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The Phi Kappa Phi Difference

If you have been invited to accept membership in a collegiate honor society, it means that you have been recognized for your accomplishments and character. But did you know that the meaning of the invitation depends on the purpose and stature of the society?

The purpose of Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi and Omicron Delta Kappa as honor societies is to celebrate excellence in academics and integrity of character. Our societies exist because those who founded them believed, as we believe still, that there are achievements worthy of celebration: academic work of extraordinary quality, exemplary leadership, and research that advances human knowledge.

Our invitations recognize distinguished performance in study, research, or leadership, sustained over a period of years. So our invitations are typically extended late in the undergraduate career or even after graduation, marking the transition from accomplished work of high merit to further exceptional attainment.

Honorifics vary in value, so it is important to find out which ones matter the most. Our societies do not aim to supply a mere credential—belonging to our societies means more than simply a certification of your grade point average or your resume. In the wider world, membership in one of our organizations is understood as an honor that is neither cheaply won nor widely bestowed. And we offer opportunities to continue to learn and grow in the company of other members of our societies across the country and across generations.

Ask your advisors, mentors or faculty members about us. We are confident they will tell you what we stand for. We also encourage you to visit our websites and examine our histories, governance and programs.

Contact our individual national offices if you have questions. If you have been honored with an invitation, congratulations! You are in excellent company. We look forward to welcoming you as a member.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Founded at the University of Maine, 1897

The Phi Beta Kappa Society

Founded at the College of William and Mary, 1776
Sigma Xi
The Scientific Research Society

Founded at Cornell University, 1886
Omicron Delta Kappa
The National Leadership Honor Society

Founded at Washington & Lee University, 1914