Admissions & Aid
Its mission is the celebration of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences and the advancement of freedom of inquiry and liberty of thought. Students are invited to lifetime membership in Phi Beta Kappa in their junior or senior year, based on their demonstrated intellectual integrity, tolerance for other views, and broad range of academic interests.
Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is a symbol of intellectual excellence recognized the world over. Today, of roughly 3,000 four-year colleges in the United States, only a select 286 colleges (10% of all colleges and universities in the United States) have a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Formed in 1950, the chapter at Brooklyn College invites only about 40 students each year to become members. These students are selected, by a faculty committee, on the basis of a careful review of their transcripts, amplified by letters of support from the faculty at large. Of the 700 to 800 students who achieve a GPA high enough to warrant consideration, only about 5% are deemed suitable for membership.
At Brooklyn College, newly elected students are celebrated at an annual initiation banquet attended by the officers of the chapter, other faculty and staff, and the president of the college. In 2018, three juniors and 22 seniors were invited to join, representing a wide range of majors—among them anthropology, business administration, computer science, music, and women’s and gender studies—and special programs, such as SEEK and the CUNY Honors College.