Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most respected honors organization in the United States. The Society has pursued its mission of fostering and recognizing excellence in the liberal arts and sciences since its founding in 1776.
The University of Florida is one of only six institutions in the state, and one of only about 280 total throughout the US, which meets the Society’s criteria of excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, and can elect students into Phi Beta Kappa.
The UF Chapter (Beta) was founded in 1938 by a group of faculty that included several famous UF and Florida citizens, including Manning Dauer and Claude Pepper. UF was the second school in the state to earn a chapter charter (that’s why we’re the Beta chapter of Florida), following that of the Florida Women’s College (now FSU).
Since then, thousands of outstanding undergraduate students at UF have been inducted into PBK. By National bylaws, the number of students elected cannot exceed 10% of the annual class in the College of Arts and Sciences. Each year, approximately 300 students are invited to join the Society as new members. There are election cycles in the Fall and Spring terms.