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Each year, the JMU chapter honors juniors and seniors in all majors with outstanding academic achievements as demonstrated by their high cumulative grade point averages. Phi Kappa Phi, along with Phi Beta Kappa, is the most selective of all the honor societies on JMU's campus; typically no more than five percent of the junior and senior classes are offered admission to the chapter. 

The JMU chapter, in conjunction with the Xi of Virginia Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, yearly makes an Honors Thesis Award. This award carries a cash prize of $500. Each department on campus nominates the best thesis in each major, and members of the honors societies choose the best two theses. Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa also sponsor an awards luncheon honoring all award nominees, their advisors, the judges, and candidates for prestigious post-graduate awards. The winners of the thesis competition are named at this event. 

Each spring students sponsored by the chapter submit applications for Phi Kappa Phi awards and scholarships. An advisor from the faculty assists students in preparing and submitting their applications. JMU chapter students have had considerable success winning various national awards. 

In the fall, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa hold a pizza reception honoring sophomore students with high GPAs. Besides congratulating students on their achievements, this reception encourages them to continue striving for academic excellence, and explains the role of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta Kappa and what is required to qualify for these societies. Usually about 100 students attend.

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