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PBK Induction Criteria

Election into PBK is by invitation only and at the complete discretion of the chapter. The election process is based on grade point average and evaluates the scholarly achievement as well as the moral character of the top 10% of the graduating class.

The following is a list of the basic required criteria that the Theta of Maryland uses to initially evaluate candidates:

Washington College Residency: A student must have completed at least three full semesters of work while enrolled at Washington College and be fully registered for the fourth semester.

Liberal Arts: A student must have completed (or be registered to complete) at least 96 credits in the liberal arts and sciences among the 128 credits normally needed for graduation. Because Phi Beta Kappa honors excellence in the liberal arts and sciences, courses with an applied or pre-professional focus will not be considered in determining eligibility

Language: A student must develop an intermediate competency in a second language. This is typically demonstrated by completing language study through the 201-level or above or placement at 202+ level on a Washington College administered language exam. In cases where a language [taken in high school or at another college] is not offered at Washington college or is offered only through the 100-level, a student may demonstrate an intermediate level of language proficiency through (1) notation of Level IV language study on the high school transcript or (2) demonstration of an additional awareness of international culture, language, or civilization [ancient or modern] through completion of one course taught in a foreign language or two courses taught in English.

Quantitative: Ideally, every quantitative course at Washington College would satisfy PBK’s quantitative requirement, but this is not the case. A student should therefore take at least one course in calculus (e.g., MAT 111, 112, or above), in statistics (e.g., BUS 109, MAT 109, or PSY 209), in philosophical logic (PHL 108), or in computer science (selected courses at the 111 level and above). A student may also demonstrate quantitative knowledge by completing a year-long sequence in music theory (MUS 131/132 or MUS 231/232). This requirement may be met through a strong AP Calculus, Statistics, Computer Science, or Music Theory score.

Pass/ Fail: Courses taken pass/fail may not be used to fulfill the quantitative or language requirement. No more than four pass/fail courses may be applied to the required 96 credits of liberal studies coursework.

Advanced Placement:  Advanced Placement and transfer credits are accepted if Washington College accepts them. Students, however, should not rely too heavily on AP and/or transfer credits as the chapter values breadth and depth of study at the college level and prefers to evaluate courses offered by the faculty of Washington College.

Honor Code: The chapter consults with the honor board faculty representative to confirm if a student is of good character and in good standing.