Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society

Students in PTK

An honor society for two-year colleges

Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) is an international honor society for two-year colleges.

According to the organization, "the purpose of Phi Theta Kappa shall be to recognize and encourage scholarship among two-year college students. To achieve this purpose, Phi Theta Kappa shall provide opportunity for the development of leadership and service, for an intellectual climate for exchange of ideas and ideals, for lively fellowship for scholars, and for stimulation of interest in continuing academic excellence."

Member eligibility

A chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, Alpha Gamma Nu, was established at Tompkins Cortland Community College in 1977. Students currently matriculated in a degree program will be invited into membership of Phi Theta Kappa in their next semester of attendance after they have achieved a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5 and have completed 15 credit hours or more. 

Transfer students who have completed at least one semester of coursework at Tompkins Cortland and who believe they have met the GPA and total credit requirements by a combination of Tompkins Cortland and prior college coursework should consult with one of the PTK advisors for a review of their academic record to determine membership eligibility status

Non-members participating in PTK activities

Many students, including non-members, get involved in anticipation of being invited into PTK while other students get involved simply to participate in events and activities that promote leadership, scholarship, service, and fellowship.

PTK activities and meetings

Many of the chapter’s local activities are derived from programming topics and outlines suggested by the Phi Theta Kappa headquarters. Each year, the College chapter completes a College Project, which is designed to support the college and its goals. Past College Projects have included activities such as hosting Community College Completion Day, honoring faculty, or assisting with commencement. 

The Tompkins Cortland chapter has been a part of Honors in Action: the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Program, which provides opportunities to apply research and practice real-world problem solving by developing an in-depth, action-oriented project. Past projects have led to student presentations on the role of social media in democracy, and the role of competition in education and the lives of students.

The Tompkins Cortland chapter is also committed to many service projects, such as road-side clean-ups, donating to Better World Books, and working with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

The chapter often sends members to regional and international Phi Theta Kappa conferences to take advantage of the opportunity to meet inspirational and accomplished professionals and to help develop programs, leadership skills, and relationships with other chapters. In the past, members of the Tompkins Cortland chapter have also served as officers at both the regional and international levels. 

If you cannot attend chapter meetings but are interested in participating in planned activities, please feel free to contact the PTK advisors or officers for more details.

PTK advisors

PTK advisors John Troyer and Kelly Murray can be contacted at

Once you receive your invitation from Tompkins Cortland

Membership fee

The membership fee is a one-time fee of $80. Membership can be transferred to other two-year colleges. Once inducted, you are a member for life. Phi Theta Kappans are considered alumni when they leave the chapter in good standing through graduation, transfer, or other means.

Financial assistance may be available to help cover your membership fee.  Please contact one of the PTK advisors for more information.

Financial Benefits of Phi Theta Kappa

Most of the information promoting Phi Theta Kappa refers to the financial benefits of becoming a member; more specifically, it refers to the transfer scholarships, PTK scholarships, and PTK awards you have access to as a member. Please note, in general, transfer scholarships (such as automatic tuition reduction) are available to all members, but the amount and number of these scholarships does depend on the colleges and/or universities you are applying to. Qualifying for transfer scholarships can sometimes be as simple as verifying membership.

On the other hand, requirements for PTK-sponsored scholarships and awards are often more rigorous and may be more competitive, but they are usually more prestigious and more valuable. Participating in your local PTK chapter here at the College can often provide the experience needed to become a strong applicant for these awards.

Once you become a member, you will receive regular updates regarding upcoming scholarships, awards, grants, and study opportunities.

You do not have to be active with the local Chapter here to be eligible for PTK awards and scholarships, although any help with, participation in, and attendance at PTK events is always appreciated and encouraged.


Induction Ceremonies help us recognize you, and all new inductees and their family and friends are invited and encouraged to attend. At Induction, you will be formally introduced to our College administrators, including the College President and Provost. Chapter officers and advisors, often joined by faculty and members of the Board of Trustees, will initiate you into the spirit and mission of our honor society. It is an event not to be missed!

Making the Most of your Membership

Once you join, chapter advisors and officers will keep you informed of our Chapter’s activities, upcoming events, and ways in which you can get involved. The Official Phi Theta Kappa site ( will provide information about international PTK news and events along with your PTK individual and chapter profiles.

Remember, there are many benefits to being an active member, including opportunities to contribute to the school and greater community, to meet fellow PTK members from Tompkins Cortland and other colleges, and to get the most out of your academic work!