The Phi Beta Kappa Society grants charters for new chapters after an extensive application and review process.

For more than 240 years, the Phi Beta Kappa Society has represented the highest values of an education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences and honored the students who have excelled in this rigorous course of study.

The Society grants charters for new chapters to Phi Beta Kappa faculty on college and university campuses after an extensive, multi-year application and review process. Currently, 290 chapters representing small liberal arts colleges, private universities, and public universities regularly induct new students into the Society.

Sheltering a Phi Beta Kappa chapter on your campus is a true mark of distinction and signal of your institution’s commitment to offering an educational experience rooted in the liberal arts. 


Application Timeline for 2021-2024
 

Chapter Selection Criteria Apply to Host a Chapter

The process by which new chapters are approved is a three-year cycle that begins in January of 2021 and concludes with the approval of new chapters in August of 2024. The first step is completion of the Application to Shelter a Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, available on January 19, 2021, using the button below, with a submission deadline of January 18, 2022. The application must be submitted by a committee of Phi Beta Kappa faculty from a U.S. four year college or university.

Phi Beta Kappa has recently streamlined the process into one comprehensive application (replacing the Preliminary Application and General Report of previous cycles) and a campus visit. Phi Beta Kappa’s Committee on Qualifications reviews all applications. In the Spring of 2022, the Committee will review applications and select schools that will receive site visits in the first quarter of 2023. Those institutions will be asked to update relevant data prior to the site visit.

After these visits, the Committee will make recommendations to the Phi Beta Kappa governing board, the Phi Beta Kappa Senate, in December of 2023. The Senate, in turn, makes recommendations to Phi Beta Kappa’s Triennial Council. The Triennial Council then votes to approve all new Phi Beta Kappa chapters in August of 2024.
 


Application Timeline for 2018-2021


The cycle for consideration for the approval of new chapters in 2018-2021 is nearing completion. The Committee on Qualifications presented its recommendations to the Phi Beta Kappa Senate at its December 2020 meeting. The Senate will make its recommendations to the Council of Phi Beta Kappa for consideration at the August 2021 Triennial Council. If two-thirds of the combined number of chapter and chartered association delegations present and voting at the August 2021 Council agree with an affirmative recommendation from the Senate, the Society will grant a charter for a new chapter and begin planning for the chapter’s installation and first student induction. 


Concluding Note

Throughout the process, applicants are encouraged to remain in contact with Phi Beta Kappa’s national office for guidance. Applicant committees should channel all inquiries and correspondence through Ann McCulloch, Director of Chapter and Association Relations, amcculloch@pbk.org, 202-745-3249. We look forward to working with you!

Our earning a Phi Beta Kappa chapter...was the culmination of a tenacious and protracted effort led by a group of staunch faculty members. But what a wonderful accomplishment! In many ways, I point to the Phi Beta Kappa chapter as the achievement I’m proudest of so far, because it validates our transformation of UH into a student-centric university. Simply put, you don’t qualify for Phi Beta Kappa unless you have clearly established a culture that supports your students at every turn.

— Renu Khator

President, University of Houston

A Rare Honor

10% of U.S. colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters. These chapters select only 10% of their arts and sciences graduates to join.

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