Membership Criteria & Induction

A Rare Honor

Rare Honor graphic

Ten percent of U.S. colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters. These chapters select only the top 10 percent of their arts and sciences graduates to join Phi Beta Kappa, making Phi Beta Kappa membership one of the most prestigious honors a student can receive. 


Oregon State University undergraduates who meet the requirements below may be invited to join Phi Beta Kappa; no applications or nominations are required.

In order to be eligible, the academic program of a likely PBK initiate should:

  1. Orient the student to a personal and professional philosophy of discovering and integrating knowledge to reflect the Phi Beta Kappa Society's motto: "Love of learning is the guide of life";
  2. Permit the student to take courses to meet these minimal requirements:
  3. Take three courses in two of the following areas, and two in the third, above the 100-level: Humanities & the Arts; Social Sciences; Science, Technology & Math. 
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of a foreign language (beyond the foreign language entrance requirement at OSU).

General Eligibility List

  • 135 credits in the liberal arts and sciences
  • Minimum 3.5 GPA (top 10%)
  • Breadth and depth in the liberal arts and sciences as evidenced by 8 courses (3+3+2) in the listed three fields, with 5 above introductory level (i.e. above 100 and 200 level courses) and with grades above B-
    • Humanities and the arts
    • Social sciences
    • Science, technology, and math
  • Foreign language at intermediate level (beyond entrance requirements)
  • Usually two full years or more as an enrolled OSU student
  • Good moral character

Please contact your academic advisor for additional information.


There is no application process. Those earning an invitation to join the ranks of Phi Beta Kappa will be notified during the spring of each academic year. Formal induction into Phi Beta Kappa membership will happen during a late spring Induction Ceremony to which inductees, family, and friends will be invited.