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Undergraduate Policies and Procedures

Honorary Societies


CONTENTS       Golden Key National Honor Society
Mortar Board
Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Eta Sigma
Tau Sigma
Other honoraries

   

    Students with distinguished academic records may participate in several University-wide honorary societies.

There are other honorary societies open to students in specific colleges and departments. Information about these societies is available on the college and department home pages.

  
  

Golden Key National Honor Society

    Golden Key National Honor Society
goldkey@u.washington.edu
204C HUB

Golden Key is a national, nonprofit academic honors organization founded in 1977 for the purpose of recognizing and encouraging scholastic achievement among students from all academic fields. Membership is by invitation only, based on GPA. Every year, Golden Key invites the top 15% college juniors and seniors to join the Society. There are currently 700-800 members from all majors in the UW chapter.

UW's Golden Key chapter is committed to providing services of good will and charity for both the University and the surrounding communities. The chapter sponsors lecture series and workshops to provide crucial (or fun) information and skills to college students. Off campus, they coordinate community services to benefit underserved populations.

  
  

Mortar Board

    Mortar Board
motorbd@u.washington.edu
204B HUB

Mortar Board is a national college senior honor society whose membership is based on scholarship, leadership, and service. The local Tolo chapter was founded in 1909 and became part of the national organization in 1925. Students of junior standing apply winter quarter for selection in spring quarter.

  
  

Phi Beta Kappa

    Phi Beta Kappa
uwpbk@u.washington.edu
206-543-8718

Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest and most prestigious collegiate honor society, founded in 1776, with the Washington Alpha Chapter established in 1914. Phi Beta Kappa recognizes distinguished scholarship, especially in the acquisition of an education in the liberal arts and sciences. Students are elected to membership on the basis of GPA and breadth of education. For the 2006-2007 academic year, the minimum GPA for invitation was 3.75; 171 University of Washington students became new members of the UW chapter in 2005-2006. One distinctive requirement of Phi Beta Kappa is the completion of eight credits in 300- or 400-level courses of a liberal arts nature, not closely related to the student's major. The Washington Alpha Chapter hosts occasional lectures and colloquia.

  
  

Phi Eta Sigma

    Phi Eta Sigma
pes@u.washington.edu
204C HUB

Phi Eta Sigma is a freshman honor society, dedicated to honoring outstanding scholars and their academic achievements. In addition to personal recognition, Phi Eta Sigma's activities include service projects within the community. To qualify for admission, a student must attain a 3.50 quarterly GPA sometime in the freshman year. Members are required to participate in at least one community service activity each quarter in the year that they join. PES also schedules social events so that members can get to know one another.

  
  

Tau Sigma

    Tau Sigma
trigs@u.washington.edu
171 Mary Gates Hall

Tau Sigma is a national honor society for transfer students. Transfer students who receive a 3.5 or are in the top 20% of their class their first quarter at the UW are eligible to join. The mission of the honorary is for members to serve as advocates for other transfer students on campus, serve as possible ambassadors for the UW by visiting community colleges, and serve in leadership positions such as Orientation Leaders and TRIG Peer Instructors.

  
  

Other honoraries

    While other national honoraries exist, students should investigate them before deciding to pay money to join them. Some honoraries are basically money-making schemes for the people who set them up. Students should be cautious about any honorary whose main benefit is including names in a publication. The real benefits students gain from any honorary come not from simply being able to list membership but from participating in community service and campus activities, and the leadership experience students can gain from being an active officer of the local chapter.