Phi Beta Kappa is an honor society for the recognition of outstanding scholarship in the liberal arts and sciences. The requirements for admission include a liberal course of study, which is usually satisfied by a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science major in a liberal area. This includes most majors in the College of Arts and Sciences, and selected majors in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance and the Department of Economics. It does not usually include the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, the student must have the following:
Courses considered to be liberal include most of those offered in the College of Arts and Sciences, with the general exception of courses in performance, studio art, media development, and others of an applied nature. Some programs of study that combine liberal and applied courses (such as Drama or Media Studies) require a course review to determine the proportion of liberal courses taken. Courses outside the College are generally considered to be non-liberal because they are of a professional or applied nature. Transfer students must have completed at least 45 credits in residence, but GPA criteria are higher for students with fewer than 75 credits in residence.
Election to Phi Beta Kappa usually takes place during the Spring of the studentís senior year; however, a few students with exceptionally high GPAs may be elected as juniors. Review of transcripts takes place each Spring without an application from the student. The Epsilon Chapter extends invitations to students who meet the above standards during the first week of March.