Honor Societies

The University of Tulsa supports chapters of national honor societies that recognize the hard work of our students. Two honor societies recognize all areas of study: Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.

Phi Beta Kappa  is the oldest American honorary society, founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776. The University of Tulsa chapter, Beta of Oklahoma, was chartered in 1989. The chapter annually elects to membership students with exceptionally strong records in the liberal arts and sciences. Election to membership in Phi Beta Kappa is one of the highest academic honors and is almost universally regarded as evidence of superior scholarly attainment.

Candidates for membership must be currently in their junior or senior year and have attended The University of Tulsa for a minimum of three semesters of full-time work, and be enrolled in a fourth. In addition, students must have taken at least 90 hours of liberal arts courses (other than professional and applied courses), demonstrating breadth as well as depth of course study. Other factors influencing selection into membership include a high grade point average, two years of a foreign language and a minimum math requirement of either Math 1103, Basic Calculus, or two courses consisting of Math 1163, Pre-Calculus, and another math or statistics course at an equivalent level of difficulty.

The culmination of the year’s activities is the annual Initiation Ceremony, normally held the evening before May Commencement. During this ceremony, new student members (“Members in Course”) and distinguished Alumni/ae and Honorary Members are inducted in a formal and memorable ceremony that publicly recognizes and honors each inductee. For additional information, please visit the Phi Beta Kappa web site.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 as the Lambda Sigma Eta Society at the University of Maine. In 1900, the society added chapters at the Pennsylvania State College (now Pennsylvania State University) and the University of Tennessee and was renamed Phi Kappa Phi. The University of Tulsa chapter, chartered in 1990, is one of over 250 chapters in the United States.

Phi Kappa Phi elects members from all recognized branches of academic endeavor. Members are selected on the basis of high academic achievement and good character. Inductees may include a maximum of 10 percent of the graduate students in the University, 10 percent of all graduating seniors, and no more than 5 percent of the juniors. 

TU students can also join honor societies specific to their field of study.