Frequently Asked Questions

At Golden Key, we’re here to help you. We want to make your experience as enriching as possible, so if you have a question—whether you’re a student member, officer, advisor or alumnus—don’t hesitate to contact us. But first, check out frequently asked questions for each section. After all, great minds think alike.

Please use the drop-down tool below to see all categories of questions and answers.

  • What is Golden Key?

    Golden Key is the world's largest collegiate honor society. Membership into the Society is by invitation only and applies to the top 15% of college and university sophomores, juniors and seniors, as well as top-performing graduate students in all fields of study, based solely on their academic achievements.

    Golden Key has chapters at over 400 colleges and universities in Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, The Bahamas and the United States.

    Golden Key is a nonprofit organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code.

    Golden Key is registered regionally in Australia under the Australian Charities Not-for-profit Commission, New Zealand under the Charities Commission, Malaysia under the Register of Societies.

  • What are Golden Key’s mission and values?

    Mission: To enable members to realize their potential through the advancement of academics, leadership and service.

    Values: Integrity, Collaboration, Innovation, Respect, Diversity, Excellence and Engagement

  • Who are Golden Key members?

    Golden Key membership has grown to a network of over 2 million members from more than 190 countries. Members include students from all over the world, faculty members, university staff, university presidents, teachers, doctors, engineers, social workers, entrepreneurs, politicians and military leaders, among others. There are also many prominent figures who are members.

  • How is Golden Key governed?

    Board of Directors - consisting of college and university presidents and vice presidents, higher education leaders, corporate leaders, Golden Key student and alumni members and founding members.

    International Leadership Council - comprised of a president, vice president, secretary, alumni member and student member, elected by chapter voting delegates.

    Council of Advisors - with one advisor for each region.

    Council of Student Members - with one student member for each region.

  • When and how was Golden Key founded?

    Golden Key National Honor Society was founded by a group of undergraduate students and faculty members at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga., on November 29, 1977. In 2001, the society changed its name to Golden Key International Honour Society to reflect its diversity and global presence. The spelling of “Honour” was utilized to follow the more globally accepted spelling.

    Globally, Golden Key now operates in the following countries since

    • 1977 - United States of America
    • 1993 - Australia
    • 1997 - Canada
    • 1998 - Malaysia
    • 1999 - New Zealand
    • 2000 - South Africa
    • 2010 - The Bahamas
    • 2011 - India
  • What exactly is an honor society, and why haven't I heard of Golden Key before?

    Honor societies have been recognized by universities in the United States for more than two centuries. The primary role of an honor society includes providing academic recognition to high-achieving students, and establishing professional and social contacts for these students within a network of universities. Honor societies also bring together students from diverse faculties and degree programs within each university and reinforce students’ interaction with university staff.

    Golden Key has grown internationally and now operates at 400 universities and colleges across 8 countries.