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Membership Requirements

Eligibility for election to membership in course is contingent upon fulfillment of the following minimum requirements, which have been set by the national Society and adopted by the local chapter. As explained in the "About Phi Beta Kappa" page, Beta of Colorado also considers grade point averages, faculty survey input, transcript reviews, and other inquiries when considering students for election to membership, in addition to these minimum requirements. Note that requirements are subject to change. Students will be held to the requirements in force when they matriculate at Colorado College.


Students who matriculated in Fall 2011 must meet the following requirements:

  1. Eligible students shall be candidates for a bachelor's degree. The student's record shall include coursework in the liberal arts and sciences equivalent to at least three-quarters of the credits ordinarily required for a bachelor's degree in these fields (e.g., not less than 90 semester hours of work if 120 hours are normally required for such a degree). The liberal arts and sciences encompass the traditional disciplines of the natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities. Select courses in other programs of study may be included only if they unambiguously embody the liberal arts and sciences.

    Because Phi Beta Kappa honors excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, applied or pre-professional coursework shall not be considered in determining eligibility. This stipulation excludes professionally focused courses and courses devoted to the acquisition of practical skills.

  2. Weight shall be given to the breadth and depth of study in liberal arts and sciences, taking into account the number, variety, and level of courses taken outside the requirements of the major, and the proportion of the candidate's overall program those courses constitute. Consideration shall also be given to the number of elective courses taken above the introductory, or general education, level.

  3. Candidates shall have demonstrated, by successful work in high school or college, or in the two together, a knowledge of a second or non-native language at least minimally appropriate for a liberal education. In no case shall this mean less than the completion of the intermediate college level in a second, or non-native, language, or its equivalent.

    Note: To meet this requirement, Beta of Colorado requires CC students to have one course on their transcript at or above the fourth block of language study (typically 202 or higher, though the languages vary in numbering courses). The course may be taken on the S/U track, and it may be a .25 credit conversation course.

  4. The candidate's undergraduate record shall include at least one course in college-level mathematics, logic, or statistics, with content appropriate to a liberal arts and sciences curriculum. The course should introduce the student to mathematical ideas, abstract thinking, proofs, and the axiomatic method.

    Note: To meet this requirement, Beta of Colorado requries CC students to complete one course designated as satisfying the all-College "Q" or quantitative reasoning requirement.

  5. In keeping with the Founders' interest in fostering not only academic excellence but also friendship and morality, invitation to Phi Beta Kappa should be extended only to persons of good moral character.

These stipulations concerning eligibility for membership in course were adopted by vote of the chapters and certified by the Executive Committee on behalf of the Senate on June 1, 2011.

Students who matriculated before Fall 2011 must meet the following requirements:

  1. Eligible students shall be candidates for a bachelor's degree in a College of Arts and Sciences or its institutional equivalent.

  2. They shall be majoring in an area of the liberal arts or sciences. If departments of economics, music, political science, or other subjects normally offered in a College of Arts and Sciences are classified in another division of the institution, students majoring in these subjects may be considered if they are candidates for a bachelor's degree in a College of Arts and Sciences.

  3. They shall include not less than 90 semester hours (or the equivalent) of liberal work among the 120 hours ordinarily required for the degree, exclusive of required courses in physical education and any military science.

  4. Students electing a combined curriculum in such fields as law, medicine, dentistry, or engineering may be considered if they take at least 90 semester hours or the equivalent of liberal work in a College of Arts and Sciences, complete at least half of the requirements for a liberal major, and meet all of the other requirements defined in these Stipulations.

  5. Grades earned in applied or professional work shall not be counted in computing the grade-point average for purposes of eligibility. Applied and professional work shall be understood to include those courses intended primarily to develop skills or vocational techniques in such fields as business administration, education, engineering, home economics, journalism, library science, military science, physical education, communications, secretarial studies, speech, and applied art and music.

  6. Weight shall be given to the breadth and proportion of the program of each candidate as shown by the number and variety of courses taken outside the major.

  7. Candidates shall have demonstrated, by successful work in high school or college, or in the two together, a knowledge of mathematics and of a foreign language at least minimally appropriate for a liberal education. In no case shall this mean less than the completion of the intermediate college level in a foreign language, or its equivalent, and the equivalent of two years of college preparatory secondary school mathematics. Either requirement may be met by a proficiency test.