Phi Beta Kappa Eligibility


  • selection process

    About Phi Beta Kappa Nominations

    How do I become a member of Phi Beta Kappa?
    The St. Kate’s chapter nominates candidates for election in their junior or senior years (usually the senior year). We encourage interested students to check the membership requirements early in their academic careers for guidance on course selection.

    How do the nominators find me?
    Your records at St. Kate’s show most of what the St. Kate’s faculty and staff PBK members need to nominate you. The chapter secretary ensures that all those who may be eligible are considered. However, you should feel free to contact your advisor or a PBK officer to find out whether you are eligible.

    How many are chosen each year?
    The chapter can choose up to 10% of those seniors graduating in the liberal arts and sciences, depending on eligibility. We generally select 15–20 students.

    Why should I become a member of Phi Beta Kappa?
    Your membership shows your support of the liberal arts, lifelong learning, excellence in scholarship, good moral character, and freedom of thought and expression. Practical reasons include networking resources through local chapters and employer recognition of Phi Beta Kappa’s high standards for inclusion. Plus, initiation is a crowning recognition of your hard work, and connects you with a great history of Katies.


  • what it takes

    Membership Requirements

    The following requirements state the national standards for selection to PBK, adapted as appropriate for the St. Catherine University environment.

    Student candidates will have:

    1. Worked toward a bachelor's degree in a School of Arts and Sciences (B.A. or B.S; but see #2).
    2. Pursued a major in an area of the liberal arts or sciences. Note, however, that some professional-degree- seeking students also meet the membership standards if they complete at least half of the requirements for a liberal arts and sciences major and meet all of the other requirements defined in these Stipulations (see especially #3 and #8).
    3. Included not less than 96 semester hours (at St. Kate’s; nationally, 90 semester hours) of work in the liberal arts and sciences among the 130 semester hours (at St. Kate’s; nationally, 120 semester hours) ordinarily required for the degree, exclusive of required courses in physical education and any military science. (Those initiated as Juniors need 72 credits at St. Kate's.) Note: As of summer 2016, the Chapter has not determined credit requirements for students in the new College of Adult and Applied Learning.
    4. Demonstrated intermediate level knowledge in mathematics appropriate for a liberal education, including 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.
    5. Demonstrated intermediate level knowledge in a foreign language appropriate for a liberal education. St. Kate’s interprets this requirement as completion of 3 semesters of college-level foreign language study. If high school work is used, a proficiency test or the last semester taken as a college course is required.
    6. Earned at least 60 resident St. Kate's credits, with the last 28 on campus (study abroad through a St. Kate’s course does count toward the on-campus count).
    7. Earned a minimum GPA of 3.67 if nominated as seniors; junior candidates need a GPA of 3.85. NOTE: Grades earned in applied or professional work shall not be counted in computing the grade point average for purposes of eligibility. Applied and professional work shall be understood to include those courses intended primarily to develop skills or vocational techniques in such fields as business administration, education, engineering, home economics, journalism, library science, military science, physical education, oral communications, secretarial studies, speech, and applied art and music.
    8. Demonstrated breadth and depth in the number and variety of courses taken outside the major. Breadth and depth in studies beyond the liberal arts core requirements for the degree suggests the candidate’s intellectual curiosity and is a good indication of her commitment to lifelong learning.
    9. Demonstrated academic integrity: No one shall be elected who has been shown to knowingly and significantly violate academic integrity or to have been found, through due process, responsible for fraud, deceit, or violation of the rights of others.