University of California, Riverside

University Honors



Iota Chapter Considerations


chapter considerations

To Be Eligible For Consideration:

Iota Chapter recognizes by election as Members in Course juniors and seniors who have compiled outstanding academic records in a curriculum including the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Election to Phi Beta Kappa is very competitive. Each year, approximately five percent of the graduating class (seniors) and one percent of juniors are elected to UCR’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter. Election and initiation take place annually in spring. Students cannot apply to become a member of Phi Beta Kappa. The criterion for consideration encompasses the following.

Academic Standards:

a). An overall UC grade point average of 3.67 for seniors and 3.8 for juniors. For transfer students, the total undergraduate record and cumulative GPA must meet this standard. Students from the COE College are not eligible. Students majoring in Business Administration are not eligible for consideration.

b). Completed four quarters of a single foreign language (equivalent to intermediate level). However, an Advanced Placement score of "4" or "5" in a foreign language will fulfill the Phi Beta Kappa foreign language requirement.

c). Completion of plane geometry and algebra through quadratics, or a have taken Math 9A or the equivalent at UCR.

d). Successful completion at the end of Winter quarter of at least 160 quarter units, of which at least 80 are UC GPA credits. Residency must be established for transfer students: Each senior candidate must have completed 60 units of work at UCR (each junior, 120 units), excluding courses professional, vocational, technical, recreational, and remedial in nature and all courses taken on a S/NC option. Grades earned on other campuses of the University of California are included in computing a candidate's grade point average.

e). An academic record, which shows more than 15 (S/NC) units, is normally disqualified. No exceptions are made for junior candidates.

f). CHASS students must demonstrate breadth beyond the standard within the biological and physical sciences, completing the equivalent of 24 units or more, with at least one course that includes a laboratory requirement.

g). CNAS students must demonstrate breadth beyond the standard within the humanities and social sciences, equivalent to 24 units or more.

Phi Beta Kappa will evaluate the transcripts of all students who meet the minimum GPA and our foreign language requirement. Students are identified by computer search and by members of the faculty and undergraduate advising staff.

The Selection Process:

The Committee on Members in Course, composed of academic members of Phi Beta Kappa, reviews transcripts and recommends to the resident members of the Society students whose records meet the criteria. There is no automatic right to election. Questions about qualification are welcome and will be considered. Transcripts of juniors and seniors in the College of Letters and Sciences are automatically reviewed if the GPA and units in residence requirements are met. Notification of election is by (a) e-mail to the ucr.edu account, (b) posting at this website, (c) through the academic department of the major. Potential members in course who have been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and wish to be inducted into the society—even if retroactively—are cordially invited to contact the committee coordinator.

Invitations to Membership:

When the committee's work is complete, individual letters are mailed to the electees, inviting them to join the Society by responding to the invitation with payment of a one-time initiation fee and to participate in initiation. The fee is $65.00, of which the UCR Chapter must forward $55 to the National Phi Beta Kappa Society. This money supports the activities of the local chapter and of the National Society. The student is then a lifetime member of Phi Beta Kappa. The letters usually go out by end of April; initiation is in early June.

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