DEFINITION of 'Beta Alpha Psi'

Beta Alpha Psi is a national honorary organization for financial information students and professionals with over 300 college and university chapters and over 300,000 members. The main purpose of the organization is to encourage and recognize scholastic and professional excellence in the fields of accounting, finance and business information systems.

BREAKING DOWN 'Beta Alpha Psi'

Founded in 1919 with headquarters in Durham, N.C., Beta Alpha Psi carries a stated vision to "shape the financial and business information professions by developing members into ethical, professional, and confident leaders." It is perhaps no coincidence that "ethical" is the first word in the list of adjectives, as the finance field can draw people in the pursuit of money with little or no regard to honorable behavior. Banking, finance, accounting and insurance - these are among the most highly regulated sectors because people in general cannot be left to their own devices when large amounts of money are there for the taking. Beta Alpha Psi emphasizes the importance of maintaining proper conduct in these lines of work.

The organization promotes the study and practice of these disciplines, but importantly it offers an extensive network to tap into for job opportunities or to do business with fellow members. Job opportunities are particularly important for a chapter member at a campus who has an eye on breaking into the accounting, finance or business information field upon graduation. Beta Alpha Psi also has a number of partnerships with professional organizations that can benefit members with preparation for the CPA exam, scholarships and career resources. The organization is run by a board consisting of 14 individuals, two of whom are recent alumni representatives who provide fresh and up-to-date perspective on grassroots issues at the college and university chapters.

Not everyone concentrating in one of these fields of study can become a member of Beta Alpha Psi. One basic qualification is attainment of a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. This criterion helps to separate serious and competent students from the slackers.

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