The Delta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the University of Pennsylvania in 1892. The Electoral Board meets every spring to elect new students who have distinguished themselves through undergraduate research and by breadth of study in the liberal arts.Questions should be addressed to Dr. Janet Tighe, Secretary of the Delta Chapter.
Students may not apply for Phi Beta Kappa. Those juniors with a 3.85 g.p.a. or higher and seniors with a 3.7 g.p.a. or higher by the end of the fall semester are automatically considered and their transcripts are evaluated by the Electoral Board, which also solicits letters of recommendation for eligible students.
The records of students who graduated the previous year are reviewed, and a number of these students may be elected as well. Therefore, each student is granted at least two opportunities for review by the committee. Students who have Incompletes on their transcripts may be denied membership.
Students must have a minimum of 16 completed credits and not have been subject to a disciplinary action for an academic integrity violation in order to be eligible. It is the practice of the Delta Chapter to elect no more than eight percent of the graduating class each year. A small number of juniors is also selected at the spring meeting.
In addition to grades, the committee looks for independent research, participation in honors programs, advanced work in the major and in cognate disciplines, and evidence of intellectual rigor in an undergraduate program.
Students are notified of election by letter at the end of the spring term, prior to graduation.