• Let the love of learning rule humanity

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. Its chapters are on more than 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.

  • Since its founding, Phi Kappa Phi has initiated more than 1 million members.
  • Comprised of the best and brightest from all academic disciplines.
  • Only two other honor societies, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Xi have requirements for membership as exacting as Phi Kappa Phi's.
  • Unlike other honor societies whose undergraduate members may include freshmen and sophomores, Phi Kappa Phi celebrates upperclassman and graduate student scholars.

A Few Examples of the Many Distinguished Members or Alumni:

  • James Barksdale, founder of Netscape
  • Authors John Grisham & David Baldacci
  • Jimmy Carter, 39th US President
  • Wendy Lawrence and Bernard A. Harris, Jr., MD, NASA Astronauts
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, US Secretary of State
  • John Tressel, Ohio State Football Coach
  • Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana Governor
  • Ellis Marsalis and Dave Brubeck, acclaimed jazz musicians
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice

Benefits to You

Phi Kappa Phi members are eligible to apply for numerous Scholarships and Awards, valued at more than $700,000 annually. The Society's extensive award programs include:

  • Fellowships
  • Love of Learning Grants
  • Scholar and Artist Awards
  • Study Abroad Grants
  • Literacy Grants

Phi Kappa Phi offers including exclusive Corporate Partner Discounts including:

  • Apple
  • AT&T
  • Bank of America
  • Barnes and Noble.com
  • Car Rental Companies
  • Dell
  • The Princeton Review
  • Liberty Mutual Insurance

Who is Invited to Become a Member?

  • By invitation only. Must be an outstanding student of sound character, enrolled at a college or university with a Phi Kappa Phi Chapter.
  • Juniors must have completed 72 credit hours and rank in the top 7.5% of their class.
  • Seniors must rank in the top 10% of their class.
  • Graduate Students must rank in the top 10% of their class.
  • Faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also may be eligible for membership.

An one-page informational flyer detailing all of the Benefits of Membership in The Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and the Eligibility Requirements can be downloaded HERE.

Phi Kappa Phi Motto and Meaning

The badge of the Society is a globe against the background of the sun, whose rays form an expansive corona and radiate in a number of symmetrical and equal concentrations from behind the globe. These signify equivalence among the various branches of learning and represent dissemination of truth as light. Encircling the globe is a band containing the Greek letters ΦΚΦ (Phi Kappa Phi). It symbolizes a fraternal bond which girds the earth and binds the lovers of wisdom in a common purpose.

The seal of the Society features the badge in its center. The badge is surrounded by a crenellated line that represents the battlements and walls of Troy. In the space between this line and the periphery of the seal appear three stars just above the badge, one for each of the three original chapters. Below the badge is the phrase “Founded 1897.”

The ribbon of the Society is a meander pattern that is common in ancient Greek art and symbolizes the classical features of the Society.

The first word of the Phi Kappa Phi Motto is Philosophía (fe-loh-so-FI-uh, with “FI” as in “fee” not “file”). For historical reasons the Society translates this Greek word as “the love of learning.”

The second word of the Motto is Krateítō (Krah-TAY-toe). Krateítō is a verb meaning “to rule.” In our Motto the word has the form of a strong exhortation that calls on us to “let the love of learning rule.”

The last word of the Motto is Phōtôn (Foe-TONE). This word occurs in ancient Greek poetry and drama with the meaning of mortals in contrast to the immortal gods. In our Motto it refers to all humans—men and women—so we translate it as the word “humanity.”

Thus, in saying the Phi Kappa Phi Motto, Philosophía Krateítō Phōtôn, you are calling on yourself and others to have your lives ruled by the love of learning.

Role of the Local Chapter

For an overview of The Society of Phi Kappa Phi at LSU, click HERE to view (or download) a PDF of the presenation by Dr. Rich Vlosky, Past Chapter President, to the LSU Faculty Senate. The presentation was made on March 18, 2010. The Chapter By-Laws are available HERE to view or download.