Students are considered for membership based on their grade
point averages in liberal arts studies, typically ranking in the
top 10 percent of arts and sciences majors at the
University. Other factors considered include breadth and depth
of areas of study, honors program involvement, undergraduate
research activity, and other campus involvement and
leadership. Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions
that define membership selection more specifically.
PBK Student Membership FAQs
How are students elected to Phi Beta Kappa? -
Most students are elected to Phi Beta Kappa during the spring of
their senior year, though a few may be elected during their junior
year. Students are selected by a committee of faculty in the
PBK chapter and are approved by the chapter as a whole.
Students cannot apply to Phi Beta Kappa.
What are the criteria for selection to Phi Beta
Kappa? - Phi Beta Kappa recognizes academic excellence in
the liberal arts and sciences. To be eligible students must
complete at least 90 hours of coursework in "liberal subjects" (see
below) by the time they graduate. The primary criterion for
selection to Phi Beta Kappa is academic excellence as measured by
GPA in liberal subjects (not cumulative GPA).
Are there other criteria beyond GPA?
In addition to GPA, the chapter looks for
other signs of strong and well rounded liberal arts
education. These include participation in the university
honors program and in undergraduate research, high levels of
competence in foreign language, study abroad, achievement in
mathematics beyond minimal Butler graduation requirements, and
breadth of study as evidenced by substantial coursework across a
variety of disciplines. In keeping with Phi Beta Kappa's
requirement that students be of good moral character, students who
have violated Butler's academic integrity or student conduct
policies are generally excluded from consideration.
What are courses in liberal subjects? Phi
Beta Kappa distinguishes liberal subjects from subjects that are
primarily applied and professional in nature. Most courses in
the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are in liberal subjects,
though some, including internships and practicums are not.
Courses in the professional colleges may count towards
liberal arts GPA if they are liberal in nature. Examples of
such courses include most economics courses in the College of
Business and music history or theory courses in the Jordan College
of Fine Arts.
How many students are elected ? The number of students
elected in a given class is approximately 10% of the number of
students majoring in liberal arts disciplines. While most
students are elected in the spring of their senior year, up to 2%
of eligible students may be elected in their junior year.
What about December graduates? Students
graduating in December will be considered for election to Phi Beta
Kappa the semester after they graduate.
Can students outside of LAS be elected to Phi Beta
Kappa? Students from all colleges are evaluated for
Phi Beta Kappa - but in practice the requirement of ninety hours in
liberal subjects makes it likely that most students will come from
the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
On what basis have these criteria been
chosen? Our criteria follows the National Phi
Beta Kappa organization's stipulations for membership.
Are there any fees associated with
membership? No. The National Phi Beta Kappa
student initiation fee is covered by Butler University.