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About Membership

Membership in Sigma Tau Delta is by invitation, extended through a local chapter on behalf of the international organization. Students who qualify for membership must apply through the chapter on their campus. (See chapter directory for colleges and universities.) Once a student contacts the local chapter, the Advisor will check the qualifications and, if approved, recommend that student for membership.

Categories of Membership

Student Membership

Student membership is available to undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled at a college or university with an active Sigma Tau Delta chapter and who meet the following academic qualifications.

  • Candidates for undergraduate membership must have completed a minimum of two college courses in English language or literature beyond the usual requirements in freshman English. The candidate must have a minimum of a B or equivalent average in English and in general scholarship, must rank* at least in the highest thirty-five percent of his/her class, and must have completed at least three semesters or five quarters of college course work. (Local chapters may raise, but not lower, these criteria.) Candidates for undergraduate membership need not be majoring or minoring in the discipline of English. Where class rank is unavailable, the candidate shall have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Candidates for graduate membership who did not hold undergraduate membership must be enrolled in a graduate program in English or one of its specializations, have completed six semester hours of graduate work or the equivalent, and have a minimum grade point average of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Read prerequisites and rights of student membership

Faculty Membership

Faculty membership is available to faculty members and administrators at a college or university with a Sigma Tau Delta chapter, who have a degree in English. Induction fees for faculty members who serve as Chapter Advisors are waived. Read prerequisites and rights of faculty membership.

Alumni Membership

Sigma Tau Delta members are members for life, becoming alumni when they cease current enrollment as student or faculty members at a college or university with an active chapter. Read prerequisites and rights of alumni membership.

Honorary Membership

  • Local honorary members may be initiated by any chapter upon the recommendation of the Chapter Advisor, the chapter president, and by a three-fourths majority vote of those attending the meeting at which such recommendation is made.

    Honorary membership should be reserved for special circumstances, such as to honor a non-member (e.g., a faculty member, an administrator at the college/university, an invited speaker) who has made a significant contribution to the chapter, or to honor a student who has made contributions to the local chapter but who is unable to fulfill membership requirements due to special circumstances. Honorary members are ineligible to apply for scholarships or awards, or to submit for journal publication or the international convention.
  • National honorary members may be designated as such by a majority vote of the Sigma Tau Delta Board of Directors in recognition for outstanding achievement.

How much does it cost?

Each new member pays a one-time international induction fee of $45 for a lifetime membership. Local chapter dues may vary.

What are the benefits of membership?

See Membership Benefits.

Is there an English honor society for two-year colleges?

If your school does not grant baccalaureate or higher degrees, check to see if it has a Sigma Kappa Delta chapter, the English honor society for students in two-year colleges. For further information, contact:

Sheila Byrd
Executive Director
Sigma Kappa Delta
Calhoun Community College
PO Box 2216
Decatur, AL 35609-2216
(256) 306-2720

Is there an English honor society for secondary schools?

Yes! The National English Honor Society (NEHS) serves secondary school students and English teachers by providing, on the secondary level, many of the same benefits that Sigma Tau Delta provides for students in four-year colleges and universities--national recognition, scholarships and awards, writing opportunities, and networking with others who share enthusiasm for, and accomplishment in, the language arts.

For further information, visit the NEHS website at or contact NEHS.