General Eligibility Criteria

Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is intended for students who, as seniors, have exhibited academic excellence 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, which are specified for the different categories (seniors, transfer students, juniors, and doctoral students) on other pages: please use the drop-down menu above to see these.

Transcripts of seniors are automatically reviewed during a student’s final semester and upon graduation. In Spring only, up to 50 Juniors with exceptionally impressive academic records may be invited during their sixth semester, and doctoral student applicants are evaluated. Invitations are sent by email in March (for Spring invitations) and July (for Summer invitations). The homepage will include an announcement of when invitations are sent.

Request for Transcript Review

If you believe you are eligible for membership but have not received an invitation, please submit your transcripts for review, and, if you still have access to your student information at CalCentral, send an Academic Report (not Academic Summary) as well. 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 print-outs from CalCentral. When submitting transcripts, please fill out and include the 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.