Click here to view the 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards Winners
Click here to view the 2017 Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards Short List

The Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards are given annually to outstanding scholarly books published in the United States.  Winning works, which are drawn from the fields of the humanities, the social sciences, the natural sciences and mathematics, must be of broad interest and accessible to the general reader. 

The Christian Gauss Award is offered for books in the field of literary scholarship or criticism. The prize was established by the Phi Beta Kappa Senate in 1950 to honor the late Christian Gauss, the distinguished Princeton University scholar, teacher and dean who also served as President of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. To be eligible, a literary biography must have a predominantly critical emphasis.

The Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science is offered for outstanding contributions by scientists to the literature of science. It was first offered in 1959. The intent of the award is to encourage literate and scholarly interpretations of the physical and biological sciences and mathematics. To be eligible, biographies of scientists must have a substantial critical emphasis on their scientific research.

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Award is offered for scholarly studies that contribute significantly to interpretations of the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity. Established in 1960, this award may recognize work in the fields of history, philosophy and religion. These fields are conceived in sufficiently broad terms to permit the inclusion of appropriate work in related fields such as anthropology and the social sciences. Biographies of public figures may be eligible if their primary critical emphasis is on the intellectual and cultural condition of humanity. 

Submissions for the Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards must come directly from the publisher. Submissions sent directly from authors will not be considered. After reading the conditions of eligibility for the awards program, publishers should complete the submission form* and send it to Jen Horneman.

Two copies of each book submitted for consideration must be sent to the Society no later than January 31 of the year of the award. 

The Phi Beta Kappa Society 
Attn: Jen Horneman 
1606 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20009

Please direct any questions about the awards and the application process to or (202) 745-3287.