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.

Phi Kappa Phi is a global network of the best and brightest students and faculty from all academic disciplines—a community of scholars and professionals building an enduring legacy for future generations. Only a very select group of students is invited to join this organization.

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. Click here to learn more about the various national award opportunities available to both graduate and undergraduate students.  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 the University of Connecticut

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.

Chapter Executive Board:  Prof. Sean Forbes (President), Prof. Micki McElya (Vice-President), Prof. Lawrence K. Silbart (Treasurer), Prof. Peter Kaminsky (Secretary), Dr. Vin Moscardelli (Grants & Awards Officer)


2021 Dates to Remember

April 9:  Faculty and graduate student nominations are due at this time.  They should be submitted using the forms found below.  Applications for the Tanaka Graduate Fellowship (an internal fellowship of $1,000 awarded by the chapter) are also due at this time.  See below for details.

April 23:  Initiation Date.  Normally, this is an in-person event for students, families, and mentors.  We will post additional details on this year’s initiation ceremony as they become available.

June 30:  If you are an undergraduate who was invited to join this spring, your online registration must be completed by this deadline.  Your certificate and pin will be mailed to you.  The access code will expire and online registration closes at 11:59PM on June 30.

Please email any membership inquiries to chapter President Sean Forbes.



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. The access code that appears in your invitation will expire at 11:59PM on June 30, but the initiation ceremony will take place on April 23, so don’t delay!
  • 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.   The nomination form for Graduate Students may be found here.  This form is due before 5:00PM on April 9, 2021.
  • 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.  The nomination form for faculty may be found here and is due before 5:00PM on April 9, 2021Please direct any questions to chapter President Sean Forbes at sean.forbes@uconn.edu.


Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities – Local (UConn Chapter 059)

Instructions and nomination forms for UConn Phi Kappa Phi Chapter award competitions can be accessed by clicking on the links below.  Please direct questions about local and national fellowship opportunities available through Phi Kappa Phi to chapter Grants and Awards officer Vin Moscardelli at vin.moscardelli@uconn.edu.


  • 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.  Application may be found here and is due April 9, 2021.


  • 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.  Nomination forms may be found here and are due April 9, 2021.


Phi Kappa Phi Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities – National 

Instructions and nomination forms for 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 in fall 2019 may be eligible for this and other national awards listed here.  The national deadline is April 15, so students seeking UConn’s nomination for this national award must complete the online application before 5:00PM on April 1, 2021.


  • 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 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.

Submission of internal scholarship & fellowship application/nomination materials:

For internal awards, please assemble all requested materials and use the links above to submit via Qualtrics.  Recommenders may send their letters directly to vin.moscardelli@uconn.edu.

Please direct any questions about internal or external fellowships to Dr. Vin Moscardelli, Univ. of Connecticut Phi Kappa Phi (#059) Grants and Awards Officer, at vin.moscardelli@uconn.edu.