Election Guidelines for Students

Phi Beta Kappa -- Baylor University
Guidelines for Election

Membership in PBK can come only through election and initiation by the local chapter. The guidelines listed below were created to help students attain the qualifications that will allow them to be considered for election. These qualifications do not constitute an absolute list of requirements, nor do students attaining these qualifications receive automatic election to the chapter. Students seeking to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Zeta of Texas chapter, at Baylor University should endeavor to meet these guidelines in the context of Baylor University's liberal arts & sciences curriculum. That education should be both broad (wide-ranging) and deep (thorough); students should exemplify the highest values possible in the areas of scholarship, engagement and integrity, while fulfilling their academic promise in the context of a Baylor University undergraduate or graduate education.

Elections are held in the fall and spring of each academic year. Graduating seniors and Ph.D. candidates in the College of Arts and Sciences may be considered for membership. The Chapter seeks to recognize evidence of broad intellectual engagement, scholarly achievement in the liberal arts and sciences, and good character. Direct application for membership by the student is not accepted.

1. Fall election: August graduates and those who have filed for a December graduation may be considered for election in the fall. Spring election: Those who have filed for May graduation may be considered for election in the spring.

2. Candidate for election shall be majoring in subjects of the liberal arts & sciences and taking a course program expected to include at least 90 semester hours of liberal work among the 124 hours required for the bachelor's degree; liberal hours completed at other institutions of higher learning and accepted by Baylor University for transfer credit count toward this total. Transfer students may be considered if they have completed, or will complete in their final semester, a total of at least 90 Baylor University hours.

3. Per National and Chapter stipulations, the candidate shall have demonstrated knowledge of mathematics, science, and a foreign or second language at least minimally appropriate for a liberal education. In most cases, AP and IB credit will not satisfy these requirements. Minimum requirements are:

  • One college-level mathematics course. (Please note: AP, IB and credit-by-examination (CBE) in a course designated calculus will satisfy this requirement. Other AP, IB and CBE credit in mathematics will not satisfy this requirement. Most college-level mathematics credits accepted as transfer credit by Baylor University from other colleges and universities will satisfy this requirement.)
  • One science course that includes a laboratory. (Please note: no AP, IB or CBE credits will satisfy this requirement. Most college-level sciences courses with a laboratory, whether taken at Baylor University or accepted by Baylor University in transfer credit, will satisfy this requirement.)
  • Language proficiency at the fourth or higher semester level in a second language. (Please note: no AP, IB or CBE credits will satisfy this requirement. Most college-level language courses at the fourth semester or higher level, whether taken at Baylor University or accepted by Baylor University in transfer credit, will satisfy this requirement.)

4. The number of undergraduates elected from any class shall not exceed a percentage, as determined by the chapter, of the undergraduates expected to receive liberal bachelor's degrees in that class. National guidelines dictate that the percentage be between 5 and 10 percent of the graduating liberal arts class. Grades earned in applied or professional class work shall not be counted for the purpose of eligibility. An overall grade point average of at least 3.80 is usually required for serious consideration.

5. Graduate students, not already members of Phi Beta Kappa, may be considered for election based on their graduate transcripts and undergraduate record. Students who attended undergraduate institutions that host a Phi Beta Kappa chapter are not eligible for election at Baylor University as graduate students. The number of graduate students elected shall be limited to a percentage of the candidates for doctor's degrees in liberal fields; the chapter determines this percentage.

Important note: Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is wholly within the discretion of the chapter and no right to election shall adhere to any student solely by reason of fulfillment of guidelines above or the minimum grade point average for election.

Revised Summer 2015