Criteria for Doctoral Students

For over two hundred years, election to Phi Beta Kappa has recognized intellectual capacities well employed, especially in acquiring an education in the liberal arts and sciences. The constitution of our Chapter provides that members shall be elected “from among the best scholars of our graduating classes, as well as from those whose postgraduate work entitles them to such honors.”

Outstanding Ph.D. candidates whose undergraduate institutions did not host a Phi Beta Kappa chapter should be considered for this honor. We try to make a special effort to ensure that foreign students are considered as candidates. Please note that a significant component of humanities or liberal arts courses (at least 75 units) in the candidate’s undergraduate work is essential.

Department chairs shall review the list of Ph.D. candidates in their departments who will complete their degree requirements at the end of academic year and then nominate those whom they deem to be worthy of election to Phi Beta Kappa. Each academic year, nominations by departments shall be made by email to in January and February, with a deadline of March 1.

Nominations should include the following information:

1. Candidate’s full name, mailing and e-mail addresses, and telephone number.

2. Department and field of major.

3. Name of the university where baccalaureate awarded, including final transcript (unofficial copy), major and GPA.

4. Expected title of proposed dissertation.

5. Date of doctorate completion (expected or actual).

Nominee should provide:

6. Graduate GPA (attach current transcript).

7. Publications or research.

8. Other evidence of outstanding scholarship, such as passing qualifying examinations with distinction.

9. Two (2) current letters of recommendation.

Any questions may be addressed to