Phi Beta Kappa is the national collegiate liberal arts honorary society. Founded in 1776, the Society seeks to promote and to recognize high levels of academic attainment in undergraduate studies that lead to a liberal education. The society has chapters only at leading academic institutions in the United States. Election to membership in the Society is regarded by many as the most prestigious honor that can be conferred upon students majoring in one of the liberal arts and sciences. Local chapters establish within national guidelines the specific requirements for eligibility and select students for membership.