FAQs

Can I participate in Phi Beta Kappa before I am eligible for membership?

Yes, we welcome you to attend events sponsored by our chapter.

What benefits are there after I join?

Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is for life. There will be no renewal fees.  A primary benefit is being recognized as being among the top students in the country; only 10% of undergraduate institutions host a chapter, and no more than 10% of their undergraduate students are elected.

There are also opportunities for continuing education and professional networking through Phi Beta Kappa’s alumni associations and donor groups, like the Secretary’s Circle and the Fellows of Phi Beta Kappa, and access to social network for members through the Phi Beta Kappa website and on LinkedIn.

You will receive The Key Reporter, discounts on The American Scholar, a highly regarded journal in the liberal arts, discounts from Colonial Williamsburg (the birthplace of Phi Beta Kappa), and Financial Times online. There are also book awards and scholarships for graduate students and senior scholars in some fields.

What is the “Key”?

The Key is a gold medallion that only members may purchase and wear. It features a pointing finger, three stars, and the Greek letters from which the society takes its name. The stars are said today to represent the ambition of young scholars and the three distinguishing principles of the Society: friendship, morality, and learning. On the reverse are found the initials "SP" in script, which stand for the Latin words Societas Philosophiae, or "Philosophical Society". The name of the member and the school and date of initiation is engraved on the key.

Must I purchase a key?

No, this is completely optional.


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40% of students in the University Honors Program conduct research before graduation
9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
1 of only 7 programs nationwide to receive a top rating from “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs” in 2014
60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
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