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Recently I received an invitation for Phi Kappa Phi honor society. I do not know too much about those organizations and I was wandering what are the benefits (or possible disadvantages) of joining?

I was searching online and people keep mentioning that it is good for your resume, networking etc. However, it seems to me that I just need to pay for membership and they will put me on the list, how could it be beneficial for me?

Could you please tell me if worth considering? And is it really beneficial to have those things on my resume? Do graduate schools or employers pay attention for those?

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Welcome to Academia.SE. I would recommend rephrasing the question to ask about the benefits of joining honor societies, rather than if you should join (which is a purely subjective question). –  aeismail Mar 15 '14 at 21:51
@aeismail Thank you for the comment, I reformulated my question and changed the title. –  NightElfik Mar 15 '14 at 22:35
I believe that Phi Kappa Phi membership also benefits applicants for federal employment –  user22222 Sep 24 '14 at 23:21
As a once-paying member of Phi Kappa Phi, I would suggest you save your money. The only one that gets major traction is Phi Beta Kappa. –  Compass Sep 25 '14 at 1:55

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Do graduate schools pay attention to joining Phi Kappa Phi or other honor societies?

As I understand it, eligibility for membership in Phi Kappa Phi is entirely determined by grades and class rank. If so, it won't help with grad school applications, since the admissions committee already has access to far more information about grades than they would learn from knowing the applicant is a member.

Some fields may have honor societies for which membership conveys more information, but I do not think there is any widely known, field-independent example in the U.S.

In my experience on graduate admissions committees in mathematics, I've never heard anyone discuss honor societies at all.

I joined an honor society as an undergraduate, not because I saw personal benefits to it but because my parents would have been disappointed if I had declined membership. The only consequence for me has been that they occasionally send me a newsletter, but I'm told some people do find membership to be useful or meaningful.

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I joined an honor society as an undergrad. The largest benefit, IMHO, was having access to member-only scholarship applications. Most honor societies offer membership based on your grades--it is basically just an acknowledgement of your academic success as an undergrad, and is not likely to influence your admission to grad school. (Membership in an honor society will help if you decide to transfer as an undergrad.)

It is definitely worth considering mambership, though. There are usually opportunities for members to be active in leadership roles at local,national, and international levels. If you hold such a position, it may influence admissions or hiring decisions, and it certainly won't hurt your chances.

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I am actually already a graduate student but I am considering going to another graduate school for PhD. Thanks for your insight. –  NightElfik Mar 16 '14 at 18:11

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