Greek Life

Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life is kind of naturally self selecting at Cornell. All of my close girl friends are Greek, though I have many guy friends who aren't. I think that's partly because most of the greeks all know each other, and being Greek perpetuates more Greek friendships, but a good part of it is because the people who rush are similar and naturally are attracted to each other anyway.

I find it difficult to find friends who aren't Greek -- they are less involved on campus.

Non Greek is just as likely (if not more likely) to look down on Greek life than vice versa.

Greek housing is great. I live in one of the shittier physical houses and it's still way better than any on campus housing (spacious, aesthetic, cheaper, clean)

3 College Senior

Greek Life: I'm non-Greek and certainly don't view the Greeks any differently just because they are. If I don't like them as a person, it would not be because they are in the Greek system. I have many friends in sororities and they really enjoy it.

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3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: I did not join Greek life but many people I know did. There is a lot of pressure to join but no one looks down on you for not being Greek. In general, non-Greeks see Greek students as only joining for better access to alcohol and more opportunities to hook up. The housing is better for frats because there are so many of them that the pledge classes stay small. The sorority housing is tight and not every girl makes it into the house because the pledge classes are around 60 girls.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 41st
    Where Greek Life Rules
  • 714th
    Most Selective Greek Organizations
  • 1143rd
    Best Greek/Non-Greek Relations
  • 1201st
    Best Greek Housing

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Mandy Kain and Radhika Arora
Hewlett, N.Y., and Ithaca, N.Y.
View all previous student authors

Most students agree that Greek life is very visible on campus. However, for those who don’t wish to participate, it’s fairly easy to ignore, although finding parties may prove difficult. Greek life dominates the social scene for those under 21, after which its influence decreases considerably.

Some students are suspect of the Greek system’s practices and its support of cliques and a patriarchal system. Negative stereotypes about those in the Greek system may or may not be true, but many students support and enjoy Greek life. Fraternities and sororities may insulate themselves, but many host open parties, events, and charity drives that engage the entire Cornell community. In general, members of the Greek system love it, and outside members are either apathetic or dislike it—it really depends on individual preference.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrad Men in Fraternities
Undergrad Women in Sororities
Number of Fraternities
Number of Sororities
  • Acacia
  • Alpha Delta Phi
  • Alpha Epsilon Pi
  • Alpha Gamma Rho
  • Alpha Sigma Phi
  • Alpha Tau Omega
  • Alpha Zeta
  • Beta Theta Pi
  • Chi Phi
  • Chi Psi
  • Delta Chi
  • Delta Kappa Epsilon
  • Delta Phi
  • Delta Tau Delta
  • Delta Upsilon
  • Kappa Alpha Society
  • Kappa Delta Rho
  • Kappa Sigma
  • Lambda Chi Alpha
  • Phi Delta Theta
  • Phi Gamma Delta
  • Phi Kappa Psi
  • Phi Kappa Tau
  • Phi Sigma Kappa
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Pi Kappa Phi
  • Psi Upsilon
  • Seal and Serpent Society
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Sigma Alpha Mu
  • Sigma Chi
  • Sigma Chi Delta
  • Sigma Nu
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • The Sigma Phi Society
  • Sigma Pi
  • Tau Epsilon Phi
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon
  • Theta Delta Chi
  • Theta Xi
  • Zeta Beta Tau
  • Zeta Psi
  • Alpha Chi Omega
  • Alpha Epsilon Phi
  • Alpha Phi
  • Alpha Xi Delta
  • Delta Delta Delta
  • Delta Gamma
  • Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Kappa Delta
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma
  • Pi Beta Phi
  • Sigma Delta Tau
Multicultural Colonies
  • alpha Kappa Delta Phi
  • Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Delta Sigma Theta
  • Iota Phi Theta
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Kappa Phi Lambda
  • Lambda Phi Epsilon
  • Lambda Pi Chi
  • Lambda Theta Alpha
  • Lambda Theta Phi
  • Lambda Upsilon Lambda
  • Omega Phi Beta
  • Phi Beta Sigma
  • Pi Delta Psi
  • Sigma Gamma Rho
  • Sigma Lambda Upsilon
Other Greek Organizations
  • Greek Council
  • Greek Peer Advisors InterFraternity Council
  • Order of Omega
  • Panhellenic Council
Did You Know?
  • The Greek scene varies considerably, ranging from typical, social-oriented chapters to service and pre-professional fraternities.
  • Joining a fraternity or sorority can open new avenues in your social experience at Cornell. Most chapters have their own parties, formals, and football tailgates. They also join in all-Greek events. Being a part of the Greek organization gives you the opportunity to meet and develop friendships with people from all walks of life.
  • Some members actively participate in community service activities in and around the greater Ithaca area. During Rush Week, girls visit each sorority on campus to meet with sisters in order to find an ideal match. Guys, on the other hand, visit fraternities of their choice for "smokers" during the daytime.

Student Polls

What is Greek life's role in the campus social scene?    Based on 69 responses

  • 0% We don't have Greek life.
  • 1% Greek life is pretty low-key and has little effect on the social scene.
  • 7% Greek life is huge-you're no one if you're not Greek.
  • 28% Greek life is average, and no one will treat you differently if you don't join.
  • 64% Greek life is pretty big. You don't have to join to enjoy the parties, but you might want to consider it.

How difficult is it to get into a fraternity or sorority?    Based on 69 responses

  • 1% Very difficult.
  • 36% Somewhat difficult.
  • 52% Somewhat easy.
  • 10% Very easy.

What kind of housing is available for Greek students?    Based on 69 responses

  • 13% Greek students live in run-down chapter houses.
  • 1% No special housing is available.
  • 1% Greek students live in dedicated wings in the dorms.
  • 84% Greek students live in opulent chapter houses.

What is the general attitude of non-Greeks toward Greeks?    Based on 69 responses

  • 23% Non-Greeks see Greeks as snobby and cliquey.
  • 39% Non-Greeks think Greeks are only good for the parties they throw.
  • 33% Most non-Greeks are indifferent about Greeks.
  • 4% Most non-Greeks think Greeks do great things for the community.
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