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PBK FAQs

I’m interested in becoming a member. How do I join?

Membership in PBK is by invitation only.

When are new members selected/inducted?

TCNJ’s PBK chapter conducts its annual selection process during the first six weeks of the spring semester. The induction ceremony is traditionally held in mid to late April.

Is membership open to all students at TCNJ?

Undergraduates majoring in the liberal arts and sciences become eligible for membership in their junior year and remain eligible through their senior year.

The liberal arts and sciences encompasses the natural and social sciences, mathematics, and humanities. Typically, all majors in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Science, and select majors in the School of the Arts and Communication and School of Business are eligible.

Phi Beta Kappa stipulates that a student’s transcript must reflect “coursework in the liberal arts and sciences equivalent to at least three-quarters of the credits ordinarily required for a bachelor’s degree in these fields.” Because applied and pre-professional coursework is not considered “liberal arts,” students enrolled in the School of Education, School of Engineering, and School of Nursing, Health and Exercise Science are rarely able to satisfy this stipulation.

How do you select members?

The members of TCNJ’s PBK chapter conduct a thorough review of the academic record of each candidate. Juniors with a GPA of 3.9 or above and seniors with a GPA of 3.85 and above are automatically considered. Juniors and seniors with lower GPAs (3.85 for juniors and 3.5 for seniors) are considered with a letter of nomination from a member of the faculty or staff.

How many members do you select each year?

Membership in PBK is highly selective. In a typical year, the chapter invites 20-25 juniors and 50-60 seniors.

What are the membership requirements?

In addition to the liberal arts stipulation and GPA requirements mentioned above, there are a number of other requirements. These include:

  • Depth and breadth of study: We look for students who have taken upper-level courses outside of their major and who have dug into their own major, perhaps by doing the honors program and/or conducting research.
  • Proficiency in a second, or non-native language through the intermediate level. At TCNJ, that generally translates to completion of coursework through the 103 level. American Sign Language is accepted. Students who have passed a proficiency exam can place out of this requirement.
  • Completion of a mathematics, logic or statistics course “with content appropriate to a liberal arts and sciences curriculum.” Note that STAT 115 does not satisfy this requirement.
  • While not required for membership, other considerations may include study abroad, minors and/or double majors, and research experiences.

For more, please consult the Phi Beta Kappa Society’s membership requirements webpage and Article III, Section 1 of TCNJ PBK’s bylaws.

 

 

 

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