Introduction To Fraternity Life At San Diego State University

As students start another semester, many new and returning students find themselves looking to explore the social and student organizations that play a vital role in fostering a unique college experience.

For many students new to Greek life, learning about the organizations and their values is a big part of their college experience.

For first-year students who are unsure what to expect from Greek life during college, joining a fraternity sorority can be a source of anxiety.

We’ve compiled a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions we hear from San Diego State University students regarding fraternities.

Are fraternities popular at San Diego State?

Yes, fraternities are popular at San Diego State University.

SDSU has more than two dozen fraternities on campus, and the 14 fraternity chapters that make up the Interfraternity Council have more than 1,100 members combined.

Each fraternity averages over 100 members, making fraternity chapters one of the largest social groups on campus and university athletics.

What percent of SDSU students participate in fraternities?

Twelve percent of students at San Diego State are in a fraternity or sorority.

Based on Fall 2021 enrollment numbers, of the 38,000 undergraduates at SDSU, more than 3,800 are part of a traditional or multicultural Greek chapter.

Fraternities tend to be smaller than sororities, with the average fraternity being half the size of the average sorority chapter.

An average of more than 3,800 members of traditional or multicultural Greek chapters are undergraduates at SDSU.

How many fraternities are there at SDSU?

San Diego State University has 23 fraternities on campus, including traditional Greek and multicultural chapters.

All Greek chapters at SDSU are governed by one of four governing councils, which coordinate Greek activities and serve as a liaison between the individual chapters and the university.

The three councils that govern fraternity life at San Diego State University are the Interfraternity Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the United Sorority & Fraternity Council.

The Interfraternity Council is specific to fraternities, while the others govern fraternities and sororities.

The 14 fraternities at San Diego State University governed by the Interfraternity Council (IFC) are:

  1. Alpha Epsilon Pi
  2. Beta Theta Pi – Reactivating charter
  3. Delta Chi
  4. Delta Sigma Phi
  5. Delta Upsilon
  6. Kappa Alpha Order
  7. Phi Delta Theta
  8. Phi Kappa Psi
  9. Pi Kappa Alpha
  10. Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  11. Sigma Chi
  12. Sigma Phi Epsilon
  13. Tau Kappa Epsilon
  14. Zeta Beta Tau

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) governs historically black sororities and fraternities across the country.

There are two active NPHC fraternities at SDSU, and two are in the process of reactivating their charters.

Those fraternities are:

  1. Alpha Phi Alpha – Reactivating charter
  2. Kappa Alpha Psi
  3. Omega Psi Phi – Reactivating charter
  4. Phi Beta Sigma

The United Sorority & Fraternity Council (USFC) governs culturally-oriented sororities and fraternities at SDSU, including Greek chapters for specific racial, ethnic, and social groups on campus.

The five fraternities governed by the USFC are:

  1. Alpha Psi Rho
  2. Beta Gamma Nu
  3. Gamma Zeta Alpha
  4. Nu Alpha Kappa
  5. Sigma Lambda Beta

The other governing council at SDSU, the College Panhellenic Association, governs sororities on campus.

It is a San Diego State University tradition during Homecoming to announce the winners of the two Dean’s Trophy Awards, the Helios Cup and the Carlson Cup to four outstanding Greek-letter organizations that have exemplified what it means to be an excelling fraternity or sorority chapter on our campus. Learn more about the awards here.

When does the fraternity rush begin at SDSU?

At San Diego State University, fraternity recruitment occurs twice a year at the start of each semester.

Typically the fall semester is the more popular time to rush, and some fraternities may limit their recruitment to just the fall.

The Interfraternity Council manages the recruitment process, which asks all potential new members to register online to formalize the process and ensure prospective members meet the academic criteria for joining.

Prospective members are then invited to a weeklong series of events hosted by the individual fraternities, allowing students to learn more about each chapter and meet the members.

The recruitment process ends with Bid Day when new members are given bids and invited to join the fraternity. Not all students participating in the rush process are offered a bid, as most fraternities are selective in their membership.

This process varies for multicultural fraternities, which are smaller and have a less formal recruitment process.

How much does it cost to join a fraternity at SDSU?

The average new member joining a fraternity at San Diego State University pays $785 in chapter dues and fees per semester.

This figure is from the latest available data from the Spring 2019 semester so costs may have increased, but this amount is an average as specific prices vary by fraternity chapter.

These chapter dues cover costs for the local as the national chapter of the fraternity and the cost of events throughout the semester.

Students should also expect to pay additional out-of-pocket expenses for Greek events throughout the semester, including formal and off-campus activities, which are not covered by chapter dues.

At Iconic on Alvarado, you can live the SDSU dream within walking distance of campus. We’re more than a place to live, we’re a community where you can study, play and renew.

Do fraternities have their own houses at SDSU?

Yes, some fraternities at San Diego State University have their own houses in Fraternity Row.

It’s not common for multicultural or religious fraternities to have their own houses. Still, fraternities governed by the Interfraternity Council tend to have official chapter houses or unofficial off-campus residences for members.

The area known as Fraternity Row at San Diego State is south of the stadium, between Aztec Walk and Hardy Avenue. This is where you’ll find the houses for several more prominent fraternities, including Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Phi Kappa Psi.

It’s common for fraternity members to live in the chapter house during their second and/or third year on campus.

To live in the chapter house, members must submit a housing exemption with the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life.

To qualify for the housing exemption, students must meet specific grade point average criteria and not be in any disciplinary review with the university.

For chapters without houses or those who no longer live in the house, it’s common for groups of members to rent an off-campus apartment or home together.

Other housing options at San Diego State

If you’re a Greek or non-Greek student looking for off-campus housing that provides convenient access to campus and an array of floor plan options, look no further than Iconic on Alvarado!

The Iconic on Alvarado student housing midrise is just a few blocks from the northern edge of San Diego State University, on 6625 Alvarado Rd, with the fully-furnished studio, two, and four-bedroom apartments designed for SDSU students.

Iconic on Alvarado offers residents a pool, a 24-hour fitness center, study rooms, a computer lounge, and an onsite management & maintenance team.

To learn more about availability or to request roommate matching, contact the team at Iconic on Alvarado today! The number to reach us is (619) 286-3990.