Qualifications for election include the study of liberal arts, including a second language and calculus, and a high grade point average. Alpha Chapter was chartered at The University of South Dakota in 1924 and is the only chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in any public or private college or university in South Dakota.
"Students elected into membership exhibit a love of learning that leads them into the study of the liberal arts. Their liberal education hones their ability to make sound evaluations of achievements, theories, and proposals, and to enable them to be thoughtful, reflective citizens," said Judith Lynn Sebesta, chapter president and chair of the history department at USD.
Phi Beta Kappa was founded on Dec. 5, 1776, at the College of William and Mary. Since then, Phi Beta Kappa has evolved to become the nation's leading advocate for the liberal arts and sciences at the undergraduate level.
Phi Beta Kappa elects over 15,000 new members a year from 270 chapters across the United States.
Phi Beta Kappa has over 50 associations � groups made up of Phi Beta Kappa members � in cities across the U.S. They support the ideals of the society through academic, social, and community-based programs.