Founded in 1925 by a small group of optometrists in Illinois, Beta Sigma Kappa now has student chapters in every school and college of optometry in the United States, with two in Canada and one in Puerto Rico. The Society supports the formation and activities of student chapters and works with the schools and colleges to develop programs that foster academic excellence.
Members represent scholastic excellence as honor students in the schools and colleges of optometry, as well as noteworthy professionals in the field—educators, scientists, and practitioners.
Honorary members need not be optometrists, but are those who performed outstanding service to BSK or to optometry.
HONOR STUDENT MEMBERS:
To be eligible for BSK membership, a student must attain a grade point average of 3.5 in their first professional year, a cumulative GPA of 3.4 in the first two years, a 3.3 cumulative GPA for the first three years and a 3.2 cumulative GPA for all four professional years.
In addition, ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP in the society is open to:
1. A person who has performed some signal service for or on
behalf of the profession of optometry;
2. A person of noteworthy professional or scientific attainment in the field of eye and vision care, either as an educator, scientist or practitioner.
When student applicants above academic achievement they are presented with certificates of membership in Beta Sigma Kappa. The graduating student member in each student chapter with the highest cumulative grade-point average is awarded a distinctive Silver Medal.
Each year, students are encouraged to submit grant proposals for research grant proposals. The Board of Regents carefully reviews the proposals, and the Society awards financial support to the projects deemed worthy.
Student members become ACTIVE MEMBERS upon graduation. Honorary members are ACTIVE MEMBERS when they join the Society. Through membership dues, active members support the various activities of the organization, including funding important research projects within the schools and colleges of optometry and funding AOSA guest lecturers.