Office of Student Life

Sorority and Fraternity Life

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Sorority and Fraternity membership is about building lifelong friendships with individuals that share your values and interests. Every organization participates in community service and learns about diversity, and continually educates their members about leading healthier lives and leading with integrity. Joining a fraternity or sorority connects students with countless alumni and offers a career network that often benefits members as they enter into the workforce.

The Ohio State Sorority and Fraternity community is made up of many unique chapters, representing four governing councils. The community includes agricultural-based organizations, engineering groups, one co-ed scholar house, social organizations and various religious, cultural and ethnic-based fraternities and sororities. Regardless of its particular area of focus, all of Ohio State’s organizations are devoted to community service and philanthropy, leadership development and academic excellence.

The best way to find out which organizations is right for you is to attend recruitment events, register for recruitment, visit chapter websites and get to know the members. Sorority and Fraternity membership is a lifelong commitment, so it’s important to find the group that’s the best fit for you!

Membership in sororities and fraternities is a great source of professional networking, no matter the profession or industry. 1/3 of the United States House of Representatives, 76% of the U.S. Senate, 85% of Supreme Court Justices since 1910, all but 3 U.S. Presidents since 1825, 85% of Fortune 500 key executives and all of the Apollo 11 Astronauts belong to fraternities or sororities.

Many sororities and fraternities at Ohio State have minimum standards requiring members to be involved “outside” of their organizations. Often times, these requirements are even accompanied by community service hours requirements.

For the last 40 consecutive terms, the fraternity and sorority community grade point average has been above the all-undergraduate average. Sorority women and fraternity men consistently surpass their non-Greek counterparts academically, and in the number of leadership roles held on campus. Additionally, many groups offer academic programs to assist members in setting academic and professional goals and assist members in improving study skills.

Not necessarily. Actually, of the over 70 sorority and fraternity organizations on campus, only about 45 maintain chapter facilities. Some organizations may require their members to live in the chapter house, but this requirement varies by organization. It is important to ask current members about their housing requirement prior to joining an organization.

For the organizations that do have facilities, they are often significantly less expensive than the cost of living in university housing. Costs vary by organizations depending on the services offered (i.e. meals, insurance, social dues, national programs and dues, etc.). Some of our facilities have also been approved to house second-year students. You can find more information on second-year living here.

Before being considered for membership in any sorority or fraternity organization, every student must have completed at least 12 credit hours earned through regular course enrollment at Ohio State or a previous institution that are fully matriculated and have good academic standing with the university (a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA, no exceptions) are eligible for participation in member intake/recruitment. Earned credit hours through advanced placement credit and credit by examination do not count towards the 12 credit hours needed to be eligible for joining. Students transferring from other institutions, will only have their previous institution’s grades considered for eligibility only if they are participating in recruitment during their first semester at Ohio State. If a transfer student is participating in recruitment and have grades from Ohio State then those are the grades that will be used during recruitment. For eligibility, cumulative GPA will be based on the GPA information that is available in the Student Information System (SIS) through the Ohio State Registrar.

Women that are interested in participating in the Panhellenic Formal Recruitment will have until the first Tuesday of spring semester at noon to notify the PHA Recruitment Advisor of any grade changes request grade changes from the registrar. Documentation from an Ohio State academic faculty or staff member (ie. Academic Advisor, College Chair, professor, etc) must also be provided with the notification of the grade change and must also reflect the updated cumulative GPA. 

A few areas that chapters will often take into considerations include:

  • Academic achievement
  • Community service
  • University involvement
  • Personal character
  • Letters of recommendation

This list is not exhaustive. Check out specific group’s websites for more information on membership requirements.

No organization in the Ohio State sorority and fraternity community requires that you be related to another member of a fraternity and/or sorority. If a student has a family member that is a member of an organization, many groups refer to these individuals as “legacies." Organizations are primarily concerned with academic achievement, extracurricular involvement and personal character above all else.

 

The new member/membership intake process is simply the time between being a given a “bid” or “invitation to join” and the point of initiation. During this period, new members/aspirants often learn more in-depth information about the organization they are about to join through a formal new member education curriculum.

Sorority and fraternity recruitment takes place all year long. For Panhellenic sororities, formal recruitment occurs during the beginning of spring semester. Freshmen students may join an organization after obtaining 2.5 GPA and earning 12 university credit hours.

If you have any idea of which organization you would be interested in joining, contact their intake/recruitment chair; chapters often list their recruitment officer and their contact information on their websites. For more information about sorority and fraternity recruitment, contact us at sfl@osu.edu 

To learn more about specific recruitment efforts, register here.

In 2001, the university implemented the deferred joining policy which requires prospective members to obtain a 2.5 minimum semesterly and cumulative GPA and earn 12 university credit hours before joining a sorority or fraternity. This requirement allows first-semester students to adapt to the academic and social environments of Ohio State, as well as learn to manage their time effectively before joining. More importantly, this allows organizations to evaluate a potential new member’s academic performance before giving an invitation to join. Some councils also require additional education in the form of an information session or seminar.

Each organization has an officer devoted to intake/recruitment. This person, often referred to as the “intake/recruitment chair,” can answer questions specific to the organization, their membership requirements, time commitments and costs to join. Check out the chapter’s website to learn more about their specific membership requirements.

Drinking is neither required nor promoted by the sorority and fraternity community. Although social events involving alcohol do occur, they are not the central focus of any organization. Students that consume alcohol under the age of 21 jeopardize their fraternity/sorority membership, and open themselves to disciplinary action under the Ohio State Student Code of Conduct and state laws.