University of Michigan Chapter of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi
University of Michigan Phi Kappa Phi


In an effort to protect our members and in alignment with University guidelines during the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, Phi Kappa Phi Chapter 36 has canceled in-person programs for the winter 2020 semester and is extending deadlines and implementing alternative formats for membership activities. The Executive Committee is working virtually and available to assist through the end of the semester. 

The program changes involving membership, Project Grant Awards and fellowships, and initiation are outlined below. 

Membership Applications:

Invitations have been sent out to students who meet the criteria for membership, however, there was an error in the stated access codes. The individual access code invitees received should be entered on the PKP Society website without the "UMICH" portion. The deadline to apply for membership has been extended to April 19, 2020. The national PKP society office has allowed chapters to accept members until June 30th 2020, so we have extended our deadline for membership until June 30th as well.   

Please contact us if you still have difficulty with the access code, direct questions to and use the subject “membership”.  

Information Sessions:

Due to the cancellation of the March 16th information session, members of the Executive Committee will host a Virtual Information Session on Wednesday, April 15th at 4:00 pm. Invitees can register for the BlueJeans office hours here, registration with a Umich email address is required.

2020 Initiation:

The in-person initiation ceremony has been canceled and new members will receive their membership pins and certificates by mail, directly from the Society in May. Anyone who purchased guest tickets, based on our records, will receive instructions to request a refund by email no later than Friday, April 3, 2020. The deadline to request a refund is May 7, 2020, and any unclaimed refunds will be donated to the chapter.

In the place of an initiation ceremony, Chapter 39 will honor it’s newest members with the following:

  • Distributing an email announcement of 2020 new members to the current chapter members and U-M academic deans and directors.

  • Placing an ad in the local and campus news listing the 2020 new members

Chapter 39 Project Grant Awards:

New and continuing members can apply for the University of Michigan Chapter 39 Grant Awards as well as the Society scholarships and fellowships. The deadline for Project Grant Awards for spring and summer has been extended to April 19th. Also, in light of the current implications of COVID19 on work and travel we have made some adjustments this year:

  • Applicants are asked to include a contingency plan statement to explain how they would adjust their research plans (e.g. methods, locations, length of time) and the related expenses that grant funding would support.

  • New this year, our chapter will offer Project Grant Awards for the late-fall semester and winter semester research. Applications will be available on the chapter website on July 10th  and the deadline to apply will be September 10th. 

Please direct any questions to and use the subject “project grants and fellowship”.


The Society has extended the deadline for Fellowship applications. U-M members of Phi Kappa Phi who would like to be nominated for the Fellowship must submit their applications to the chapter for consideration by April 19th and a nomination from the chapter will be submitted by April 30, 2020.  

Please direct any questions about the Fellowship process to  and use the subject “project grants and fellowship”. 

President Schlissell addresses the inductees


The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation's oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society. Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, the distinguishing characteristic of Phi Kappa Phi is its belief that all branches of higher education merit recognition. It extends its interest and eligibility across the entire range of academic inquiry and calls attention to the fact that today's world needs a breadth of understanding far beyond that of a specialist who restricts his or her outlook to a single area of study.

The Society of Phi Kappa Phi annually inducts approximately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff, and alumni. Once inducted, Phi Kappa Phi members gain a lifelong passport to a global network of academic and professional opportunities. Since its founding, more than 1 million members have been initiated. Some of the Society's more notable members include former President Jimmy Carter, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, writers David Baldacci and John Grisham, NASA astronaut Wendy Lawrence, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Phi Kappa Phi has chapters on more than 300 select college and university campuses in North America and the Philippines. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff, and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Society's 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."

For five consecutive years since 2010, the University of Michigan has received the Society's prestigious Chapter of Excellence Award, one of only a handful chapters in Phi Kappa Phi history to achieve this distinction. Along with top students in the University, chapter members include President Mark Schlissel, former President Mary Sue Coleman, Provost Martha Pollack, several Deans and Distinguished University Professors.

As the core of its mission, Phi Kappa Phi annually award nearly $1 million each year in scholarships and other grants through the Society and its Chapters. Since 2008, the U-M Chapter has awarded a total of $150,000 to its student members.

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