The Zeta of NC Chapter invites students to membership in Phi Beta Kappa during the Spring semester of each academic year. Invitations are sent by email. Students who accept the offer of membership are inducted into the chapter during a Spring induction ceremony.
Students are eligible for election who are pursuing a liberal arts & sciences bachelor’s degree at NC State University. Zeta Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa considers the liberal arts & sciences bachelor’s degree to include degrees awarded to majors in all departments in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, all departments in the College of Sciences, the basic science departments in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Department of Economics in the College of Management, the Department of Art + Design in the College of Design, and the degrees in Fisheries & Wildlife and in Natural Resources Policy & Administration in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources in the College of Natural Resources. Departments may petition the Zeta of NC Chapter to add curricula to the PBK-eligible list. Contact the chapter for further information.
Students pursuing dual degree programs in which one of the degree programs is in the arts and sciences may become eligible for election to Phi Beta Kappa upon completion of 75% of the credit hours in the qualifying arts and sciences degree program, and upon meeting the additional criteria for election.
The selection process occurs in two phases.
First of all, the Registrar provides a list of students who meet the following criteria for consideration by the chapter for membership. Note that these criteria determine eligibility for consideration, not Phi Beta Kappa membership itself.
- Candidates shall have completed at least three full semesters of work in residence at North Carolina State University and shall be fully registered for the fourth semester.
- Candidates also shall have achieved at least second-semester junior status (76 or more credit hours, including 45 or more letter-graded NCSU hours). Candidates are considered to be first-semester seniors when they have 92 or more total credit hours, including 45 or more letter-graded NCSU hours. Seniors with 108 or more total credit hours (second-semester seniors) must also have 60 or more letter-graded NCSU hours.
- Academic averages are computed on the basis of credit hours taken at NCSU and include only letter grade hours (ABCDF), not Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U hours). Advanced Placement hours can count in the computation of hours for class standing but not toward the total of hours required to be taken at NC State University.
Secondly, the chapter must take into account the number of degrees awarded in the liberal arts & sciences for the prior academic year. This is because we cannot induct into membership more than 10% of the graduating class.
- Students with junior status in the spring semester (as identified by the Registrar) are invited to membership if they have a cumulative GPA of 4.0 with no grade less than an A-. For seniors, a GPA cut-off is identified that will result in our inviting no more than 10% of the graduating class. In recent years, this cut-off has been a 4.0. The chapter contacts recent graduates who meet the GPA cut-off and other criteria to inquire if they would like to be invited to membership.
Finally, the Office of Student Conduct identifies any of the prospective invitees who have academic integrity violations or other serious conduct infractions. Those students will not be invited to membership.
Many students do not respond to our offer of membership. If they are eligible in the next cycle, we will invite them again, but will not invite a student a third time.
Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the members of Zeta of North Carolina Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Election must be from among students who conform to minimum standards set by the national Phi Beta Kappa Society as interpreted by Zeta of North Carolina Chapter and adapted for use at the local level.
National stipulations for election to membership as undergraduates in Phi Beta Kappa include the following:
- Undergraduates shall be elected primarily on the basis of broad cultural interests, scholarly achievement, and good character.
- Candidates shall be majoring in the liberal arts and sciences and be pursuing degree programs in a College of Arts and Sciences or its equivalent in which at least three-fourths of the course work is in the liberal arts and sciences. Students must have at least second semester junior rank and have completed at least three full semesters of work at the host institution
Students not invited who would like to apply need to meet the GPA criteria and should have a distinguished record of performance in liberal arts courses, exclusive of professional and vocational training, internships, and so on. Candidates should demonstrate a broad exposure to the liberal arts, including the fine arts, humanities, languages, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences. In addition to GPA requirements, participation in Honors courses, undergraduate research, service learning, and study abroad programs, as well as other indications of cultural and intellectual interests, scholarly achievement, and good character, will be considered favorably by reviewers. Indications of a lack of cultural and intellectual interests, scholarly achievement, and good character will be considered negatively by reviewers.
Page updated: October 11, 2023