In addition to the University Honors Program, we strongly encourage honors students to participate in the honor societies available to them, both general honor societies and those specific to a single academic discipline.
There are many advantages to joining a reputable honor society.
General Honor Societies
The following general honor societies are hosted and endorsed by the University of Idaho. We encourage you to join if invited:
One of the nation’s oldest honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa advocates and celebrates achievements in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
Established in 1926, the University of Idaho’s Alpha Chapter is one of 283 chapters throughout the United States, and the only one in Idaho.
To qualify for nomination to Phi Beta Kappa, a candidate must have a major in the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences or the College of Science.
Juniors must have achieved a 3.90 UI cumulative GPA; have completed one full semester of the junior year, and have been in residence at least five semesters. Seniors must have achieved a 3.80 UI cumulative GPA and be in residence at least 4 semesters at graduation or must have achieved a 3.70 UI cumulative GPA and be in residence at least 7 semesters at graduation.
Nominees must have fulfilled the following distribution requirements: humanities and social sciences (16 total semester credits of humanities and social sciences, with no fewer than 7 semester credits of humanities and no fewer than 7 semester credits of social sciences); laboratory sciences and/or mathematics (10 semester credits); foreign language (16 credits of a single foreign language through the intermediate level, or 4 full years of high school language). Double majors (CLASS or Science, plus another college) must complete a minimum of 90 liberal arts credits.
All PBK requirements must be completed prior to the semester in which they are elected.
In addition to these minimum requirements, candidates will be determined by other factors such as citizenship and scholastic rigor.
Phi Kappa Phi recognizes and rewards achievements across all disciplines, creating a nationwide community of scholars and professionals.
Established in 1960, University of Idaho’s chapter is one of over 300 chapters throughout the United States.
To qualify for nomination by the local chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, a candidate must be (1) registered at UI for at least one year and (2) enrolled in the final period of his or her junior year and rank scholastically in the upper 5 percent of the class or a senior enrolled in a course of study leading to a baccalaureate degree and rank scholastically in the upper 10 percent of his or her class.
Sigma Xi is a scientific research society and international honor society of science and engineering, which emphasizes and honors service to science and society.
Established in 1922, the University of Idaho chapter is one of 235 chapters nationwide.
To qualify for nomination to associate membership in Sigma Xi, a student must have shown marked aptitude for research in a field of pure or applied science.
An associate member must have shown noteworthy achievement as an original investigator in a field of pure or applied science to qualify for nomination to full membership.
Golden Key is one of the world’s largest collegiate honor societies. It is committed to a high standard of scholastic achievement, and an ethos of integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration and diversity.
Established in 1990, the University of Idaho Chapter is one of more than 400 chapters worldwide, providing resources for members to succeed through academics, leadership and service.
To qualify for membership in Golden Key, a student must have junior or senior standing and must have a cumulative grade-point average that falls in the top 15 percent of the junior and senior classes.
Transfer students who have completed at least 25 semester credits at the University of Idaho and meet the grade-point average requirements also qualify for membership.
Phi Eta Sigma encourages and rewards academic excellence among first-year students.
Established in 1934, the University of Idaho chapter is one of more than 375 chapters nationwide.
To qualify for membership in Phi Eta Sigma, a student must be a full-time student, achieve a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.5 during their first semester and/ or year at the University of Idaho and rank in the upper 20 percent of their class.
Single Academic Discipline Honor Societies
In addition to these general honor societies, there are also many reputable honor societies at the University of Idaho that are specific to a single academic discipline. We encourage you to join these as well, if invited.
Some examples of single academic discipline honor societies at the University of Idaho include:
- Phi Alpha Theta (History)
- Pi Mu Epsilon (Math)
- Psi Chi (Psychology)
- Sigma Tau Delta (English)
- Tau Beta Pi (Engineering)
For information on specific honor societies in your field, please contact your department or college.
Other Honor Societies
If you are invited to join an honor society not listed above, we advise you to research its credibility before joining.
The Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS) is a great resource. The ACHS publishes a set of guidelines, “How to Judge the Credibility of an Honors Society” with tips and tricks on how to tell the legitimate from the illegitimate collegiate honor societies.
In general, only consider joining an honor society, if you receive the invitation from a reputable source, such as a University of Idaho chapter adviser or officer.
If you are unsure about joining a specific honor society, the University Honors Program (UHP) is happy to provide individual advising.