Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious honor society, was founded on December 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary. Since then, Phi Beta Kappa has evolved to become the nation’s leading advocate for the liberal arts and sciences at the undergraduate level. Temple University’s Rho chapter was founded in 1974.

Why should I join PBK if elected?


Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious liberal arts honor society in the United States. Fewer than 10% of the nation’s colleges and universities have chapters, and fewer than 1% of college seniors are elected to membership. It is often difficult for students to distinguish among the many honor societies that exist today, and many students suspect that such “honors” are just ways to separate them from their hard-earned money. Not so with Phi Beta Kappa. Read on and you will understand why.

Good Company

By joining Phi Beta Kappa you will place yourself among the intellectual elite of America, past and present. Leaders in all fields of endeavor are members, including former presidents George H.W. Bush and William Jefferson Clinton, six of the current Supreme Court Justices, and many others. Here is a partial list. Only Temple’s very best students who have exhibited a commitment to a liberal education are invited to join.

Lifelong Membership

Induction into Phi Beta Kappa entitles you to lifelong membership in the Society, with the privilege to wear the PBK key and to identify yourself on resumés, in job interviews, and elsewhere as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. How involved you become with the Society beyond that is your choice. Your Temple chapter, regional associations, and other PBK institutions can help you stay in touch with intellectual life according to the principle that “love of wisdom is the guide of life.”

To find out more about Phi Beta Kappa at Temple, browse this site, contact the chapter officers or faculty membership, or check out the recent members list to see which of your friends or favorite professors have been elected. Or just email us!