Key into Public Service Scholars

Phi Beta Kappa's newest program, Key into Public Service highlights the wide range of opportunities for liberal arts graduates to pursue rewarding careers in public service and features a new scholarship opportunity. 

Phi Beta Kappa will select a national cohort of up to 20 liberal arts and science students who have demonstrated both (1) interest in working in the public sector and (2) academic excellence, with breadth and depth in the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Specifically it seeks applicants exhibiting:

  • Intellectual Curiosity: Ideas excite you and you learn from many viewpoints. You are passionate about your arts and sciences education, and eager to learn more about the world around you.
  • Breadth and Interdisciplinary Depth:  You demonstrate academic excellence in your arts, humanities, mathematics, natural science, or social science major with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. In addition, you also take a range of coursework outside your primary field of interest as demonstrated in your transcript and can communicate why a well-rounded education matters. 
  • Leadership: You can identify how you influence others positively, either on or off campus through academic research, campus extracurricular activities, internships, employment, or community organizing.
  • Service to Others: You would like to pursue a career in government or another form of public service to serve the common good. You can show a meaningful commitment to others by your participation in volunteer/community service activities.


First-year, sophomores, and juniors students. Membership in Phi Beta Kappa is not required for eligibility. 

Scholars must also commit to attend the national convening of scholar cohort in Washington, D.C. in June to receive the award.  This mandatory set of meetings will provide face-to-face training and mentoring opportunities on pathways from liberal arts and sciences education into active citizenship and public service.


Phi Beta Kappa will award Service Scholars with a $5,000 undergraduate scholarship and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in June.


The application is available online.  The application requires an letter of recommendation, transcripts, and an essay and short answer questions about the value of the liberal arts and your interest in public service.


January 15.


Additional information is available on the Key Into Public Service award website.


Class Year

  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior


  • Arts
  • Communication
  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences
  • STEM
  • Multiple


  • English


  • Yearlong

Program Type

  • Public Service
  • Tuition Aid
  • Undergraduate


  • DC

GWU Sponsored?


GWU Endorsement Required?