Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi

  1. Apr 2, 2007 #1
    What do you all think of college honor societies? Specifically, Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi? Are these things that should definitely be accepted? Or is there really no point to them? Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 3, 2007 #2
    all I'm going to say on this subject is that UC Santa Cruz doesn't really have any greek society going on which is one of the major reasons I had for coming here =)
  4. Apr 3, 2007 #3
    I throw their acceptance letters in the trash, but they keep sending me more. They do stupid crap like sell hot dogs and stuff. No thanks.

    Every time I walk past their lounge I see them just sitting inside studying. I already have a library for that, plus its full of books.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2007
  5. Apr 3, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Well, the establishment does like to recognize outstanding scholastic or academic achievement. In theory, it encourages the student body to aspire to do better. In practice, it may not.

    There's nothing wrong with it. Some of my friends and colleagues joined PBK and served as tutors.

    The honor societies should not be confused with the Greek fraternities and sororities.

    I prefer not to belong to exclusive organizations.
  6. Apr 3, 2007 #5


    User Avatar

    This for the same reason as Groucho Marks? :biggrin:
  7. Apr 5, 2007 #6
    Thanks for the comments. I generally had the same impression that most were useless, but I wanted to make sure I wasn't making a mistake with these more "prestigious" honor societies. If they are inviting me, then it must not be much of an honor society anyway :tongue2:
  8. Apr 5, 2007 #7
    I got a letter awhile ago from the Golden Key Honor Society inviting me to become a member, I don't know if it is really the same thing as the ones you posted or not. Either way you have to pay a quite large fee to become a member so I just threw it out. I'm not much into that kind of thing anyway.
  9. Apr 5, 2007 #8
    Yeah I'm the same, I really don't care to spend $50+ on joining some society. Phi Kappa Phi wants $50 initially, and then $25 every year (or $300 for a lifetime membership) to remain a member, which seems a little excessive for a broke college student.
  10. Apr 5, 2007 #9


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    WEll there could be value in networking with other members. I run into one once in a while and a few of my colleagues from uni are PBK. So if you were invited, it might be worth the $50 for a year. Plus it looks good on a resume.

    Before one blows it off, check out - http://www.pbk.org and www.phikappaphi.org
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2017
  11. Apr 5, 2007 #10
    If I was going to join one of the two it would be Phi Beta Kappa, because it "seems" to be more "prestigious," but personally I don't think much of the requirements for either one. Maybe it is different at other schools, but the requirements to be invited to both are a joke at my school (at least in my opinion).

    -Phi Kappa Phi: Top 10% of Seniors, or top 7.5% of Juniors
    -Phi Beta Kappa: Junior with a 4.0, Senior with a 3.5. And a "diverse" list of classes (2 foreign languages, 2 math classes (:rofl:), etc (basically the core requirements to get a degree :rolleyes:)

    If Phi Beta Kappa changed to allow only seniors with a 4.0 or higher then I would be more inclined to join as it would have more prestige (imo), but 3.5 is just a joke.

    And our PBK is $65, one time. Which is not as bad as PKP, but there are other things I would prefer to spend $65 on.

    Also, getting a letter from PBK that starts "Dear Honoree" does not impress me either :smile: And PKP did not even send a letter, they sent a mass e-mail!

    I have until Monday to decide on PBK, so I will ask some professors about what they think and then make a decision. I already asked my adviser, who is also the graduate chair, and she said that she doesn't think any of these honor societies carry much weight anywhere.
  12. Apr 6, 2007 #11


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    If you will continue in academia, being in PBK might be a good thing.
    If you will not, I can't say... someone else should chime in.

    I hadn't really thought about PBK much... other than honors designated with your degree. However, when I was on the faculty at a small liberal arts college that was looking to form a chapter, the administration contacted me and a few other PBK members. Apparently, in order to have a chapter, there needs to be a critical mass of PBK on the faculty, which they didn't have yet. I'm sure that future searches for new faculty will be on the lookout for PBK.
  13. Apr 14, 2008 #12


    User Avatar

    Distingushed Honors

    While I am not as familiar with Phi Kappa Phi, I do know that Phi Beta Kappa membership is
    limited to a very small percentage of students nation wide. It is the oldest and most prestigious honor society in the United States, having been founded I believe in 1776.
    The honor is one that should be revered, respected and cherished by those who are invited to membership. In addition, any resume containing Phi Beta Kappa will bring special notice to that individual in advanced education and the workplace. The closest some of us ever get to such an invitation is knowing that we will never be a member, placing us in awe of those so accomplished. However, it is interesting that several students who attain such high levels of academic acheivement view these honors as frivolous, unimportant, and even a pain. It is a better choice, in my view, to accept these highly recognized and very distiguished honors for what they are and embrace your wonderful recognition and honor. Also, your family can bask in the joy of your special moment of recognition, not a small pleasure.
  14. Apr 14, 2008 #13


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Is someone trying to promote their society by any chance?
  15. Apr 14, 2008 #14

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I'm a member of Golden Key. Golden Key is international and very focused on promoting literacy. I found that very appealing. I've enjoyed the membership because I've gotten to meet people in different majors at the university. My major is so small that I pretty much see the same people over and over in my classes, so it's nice to meet students in other areas of study.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  16. Apr 14, 2008 #15


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I was in the national honor society in HS pretty much because it was expected, and I ditched all the college level feel-good stuff as soon as I got there. If some group wanted me to join them ( on merit) and get a listing of national members, they damned well should have been either have been willing to pony up some cash or at least send the book for free. Sucker-bait.

    Congratulations! You've been chosen to have your name appear in our book of very smart college students, and it will only take $40 or $50 to get into the book and another $75-100 to get a copy of this year's sucker-book. Duh! If you have joined such "honor" clubs, I would encourage you to email me immediately so that I can sell you the naming rights to some 10th magnitude stars (our very best un-named stars at the premium level!) or perhaps some much fainter stars. Stars that are not visible in 6" or larger scopes are available for naming at deep discounts during National Librarian Day (4-16).
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2008
  17. Apr 14, 2008 #16


    User Avatar

    Thanks for your highly unbiased input. :smile:
  18. Apr 15, 2008 #17
    A year old... I never gave an update. I joined both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, but I haven't done anything with either of them, and don't know if I ever will. However, this probably has more to do with me than with the actual societies.

    MIH, it is great to hear that you have used your Golden Key membership to meet other people.
  19. Apr 23, 2008 #18

    Math Is Hard

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I love meeting with them, but I have to say, they make me feel very lazy! They are all so ambitious and they are getting so much done. One of the alums (now a medical resident) came to talk to us not too long ago. He was telling us about how he had gotten a surgery arranged for a child in India with a rare condition by finding U.S. doctors who were specialists in the child's condition, and by setting up a non-profit organization to raise funds for the operation.

    It's nice being networked to him and the others -- just in case I ever do get off my lazy butt and decide to do something helpful.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi
  1. Phy or phee ? (Replies: 8)

  2. Consciousness, Phi etc (Replies: 1)