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Phi Beta Kappa - Eligibility for Membership

Stipulations Concerning Eligibility for Membership in Course

Eligibility for election to membership in course shall be contingent upon fulfillment of the following minimum requirements. Chapters are expected to determine the specific application of standards stated in these Stipulations.

  1. Eligible students shall be candidates for a bachelor’s degree in a College of Arts and Sciences or its institutional equivalent.
  2. They shall be majoring in an area of the liberal arts or sciences. If departments of economics, music, political science, or other subjects normally offered in a College of Arts and Sciences are classified in another division of the institution, students majoring in these subjects may be considered if they are candidates for a bachelor’s degree in a College of Arts and Sciences.
  3. They shall include not less than 90 semester hours (or the equivalent) of liberal work among the 120 hours ordinarily required for the degree, exclusive of required courses in physical education and any military science.
  4. Students electing a combined curriculum in such fields as law, medicine, dentistry, or engineering may be considered if they take at least 90 semester hours or the equivalent of liberal work in a College of Arts and Sciences, complete at least half of the requirements for a liberal major, and meet all of the other requirements defined in these Stipulations.
  5. Grades earned in applied or professional work shall not be counted in computing the grade-point average for purposes of eligibility. Applied and professional work shall be understood to include those courses intended primarily to develop skills or vocational techniques in such fields as business administration, education, engineering, home economics, journalism, library science, military science, physical education, communications, secretarial studies, speech, and applied art and music.
  6. Weight shall be given to the breadth and proportion of the program of each candidate as shown by the number and variety of courses taken outside the major.
  7. Candidates shall have demonstrated, by successful work in high school or college, or in the two together, a knowledge of mathematics and of a foreign language at least minimally appropriate for a liberal education. In no case shall this mean less than the completion of the intermediate college level in a foreign language, or its equivalent, and the equivalent of two years of college preparatory secondary school mathematics. Either requirement may be met by a proficiency test.

The Stipulations Concerning Eligibility for Membership in Course were adopted by the Phi Beta Kappa Council in 1952. Chapters founded since 1952 are required, and others are requested, to observe the Stipulations, which, as printed above, incorporate revisions made by the Twenty-Ninth Council in September 1970, and amendments adopted by written vote of the chapters in July 1991.