in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and
most widely respected academic honorary society
in the United States. Invitation to membership
is based on outstanding scholastic achievement
in studies of the liberal arts and sciences.
Student members are chosen entirely on the
basis of academic excellence; neither extracurricular
leadership nor service to the community is
considered. Election is held twice a year,
once in the fall and once in the spring semester.
Requirements for selection to membership
in Phi Beta Kappa at the University of
Maryland, College Park, campus chapter
Point Average: For seniors a grade point average of at least 3.75 overall as well as in all liberal arts and sciences courses taken. For juniors the grade point average is at least 3.85. National PBK rules, however, require that no more than 20 percent of the students elected in any one year can be juniors, so the actual minimum grade point average for junior admission may be higher than 3.85. GPA calculations for PBK include transfer credit.
2. Residence: At
least 60 credit hours must be taken at
the University of Maryland, College Park.
Courses: For seniors, at least
90 credit hours in courses in the liberal
arts and sciences (where "liberal" courses
are to be distinguished from professional
or technical courses), at least 45
of which must be taken at the University
of Maryland, College Park. For juniors,
at least 75 total credit hours must
be completed, at least 60 of which
are in courses in the liberal arts
and sciences; of these, at least 45
must be taken at the University of
Maryland, College Park. Students would
ordinarily be majors in one of the
programs in the liberal arts and sciences.
However, students with the requisite
number of liberal credit hours can
be admitted if they have completed
at least 5 courses (15 credit hours
or more) for seniors and for juniors
in a single liberal arts and sciences department/program at UMD.
Courses: One semester of mathematics,
which must be fulfilled by college-level
credit hours (including AP credit or IB credit,
but not exemption by SAT), and two
college semesters of the same foreign
language at the elementary level, or
at least one semester above that level.
The Phi Beta Kappa second language requirement may be satisfied by completion of a single foreign language through at least one semester of intermediate level coursework at the university level. Candidates who have completed 4 years of comprehensive language study IN A SINGLE LANGUAGE before entering the university will also be considered, but those with additional evidence of fluency will be regarded more favorably. Such evidence includes a score of "4" or "5" on an Advanced Placement exam in a foreign language, a score of "6" or "7" on a International Baccalaureate Examination, or certification of competency by examination from a UMCP academic department. Students with such
a foreign language background who wish
to be considered for admission to Phi
Beta Kappa should notify the Phi Beta
Kappa office (2110 Marie Mount Hall) in writing
and provide the appropriate documentation
(an official high school transcript)
prior to the month of consideration.
Juniors providing late documentation
(after March 1) will be considered
only as seniors.
One of the basic requirements of Phi Beta Kappa is demonstrated breadth of intellectual interest. Two of the three required distribution areas below must exceed the minimums listed.
Arts and Humanities 9 credits minimum (including approved ISeries, Scholarship in Practice and Diversity courses).
Social/Behavioral Science 9 credits minimum (including approved ISeries, Scholarship in Practice and Diversity courses).
Math/Science 10 credits minimum (including approved ISeries, Scholarship in Practice and Diversity courses). A laboratory science course is required in this category and this requirement cannot be fulfilled by AP or IB credit.
All the courses in at least two of the
three required areas must be completed
at the University of Maryland, College
Park, and in the remaining area no more
than one AP or IB course can be used to fulfill
the requirement. In general, Phi Beta
Kappa will accept the CORE classification
of courses. In satisfying the distribution
requirement, however, a maximum of one
course that satisfies multiple CORE categories,
allotted to the category that helps the
student the most, can be used. AP or IB History course credit will be considered as satisfying only the arts and humanities requirement.
Students with more challenging courses
and moderately high grade point averages
are preferred by the committee to those
with higher grade point averages but
a narrow range of courses. Minimal qualifications
in more than one area may preclude election
to Phi Beta Kappa.
Recommended Criteria Include
grades (rather than pass/fail) in mathematics,
foreign language courses, and distribution
traditional social sciences and humanities
courses that require written essays and
papers. (Note that internships may be
counted as professional courses and not
as liberal courses).
The mathematics, language, lab science, distribution and minimal credit count requirements must be completed prior to the semester in which the student is considered for election.
the above requirements does not guarantee election
to Phi Beta Kappa. The judgment of the resident
faculty members of Phi Beta Kappa on the quality,
depth, and breadth of the student's record
is the deciding factor in every case.
Current University of Maryland Phi Beta Kappa Officers
Associate Professor Christina Walter (English), President
Professor Carol Keefer (Animal and Avian Sciences) Past President
Professor Judith Hallett (Classics), Historian
Professor Denis Sullivan (Curriculum & Instruction), Executive Secretary
Doug Roberts, Associate Dean, Contact in the Office of Undergraduate Studies
The UMD Phi Beta Kappa Office Contact Information
2100 Marie Mount Hall
Please call or email email@example.com to schedule an appointment