Phi Beta Kappa's Programs

The mission of The Phi Beta Kappa Society is to champion education in the liberal arts and sciences, to foster freedom of thought, and to recognize academic excellence.

In carrying out our mission, Phi Beta Kappa offers a variety of programs, in addition to inducting about 17,000 top undergraduate students in the liberal arts and sciences annually at 286 institutions with Phi Beta Kappa chapters.

The National Arts & Sciences Initiative


Phi Beta Kappa launched the National Arts & Sciences Initiative in 2013 to strengthen support for the value of the arts and sciences today. By convening awareness-raising events across the country and conducting a national member engagement campaign, the initiative demonstrates that a well-rounded arts and sciences education expands opportunity, drives ingenuity and innovation, and makes a strong investment in the nation. The National Arts & Sciences Initiative has developed an Arts & Sciences Are Key Toolkit designed to encourage member action on behalf of the arts and sciences. The Initiative also coordinates with leading higher education associations to amplify the impact of the work of Phi Beta Kappa.

Visiting Scholar Program


Celebrating its 60th year, the Visiting Scholar Program sends distinguished scholars in a variety of disciplines to participate for two days in the life of colleges and universities with Phi Beta Kappa chapters. During each two-day visit, a scholar takes part in class discussions, meets informally with students and faculty, and gives a free lecture open to the public. This year, 13 scholars will spend more than 200 days on campuses.

Phi Beta Kappa Alumni Associations


Phi Beta Kappa supports a network of 50 alumni associations across the country, including vibrant organizations in major metropolitan areas. Associations cultivate lifelong learning through cultural, educational, and networking events. Many associations are active in their communities, supporting scholarship programs and partnering with local charitable organizations.

Charting Excellence


To ensure that the Phi Beta Kappa chapters and alumni associations thrive, the Society is undertaking an internal program, Charting Excellence, to assess their health, improve the resources available to them, and forge stronger ties among chapters, associations, and the national office.

The American Scholar


Since 1932, Phi Beta Kappa has published The American Scholar, its award-winning quarterly magazine of public affairs, literature, science, history, and culture. The Scholar publishes writing that is elegant and clear, however challenging the subject, with a serious general audience in mind. The Scholar staff also produces The American Scholar website with new content each day, digital versions of the print magazine, and a bimonthly e-newsletter.

Awards and Fellowships


Phi Beta Kappa presents eight awards and fellowships annually. These awards recognize exceptional authors, scholars, graduate students, and professors in the fields of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, philosophy, French language or literature, and Greek language, literature or history. Phi Beta Kappa also gives two major awards at the triennial council for lifetime achievement in support of the liberal arts and sciences.

There are 30,000 subscribers for the print and tablet versions of the magazine, 1.6 million visitors a year to the website, and 50,000 newsletter recipients.

The Key Reporter


The Key Reporter is the national quarterly publication for Phi Beta Kappa members (circulation of over 600,000). Each issue features a column, “From the Secretary,” and news about members and national office programs, including the National Arts & Sciences Initiative, Visiting Scholar Program, and Society awards. Undergraduate writing interns from campus chapters and professors who are Phi Beta Kappa members provide content for The Key Reporter website .

Love of learning is the guide of life.