Election to Phi Beta Kappa is based on grade point average and completion of appropriate credits toward a St. Lawrence University degree. To be considered, students must earn a 3.5 or better cumulative grade point average by the close of their junior year, and have completed six semesters at St. Lawrence. Transfer students must have completed four semesters before they are eligible for consideration.

Students have three occasions to be considered for election to Phi Beta Kappa: at the close of the spring semester of the junior year, considering six semesters of grades; at the close of the fall semester, considering seven semesters of grades; and at the close of the spring semester of the senior year, considering eight semesters of grades.

Over three elections (August, March and May), the faculty and staff who comprise the permanent chapter membership elect no more than 10% of the members of the senior class. Thus, it is possible that a student with a 3.5 GPA and adequate progress toward his or her degree may not be elected to membership.


In July, February and three days before graduation, the secretary of the chapter will receive from the Registrar’s office a list of students who meet the eligibility requirements. Permanent members gather to review the list and propose elections.

In summer, members elect the top four-six seniors; In March, approximately 25 seniors are elected and in May, 10-15 seniors are elected. In total, 40-45 students are elected, depending on the size of the graduating class.


Students elected to Phi Beta Kappa will receive notification by the secretary of the chapter, who will provide registration materials and product order forms. Students must complete the registration form, which is forwarded to national headquarters in Washington, DC, to be considered members of Phi Beta Kappa.


St. Lawrence University pays all fees for its newly elected members.


Phi Beta Kappa members should keep Phi Beta Kappa national headquarters apprised of address changes in order to receive the monthly journal The American Scholar and the newsletter The Key Reporter.