What are sororities?
If your Tik Tok For You Page looked anything like ours this fall, it was filled with Alabama “Rush” videos. While some people were actually part of, or once a part of Greek life, many who had this content on their feed had never even been in a sorority. For them, the videos were probably a bit confusing. So what even is a “sorority”? A sorority is defined as a society for female students in a university or college, typically for social purposes. While this definition is very vague, those in sororities know it is much more than that. Sororities are organizations that have members with similar values, interests, goals and aspirations. While a sorority can be a great way to meet new people and branch out, Greek life is an amazing way to help others. Members of these individual sororities work together to achieve a common goal, usually relating to their philanthropy. Each sorority has a philanthropy or charity that they work together with.
Types of sororities
These organizations were founded to support African-American, Hispanic, and Asian women’s needs. They work towards helping their members in both their academic and social lives. They started out, and continue to use their collective strengths to assist those in need in their communities.
An example of this is Delta Sigma Theta, founded in 1913 at Howard University. These women took part in the Women’s Suffrage March in Washington, D.C. the year they were established. They continue to work towards aiding and assisting women today as well.
The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) governs the historically African-American sororities and fraternities.
The four NPHC sororities are:
Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA)
Delta Sigma Theta (ΔΣΘ)
Sigma Gamma Rho (ΣΓΡ)
Zeta Phi Beta (ΖΦΒ)
National Panhellenic Conference Sororities
These organizations are governed by the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) which can aid these members financially, emotionally, and academically. There are over 4 million members of these organizations across the country. There are 26 NPC sororities. These organizations have their own symbols, colors, mottos and logos that differentiate them from other organizations, which is something that not all organizations have. They also have their own philanthropic focuses that as an organization they work together to aid. In addition to this, they also have alumni events and outreach efforts to continue this sisterhood after college has ended.
The 26 NPC sororities are:
Alpha Chi Omega (AXΩ)
Alpha Delta Pi (ΑΔΠ)
Alpha Epsilon Phi (ΑΕΦ)
Alpha Gamma Delta (ΑΓΔ)
Alpha Omicron Pi (ΑΟΠ)
Alpha Phi (ΑΦ)
Alpha Sigma Alpha (ΑΣΑ
Alpha Sigma Tau (ΑΣΤ)
Alpha Xi Delta (ΑΞΔ)
Chi Omega (XΩ)
Delta Delta Delta (ΔΔΔ)
Delta Gamma (ΔΓ)
Delta Phi Epsilon (ΔΦΕ)
Delta Zeta (ΔΖ)
Gamma Phi Beta (ΔΦΒ)
Kappa Alpha Theta (ΚΑΘ)
Kappa Delta (ΚΔ)
Kappa Kappa Gamma (ΚΚΓ)
Phi Mu (ΦΜ)
Phi Sigma Sigma (ΦΣΣ)
Pi Beta Phi (ΠΒΦ)
Sigma Delta Tau (ΣΔΤ)
Sigma Kappa (ΣΚ)
Sigma Sigma Sigma (ΣΣΣ)
Theta Phi Alpha (ΘΦΑ)
Zeta Tau Alpha (ΖΤΑ)
These organizations cater to women with their religious beliefs. The purpose of these organizations is to strengthen the spiritual faith of its members, along with performing acts of kindness to others. There are religious organizations for women of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
These organizations are catered to women in a specific field of study. They are meant to aid its members academically. The members of these organizations have a similar major and likely are taking similar courses. This can be extremely beneficial for difficult majors, and a way to make friends while focusing on your studies. These organizations work to mentor and help one another with their coursework, while all having a similar end-goal. That goal may be pre-med, business, humanities, and more.
No matter what you are looking for in college, you can likely find it in one of these sororities! Look on your university or college’s website to see what sororities may be available for you to join and that cater to your wants and needs!
What do sororities do?
Sororities are all about sisterhood. This can go as far as its members working together for a huge philanthropy event. Or it can mean having someone to watch the Bachelor with every Monday. Sororities were made to help women with the same values and ideals grow together throughout their collegiate years.
While sororities on each campus differ in their traditions and member requirements, it is safe to say that all of these organizations have events throughout the year for its members, and members of their community. Sororities have social events throughout the semester with other sororities and fraternities to get to know one another. These events may be put on as a way to socialize with one another, or as a way to give back in a philanthropic way. Many sororities also have study times, where they can meet with other members and study together. This can be a great way to help each other with their classwork and work together productively. Sororities also have weekly or bi-weekly meetings which are meant to inform its members on events coming up related to their organization. Many sororities also throw formals and date parties, which are typically themed events for their members to go to together.
This list of events and occasions gives an idea of what typical sororities do together
Date Parties & Social Events
Big Little Events
Seminars & Educational Sessions
Study & Class Group Events
In most cases, regardless of the sorority’s purpose, sororities are a way for women to meet friends in college and many stay in touch well after their collegiate years.
Pros of joining a sorority
You are probably starting to think, should I join a sorority? There are plenty of benefits to joining a sorority that can positively impact your collegiate years, and those after too.
Joining a sorority is an awesome way to meet new people on campus. These include many women that you may have never met without your organization! While a common stereotype is that all sororities do is party, that is far from the truth. The philanthropy, academic and other events held by sororities enrich their members’ social life and really help them branch out. Sororities give women a feeling of sisterhood, meaning there is always someone to rely on no matter what.
With so many members, it is likely you will find someone in your same or similar major which can be beneficial for academic success. Sororities put academics first by having a GPA requirement for its members. Many sororities also have tutors, study hours and other resources to help its members achieve academic success. As stated above, academic sororities exist and are a great way to meet others in similar majors as yours. This is a fantastic way to focus on your studies but still socialize!
Greek life gives members the opportunity to give back in a way that may not be possible without being part of the organization. Greek organizations raise millions of dollars annually for their specific charity or philanthropy. This gives its members a greater sense of purpose and another reason to come together to work towards a common goal.
Joining a sorority is an amazing way to step out of your comfort zone and take on responsibilities you may have never thought you’d be able to do. Each organization has many different leadership titles, some more involved than others. These leadership opportunities can help differentiate you from other people and it can really help post-graduation.
Cons of joining a sorority
Along with the benefits of joining a sorority, there are a few things to consider. You may have to ask yourself, is joining a sorority worth it?
To join a sorority, one must fulfill a financial obligation which is often thousands of dollars per year. Sorority members are required to pay “dues” to their organization. This money is used for many different things, like house up-keep, social and service projects, and events put on throughout the year for its members. While the money is being used for the organization, it can be difficult for a sorority member to pay, especially if they have to pay for tuition, food, housing, etc. Most sororities have payment plans and scholarships available for its members to make this easier on its members! You can talk to your sorority’s head of finance, or your school’s Greek life office for more information on ways you can save!
Many sororities have events where they require a certain number of its members to participate. There are usually also weekly or bi-weekly meetings and events that its members are required to go to. At times, there are more time commitments than others, like for sorority recruitment. If you are good at time management, this should not be an issue. But some find it difficult to manage school, work and getting the most out of their sorority. Again, talk to your sorority or Greek life office for more information about how you can make joining a sorority work for you!
Quick tips on how to get into a sorority
So now that you know more about what sororities are and what they do, you might be interested in joining one! Here are some quick tips on things to keep in mind when looking to join a sorority
Keep your conversations with the current members genuine and memorable. If you can relate to their philanthropy or their hobbies or values, talk about that! Having something in common with current members is a great way to have a memorable experience at their house
Do not talk about partying! Members want to get to know you and your most genuine self. Talking about partying can bring up some red flags and show that you are only interested in their sorority for that reason only.
Keep an open mind! You may have pre-existing ideas about a specific sorority before you even walk in the door. You may have heard which is the “best” sorority from friends, family members, social media, etc. Do not listen to them! Join the organization where you feel the most comfortable and welcome. This will be your home for the rest of your collegiate years; the only one you should be thinking about is you!
Be confident in yourself. Trust your gut when you feel like a certain organization isn’t quite the right fit for you. Don’t be nervous when you are learning about each organization. Walking into a house full of women in a sorority can be overwhelming, especially if it is one that you want to be a part of! Remember to be yourself and if it is meant to be, it will be.
10 largest sororities by members
To get a feel for the amount of current members in each sorority, below is a list of the 10 largest sororities by membership:
Chi Omega (about 300,000 members)
Kappa Alpha Theta (about 250,000 members)
Delta Delta Delta (about 238,000 members)
Kappa Kappa Gamma (about 235,000 members)
Pi Beta Phi (about 230,000 members)
Kappa Delta (about 230,000 members)
Delta Zeta (about 220,000 members)
Alpha Delta Pi (about 215,000 members)
Alpha Chi Omega (about 210,000 members)
Zeta Tau Alpha (about 207,000 members)
10 largest sororities by chapters
Below is a list of the largest sororities by quantity of active chapters:
Alpha Omicron Pi (184 active chapters)
Alpha Gamma Delta (182 active chapters)
Gamma Phi Beta (173 active chapters)
Chi Omega (171 active chapters)
Delta Zeta (160 active chapters)
Zeta Tau Alpha (157 active chapters)
Alpha Phi (154 active chapters)
Delta Gamma (146 active chapters)
Kappa Delta (142 active chapters)
Delta Delta Delta (138 active chapters)
If your sorority is not listed above, check out our shop site! We offer the best apparel and designs for all 26 NPC sororities. If you are interested in joining a sorority at your college or university, we recommend reaching out to your school’s Greek Life office for more information. We wish you the best of luck in finding your new home!