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Membership Requirements

Phi Beta Kappa Membership Requirements


College of the Holy Cross
(Updated Spring, 2008)

Founded in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious national honor society of the liberal arts and sciences. Election to Phi Beta Kappa is recognition of academic achievement and is intended for students who have demonstrated particular breadth in their undergraduate program.

Each year, the Holy Cross Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa nominates and elects fourth-year students for membership, usually from the top 10 percent of their class.  Election is primarily on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievement, and good character.  Each elected member should have completed one course in mathematics and have demonstrated language competence equivalent to the second semester of an intermediate-level language course (in addition to their Common Area requirements).  The Chapter also elects third-year students who have completed at least 20 semester courses and demonstrated an exceptional level of academic achievement.

A student may demonstrate language competence in one of the following ways:

(1) by successfully completing the second semester of an intermediate-level language course while at Holy Cross;

(2) by receiving a score of 600 or higher on an SAT II Subject Test in a foreign language;

(3) by receiving a 4 or better on an Advanced Placement Test;

(4) by receiving a score at the level required for placement in SPAN-301, FREN-301, or GERM-301 on the placement examination in Spanish, French, or German administered each semester by the Departments of Modern Languages and Literatures. (This option will be available for other languages as well, should they adopt or develop a placement exam.)

A student may fulfill the mathematics requirement by a college-level course (mathematics, computer science, or statistics), taken at Holy Cross, or transferred from another college, or transferred as an AP credit.

Last Updated March, 2008