Your Guide to the Types of Fraternities and Sororities

Ah, Greek life.

It's one of those things that makes college something to look forward to. It gives you a sense of belonging and camaraderie in a new environment. Joining a fraternity or sorority is something many college freshmen look forward to and recruitment is one of the most exciting times on campus.

For many college students, their fraternity or sorority is their family away from home.

People often believe that all frats and sororities are the same. We can credit this to Hollywood's stereotyping in movies, but in reality, there are actually several types of fraternities and sororities, and each type offers something unique. To be specific, there are five different types of fraternities and sororities that you can pledge to.

Luckily for you, that is what we're going to talk about today.

5 Types of Fraternities and Sororities

As a new college student, you already know that you want to go Greek. The problem is trying to decide which of the 123 Greek organizations is right for you.

Every frat and sorority out there falls within one of five categories:

  • Social
  • Service
  • Professional
  • Honors
  • Religion/Ethnic

if you're not sure which one of those five categories appeals to you, you're not alone. Let's take a look at each group and see what they're all about.

Social

Most Greek life organizations fall under this category. Some groups will do community service, while others may focus on professional goals and networking after college. The main goal of social fraternities is to build character and find personal growth. It's a great option if you're looking to connect with people with interests that are similar to your own.

Almost all houses under the social category will be gender-based. The largest frat in the country (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) has over 304,000 members. The largest sorority (Chi Omega) has over 300,000 members. That's a lot of brothers and sisters!

Service

A service-focused fraternity or sorority focuses on getting involved with the community, often giving back to a specific cause or purpose. These houses can be co-ed and don't turn away members based on gender, though there are single-gender service organizations as well.

What's cool about joining a service organization is that you're not limited to that group. You have the ability to join social or professional organizations, too. Joining a service organization leaves your options open while allowing you to help with a cause that's near and dear to your heart.

Professional

Members of a professional Greek house use the group for professional networking. Any events held by the house usually focus on helping members achieve their career goals. Some examples of events can include seminars on resume-writing or continued education. They may even host job fairs and invite alumni members back to mentor current members.

When college is over, members of professional groups usually stay active after graduation. There are different fraternities that aren't even based out of a college. Whether you choose a college-based professional organization or one that's not affiliated with a school, joining a professional fraternity or sorority is a great way to network and advance in your career.

If you want to join these types of organizations, you'll have to find one that includes your field. Some organizations like Alpha Chi Sigma fraternity only focus on a specific field, so do a little research on the different organizations that exist.

Honors

Of the types of sororities and fraternities, new folks will skip usual pledge process. Instead, the Honors houses invite new members based on GPA. Only high-achieving students with high GPAs may receive an invitation to join. These types of sororities and fraternities don't usually have a chapter house or participate in many Greek events, but they're great to list on a resume.

Religion/Ethnic

Greek organizations that fall under this umbrella focus on faith and culture. This group was born as the result of the discriminatory ways of other organizations in the past.

Many of the present-day faith-based organizations welcome anyone who wants to join as long as they have an appreciation of the religion or ethnicity that the group was originally founded to promote. Of course, they still attract pledges from a specific race or religion as well.

Final Thoughts on the Types of Fraternities

Choosing a fraternity or sorority is an important decision that only you can make. Before you pledge to any house, you need to decide which among these types of fraternities you'd like to join. Once you have an idea of the type of fraternity or sorority you're interested in, you can focus on meeting those groups on your campus and becoming a member.

Check out our blog for more about Greek life, surviving college and so much more!

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