PHI BETA KAPPA, the oldest honor society in the United States, takes its name from the first letters of its motto, Philosophia biou kubernetes ("Philosophy is the guide of life"). The society was founded in 1776 by undergraduates of the College of William and Mary. The emblem of the society is a gold key bearing the Greek letters phi beta kappa.
The selection process starts at the beginning of the fall semester of each year. Transcripts are reviewed and a final vote on all candidates is made by the entire Chapter no later than spring. Once this vote is taken, it is impossible to elect any more new members until the following spring. New members who accept the invitation to membership are initiated at a formal ceremony. Persons graduated at the end of fall semester may be considered for election during the spring semester immediately following graduation. Persons graduated earlier than one semester preceding the spring election process will generally not be considered for membership.
If you are interested in becoming a member, please read the Membership Requirements page.