Undergraduate Election Information

Undergraduate Members of the Alpha of Wisconsin Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa are elected in their junior or senior years upon recommendation of the Membership Committee. The local chapter adheres to the national organization's guidelines in the election process each February.

Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is by invitation only (there is no application process). Women and men whose superlative scholastic accomplishments reveal breadth of exploration and depth of achievement in a broad range of the liberal arts are invited to membership in the Society.

Minimum requirements for consideration include:

  • Outstanding academic achievement as demonstrated both by cumulative GPA and by grades in the major(s)
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.75 (for seniors with a minimum of 93 credits) or 3.9 (for juniors)
  • The course load should average 15 credits a semester
  • College level math, statistics, or logic course (200 level or above; or AP calculus or AP statistics)
  • Excellence in depth and breadth of study in the liberal arts as determined by
    • Number and variety of courses taken outside the major and the balance and proportion of the candidate's program as a whole
    • Demonstrated achievement beyond the introductory level in two of the following three areas: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences
  • Phi Beta Kappa is the accolade for an undergraduate liberal arts education, thereby requiring evidence of both breadth and depth of study in the liberal arts. This normally means that the student should be enrolled in the College of Letters and Science and be a candidate for the liberal bachelor degree. Senior candidates must have 90 credits of work in the College of Letters and Science; Juniors must have virtually all credits in Letters and Science.

Although the honor bestowed by membership in the Society recognizes academic achievement, qualifications for election to Phi Beta Kappa are entirely independent of any college or university regulations. It should especially not be assumed that the degree requirements for the College of Letters and Science are sufficient for election to Phi Beta Kappa (even with a very high GPA).

The minimum qualifications set forth here do not constitute eligibility or entitlement to election into Phi Beta Kappa. The Membership Committee-comprised of members of the faculty and academic staff-examines the academic record of each and every individual who approximates these minimum standards, and seeks to ensure that there is sufficient breadth and depth in liberal studies to justify an invitation to the Society.