Membership in Phi Beta Kapp

Phi Beta Kappa

The PBK Executive Board of Delta Chapter at Tufts University elects students in the spring who show academic excellence in a wide array of disciplines, intellectual commitment, exceptional originality and achievement in a particular area, and the quality of mind characteristic of a true scholar. The criteria are both more flexible and more demanding than those of regular Tufts honors. Though we look for A's in each of the distribution areas, our decision is based on the student's whole intellectual profile, not rigid guidelines. Our election is arrived at collectively on the basis of our best judgment of the candidate's academic record.


To be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a student should demonstrate intellectual breadth--i.e. an inclination to explore other areas beyond those required for graduation, and academic excellence areas well outside the major--as well as intellectual commitment, originality, and special achievement in a particular area. We particularly look for candidates with a genuinely scholarly quality of mind. Our criteria are both more flexible and more demanding than those required for regular Tufts honors. Most essentially, the ideal Phi Beta Kappa candidate has the "spark" of the true scholar.


All graduating seniors with a GPA of 3.75 or above and all juniors with a GPA of 3.85 or above are automatically considered.    However, only about 60-65 seniors and 10-12 juniors are typically elected per year, so the selection is very competitive.


Students with  GPA near the cut off have a greater chance of being selected if the Board receives a letter of recommendation about them from a faculty member.


Students whose GPA is below the above levels will be considered ONLY if a faculty member recommends them.


Election to Phi Beta Kappa is highly selective for seniors and even more so for those few elected in their junior year.


For more information, please contact PBK Secretary David Proctor at 617-627-3041 or by email at