Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest academic honorary society in the United States. The Hamilton chapter was established in 1869, making it the fifth oldest in the state. Students are elected during their senior year on the basis of academic distinction in the liberal arts and sciences. In examining the academic records of candidates, the chapter considers the breadth of their engagement with the liberal arts and their fulfillment of the College’s academic purposes and goals.
Breadth in the liberal arts involves one course in at least five of the six following categories: arts, mathematics/computer science, sciences, social sciences, languages, and humanities. In each of at least three of those categories, the student will have taken two courses (including one at or above the 200-level).
In addition to studying broadly and deeply, a student must have completed at least six semesters of coursework with Hamilton faculty and be of good moral character to be eligible for selection.
The Hamilton chapter, comprised of faculty and administrator members of Phi Beta Kappa, normally selects up to 10 percent of the senior class for membership. Ten other members of the class were elected in October. The next election will be held in May.