Phi Theta Kappa: The Official Honor Society for Two-Year Colleges

Phi Theta Kappa: The Official Honor Society for Two-Year Colleges

Melissa W.

There’s a bit of an assumption that memberships to honor societies are reserved for students attending and excelling in “traditional” four-year colleges and universities, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Community/two-year colleges are just as important, offering degree programs for some of the most essential careers and boasting some extremely talented students. Additionally, some students use community colleges as a springboard for their education, moving on to four-year and master’s programs. Phi Theta Kappa is an honor society that celebrates those students and helps prepare them for their educational and professional careers.

Founded in 1910 at Stevens College in Missouri, Phi Theta Kappa is an international honor society for students studying at four-year and two-year colleges and universities, though it is most popular among community college settings. The American Association of Community Colleges named PTK the official honor society for two-year colleges, making it the only honor society with such a distinction. The organization models itself after other prestigious honor societies like Phi Beta Kappa with similar missions: “to recognize academic achievement of college students and to provide opportunities for them to grow as scholars and leaders.” 

In order to qualify for membership, students must attend a college or university that has a recognized Phi Theta Kappa chapter and have completed a minimum of 12-hours of coursework toward either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. Students working toward a 1-year certificate may also apply if they have completed a minimum of 6 hours of coursework. Additionally, students must have a minimum of a 3.5 GPA.

Member benefits include up to $90 million in awarded scholarships, networking and resume-building opportunities, career training, academic advising/transfer assistance, and corporate discounts. PTK partners with over 750 four-year colleges and universities, giving them an edge on transfer assistance for students seeking to further their education beyond the two-year degree program.

Phi Theta Kappa has over 3.5 million members in roughly 1,300 chapters across 10 nations. You’ll recognize these scholars on graduation day by their gold satin stoles and blue and gold honor cords.

Below is an example of a similar product offered at Senior Class Graduation Products, though students are recommended they check with their chapters for specific purchasing information.

royal blue and bright gold honor cord from senior class graduation products

Are you a member of PTK? Let us know in the comments!


Cover photo by Nikolas Noonan on Unsplash

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