Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society

Phi Beta Kappa members.
Phi Beta Kappa key.

"Love of learning is the guide of life"

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious undergraduate liberal arts honors society in America. It celebrates and advocates excellence in the liberal arts — the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences — and also sponsors activities to advance these studies in higher education and in society as a whole.

Only about 10 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters.

Only about 10 percent of the arts and sciences graduates of these colleges and universities are selected for Phi Beta Kappa membership.

Each year only about one college senior in a hundred, nationwide, is invited to join Phi Beta Kappa.

At UB, minimal standards of eligibility for membership include:

  • An undergraduate liberal arts degree program, defined as a BA or BS degree program in the College of Arts and Sciences or the undergraduate degree programs of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Science.
  • Completion of 90 hours with a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 or higher
  • Breadth in the liberal arts as shown by the number, variety and quality of courses taken outside of the major, including at least enough to fulfill the University’s general education requirements or their equivalent.
  • Intermediate proficiency in a foreign language, defined as demonstrated proficiency and/or the equivalent of successful college-level study to the intermediate level.

The University at Buffalo’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa selects its members annually in January. Students who are selected are notified in early February. A formal induction ceremony is held in April or May each year.

PBK Elections Committee:
Dr. Shelley Kimelberg (PBK ‘94)
Mr. Jonathan Bonebrake (PBK ‘00)
Dr. Jacob Neiheisel (PBK ‘07)
Dr. Salvatore Rappoccio (PBK ‘99)
Ms. Megan Stewart (PBK ‘05)
Dr. Claude Welch (PBK ‘61)