About Us

Phi Beta Delta, founded at California State University, Long Beach in 1986, was established as an organization in 1987 with 38 chartered chapters, many of which had existed for a considerable time previously at the local level. It is the first honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education. As of March 2021, 206 chapters have been chartered.

Phi Beta Delta traces its background to the eighteenth-century founding of Phi Beta Kappa. In the nineteenth century, Greek fraternities divided into the social, professional, and academic Greeks. Phi Beta Delta is an academic and professional society, unique because it is resolutely interdisciplinary and international. Its formal organization brought together numerous pre-existing internally-oriented campus groups.

Our Goals

  • To recognize the scholarly achievement of international students and scholars, who have studied abroad and faculty and staff who are involved in international activities.
  • To serve as a vehicle for the development of academic-based international programming.
  • To provide a network on each campus of faculty, staff, and students involved in international endeavors.
  • To extend this network to thousands of members in chapters throughout the world.


  • Phi (philomatheia) - love of knowledge
  • Beta (biotremmonia) - valuing of human life
  • Delta (diapheren) - achieving excellence


The colors chosen for the honor society were red and gold. Red symbolizes the strength and diversity of humankind and gold is a symbol for the sun from which all people and cultures draw strength and life


The Crest of the Society was designed with a globe, a torch, the sun, a book, and a shield.

The globe represents the international perspective of the Society's members. The torch symbolizes the leadership and influence of the Society. The sun stands for the energy from which all cultures draw strength. The book symbolizes the coining and sharing of knowledge. The shield represents the preservation of academic freedom.

The Society's motto -- "Scientia Mutua Mundi "(World's Shared Knowledge) -- is inscribed at the base of the crest.

Please click on the following link to view or download the Phi Beta Delta crest in different versions of gold, black or red.


  • The Medallion
    The presidential chain of office in the society as with the chains of office in civic and leaned societies represents the links of succession over the years, the successful passing of responsibility over the decades which has forged links with the past. The chain was the gift of our first overseas chapter, GAMMA SIGMA crafted in Mexico from gold of the Sierras, where the mines of the native people's were worked long before the emergence of modern nations, a reminder that our society transcends boundless. The laurel leaves which adorn them propose we look towards the beginnings of knowledge in ancient Athens, passed to the scholars by the gods of Olympus. Display it with pride.

  • The Pin
    The presidential pin was worn by leaders of our society, and is a reminder of the continuity of Greek life over the generations in higher education. Wear it with honor.

  • The Gavel
    The gavel is the president's tool of authority, the means of calling for order and moving the society's business with dispatch. Use it with wisdom. Use it with wisdom. With the gavel I give you the constitution and bylaws. Protect them and our traditions.