Eligibility Criteria for Membership 2016-2017

Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is intended for students who, as seniors, have exhibited academic excellence and rigor in a broad array of undergraduate courses in the liberal arts and sciences. Units earned in applied or professional work shall not be counted in computing basic eligibility. While each ΦBK-accredited campus chapter may elect the highest 10% of its graduating class, UC Berkeley’s Alpha of California Chapter determines specific requirements on this campus including those for a limited number of juniors and doctoral candidates who are elected in the Spring. To qualify for membership, students must meet certain GPA and unit requirements. The student must have a GPA of 3.81 or higher.

To see the criteria for seniors, transfer students, juniors, and doctoral students, please use the drop-down menu above.

If you believe you are eligible for membership but have not received an invitation, please submit your transcripts for review. You may e-mail them as PDF attachments to pbk@berkeley.edu or mail them to our office (412 Evans Hall, MC 2922, Berkeley, CA 94720-2922). Transfer students must submit transcripts from all other colleges attended. We accept unofficial transcripts, including Bear Facts print-outs. Please fill out and include the following form when you submit transcripts: PBK Transcript Review Form

Please note the following: 

  • Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) units do not count in calculating units, but may fulfill the foreign language requirement.
  • Applied or professional courses (those that primarily impart skills development or vocational technique) do not count toward the completion of 75 L&S academic units.
  • UC Pass/No Pass grades count for Total Units.
  • Total and L&S Units may include units from other institutions. Unofficial transcripts from those institutions must be submitted to verify course content.
  • The GPA cut-off applies to the GPA on your UC Berkeley transcript. We do not combine it with GPAs from community colleges or other institutions.
  • Fulfillment of these criteria does not guarantee election to Phi Beta Kappa. Criteria, including the GPA cut-off, are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the Council.

Seasons of Selection

Seniors are invited to join the society after both the Fall and Spring semesters. Invitations are typically mailed in February/March and July.

Juniors and doctoral students are invited only in the Spring.