Academic Honors

Selection of students for honors is based primarily on University records and recommendation (not on application). Some of the disciplinary national honor societies require application and have established criteria for eligibility. Interested students should approach the relevant department or program.

Honor Societies

Besides the annual awards listed in the Scholarships and Awards chapter, in­duction into an honor society acknowledges the student’s outstanding academic performance.

Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society, is devoted to fostering the liberal ideal in education and encouraging the spirit of critical inquiry. Admission is by election, based on the breadth and balance of a student’s career academic program as well as superior performance. The number of initiates is limited by the national body; members of the junior class may constitute only a small fraction of the annual total. The minimum cumulative g.p.a. in recent years has averaged 3.60 for seniors and 3.80 for juniors.

Sigma Beta, Stony Brook’s own honor society, is devoted to academic excellence and University service. Membership is open to students with no more than 80 credits who have, at the conclusion of the most recent fall semester, a 3.50 grade point average as a full-time student using the same criteria as for the Dean’s List.

Sigma Xi is a national honor society for achievement in pure or applied scientific research. Any student associated with the University who has, through research achievements, shown a marked aptitude that is expected to lead to the fulfillment of the requirements for full membership may be nominated by a faculty member or department and elected as an associate member of Sigma Xi.

Tau Beta Pi is the national engineering honor society devoted to honoring students for academic excellence and for service to the engineering profession. Engineering juniors and seniors who have demonstrated these qualities are invited to join Stony Brook’s Omicron chapter of Tau Beta Pi.

The Golden Key International Honor Society recognizes junior and senior students who have achieved at least a 3.30 g.p.a. at Stony Brook. The campus chapter adds to the vitality of the University’s intellectual and social life through sponsorship of community service activities. More information is available at

Various disciplines have their own honor societies. Those with chapters at Stony Brook include Upsilon Pi Epsilon (Computer Science), Sigma Gamma Epsilon (Earth Science), Omicron Delta Epsilon (Economics), Sigma Tau Delta (English), Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering), Phi Sigma Iota (Foreign Languages), Delta Phi Alpha (German), Alpha Eta (Health Technology and Management), Phi Alpha Theta (History), Pi Tau Sigma (Mechanical Engineering); Phi Sigma Tau (Philosophy), Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics), Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science), Alpha Epsilon Delta (pre-medical curriculum), Psi Chi (Psychology), Dobro Slovo (Slavic Languages), and Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology).