Is Joining an Honors Society (Phi Beta Kappa) Beneficial?

In summary, the conversation discusses the benefits and concerns surrounding membership in the Phi Beta Kappa (PBK) honors society. The email received from the university highlights the potential career advantages of being a member, but there are also concerns about the society's reputation, particularly in regards to fraternities. Ultimately, the individual decides to join PBK due to the waived entrance fee and the overall positive perception of the society.
  • #1
Athenian
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Recently, I received an email from my university notifying me that I have been selected to be a Phi Beta Kappa member. The email, to say the least, had a way to shower an excessive amount of praise and make a lot of promises related to how PBK (Phi Beta Kappa) can propel my chances of success in my future career.

For example, PBK promises that my membership would be an incredible addition to my resume. The reason would be because I am part of the 0.3 percent group of "elite students" this year.

That said, while PBK membership may look a little bit nice on paper in the U.S., can the same be said abroad? I'm hoping to work in Japan after graduation.

In addition, is the PBK considered a fraternity? My father who lived in the U.S. twenty years ago was telling me all the bad news behind fraternities and told me to steer clear of them. I believe it was something along the lines of "animal house" culture.

To put it shortly, I have been hearing a lot of mixed news about these honors societies and I am hoping to understand what are the pros and cons of joining an honors society like PBK. By "cons", I just really want to understand will I be "tied" down or obligated to do anything when I am a lifetime member of PBK.

Lastly, if there is anything "good" I can identify about the email I received from PBK, it would be that I'm waived from paying their $85 entrance fee. Thus, provided that there are no other cons to joining PBK, I see no harm in joining and see what I find.

Any thoughts or experience on the topic?

Thank you for reading!
 
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  • #2
If it costs you no money I cannot see the possible harm. Its not the Nazi party or the KKK. It certainly used to mean something positive.
I think you are free to not mention it at your discretion if there are any downsides.
 
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  • #3
Athenian said:
PBK promises that my membership would be an incredible addition to my resume.
Athenian said:
may look a little bit nice on paper in the U.S.,

More the second than the first. It's a nice addition. It's not going to overshadow everything else.

Athenian said:
In addition, is the PBK considered a fraternity?

No,

Athenian said:
My father who lived in the U.S. twenty years ago was telling me all the bad news behind fraternities and told me to steer clear of them. I believe it was something along the lines of "animal house" culture.

I don't get my information from 43-year old comedies.
 
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  • #4
Thank you all for the feedback! This has all been really helpful and I think I'll give this PBK a try.
 

Related to Is Joining an Honors Society (Phi Beta Kappa) Beneficial?

What is an honors society (Phi Beta Kappa)?

An honors society is an academic organization that recognizes and celebrates students who have achieved high levels of academic success. Phi Beta Kappa is one of the oldest and most prestigious honors societies in the United States, with a focus on liberal arts and sciences.

What are the benefits of joining an honors society (Phi Beta Kappa)?

Joining an honors society can provide a variety of benefits, including networking opportunities, access to exclusive events and resources, and recognition for academic achievement. Phi Beta Kappa specifically offers a lifelong membership, opportunities for scholarships and grants, and a strong community of scholars and leaders.

Is joining an honors society (Phi Beta Kappa) worth it?

This ultimately depends on your personal goals and priorities. Joining an honors society can be a valuable addition to your resume and can provide opportunities for personal and professional growth. However, it also requires a certain level of commitment and involvement.

How do I become eligible for Phi Beta Kappa?

To be considered for Phi Beta Kappa, students must typically have a high GPA (usually above 3.5), a strong record of liberal arts and sciences courses, and a well-rounded academic experience. Each chapter may also have specific requirements, so it is important to check with your school's chapter for more information.

Can I join Phi Beta Kappa after graduation?

In most cases, students can only join Phi Beta Kappa while they are still enrolled in their undergraduate program. However, there may be exceptions for graduate students or alumni who have achieved high levels of academic success. It is best to check with your school's chapter for more information on post-graduation membership.

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