Circle of Excellence

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest, largest, and most selective honor society to recognize and promote excellence in all academic disciplines. It is an honor society which draws members from all academic disciplines within colleges and universities. Each year, approximately 34,000 students, faculty, professional staff, and alumni are initiated.

Standards for election to membership are extremely high. Election to membership is by invitation only. Those elected to membership include the upper 7.5 percent of last-term juniors (having completed at least seventy-two semester hours) and the upper 10 percent seniors, along with outstanding graduate students, faculty, professional staff, and alumni.

Since its founding, Phi Kappa Phi has initiated more than 1 million members. Phi Kappa Phi chapters exist on nearly 300 campuses throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. More than 120,000 members maintain their active status in Phi Kappa Phi, which affords them the benefits associated with dues-paying membership.

The mission of Phi Kappa Phi is “To recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” More than $700,000 is awarded annually in national and local scholarships. For scholarship and award opportunities offered by Phi Kappa Phi, please visit the official scholarship webpage.

During initiation, members receive gold keys and original certificates of membership, but The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is more than a gold key and a line on a résumé. Phi Kappa Phi is a 100+ year-old organization made up of the best and brightest from all academic disciplines; a community of scholars who are leaving an enviable legacy for future generations.


Jessica Hoyle, National Dissertation Fellowship Winner Read more…


Student Vice Presidents serve on the Chapter’s Executive Committee.