What Are the Most Prestigious Honor Societies?

Asking, “What are the most prestigious honor societies?” can give you vital information to significantly improve your transcripts.

These prestigious groups of individuals are often seen as some of the highest-achieving members in their institutions.

Apart from the title itself, there are several benefits of honor societies that we’ll explore in this guide.

What Are Honor Societies?

Honor societies have been a critical part of university education in the United States for over 200 years.

They’re often regarded as a collective of academics and professionals recognized for their significant achievements.

For example, they will approach students with impressive societal standing and academic achievements.

The majority of participants will be granted access to impressive social contacts and professional networks.

When you’re a part of the honor society, you’ll often have access to upper-echelon social engagements and career opportunities.

It also looks remarkable on your transcripts and resumes, unlocking the doors to some of the top-earning careers worldwide.

The Benefits of Honor Societies

There are several critical benefits of honor societies that students should keep in mind.

Job Opportunities

First and foremost, the most considerable benefit of the most prestigious honor societies is job prospects.

Not only will you have top-tier contacts to assist with interviews, but internships and permanent positions as well.

Employers will notice your affiliation on your resume, which speaks not only to your academic achievements but your character as well.

The vast majority of honor society participants are recognized for their involvement in bettering their community.

This trait is something employers are bound to appreciate, especially with positions well above entry level.

Networking Opportunities

Along with having access to more impressive job offers, the networking opportunities you’ll be given are significant.

Some of the most memorable names in society have been a part of honors societies, especially your school’s alumni.

By networking with industry professionals, you can have references and backing from top earners in your field.

Finding a Community

One of the best parts of post-secondary schooling is finding a community that you fit into.

With the best college honor societies, you can join a group of like-minded peers striving for the same goals.

You’ll find some of the most intellectual and put-together individuals who share similar interests and future aspirations.

It’s a phenomenal opportunity for students to connect with their peers on a deeper level.

Also, you’re more likely to establish friendships built to last a lifetime.


Another significant advantage of these societies is the scholarships they provide to students.

There are honors society-specific scholarships that can give you exclusive benefits and awards for attending school.

Major employers, for example, fund scholarships to pay for full-year tuition fees for some participants.

You might also be able to unlock further benefits such as health insurance discounts, textbook discounts, and more.

Must Read: Worst States for Education

What Is the Highest Honor Society?

Finding the best college honor societies is of the utmost importance to access the most benefits.

The Phi Beta Kappa Society is often regarded as the United States’ most prestigious and pivotal honor society to consider.

They currently have 283 active chapters across the country, spanning many subjects, such as sciences and liberal arts.

Although it may seem like many chapters, they are only accessible in 10% of colleges and universities.

They are also known to accept as little as two percent of an entire graduating class in the liberal arts and sciences.

There’s a highly selective process that requires applicants to have a combination of academic and interpersonal skills.

Not only is it prestigious, but it’s also the oldest since it was initially founded in 1776 as the first Greek-letter fraternity.

It also has a strong meaning behind its name, “Love of learning is the guide of life.”

It’s also important to note that Phi Beta Kappa is one of the more challenging societies to be a part of.

If you’re looking for an honor society with prevalent networking opportunities, this chapter is one to consider.

There have been several U.S. presidents who are PBK alumni as well as Supreme Court justices. Some of the most notable members include:

  • Bill Clinton
  • Glenn Close
  • Tom Brokaw
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Amanda Gorman
  • Mark Twain
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Helen Keller
  • 140 Nobel Laureates

Phi Beta Kappa Application Requirements

As mentioned, PBK is regarded as one of the best honors societies because of its exclusive requirements.

Even if you’re a spectacular academic, it doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed entry.

The requirements include:


  • Eligible students must be candidates to receive a bachelor’s degree in the sciences or liberal arts.
  • Your coursework should include sciences and liberal arts classes equivalent to 3/4 of your course load.
  • Liberal arts classes include: social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, and humanities
  • Applied and pre-professional coursework is not considered in most cases.
  • In some cases, professionally focused courses are applicable.
Course Type
  • The weight of your science and liberal arts courses is considered.
  • They will consider the number, variety, and level of your courses.
  • The total number of elective classes above general education is considered.
Language Requirements
  • Candidates will need a knowledge of a second or non-native language for liberal education.
  • Students can obtain second-language experience through high school or college.
Undergraduate Requirements
  • All candidates require at least one college-level math, statistics, or logic course.
  • Said class should introduce students to proofs, abstract thinking, mathematical ideas, and the axiomatic method.


Moral Character
  • All applicants must show exemplary good moral character.
  • Candidates must foster friendship and morality.
what are the most prestigious honor societies

What GPA Do You Need for Phi Beta Kappa?

At this time, there isn’t a specific GPA noted that’s required to obtain an invitation to Phi Beta Kappa.

However, it’s well known that your GPA needs to be well above average as one of the best honor societies.

Most applicants will be required to maintain a GPA between 3.8 and 4.0 for the duration of their studies.

With that said, your GPA isn’t the only requirement the society considers before approving your application.

Morality and personal character are also two significant features that can affect your application.

Which Honor Society Is Legit?

Aside from Phi Beta Kappa, there are several other groups recognized as the best college honor societies.

Golden Key

If you were to search for the best honors societies, Golden Key is the first to appear.

This group was initially founded in 1977 at Georgia State University and is the largest honor society worldwide.

They boast over two million members and are based on leadership, service, and academics.

They have chapters in 400 universities worldwide and offer membership to students in the top 15% of their class.

What makes this society unique is that they offer outstanding networking opportunities and development as well.

Members have received scholarships, notable rewards, international studying opportunities, travel, and more.

Three of the most notable honorary members of Golden Key include Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel, and Bill Clinton.

Phi Kappa Phi

Phi Kappa Phi has a notable presence at universities in the United States and the Philippines.

They have over 325 chapters with a total of 1.5 million members across plenty of disciplines.

Each year, they extend invitations to 30,000 prospective applicants interested in diversifying their global network.

Like Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi has a notable history spanning back to 1897 at the University of Maine.

They’re also challenging to get into because they only accept the top 7.5% of members during their second semester.

With graduate students, the organization accepts the top ten percent of students.

It’s one of the best honor societies for students who have a passion for artistry, literacy, and learning.

You’ll have access to numerous grants and awards as well as special skills and opportunities.

Some of the most recognizable Phi Kappa Phi members include:

  • Hillary Clinton
  • Matthew Desmond
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Albert Gore
  • Robert A. “Bob” DuPuy

Gamma Beta Phi

Gamma Beta Phi takes pride in focusing primarily on service, character, and philanthropy.

Members are offered numerous opportunities to help encourage their abilities to be graduate-ready and to make worldwide differences.

Where this organization differs is from others is that they’re invite-only, meaning students cannot apply.

They’re also unique in that they put significant weight on the Christian faith.

A few notable members of Gamma Beta Phi include:

  • Cloris Leachman
  • Laurel Clark
  • Susan Howard
  • Alex Flanagan
  • Lane Carlson

Alpha Lambda Delta

Students who experience significant first-year success often consider Alpha Lambda Delta.

This society focuses primarily on first-year students who set themselves apart from other high-achieving students.

You’ll have access to a significant network of scholars who assist with financial support, scholarships, and fundamental skills.

Like most societies, they focus primarily on assisting students with diversifying their career-readiness skills.

You’ll also acquire impressive leadership skills to help you with becoming a necessity in your community.

Some of the most remarkable benefits of Alpha Lambda Delta membership include:

  • Volunteer opportunities
  • $211,000 annual scholarship rewards
  • ALD Leads webinars
  • GS-7 level federal employment opportunities

A few of their most notable members include:

  • Allison Kreiger
  • Cheslie Kryst
  • Marilyn Barrueta
  • Lela E. Buis
  • Roberta Naas

What Are the Most Prestigious Honor Societies: Final Thoughts

From Phi Beta Kappa to Alpha Lambda Delta, there are many honors societies to consider.

If you’re wondering, “What are the most prestigious honor societies?” think about which group is best for you.

You’ll want to choose a society that will further your specific career field and put you in the same room as industry leaders.

Compare your school options.

View the most relevant school for your interests and compare them by tuition, programs, acceptance rate, and other factors important to find your college home.