The Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards, sponsored by The Phi Beta Kappa Society, are given annually in December in Washington, D.C. Each of the three awards are given to outstanding scholarly books accessible to the general, literate reader in the fields of humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences, and mathematics and carrying a prize of $10,000 for each winning author.  The three awards are:

-The Christian Gauss Award
-The Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science
-The Ralph Waldo Emerson Award

Eligible books must meet the following criteria to be considered: 

1. Publication date: 

  • The original publication date of the book in any form (hardcover or other) must be between January 1 through December 31 of the year preceding the current awards cycle. 

  • To qualify, a book must have been published in the United States. However, a book that otherwise meets all of the conditions for consideration will not be disqualified if it was first published outside the United States as long as both its original publication date and its United States publication date fall during the requisite calendar year.

2. Works of broad interest: 

  • In all cases, entries must be of broad interest and accessible to the general reader.

  • Entries should not be highly technical in character, nor should they treat subjects of narrowly limited interest. 

  • Research reports and other technical treatments of a subject are not eligible.

3. Multiple volume works: 

  • A single volume that is part of a multi-volume work may be entered if the volume is independent and self-sufficient and meets the other requirements for eligibility.

4. Original publication: 

  • Entries must be original publications.

  • Translations to English are ineligible.

  • Works previously published as a whole, even if republished with considerable changes or additions, are ineligible.

  • Books that consist entirely of previously published articles are ineligible.

  • Books that include chapters or sections previously published as articles in periodicals by a single author will be considered only if they have very clear, unifying themes and are not random collections.

5. Entry submission requirements:

  • Entries must be submitted by the publisher.  Entries submitted by authors will not be accepted.

  • A book may be entered only once.

  • Publishers may submit only one entry for each award.

  • If a publisher submits entries from multiple imprints or press divisions, a publisher may submit only one title per imprint or press division per award.

6. Author requirements:

  • Entries ordinarily must be the work of a single author.  Exceptions may be made for books written by small teams of scholars working in close collaboration.

  • Books that are collections of chapters by several different authors are ineligible.

  • Authors must be both living and working in the United States.

  • The author of each winning title is expected to attend the book awards ceremony in December of the award year in Washington, D.C., to deliver a brief speech and to otherwise participate in the program for the evening.

7. Submission procedures:

  • Publishers should complete a submission form for each book submitted. The form will not be available when the submission cycle is closed. 

  • Two copies of each title submitted must be received by the Phi Beta Kappa Society by the close of the cycle of consideration. (January 31st of the year of the award) 

  • Publishers must include on their submission form the name, title, email address, phone number, and postal address of the appropriate contact person at the Publisher with whom Phi Beta Kappa may communicate. 

  • Phi Beta Kappa will notify the publisher if any submission is selected for the short list for one of the awards at which time five additional copies of the book must be submitted to the Society. 

Love of learning is the guide of life.