What is Phi Beta Kappa?
Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest academic honor society, founded in 1776. It celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts and sciences. Its campus chapters invite for induction the most outstanding arts and sciences students at America’s leading colleges and universities. The Society sponsors activities to advance these studies — the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences — in higher education and in society at large.
- ΦBK — Greek initials of the motto "Love of learning is the guide of life."
- Phi Beta Kappa is a leading advocate for excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
- There are over half a million members and chapters at 283 American colleges and universities.
- Invitation to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is a reflection of outstanding achievement.
Officers of the Alpha Alpha Chapter of New York
Anthony DeBlasi, PhD
G. Brian Burke
Trudi Jacobson, MLS, MA
Jane Kessler, MLS, MBA
Malcolm Sherman, PhD
Phi Beta Kappa on Twitter
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Exploring Phi Beta Kappa
Celebrate the 239th anniversary of The Phi Beta Kappa Society!
We encourage you to explore the information provided. You may be interested in learning about the history of the Society--it is as old as the United States, with its first meeting taking place in 1776.
If you have questions about Phi Beta Kappa, ask one of the chapter officers, one of your professors, or your academic advisor. Membership in the Society is a mark of distinction and reflects your outstanding academic record.
Guide for Selection of Undergraduate Members at the University at Albany (abbreviated)
Faculty and staff members of the chapter review student records each fall and each spring, and then invite qualified students to join. If you are interested in being considered, you will find below the requirements for being invited to join. Currently, chapter members only review students who have earned 102 credits or more.
(over 101 cr.)
Minimum G.P.A. for a student who has a VERY WELL balanced distribution of courses, including a foreign language and a reasonable representation in EACH of 4 areas: Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Math, and Natural Sciences.
credits: at least three full
semesters of coursework or 45 credits in residence at The University at
2. Enrollment: must be registered for the current semester to be considered in a given round of review.
3. Majors: A major in the liberal arts and sciences,
with no fewer than 90 credits of liberal arts and sciences coursework among the
120 credits needed for graduation. Business,
finance, and social welfare majors are ineligible, though students with a
second major in a suitable field may be considered for election in their senior
year, if their course work includes at least 90 credits in the liberal arts and
sciences. Consideration will be given to
majors of a liberal nature, even though they may be offered outside the
4. Mathematics: 3 credits; courses appropriate for this requirement include any course with a MAT prefix, a statistics course in any department, or any course with a CSI prefix.
5. Foreign language: Two semesters of coursework with a minimum of 6 credits in a single foreign language, or at least 3 credits above the introductory course. (Courses taught in English by foreign language departments do not count toward this requirement; nor does Regents equivalency.)
6. Natural Sciences: 6 credits. Courses that satisfy the Natural Sciences General Education requirement are acceptable for PBK.
7. Social and Behavioral Sciences: 6 credits.
8. Humanities and Fine Arts: 6 credits.
9. Courses from other institutions: If a course or courses that have been taken at another institution are needed to fulfill PBK requirements, the G.P.A. must be recalculated, and all courses taken at that institution must be included, not just the course(s) needed to fulfill the requirements. Please also note that requirements filled by AP courses are acceptable.
How does one become a member of PBK?
Students are invited to become members after a thorough review of their record indicates that they have met all the requirements as outlined on this page. It is not possible to apply for membership.
Is there a service component?
No, Phi Beta Kappa is an academic honor society.
Is there an annual fee?
No, the initiation fee is the only fee.