staff may also be inducted. We hope that you will join! To learn more about the Tri-Alpha Honors society, visit their official website.

 Learn more here: 


Students qualify for induction into Tri-Alpha if they meet the following criteria:
  • The student has earned at least 30 credit/semester hours (or 45 quarter hours) towards a baccalaureate degree
  • The undergraduate student has achieved an overall undergraduate GPA of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale. (For schools using a pass, high pass, etc. system, a "high pass" average is required.)
  • Neither of the student's parents, nor step-parents, nor legal guardians, completed a bachelor's degree
  • Graduate students who are first-generation students can be admitted if they have completed the equivalent of at least one term of study (9 or more graduate credits) and have a GPA in their graduate program of at least 3.5 and or are in satisfactory standing with their program (NOTE: The executive board voted to change the GPA requirement to 3.5, but now allows for part-time students in graduate programs to be admitted.). (For schools using a pass, high pass, etc. system, a "high pass" average is required.)
  • Faculty and staff may be inducted as well. To qualify, they must have met the definition of a first-generation student listed above at the time they completed their bachelor's degree. Faculty and staff must be willing to serve as mentors for first-generation students.

Membership Application

Undergraduate Students:

If you meet these criteria and would like to join, submit your membership application here. The first 100 scholars will have their induction fees waived.

Apply Here

Graduate Students

If you meet these criteria and would like to join, submit your membership application here. The first 100 scholars will have their induction fees waived, as sponsored by the Graduate Division.  For information, email us at

Faculty and Staff

If you are a faculty and staff member who would like to be inducted to the Beta Kappa chapter of Tri Alpha at UC San Diego, please email us at  Also, if you haven’t yet shared your first-gen story with us please complete this link:

Triton Firsts Survey Response

First Gen Student Alliance (FGSA)

FGSA and the Tritons First Initiative will both be collaborating with Tri Alpha. FGSA will be in charge of the Tri Alpha application cycle for undergraduate students, Induction ceremonies, and bringing academic resources to FGSA. Connect with them for any questions and/or announcements. Instagram: @UCSDFGSA Email: If you are interested in joining, apply through the membership form:

Apply Here

Important Dates

Save the date for our Winter Induction Ceremony which will be held on February 27, 2021.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Membership fee?

  • The national initiation fee is $10 for students and $20 for faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as a local initiation fees (where applicable).
  • You will receive a certificate and pin signifying membership, which is for life.

We would like to thank the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Retention and Success, and the Dean of Graduate Division for generously sponsoring membership fees for the first 100 undergraduate students and the first 100 graduate, professional, medical and pharmacy students.

Why should I join?

  • Receive the outward recognition of personal accomplishment and an incentive for continued high scholarship.
  • Be identified by employers, professionals, and graduate schools as a person of superior academic ability and commitment.

What can you do as a Tri Alpha member?

  • Have the opportunity to meet other first-generation scholars from all academic disciplines on your campus and to join them in promoting academic excellence and creating a supportive environment for first-generation college students.
  • Mentor younger first-generation students.
  • Receive mentoring from more senior first-generation students, as well as faculty, staff, and alumni who were first-generation students.
  • Build your resume and connections through networking.
  • Gain local chapter leadership opportunities.

More Questions?

If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to contact us!