General Honorary Societies
The university has long possessed nationally recognized marks of excellence, including chapters of national honorary and scholarship societies in practically every specialized field and chapters of the following general honorary societies: Phi Beta Kappa (since 1926), Phi Kappa Phi (since 1960), Sigma Xi (since 1922), and Golden Key (since 1990).
Phi Beta Kappa
To qualify for nomination to Phi Beta Kappa, a candidate must have a major in the College of Letters, Arts and 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. All Phi Beta Kappa requirements must be completed prior to the semester in which they are elected. 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. In addition to these minimum requirements, candidates will be determined by other factors such as citizenship and scholastic rigor.
Phi Kappa Phi
To qualify for nomination by the local chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, a candidate must be:
- registered at UI for at least one year and
- 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.
To qualify for nomination to associate membership in Sigma Xi, a student must have shown marked aptitude for research in some field of pure or applied science. An associate member must have shown noteworthy achievement as an original investigator in some field of pure or applied science to qualify for nomination to full membership.
Golden Key National Honor Society
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.