Phi Beta Kappa

What is Phi Beta Kappa?

Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most prestigious academic honor society in the United States. Our motto is that the love of learning should be the guide for life. Through our rigorous selection process for members and our public outreach programs we advocate for the value of a liberal arts and sciences education.

The Society was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. Wellesley's Chapter, the Eta Chapter of Massachusetts, was chartered in 1904. That year, Smith College and Wellesley College became the sixth and seventh chapters in the state (Mount Holyoke's chapter was founded the next year, 1905). The other five chapters previously founded in Massachusetts included those at Harvard (1781), Amherst (1853), Williams (1864), Tufts (1892), and Boston University (1899). More information on the history and purpose of the Society can be found on the website of the National Chapter.

updated August 2019