Catalog 2022-2023

Phi Beta Kappa

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society. The Hendrix Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1998. The Society’s mission is to promote the liberal arts and sciences, to recognize academic excellence, and to foster freedom of thought and expression.

Members in course are elected to Phi Beta Kappa primarily on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievement, and good character.

The Phi Beta Kappa Society sets the minimum requirements that must be met in order for a student to be considered for election and the maximum number of students that can be elected each year. A GPA of 3.8 or higher is required. Beyond the College’s graduation requirements under the Language Capacity, students whose mother tongue is English must achieve intermediate proficiency in a language that is equivalent to a third semester course at Hendrix.  Not all schools cover material at the same rate, so not all third-semester language courses are equivalent to Hendrix third-semester courses.  Any student with questions about using a transfer course to fulfill this requirement should feel free to contact an officer of the chapter. Fulfillment of the College’s graduation requirements under the Quantitative Skills Capacity satisfies the minimum criterion in this area for Phi Beta Kappa eligibility.  At least three-fourths of the degree program must be in liberal arts work, i.e., not applied or professional work. Grades earned in applied or professional coursework are not counted in the GPA for purposes of Phi Beta Kappa eligibility. Applied and professional work includes all training intended to develop vocational skills or techniques. These courses include, but are not limited to, applied education and accounting courses.

Because the number of students that meet the minimum requirements is usually higher than the number that can be elected, additional weight is given to the breadth of the program of study.  Some representative indicators of program breadth include having completed at least three courses in each of the academic areas at Hendrix (Humanities, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences) and exploring beyond the introductory level in the area(s) outside the major(s).  Further, because of the historic importance of Mathematics within the liberal arts, successful completion of MATH 130 or higher (aside from Introductory Statistics) can strengthen a student’s qualifications.

Members are elected during the spring semester each year. In general, the Hendrix chapter considers only students who are in their last semester prior to graduation or who completed their degrees the previous December or August.

More information about this honor society can be found on the national organization website:

Question about the Catalog?