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Phi Beta Kappa?


Joker2
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Is this a big deal? Just something to put on a resume?

Ds received an email a bit ago that he was elected by faculty members to join and there’s an induction ceremony next month. He’s going to do it but I was just wondering about what it really is.

 

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I didn’t know about it when I was in college and I had turned down any of the other offers I got from honor societies because they kind of looked like scams to me, but after looking into Phi Beta Kappa, that’s the only one that I did go ahead and join. Now, I can’t say it has done anything for me at all, but if I were applying for jobs, I would certainly put it on my résumé, and I think it’s a recognizable achievement to people in certain fields. I didn’t go to the ceremony or anything, though. At the time I was in college, it was inexpensive for me to join, and it was only a one time fee, so I’d say if it’s not too expensive it seems worthwhile.

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It’s definitely one of the legitimate ones and I believe the oldest US honor society. Some might make the case that it’s also the most prestigious one. Generally, only top colleges have chapters (although some top more technical schools are likely excluded due to it focusing in liberal arts). A college can’t just decide they want a chapter, there is an application, review, and selection process. Normally, I believe faculty members who themselves were chosen as undergrads make up the faculty membership and then they choose the student nominees.
 

Different schools likely have slightly different methods of choosing, but it’s supposed to be for excellence in the liberal arts. For example, besides being based on GPA, my son’s university required so many upper division classes across science, humanities, and social sciences. So say, being a physics major and only taking lower level humanities and social science classes to fill distribution requirements would have taken you out of the running, regardless of GPA.

At my college, it was a very big deal, and induction was held on the same day as graduation. Congratulations to your son!

I’d say it’s probably most recognized in academia, but I would still (and do) include it on a resume, as I think it is sometimes recognized in non-academic settings. I do think the prestige has waned over the years with the proliferation of so many different honor type things.

I don’t know how to link, but I believe this question has also been asked before on the forum.

Edited by Frances
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My DD has gotten a number of solicitations from other societies and she has asked me about them. Each time I have investigated them and then I suggested to her that she save her money.  I have also suggested to her that if and when she is invited to join Phi Beta Kappa that she send them money. 

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