Election to the University of New Hampshire chapter of Phi Beta Kappa is an objective process based on criteria established in accordance with the requirements of the national honor society. At the beginning of the Spring Semester, we request from the Registrar's Office transcripts for seniors and juniors from both Durham and Manchester campuses who have high GPA's. A computer program designed by one of our members calculates a PBK GPA based only on courses which are considered "liberal." (The liberal arts and sciences include the natural sciences, mathematics, social sciences and humanities.)

In order to comply with national Phi Beta Kappa requirements that the number of seniors invited not exceed approximately 10% of seniors who are in liberal arts and sciences, we have raised our minimum GPA requirements. To be considered for the Spring 2024 election, seniors must have a basic UNH GPA of at least 3.65 and juniors a GPA of at least 3.85. The Selection Committee reserves the right to set the standard for liberal course PBK GPA levels higher than these minimums in order to comply with the national Phi Beta Kappa requirement.

The Election Committee, made up of 8-12 Phi Beta Kappa members, does the final review and selection based on the following criteria:

  • Students must have taken a minimum of 48 graded hours at UNH.
  • Seniors need 84 hours in liberal courses (taken at UNH or transferred from another accredited college or university) while juniors need 60 such hours. Students already graduated in the previous September or December need 90 liberal hours.
  • Students must meet the PBK GPA minimum in liberal courses as defined above.
  • In addition, students must have taken the following courses BEFORE the Spring semester in which candidates are reviewed:
    • at least one class in quantitative reasoning that fulfills UNH's general education math requirements as well as
    • at least one foreign language class at the 500/intermediate level. American Sign Language does not fulfill the Phi Beta Kappa language requirement.

In April, invitation letters are sent to students. The initiation ceremony is held in early May.

Students do not need to be enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts in order to qualify or be accepted for membership to Phi Beta Kappa. Students from all colleges at UNH are eligible if they meet the requirements.