Dean of Academic Life
Pi of Pennsylvania
Established in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, Phi Beta Kappa is a distinguished fellowship of scholars devoted to liberal education and intellectual pursuits. It is, without question, the nation's most prestigious honor society for undergraduates in the liberal arts and sciences. Muhlenberg College was granted a charter from the national organization in 1967. The standards for an institution to claim a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa are high, and colleges are granted a charter only after a lengthy review process. Only about 10 percent of the nation's institutions of higher learning have Phi Beta Kappa chapters. Thus, the presence of Phi Beta Kappa is a clear indication of Muhlenberg College's excellence in the liberal arts and sciences.
The chapter is maintained by Muhlenberg faculty who are also members of Phi Beta Kappa.
In addition to inducting new members, our chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is pleased to sponsor several book awards to local area high school students, and to host occasional speakers and visiting scholars on Muhlenberg's campus.
The criteria for membership are strict and are based on national Phi Beta Kappa guidelines. Students who meet the eligibility requirements will receive a letter of invitation from our chapter sometime early in the final semester of their senior year. A limited number of juniors will also be awarded early induction each year.
The eligibility guidelines include:
- Completion, or anticipated completion, of 26 PBK-eligible courses by the time of graduation.
- Grades earned in applied or professional courses are not counted in computing the grade-point average for purposes of eligibility. Applied and professional work includes those courses intended primarily to develop skills or vocational techniques in fields such as accounting, business, education, physical education, speech, and individualized instruction in art and music.
- Completion of the intermediate college-level (200 level) of a foreign language, or the equivalent.
- Completion of two years of college preparatory secondary school mathematics, or the equivalent.
- Good standing with regard to the academic and Student Code of Conduct of the college.
- Minimum G.P.A. of 3.50 in PBK-eligible courses.
- Placement in the top 15% of graduating class.
- Only 8-10% of the students in a graduating class can be admitted to Phi Beta Kappa. As such, the GPA and class standing requirements above are minimum guidelines. Inducted students typically have credentials greatly exceeding those minimums.
For more information, visit the National Phi Beta Kappa web site.