different from other honor societies?
the oldest, most prestigious
academic honor society in the nation and is the unofficial grandparent
of all the
other "Greek letter" honor societies, including social fraternities and
sororities. Founded in 1776 as a secret political debating
society, today PBK recognizes undergraduate academic excellence in the
liberal arts and sciences. Out of more than 4,000 American
colleges and universities, only 283 have passed the rigorous scrutiny
required to be allowed to charter a Chapter on their campuses.
only PBK Chapter in the state of Hawaii belongs to the University
of Hawaii at Manoa and its charter dates back over 60 years. For more information on PBK,
please visit the national organization's web site at www.pbk.org
or have a look at the PBK Facebook page or contact a UHM
Chapter officer (see Contact Us button at left).
should I be interested?
Again, PBK is the oldest and most
prestigious academic honorary society
in the nation. Membership will be a lifetime honor. PBK
stands you in good stead on your résumé
and graduate or
professional school applications because it immediately tells your
reader that your undergraduate study has been carefully vetted and has
met the highest academic standards. Graduate and professional schools
may grant application "points" for PBK; JABSOM here at U.H. does, for
instance. As the University of Illinois Chapter puts it on its web
site, knowledgeable "employers treat membership in PBK as the
equivalent of a strong letter of recommendation from a trusted
the continent, there are 61 regional PBK Associations of PBK members
who have officially organized to foster friendship and
learning in their communities, and they provide a means for members to
continue their active affiliation with the Society after graduation.
Association members network, sponsor social and intellectual events,
and assist Chapters.
If you become a
member, you will receive The
Key Reporter free of charge for
the remainder of your life; this is a
devoted to intellectual issues, Society news, and book reviews in the
humanities, social sciences, and sciences. The national Society also
offers graduate scholarships in different fields and sponsors visits by
distinguished scholars in various fields to PBK Chapters nationwide;
these scholars work specifically with undergraduates and deliver at
one public lecture during the campus visit.
do I become a member of PBK?
You do not apply or submit letters
of recommendation. The
finds you, based on a thorough and strictly confidential review of your
academic record. This review is done annually in February and
looks back to the previous Summer and Fall graduates as well as forward
to the Spring graduates. If you qualify, you will receive a
letter of invitation from the Alpha of Hawaii Chapter, as well as a
call. If you ignore PBK's invitation, you may not come back
at a later time and request membership.
are the requirements for invitation to membership?
students in their junior years, a 3.97 GPA (cumulative - that is,
including transfer credits), at least 60 credits completed at Manoa
and some evidence of diversity of inquiry at the
For graduated students or students
about to graduate, a 3.70 GPA
(cumulative; that is, including transfer credits), at least
completed or in progress at Manoa, clear evidence of intellectual
diversity at the
upper-division level, such as a double major, an academic minor or
certificate, an Honors or Interdisciplinary Studies program, Study
Abroad, language study beyond the 200 level, etc. There are
other more technical criteria as well.
a member of Phi Theta Kappa at my two-year school. Does that
make me a member of Phi Beta Kappa?
PBK are entirely independent and have no historical or current
applies only to two-year institutions, PBK to four-year bachelor's
and graduate degree-granting colleges and
universities. Membership in PTK has no bearing on the PBK
invitation process, although a student's academic record at all
transfer institutions is considered.
many people are invited to PBK membership each year at
Out of perhaps 2300 UHM
graduates per academic year in the Colleges of
Arts and Science; the School of Hawaiian Knowledge; the
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology; and the School
of Pacific and Asian Studies, the Chapter
invites between 80 and 100 students.
obligations will I have to PBK in the future?
Once you have been officially
initiated into the Society, you have no
further obligation for the rest of your life. This is an
academic honorary society, not a social organization - there are no car
washes, community service activities, or bake sales. There are,
a number of PBK Associations on the mainland, usually in urban centers
near major colleges or universities. These are groups of PBK
people who sponsor scholarships, lectures, readings, and social events.
Again, participation is entirely voluntary.
respects its members' right to privacy and neither the national office
nor the local Hawaii Chapter releases member information, including
e-mail addresses, to third parties.
much will it cost?
an invitee has paid the initial membership/banquet reservation
fee, s/he need pay no further money for the rest of her/his
life. This one-time fee also includes a handsome engraved
membership certificate. If this fee is truly difficult for an invitee, the Chapter will make every effort to assist.
PBK is an IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization; it does not "make money" off its members and the Hawaii Chapter does not keep any
of the membership/banquet fee (we actually silently underwrite some of the expense for the members). Members will be asked to
voluntarily contribute modest annual dues to the local Chapter and the
national, but these are strictly voluntary.
PBK accessories are