Phi Beta Kappa

Image: Phi Beta Kappa recent inductees

Hiram is one of only 10% of colleges and universities to be awarded a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States.

Phi Beta Kappa, the national honorary society for excellence in the liberal arts, was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. There is no higher honor in American academia than membership in Phi Beta Kappa. A Phi Beta Kappa Chapter is a singular honor for a college or university. Since the founding of Phi Beta Kappa, only 280 colleges and universities have earned the right to have chapters on their campuses.

Hiram College Phi Beta Kappa, Mu of Ohio was instituted in 1971. Admission to Phi Beta Kappa is a judgment by the Chapter’s faculty members of a student’s high scholarly achievement.

The Hiram College Chapter holds its Initiation Ceremony on the day of, or near, Commencement. The Chapter has also been honored to host a Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar many years. The Visiting Scholar spends two days on the campus meeting informally with students and participating in classroom lectures and seminars, and giving one or two major addresses open to the entire academic community.

For information about Phi Beta Kappa, go to

Additional Information


Admission to Phi Beta Kappa always represents a judgment by the Chapter about the quality of a student’s work at Hiram. Students who wish to be considered for Phi Beta Kappa must take courses in a broad range of liberal studies, including substantive work in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. The national organization of Phi Beta Kappa requires that all candidates study mathematics and a foreign language to a level commensurate with a liberal education.

Criteria for membership in the Hiram chapter include a GPA of 3.7 or above (though students with GPAs of 3.6 or above who have extraordinary breadth may be considered); two years of college-level foreign language study (through 20200); and at least one college level mathematics course (determined by consultation with members of the Department of Mathematical Sciences to exclude Mathematics 101-197; a course that engages formal symbolic logic like PHIL 121000 Elementary Logic will also suffice). Courses of a pre-professional or vocational nature (i.e., accounting and related courses, music or theater performance, education methods courses, studio art, practica) cannot be considered in determining eligibility for Phi Beta Kappa. Any questions should be directed to the secretary, Dr. Mark Taylor.


Douglas Brattebo, President

Emily Waples, Vice-President

Mark Taylor, Secretary

Colin Anderson, Treasurer

Donald Fleming, Historian