Phi Kappa Phi



Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society. It recognizes and encourages superior scholarship without restriction as to area of study and promotes “unity and democracy of education.” The society’s motto is “Let the love of learning rule humanity,” and its mission is “to recognize and promote academic excellence in all fields of higher education and to engage the community of scholars in service to others.” Its chapters are located on more than 300 campuses in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Each year, approximately 30,000 new members are initiated.

Each year more than $1 million is awarded to outstanding ΦKΦ members through the society’s various award competitions that include fellowships, scholarships and study abroad grants. The local chapter also sponsors award competitions for UConn inductees (see below for descriptions of local and national awards for which UConn students are eligible).

Phi Kappa Phi at UConn

The University of Connecticut ΦKΦ Chapter (#059) has been active since 1951. Our chapter has an Executive Committee, bylaws, and consists of undergraduate, graduate, faculty and alumni members. Inducted students may qualify for chapter, as well as several national, awards, scholarships and fellowships.


There are three categories of membership in Phi Kappa Phi:

  • Undergraduates (by invitation). Membership invitations are mailed in early March to undergraduate juniors in the top 7% of their class, and to seniors who are in the top 10% of their class. Students who receive these invitations should respond to the instructions provided in the invitation.
  • Graduate Students (by faculty nomination only). Graduate students must be nominated by a member of the Graduate Faculty and be in the top 10% of their class, as determined by the nominating faculty member. Faculty who nominate graduate students for this distinction should be prepared to explain how their nominees stand out among their program peers for their love of learning and their engagement in their departmental (or university or disciplinary) scholarly communities. While the chapter executive board will review all nominations before issuing an invitation, graduate student eligibility for membership in Phi Kappa Phi is primarily determined by the nominating professor.
  • Faculty (by colleague or self-nomination). Outstanding faculty may also be nominated for induction into ΦKΦ. Self-nominations are encouraged. Faculty inductees will be recognized at the induction ceremony and may be invited to serve on the ΦKΦ Executive Committee.

Local Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities at UConn

Instructions and nomination forms for UConn Phi Kappa Phi Chapter award competitions will be available at the beginning of the spring semester.

  • The Esther McCabe/Arland Meade Chapter Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding University of Connecticut Phi Kappa Phi junior inductee for senior year study. This $500 scholarship is named for two former UConn professors who contributed many years of service to our chapter as well as to Phi Kappa Phi at the regional and national levels. Esther McCabe was a professor of Family Studies from 1969 until her retirement in 1988. Arland R. Meade was a professor in the School of Agriculture from 1938 until his retirement in 1986. Selection is based on an exemplary academic record and demonstrated potential for further achievements.
  • The John Tanaka Graduate Student Fellowship is a $1,000 scholarship that is awarded to an outstanding University of Connecticut graduate student member of Phi Kappa Phi. The John Tanaka Award was first given in 1993. It was established in honor of Professor John Tanaka, a leader of our chapter for many years. Selection is based on an applicant’s promise of success in graduate or professional study as evidenced by academic achievement, relevant research experience, service and leadership experience on and off campus, and personal and career goals. Nomination for this award are made by faculty members.

National Scholarships and Fellowships

Instructions and nomination forms for specific Phi Kappa Phi national award competitions may be accessed by clicking on the links below:

  • Phi Kappa Phi National Graduate Fellowship (institutional nomination required). Phi Kappa Phi currently awards fifty Fellowships of $8,500 each, six at $20,000 each, and two at $35,000 each to members entering the first year of graduate or professional study. Each active Phi Kappa Phi chapter may select one candidate from among its local applicants to compete for the Society-wide awards. Active or newly inducted members who plan to attend graduate school may be eligible for this and other national awards.
  • Study Abroad Grants. Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants are designed to help support undergraduates as they seek knowledge and experience in their academic fields by studying abroad. Seventy-five $1,000 grants are awarded each year. YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A MEMBER to receive this award. UConn undergraduates are eligible by virtue of attending an institution with an active Phi Kappa Phi chapter. Other eligibility requirements include: 3.75+ GPA and acceptance to a study abroad program that occurs during the funding period (usually June-June). Award amount = $1,000. The online application must be submitted by March 15 each year.
  • Phi Kappa Phi Love of Learning AwardsLove of Learning Awards help fund post-baccalaureate professional development for active Phi Kappa Phi members to include (but not be limited to): Graduate or professional studies, doctoral dissertations, continuing education, career development, travel related to teaching/research/learning, etc. Two hundred awards, at $1,000 each, are distributed each year.  The online application must be submitted by June 30 each year.
  • Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowships. The Dissertation Fellowship Program supports doctoral candidates who are in the dissertation writing stage of doctoral study. Each year, Phi Kappa Phi awards 10 Dissertation Fellowships of $10,000 each. The online application must be submitted by November 30 of each year.  Information on the application process for the current academic year will be available on or before October 1.

Application Information:

Unless otherwise noted above, detailed instructions for submitting applications for both internal and external awards will be available around the start of the spring semester. Please direct any questions about internal or external scholarships and fellowships to Dr. Vin Moscardelli, Univ. of Connecticut Phi Kappa Phi (#059) Grants and Awards Officer, at Please email any questions about membership or other chapter activities to chapter President Prof. Micki McElya.

Dates to Remember:

  • Early April: Faculty and graduate student nominations are due. Tanaka Graduate Fellowship applications are also due.
  • Late April: Initiation ceremony
  • June 30: Undergraduate online registration is due, after which your certificate and pin will be mailed to you.