Phi Kappa Phi formed its name from the initial letters of the Greek words and adopted motto: Philosophìa Krateìto Photôn, "Let the love of learning rule humanity."
Phi Kappa Phi'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."
Phi Kappa Phi was established as a national organization in 1897 at the University of Maine. The San Diego State University Phi Kappa Phi Chapter is chapter 96 and was established November 1965. The chapter annually recognizes students who have extraordinary academic accomplishments at its Spring initiations. Chapter scholarships for graduate study are awarded and outstanding community members are inducted as well as the top 10% of students in the university who have been nominated and elected to join.
There are 283 Phi Kappa Phi chapters nationwide. Phi Kappa Phi’s purpose is to promote the pursuit of excellence in all fields of higher education and to recognize outstanding achievement by students, faculty, and others through the election to membership and through various awards for distinguished achievement.
Invitations to membership are extended in early spring. Induction follows in March or April. Active members receive the Society's journal, The National Forum and have opportunities for scholarships and honoraria.
The SDSU chapter annually provides about $4,000 in stipends for graduate study and study abroad scholarships to SDSU students, and one graduating SDSU senior is chosen by the chapter to compete for national PKP fellowships ranging from $5,000 to $15,000.