Eligibility and Election Criteria

Eligibility Criteria

phi beta kapp keyJuniors and seniors who are candidates for a degree in the College of Arts and Sciences; whose academic achievements reflect the goals of Phi Beta Kappa; and who meet the following specific criteria shall be eligible for election to Phi Beta Kappa:

  1. Senior candidates must have completed three semesters of work in the College of Arts and Sciences and be fully registered for a fourth. Junior candidates must have completed five semesters of work in the College of Arts and Sciences and be fully registered for a sixth.
  2. Senior candidates must have an overall GPA that places them within the top 15 percent of the graduating class, excluding grades received in courses that are of a purely applied or professional nature. Junior candidates must have an overall GPA that places them within the top 3 percent of their class, excluding grades received in courses that are of a purely applied or professional nature.
  3. At least three-fourths of a candidate's academic work must have been taken in the liberal arts and sciences, as distinct from applied or professional work.
  4. In choosing candidates for election, the chapter seeks evidence of academic achievement that is of exceptional distinction and gives weight to the breadth of the quality of the overall program of courses taken by each candidate.
  5. Candidates shall have demonstrated, by successful work in high school or college, or in the two together, a knowledge of a second or non-native language at least minimally appropriate for a liberal education. In no case shall this mean less than the completion of the intermediate college level in a second, or non-native, language, or its equivalent.
  6. The candidate's undergraduate record shall include at least one course in college-level mathematics, logic or statistics, with content appropriate to a liberal arts and sciences curriculum. The course should introduce the student to mathematical ideas, abstract thinking, proofs and the axiomatic method.*
  7. Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the members of the chapter, subject only to the limitations imposed by its constitution and bylaws.
  8. Fulfillment of the minimum qualifications does not assure election to the membership.

* Students can satisfy the mathematics requirement by taking any one of the following Brandeis courses:

Election Criteria

Selection for membership in Phi Beta Kappa is based on the following three criteria:

  1. Quality of academic record.
  2. Breadth of interest (indicated by courses taken beyond a student's concentration).
  3. Opinions of faculty and senior administrators concerning the scholarly achievements and character of the candidate, in the form of nominating letters.