Visiting Scholar Program

Since 1956, the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program has been offering undergraduates the opportunity to spend time with some of America's most distinguished scholars. The purpose of the program is to contribute to the intellectual life of the campus by making possible an exchange of ideas between the Visiting Scholars and the resident faculty and students. History of the Visiting Scholar Program


The Visiting Scholars travel to more than 100 colleges and universities each year, spending two days on each campus and taking full part in the academic life of the institution. They meet informally with students and faculty members, participate in classroom discussions and seminars, and give a public lecture open to the academic community and the general public.


Over the last 60 years, 648 Visiting Scholars have made 5,288 visits to Phi Beta Kappa sheltering institutions.

Read testimonials  from the Visiting Scholars and the chapters about their experiences with the program. 


The Visiting Scholar panels for 2018-2019 and 2017-2018 are listed below.


Application Process

Participation is limited to the 286 campuses that shelter chapters of Phi Beta Kappa . Priority is given to those institutions not located in major metropolitan centers or that do not have extensive resources on which to draw for similar programs.

Please review the procedural information and best practices for campus scheduling  before requesting a Visiting Scholar. If you are interested in bringing one of the scholars to your campus, you will need to get in touch with the secretary or president of the local Phi Beta Kappa chapter so that your preference can be considered by the chapter when applying for a visitor. Invitations should not be sent directly to the Visiting Scholars.

The request form for the 2018-2019 program can be found here.

Questions about the program and the application process should be addressed to the Director of the Visiting Scholar Program, or you may call (202) 745-3231.

To see videos of past Visiting Scholar lectures, please click here.

Visiting Scholar Nora Naranjo Morse in her studio, Espanola, NM



Lisa Anderson

Senior Lecturer, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

Alán Aspuru-Guzik

Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University

Susan J. Birren

Professor of Neurobiology, Brandeis University

Laura Brown

John Wendell Anderson Professor of English, Cornell University

Jamsheed Choksy

Distinguished Professor of Central Eurasian Studies, Indiana

Nicola M. Courtright

William McCall Vickery 1957 Professor of the History of Art, Amherst College

William Chester Jordan

Dayton-Stockton Professor of History, Princeton University

Harold Hongju Koh

Sterling Professor of International Law, Yale Law School

Edward J. Larson

University Professor of History, Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law, Pepperdine University

Tod Machover

Muriel R. Cooper Professor of Music and Media, MIT

Dava J. Newman

Apollo Professor of Astronautics and Engineering Systems, MIT

Dan Simon

Richard L. and Maria B. Crutcher Professor of Law and Psychology, USC Gould School of Law

Alfred Z. Spector

Chief Technology Officer, Two Sigma

Paula Stephan

Professor of Economics, Georgia State University

Natasha Trethewey

Board of Trustees Professor of English, Northwestern University 2018-2019 ɸßК-Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar


(Click on the Scholar's name for a biographical sketch and schedule of visits.)

Victor S. Batista

Professor of Chemistry, Yale University

Judith Carney

Professor of Geography, University of California, Los Angeles

George Dyson

Historian of Technology, Bellingham, Washington

Price V. Fishback

Thomas R. Brown Professor of Economics, University of Arizona

David L. Haberman

Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University

Bonnie Honig

Nancy Duke Lewis Professor in Political Science and Modern Culture and Media, Brown University

Thomas W. Laqueur

Fawcett Distinguished Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley

Lydia H. Liu

Wun Tsun Tam Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University 2016-2017 ɸßК-Frank M. Updike Memorial Scholar

Mary Miller

Sterling Professor of the History of Art, Yale University

Osamu James Nakagawa

Ruth N. Halls Distinguished Professor of Photography, Indiana University

Ayanna Thompson

Professor of English, George Washington University

Amy Cheng Vollmer

Isaac H. Clothier, Jr. Professor of Biology, Swarthmore College

Stephen Walt

Belfer Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University

Paige West

Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology, Barnard College/Columbia University

James C. Zachos

Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz

Love of learning is the guide of life.