Criteria for Election

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 academic purposes and goals of the College. 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;
  • Humanities. 

In each of at least three of those categories, the student will have taken 2 courses (including one at or above the 200-level).

In addition to studying broadly and deeply, a student must have completed at least 6 semesters of coursework with Hamilton College 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 based upon academic standing and the eligibility criteria listed above.

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