Established in 1913 by 22 female students at Washington, D.C.'s, Howard University, Delta Sigma Theta is a nonprofit, public service sorority. Although the primary purpose of Delta Sigma Theta is to promote and support the African-American community, the sorority is an equal opportunity organization and membership is open to qualifying women who display commitment to the goals and purposes of the organization. Membership is open to current students and alumnae.
Current students are eligible to apply for Delta Sigma Theta if they have completed at least 36 quarter hours or 24 semester hours in a recognized baccalaureate program. Students pursuing an associate degree are not eligible. Alumnae who have earned a baccalaureate degree from a qualifying college or university are also eligible to apply. Students must maintain a grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 grading scale or 1.75 on a 3.0 grading scale. Graduates must display the same grade point average on a cumulative basis.
Women who apply for membership in Delta Sigma Theta must be students or alumnae of an accredited degree-granting college or university. Delta Sigma Theta stipulates that accreditation is acceptable only when granted by a recognized agency such as the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or the United States Department of Education. Official accreditation ensures that the college or university meets acceptable levels of quality.
Delta Sigma Theta is committed to leadership and service. Sorority members are expected to serve the community and set a positive example for others to follow. Maintaining active involvement or a position of leadership in other community service or nonprofit organizations displays high ideals, dedication and dependability that may increase the chances of acceptance into sorority membership.
Each Delta Sigma Theta chapter schedules a meeting, commonly known as a rush activity, at which potential members receive extensive information about sorority membership and meet current members. Women who are interested in joining the sorority must attend the rush activity, and women who fail to attend will not qualify for membership at that time. However, attending the activity does not guarantee an invitation for membership. Hazing is strictly prohibited at all stages of the membership process.