Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter notified 48 seniors Thursday afternoon that they had been selected to join the prestigious honors society.
The notifications marked the second of three opportunities for the Class of 2013 to join Phi Beta Kappa. The society makes its first selections at the end of a class’s junior year, when 24 members are chosen, and the third and last opportunity comes just before graduation, when approximately 96 students are selected to join.
Although the main criterion for eligibility is a student’s GPA, the committee also considers his or her transcript and letters of recommendation. According to the website of the Harvard chapter, the committee pays particular attention to the difficulty and diversity of a student’s program of study.
Sumit Malik ’13, an applied math concentrator, believes that his varied interests helped him to be selected as one of the “Senior 48.”
“I’ve been interested in classes across multiple academic disciplines,” said Malik. “I’m studying applied math with economics and computer science and also getting a secondary in English.”
Patrick W, Lauppe ’13, a literature concentrator, thinks that Phi Beta Kappa recognized his commitment to challenging himself.
“I’ve always felt the need to put a class in my schedule that challenges me quite a bit,” said Lauppe, who is also a Crimson arts editor. “For example, this semester I decided to take CS50.”
Lauppe was particularly happy to receive the commendation, as it helps to alleviate some of his stress about applications.“
This is just suggesting that, despite everything, I’ve maintained commitment to my studies, and it’s just a little kicker in this race for jobs and fellowships,” he said.
The honor, however, was not enough to distract these accomplished students from their full schedules.
“I haven’t really had time to react to it,” said Katherine S. Xue, a chemical and physical biology concentrator.
“The most immediate thing for me was to put the final touches on my English essay, which I had to turn in very shortly.”