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California State University, Long Beach
Phi Beta Kappa
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Rho Chapter of California Selection Criteria for Members-in-Course

Election Requirements for Juniors and Non-Graduating Seniors

Juniors and non-graduating seniors are elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of extraordinary scholarly performance at this University, after study of their records by faculty members who are themselves members of Phi Beta Kappa. In reviewing candidates the Elections Committee of the chapter will look for evidence of broad liberal arts and cultural interests, scholarly excellence, and good character. Certain minimum requirements must be met:

  • Units.  Completion of at least 75 total units, including at least 60 units in residence at CSULB.

  • GPA.  A 3.800 minimum grade point average in all coursework completed at CSULB, as well as in all college-level work taken at other institutions.

  • Liberal Coursework. At least three-quarters of the candidate’s undergraduate coursework must be in the liberal arts and sciences. Courses in business, applied (non-liberal arts) communication studies, design, education, engineering, film and electronic arts production outside the critical theory track, the fine or performing arts (other than art history courses), heath care administration, health science, applied journalism, kinesiology/physical education, military science, music performance, nursing, physical therapy, and recreation/leisure studies do not qualify as liberal studies courses.

  • At least 75 semester hours in liberal subjects, including:

    • Reasonable Breadth Outside of One's Major. This requirement may be satisfied by having completed: (1) a minor, (2) a second major, (3) at least four upper-division courses distributed as a minimum of two classes in two different disciplines within the liberal arts or sciences other than in the candidate’s major, or (4) at least three upper-division courses outside of one’s major that are related to an interdisciplinary theme (e.g., environmental studies, international studies, etc.).

    • Knowledge of a Foreign Language.  Any of the following may satisfy the foreign language requirement:

      • 3 years of a single language in high school (please send a copy of high school transcripts to verify, if possible)

      • successfully completing at least two full semesters of study of a single language at the college level;

      • successfully completing a placement exam administered by a CSULB language department or program on which the student demonstrates competency at a level which meets or exceeds that associated with successful completion of a 101B-level language course; or

      • for those candidates whose native language is not English, demonstrating that he or she was schooled through the secondary level in the candidate’s heritage language.

    • Please note that successful completion of a 101B-level language course is a minimum threshold; a higher level of language proficiency is preferred, such as completion of a 201A-level language course.

    • Knowledge of Mathematics.  Completion of any one of the following options may satisfy the mathematics requirement:

      • MATH 109 (Modeling with Algebra) [a higher level of math proficiency is preferred];
      • MATH 113 (Precalculus Algebra);
      • MATH 114 (Finite Mathematics);
      • Any basic calculus course, including MATH 115, 119A, or 122, or a score of “3” or higher on the AP calculus examination;
      • MTED 211 (Geometry and Measurement for Elementary Teachers) and its prerequisite courses; or
      • STAT 108, an upper-division statistics course that has a significant abstract mathematics component (rather than being merely an applied statistics course), or a score of “3” or higher on the AP statistics examination.

    • Rigor. Mere completion of the minimum requirements shall not qualify a student for election as a Member-in-Course unless the totality of the student’s academic record also evidences sufficient rigor as assessed by the sound judgment of the members of the Selection Committee.

Election Requirements for Graduating Seniors and Recent Graduates  

Graduating seniors and recent graduates are elected to membership in Phi Beta Kappa on the basis of extraordinary scholarly performance at this University, after study of their records by faculty members who are themselves members of Phi Beta Kappa.  In reviewing candidates the Elections Committee of the chapter will look for evidence of broad liberal arts and cultural interests, scholarly excellence, and good character.  Certain minimum requirements must be met:

  • Units.  Residence at CSULB for at least four semesters (60 units) by time of graduation.

  • GPA.  A 3.700 minimum grade point average in all coursework completed at CSULB, as well as in all college-level work taken at other institutions.

  • Liberal Coursework. At least three-quarters of the candidate’s undergraduate coursework must be in the liberal arts and sciences. Courses in business, applied (non-liberal arts) communication studies, design, education, engineering, film and electronic arts production outside the critical theory track, the fine or performing arts (other than art history courses), heath care administration, health science, applied journalism, kinesiology/physical education, military science, music performance, nursing, physical therapy, and recreation/leisure studies do not qualify as liberal studies courses.

  • At least 90 semester hours in liberal subjects, including:

    • Reasonable Breadth Outside of One's Major. This requirement may be satisfied by having completed: (1) a minor, (2) a second major, (3) at least four upper-division courses distributed as a minimum of two classes in two different disciplines within the liberal arts or sciences other than in the candidate’s major, or (4) at least three upper-division courses outside of one’s major that are related to an interdisciplinary theme (e.g., environmental studies, international studies, etc.).

    • Knowledge of a Foreign Language.  Any of the following may satisfy the foreign language requirement:

      • 3 years of a single language in high school (please send a copy of high school transcripts to verify, if possible)

      • successfully completing at least two full semesters of study of a single language at the college level;

      • successfully completing a placement exam administered by a CSULB language department or program on which the student demonstrates competency at a level which meets or exceeds that associated with successful completion of a 101B-level language course; or

      • for those candidates whose native language is not English, demonstrating that he or she was schooled through the secondary level in the candidate’s heritage language.

      Please note that successful completion of a 101B-level language course is a minimum threshold; a higher level of language proficiency is preferred, such as completion of a 201A-level language course.


    • Knowledge of Mathematics.  Completion of any one of the following options may satisfy the mathematics requirement:

      • MATH 109 (Modeling with Algebra)[a higher level of math proficiency is preferred];
      • MATH 113 (Precalculus Algebra);
      • MATH 114 (Finite Mathematics);
      • Any basic calculus course, including MATH 115, 119A, or 122, or a score of “3” or higher on the AP calculus examination;
      • MTED 211 (Geometry and Measurement for Elementary Teachers) and its prerequisite courses; or
      • STAT 108, an upper-division statistics course that has a significant abstract mathematics component (rather than being merely an applied statistics course), or a score of “3” or higher on the AP statistics examination.

    • Rigor. Mere completion of the minimum requirements shall not qualify a student for election as a Member-in-Course unless the totality of the student’s academic record also evidences sufficient rigor as assessed by the sound judgment of the members of the Selection Committee.

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