National Eligibility Stipulations

Eligibility for election to Phi Beta Kappa as an undergraduate member in course shall be contingent upon fulfillment of the following minimum requirements. These minimum requirements are the National Society’s basis of the criteria set in the Chapters’ constitution and bylaws. Chapters are expected to determine the specific application of standards stated in these Stipulations.

  • Eligible students shall be candidates for a bachelor’s degree (BA).
  • They shall include not less than 90 semester hours (or the equivalent) of liberal work among the 120 hours ordinarily required for the degree, exclusive of required courses in physical education and any military science.
  • Students electing a combined curriculum in such fields as law, medicine, dentistry, or engineering may be considered if they take at least 90 semester hours or the equivalent of liberal work in a College of Arts and Sciences, complete at least half of the requirements for a liberal major, and meet all of the other requirements defined in these Stipulations.
  • Grades earned in applied or professional work shall not be counted in computing the grade point average for purposes of eligibility. Applied and professional work shall be understood to include those courses intended primarily to develop skills or vocational techniques in such fields as business administration, education, engineering, home economics, journalism, library science, military science, physical education, communications, secretarial studies, speech, and applied art and music.
  • Weight shall be given to the breadth and proportion of the program of each candidate as shown by the number and variety of courses taken outside the major.
  • Candidates shall have demonstrated in mathematics and foreign language knowledge appropriate for a liberal education.