What is the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society?

Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society of two-year colleges, and two-year academic programs offered by four-year colleges. It was founded in 1918 with more than three million members located in all 50 states and abroad. Phi Theta Kappa is recognized as the official honor society for community colleges by the American Association of Community Colleges. Phi Theta Kappa is also one of the largest collegiate honor societies worldwide.

The Beta Rho Kappa Chapter at Maria College (of the New York Region) was chartered in January 20, 2009. Since then, the College has inducted more than 170 members, with 44 new members inducted in November 2015. It is a non-profit organization of students at the College who have met the requirements for membership and have been accepted as members of the Society.   

Membership Eligibility

To be eligible for membership in Phi Theta Kappa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Currently enrolled at Maria College
  • Completed a minimum of 12 credits at Maria College that can be applied to an Associate’s Degree
  • Current Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.5 or higher (not including transfer credits, remedial, or non-credit coursework)

What are the Benefits of Joining the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society?

Phi Theta Kappa recognizes and honors outstanding academic achievement, with benefits including:

  • The Phi Theta Kappa Golden Key Membership Pin
  • A Phi Theta Kappa Membership Certificate and ID Card
  • Recognition during the Maria College Induction Ceremony
  • The official Seal of Phi Theta Kappa placed on your college diploma
  • Notation of membership on your college transcript
  • Recognition by wearing Phi Theta Kappa Commencement Regalia during the Maria College Commencement Ceremony
  • A Press Release announcing your academic achievement
  • Unique opportunities to apply for scholarship opportunities from Phi Theta Kappa, partnering senior colleges, universities and foundations.

The Invitation to Join Phi Theta Kappa

Upon meeting the eligibility requirements, Maria College students will be invited to join PTK. In the fall semester, a letter will be mailed to you, and an email will be sent to your Maria College email account. You will also be informed of the date for the induction ceremony.

Accepting the Membership to Join

If you choose to join Phi Theta Kappa, you can do so online! The directions will be included in your invitation. There is a one-time membership fee of $80. The membership fee includes the Phi Theta Kappa International Membership fee of $60, the regional fee of $5, and the local fee of $15.

2015 Phi Theta Kappa Graduates

Frequently Asked Questions

Are part-time students eligible?

Part-time students may be eligible for membership if they have completed at least 12 hours of course work that could be applied to earning an associate degree and who have met the chapter’s required grade point average.

Are students who plan to transfer to a four-year institution without receiving an associate degree eligible?

While Phi Theta Kappa encourages students to obtain an associate degree before transferring, this is not a requirement for membership eligibility. A student would be eligible if he or she has completed at least 12 hours of course work that could be applied to earning an associate degree at Maria and has met the chapter's required grade point average.

Are students pursuing certificate programs eligible for membership?

A certificate student may be eligible for membership if the student has completed at least 12 hours of course work that could be applied toward an associate degree at Maria and has met the chapter's required grade point average.

Is a community college student who has earned a degree already eligible for membership?

A student with a degree who is enrolled at the College is eligible for membership if that student has completed at least 12 hours of associate degree course work with the required cumulative grade point average at the college he or she is attending presently.

Can transfer hours from other colleges be considered when determining membership eligibility?

Courses taken at other institutions may not be considered when determining membership eligibility.

If a student attended the college several years ago and did not do well, are those grades considered when determining the student's eligibility?

Courses taken more than five years ago need not be considered when determining membership eligibility. However, the College administration may increase the number of years that must elapse for waiving course consideration to any period beyond five years.

Can a high school student become a member?

A high school student enrolled at the College who completes at least 12 hours of associate degree course work with the required cumulative grade point average is eligible for membership.

Are international students, those who are citizens of countries other than the country where they attend college, eligible?

International students attending college outside their home countries are eligible for membership if they have completed at least 12 hours of associate degree course work and have met the required cumulative grade point average.

How much time will being a member take?

The time a member devotes to Phi Theta Kappa is a matter of individual choice. Some members choose to devote many hours to chapter activities; others may not participate at all. Phi Theta Kappa's Constitution requires only that a prospective member make and maintain certain grade point averages. Chapters may not require participation in activities by new or old members. Chapters cannot withhold membership benefits based on lack of participation (i.e., wearing honors stole; receiving scholarship recommendations).

How much does membership cost?

Phi Theta Kappa's International Membership fee is $60. It is paid only once. Members are also required to pay a one-time regional fee of $5. In addition, The Beta Rho Kappa chapter charges a local fee of $15 to help with the expenses of local chapter operations.

What if I move after being inducted into Phi Theta Kappa? How do I update my address with Headquarters?

Members and other Society constituents can update their contact information with Headquarters any time by editing their online profiles. To access your profile, log in at ptk.org. When Welcome, Your Name appears, click on your name. This will take you to your online profile. To update any of the information that appears, click the green Edit My Profile button, make your changes and then click Save. You may also request updates by calling 800-946-9995.

At what point does a student officially become a member?

A student becomes a member when his/her membership application has been approved and membership fees have been paid. The Society's induction requirement is met when the student signs the Membership Oath, which appears on the membership application. A student must be recorded as a member at Headquarters in order to receive all the rights, privileges and benefits of membership.

Distinguished Phi Theta Kappa Alumni

Fred Haise, Apollo 13 astronaut
Jim Lehrer, PBS News journalist
Wes Moore, Social advocate, best-selling author and television host
Mirta Ojito, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
H. Ross Perot, businessman and politician
Sela Ward, Emmy Award-winning actress
Trisha Yearwood, country musician