From its beginning, it has been the aim of The Society of Phi Zeta to stand for constant advancement of the veterinary profession, for higher educational requirements, and for high scholarship. As stated in the Constitution, the Objective of the Society shall be to recognize and promote scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals.


Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine established the Chi Chapter of Phi Zeta in 1984. Chapters of the Society may be formed at any recognized veterinary medical college or at any other institution of higher learning.

Phi Zeta was originated in 1925 by a group of senior veterinary students in the New York State Veterinary College at Cornell University. With the assistance of a group of faculty members, including the Dean of the College, Dr. Veranus A. Moore, the Society was formally organized, and Dean Moore was elected as the first president of the Alpha Chapter. The Society of Phi Zeta was organized nationally in 1929 at a meeting in Detroit, Michigan, and Dean Moore became the first president of the Society. Also in 1929, a charter was granted to the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Beta Chapter was established. In 1931, the Executive Committee approved the petition of a group from Iowa State College, and the Gamma Chapter was established. Since then twenty-nine chapters have been chartered, bringing the total number of chapters to thirty-two.


Membership in the Society consists of two classifications, Active and Honorary.

Those eligible to election as Active Members are:

  • Any candidate for the DVM/VMD degree in a veterinary medical college where a chapter exists, and who has completed at least two years of the professional curriculum, and who meets the following requirements:
    1. The candidate must have an acceptable personality, be of good moral character, and possess high ideals regarding professional service conduct.
    2. When elected in the junior or third year, students must rank scholastically in the highest 10% of their veterinary medical class.
    3. When elected in the senior or fourth year, students must rank scholastically in the highest 25% of their veterinary medical class.
  • Any veterinarian who has been in possession of a veterinary medical degree for at least two years, and who has displayed ability of high order in dealing with one or more phases of the science of veterinary medicine, and who meets one of the following criteria.
    1. The candidate is enrolled as a graduate student in a college of veterinary medicine and has completed at least twenty semester (thirty quarter) hours of graduate credit or has successfully passed preliminary examinations.
    2. The candidate has been engaged in an intern or residency program for at least two years or has become board certified in his/her specialty.
    3. The candidate has completed two years or more on the faculty of the institution or scientific staff of a scientific institution within commuting distance of the nearest chapter of Phi Zeta and has been involved in veterinary research or service.

Those eligible to election as Honorary Members are:

  • Distinguished veterinarians in possession of their veterinary medical degrees for at least five years and who have rendered notable service to their profession.
  • Persons not in possession of the veterinary medical degree, who have rendered distinguished service in the advancement of the science relating to the animal industry and particularly of animal diseases.
  • Only in exceptional instances shall more than two honorary members be elected by any one chapter in any one academic year.

Active members who move from the residence of their chapter may:

  • Become known as inactive members and not subject to the payment of dues; or
  • Transfer their membership to another chapter.

Constitution and Chapters

Visit the National Society of Phi Zeta's website to view its constitution and full list of chapters.

Executive Committee