Understanding Sorority Life at San Diego State University

With students returning to campus this month, many first-year students are experiencing life on a college campus for the first time.

With that comes a slew of new people, experiences, and challenges that make one’s time in college so memorable. This includes exploring Greek life and many new students’ involvement in a fraternity or sorority.

Greek life is new to many incoming first-year students and a source of anxiety for students trying to find their way through college. To help understand the sororities’ role in campus life at San Diego State University, here’s a rundown on some common questions we hear from students at SDSU.

Yes, sororities are popular among students at San Diego State.

The university boasts more than two dozen Greek and multicultural sororities for students to choose among and sororities tend to be more popular than the fraternities on campus. The nine sororities that make up the College Panhellenic Association have over 1,900 members across the chapters, with each sorority averaging 224 members. This makes the sorority campus’s most prominent social organization for female-identifying students at SDSU.

What percent of SDSU students participate in sororities?

Around 12% of San Diego State University undergraduate students participate in Greek life.

Of the more than 31,000 undergraduates, 3,800 join either a fraternity or sorority during their time in college. Sororities are more popular than fraternities, with chapters that are more than double the size of the average fraternity.

A sorority rush at San Diego State, also known as recruitment, occurs at the start of the fall semester.

How many sororities are there at SDSU?

There are 23 sororities at San Diego State University.

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. These governing councils include traditional Greek councils and councils specific to multicultural and academic sororities and fraternities on campus. The three councils that govern sorority life at San Diego State University are the College Panhellenic Association, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the United Sorority & Fraternity Council.

The College Panhellenic Association is specific to sororities, while the others govern fraternities and sororities. The nine sororities at San Diego State University governed by the College Panhellenic Association (CPA) are:

  1. Alpha Chi Omega
  2. Alpha Gamma Delta
  3. Alpha Phi
  4. Delta Gamma
  5. Delta Zeta
  6. Gamma Phi Beta
  7. Kappa Delta
  8. Kappa Alpha Theta
  9. Pi Beta Phi

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) governs historically black sororities and fraternities across the country, and there are four sororities representing the NPHC at San Diego State:

  1. Alpha Kappa Alpha
  2. Delta Sigma Theta
  3. Zeta Phi Beta
  4. Sigma Gamma Rho

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 ten sororities governed by the USFC are:

  1. Alpha Phi Gamma
  2. Alpha Pi Sigma
  3. Delta Sigma Psi
  4. Lambda Sigma Gamma
  5. Lambda Theta Alpha
  6. Sigma Alpha Zeta
  7. Sigma Lambda Gamma
  8. Sigma Phi Omega
  9. Sigma Theta Psi
  10. Upsilon Kappa Delta

The other governing council at SDSU, the Interfraternity Council, governs fraternities on-campus.

When does the sorority rush begin at SDSU?

A sorority rush at San Diego State, also known as recruitment, occurs at the start of the fall semester.

The governing council oversees the recruitment process, with the College Panhellenic Association leading most sorority recruitment efforts at SDSU. The process begins with an online registration involving six components, including an orientation. Prospective new members are then invited to a weekly series of events hosted by the chapters to learn more about each sorority, the membership, and what new members can expect from joining.

Sorority events are focused on leadership, philanthropy, and sisterhood, showcasing the benefits of joining a sorority for prospective new members to better understand each sorority’s unique characteristics. The recruitment process ends with Bid Day when new members are offered a bid to join one of their preferred sororities. Not all students participating in recruitment are offered a request to join, with selectivity varying by chapter.

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

The average San Diego State University sorority member pays $1,424 per semester in chapter dues and fees.

This is in addition to university tuition and fees and does not include the cost of housing, making sorority life a considerable added expense for many prospective members. This figure is from the latest available data from the Fall of 2018, so dues have likely increased, and actual figures vary by chapter, with some sororities charging nearly $2,000 per semester in dues and fees. These figures also do not include additional out-of-pocket expenses for sorority events like formals and off-campus outings, which also come with costs that prospective members should consider before joining.

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Do sororities have their own houses at SDSU?

Yes, most sororities at San Diego State University have their own house.

It is not common for multicultural sororities to have houses, but most sororities with chapters governed by the College Panhellenic Association have houses. Sorority houses are located on the southeast corner of campus along Montezuma Road and College Avenue.

Many sorority members live in their chapter houses during their second and third years of college. To live in a chapter house, students must meet academic requirements set forth by the university and sorority and submit a housing exemption through the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life. Exemption forms are due in February for housing requirements for the following fall semester.

Other housing options at San Diego State

For Greek and non-Greek students looking for off-campus housing that provides convenient access to campus and an array of floor plan options, there’s no better choice than Iconic on Alvarado!

Iconic on Alvarado is a student housing midrise community located just a few blocks from the northern edge of the San Diego State University campus at 6625 Alvarado Rd. Iconic on Alvarado offers fully-furnished studio, two, and four-bedroom apartments designed explicitly for SDSU students. Iconic on Alvarado offers residents two resort-style pools, an onsite 24-hour fitness center, study rooms, a computer lounge, and onsite management & maintenance team.

For information on availability, roommate matching, and pricing, contact the team at Iconic on Alvarado today at (619) 286-3990!