About Us

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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 December of 2012, 192 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. PHI BETA DELTA CREST