Undergraduate Students

In general, students elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa are seniors who have demonstrated academic excellence in challenging courses across a wide range of fields in the liberal arts, including mathematics, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, fine arts, foreign language, and literature. Phi Beta Kappa members enjoy intellectual challenges and knowledge for knowledge’s sake.

Membership is by invitation only; one cannot apply. The selection process is not absolute, in the sense that there are no minimum criteria that, if met, guarantee an invitation to membership. Election in any given semester depends on which students are in the pool of candidates and which resident members of the chapter—faculty and staff—attend the relevant chapter meeting.

Be sure your transcript and degree audit are accurate and up to date by the end of the add/drop period in your last semester. It is particularly challenging for transcript reviewers to determine which students are graduating in December/January. If you are graduating at the end of a fall term, please feel free to email the chapter to let us know.

There may be relevant information that is not on your transcript. Students or their academic advisors are welcome to contact the chapter at phibeta@uvm.edu to provide information supplemental to the transcript. We are interested in three major things:

  1. If you are a native speaker of or fluent in a foreign language, but you have not taken foreign language courses at UVM or another collegiate institution.
  2. If you are a serious musician, artist, dancer, or actor with a portfolio or list of performances for us to examine, but you have not taken fine arts courses at UVM or another collegiate institution.
  3. If you had a previous career or period of life that covers an area of liberal studies in which you have not indulged at UVM or another collegiate institution.

This supplemental information needs to be received by 15 October for consideration for December inductions and 15 March for May inductions.

At the most basic level, students need to have completed at least 90 credits, with at least 60 of those credits taken at UVM, and a 3.70 or higher GPA. Within that pool, we are looking for students who have at least intermediate foreign language skills, so through level 052/2200 or higher. In terms of mathematics, we strongly prefer students who have taken calculus, but students who have exceeded the basic pre-2023-24 College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) mathematical sciences requirement by taking multiple eligible courses but no calculus are also considered. As we move into the Catamount Core system, we encourage students to go beyond the basic MA/QD requirements, moving beyond the introductory level and/or taking multiple courses.

We are also looking for students to have at least one AH1: Arts course, at least one AH2: Literature course, at least two AH3: Humanities courses, at least two S1: Social Science courses, at least one N2: Natural Science with lab course, and a second natural science course that can be either N1 or N2.

Transcript reviewers are enthusiastic about students who have exceeded our minimum requirements in several areas, challenged themselves with intermediate and advanced coursework, and demonstrated interest and excellence in diverse fields via coursework, study abroad, and declared majors and minors. Transcript reviewers are also enthusiastic about students who have taken courses in the seven distribution areas at UVM, rather than strictly via AP/IB or transfer credit.