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Phi Beta Kappa — Washington Alpha Chapter

Phi Beta Kappa

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most respected undergraduate honor society in the United States. The society has fostered and recognized excellence in the liberal arts and sciences since 1776, the year our nation was founded. The Washington Alpha Chapter, the first Chapter in Washington State, was established at the University of Washington in 1914. Phi Beta Kappa insignia are carved in stone on the bell tower of the university’s administration building, Gerberding Hall.

emblem_gerberdingPBK elects over 15,000 new members a year from 286 chapters across the United States, has over 50 associations, and supports the ideals of the society through academic, social, and community-based programs. You can learn more about PBK at the website of the national headquarters.

Election to the Washington Alpha Chapter is based primarily on high scholarship, with an added requirement of a sufficient number of courses outside of the field of specialization. Learn more about requirements for election and how to join. If you aspire to be a “Phi Bet”, start planning early to meet the requirements.


“I hope you’ll choose to join PBK. I’ve been very proud to have it on my resume for many years, and I’ve enjoyed the connections I have with the organization. It’s made up of very bright and interesting people, from all walks of life and professions, united by the desire to have intellectual activities be an important part of their lives. I think that sounds like you.” — Prof. Jim Mayer, Chemistry, in a letter to an elected student.


In addition to recognizing academic excellence through the election of UW undergraduates to the Society, the Chapter also sponsors events on campus. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events!

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