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About PBK

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Phi Beta Kappa is a nationwide society honoring students for the excellence and breadth of their undergraduate scholarly accomplishments. Membership in the Stanford Chapter (Beta of California) is open to undergraduates of all majors. To be elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Stanford, a student must achieve academic distinction in the major as well as in courses across a broad range of fields.

Stanford Chapter Officers

Position Name
President Professor Hank Greely
Secretary Gabriel K. Wolfenstein
Treasurer Melissa Colleen Stevenson

For inquiries about the Stanford chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, please email Chapter Secretary Gabriel Wolfenstein at .

Election to Phi Beta Kappa

Elections are guided by stipulations set forth by the national office of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Ten percent of the members of each graduating class are elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Among these, up to one fifth are chosen in their junior year and the remainder in their senior year.

Elections to Phi Beta Kappa are held annually during spring quarter, and elected students are notified by the middle of May. To be considered for election with the appropriate graduating class, spring quarter graduates must meet the application deadline for spring quarter conferral of their undergraduate degree as set by the Registrar's Office. Students whose undergraduate degree is conferred in summer, autumn, or winter quarter are considered for election during the spring following their undergraduate degree conferral. Students who transferred to Stanford must have completed at least 75 units of academic work at Stanford by the time of election.

No action is needed to be considered for election to Phi Beta Kappa. The academic records of all eligible students are automatically reviewed. Anonymity in the election process is ensured by removal of students' names from their academic records prior to consideration.

Students are elected on the basis of excellence of study across the liberal arts and sciences, as exhibited by grade point average and breadth of completed coursework.

Minimum breadth requirements for election include having earned, by the time of election, a letter grade of B- or better in at least three Stanford courses of three or more units in each of the following three major domains of scholarship: humanities; social sciences; and natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics. Students who transferred to Stanford in their sophomore year must have completed at Stanford at least two courses in each of the major domains. Students who transferred to Stanford in their junior year must have completed at Stanford at least two courses in two of the major domains and one course in the third domain.

In light of Stanford University's grading basis policy for 2019-2020 Spring Quarter courses, 2019-2020 Spring Quarter courses completed with a grade of S by the time of election will count toward the minimum breadth requirements for election as if they had been completed with a letter grade of B- or better.

The courses that are considered toward each major academic domain are decided upon by each year's election committee upon examination of the content of individual courses, and may or may not correspond to departmental or General Education Requirement categorizations. PWR 1, PWR 2, a first THINK course, IHUM, and first-year language courses are not considered toward the breadth criterion for election. The election committee’s deliberations are confidential.

Students who have a formal disciplinary record with the University are not eligible for election.