Greek Life

Harrisonburg, VA
Tuition (in-state)
$17,932 ($4,642)
Admission Difficulty
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3 College Freshman

Greek Life: I am not particularly familiar with much of Greek life. I know that there is an OBVIOUS split between black Greeks and white Greeks. In the white frats and sororities, they have rush weeks and students go through all these processes and the majority of them end up in a frat or sorority. Most people join them so that they can go to parties because after rush week a good majority of Greek parties become mixers and non-Greeks are no invited. The way the non-Greeks view the Greeks depends on the frat or sorority that they are a part of. Greek housing is available for the white sororities on Sorority Row, but that's it. The black frats and sororities have a more complex way of joining. However, afterwards you are a brother or sister for life and you meet all kinds of people and you experience all kinds of new things with your brothers and sisters. They are more welcoming when it comes to non-Greeks, so after all the probates, everyone is still able to go to all the parties. They help create a fulfilling atmosphere for the minorities at JMU by hosting parties that everyone can get into, hosting events that bring everyone together, and giving students the opportunity to choose which family they want to be a part of, if any. However, the difference between white and black Greeks is mainly after the reveal. Once white Greeks know which frat or sorority they are a part of, they mainly spend their time with their people, partying with their people all becoming best friends within their frat or sorority. They may also put down other frats or sororities that are not them. Black Greek life is different in that after the probate, or reveal, individuals continue to hang with any other friends they may have. Since none of the parties are exclusive, they continue to party together and they continue to fellowship together. Many events hosted by one frat or sorority will acknowledge others that are present. It is expected for everyone to come together as Greek life no matter what.

College Freshman

Greek Life: I am not a member of greek life, however I have only heard good things and plan to rush next year.

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3 College Freshman

Greek Life: Its not that intense and it depends on what you put into it, you can really choose how dedicated to your chapter you wish to be.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Greek life at JMU is okay.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Greek Life: I'm not a part of Greek life and didn't want to because of the rep that they have. Greek life is a big part of JMU, but I didn't feel pressured to join.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 113rd
    Where Greek Life Rules
  • 592nd
    Most Selective Greek Organizations
  • 936th
    Best Greek Housing
  • 1112nd
    Best Greek/Non-Greek Relations

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Sandra Jolles
Great Falls Virginia
Media Arts and Design
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Unlike many schools, James Madison's Greek system does not dominate the social life on campus. Yes, fraternity parties are popular among the occasional freshman crowd, but apartment parties are just as popular. However, JMU takes pride in their fraternities and sororities, even concluding each academic year with Greek Sing, an event that allows members of each organization to express themselves in both a singing and dancing format. With the Greek community including more than 1,000 students, sorority and fraternity members come for the true spirit of song and dance.

The aggressive frat boy and the stereotypical "biddie" do exist, but not in large quantities. The letters are present but not necessarily in your face. Rather, if a student chooses to be involved with Greek life or acquaint themselves with it, it’s a piece of cake. Many fraternities and sororities are partly community service organizations with their support of the Harrisonburg community. The Greek system carries integrity and honesty, and it programs many JMU activities around campus by advertising in the Commons. Co-ed fraternities, in particular, make it their mission to combat the issues of hazing that plague Greek life.

Facts & Statistics

Undergrad Men in Fraternities
Freshman Men in Fraternities
Undergrad Women in Sororities
Freshman Women in Sororities
Number of Fraternities
Number of Sororities
  • Alpha Epsilon Pi
  • Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Alpha Tau Omega
  • Delta Chi
  • Delta Sigma Phi
  • Delta Upsilon
  • Kappa Alpha Order
  • Lambda Chi Alpha
  • Lambda Upsilon Lambda
  • Omega Psi Phi
  • Phi Beta Sigma
  • Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI)
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Pi Kappa Phi
  • Sigma Chi
  • Sigma Nu
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Tau Kappa Epsilon
  • Theta Chi
  • Alpha Delta Pi
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha
  • Alpha Kappa Delta Phi
  • Alpha Phi
  • Alpha Sigma Alpha
  • Alpha Sigma Tau
  • Delta Delta Delta
  • Delta Gamma
  • Delta Sigma Theta
  • Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Phi Mu
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi
  • Sigma Gamma Rho
  • Sigma Iota Alpha
  • Sigma Kappa
  • Sigma Sigma Sigma
  • Zeta Phi Beta
  • Zeta Tau Alpha
Multicultural Colonies
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha (NPHC)
  • Alpha Kappa Delta Phi (IGC)
  • Alpha Phi Alpha (NPHC)
  • Delta Sigma Theta (NPHC)
  • Lambda Upsilon Lambda (IGC)
  • Omega Psi Phi (NPHC)
  • Phi Beta Sigma (NPHC)
  • Sigma Gamma Rho (NPHC)
  • Sigma Iota Alpha (IGC)
  • Zeta Phi Beta (NPHC)
Other Greek Organizations
  • GAMMA (Greeks Advocating for the Mature Management of Alcohol)
  • Greek InterVarsity
  • Independent Greek Council (IGC)
  • Interfraternity Council
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC)
  • Order of Omega
  • Panhellenic Council
Did You Know?
  • On-campus sorority and fraternity houses have a living capacity of 28 people.
  • A total of 280 Greek men and women live in on-campus houses.

Student Polls

What is Greek life's role in the campus social scene?    Based on 94 responses

  • 0% We don't have Greek life.
  • 6% Greek life is pretty low-key and has little effect on the social scene.
  • 0% Greek life is huge-you're no one if you're not Greek.
  • 65% Greek life is average, and no one will treat you differently if you don't join.
  • 29% Greek life is pretty big. You don't have to join to enjoy the parties, but you might want to consider it.

What is the general attitude of non-Greeks toward Greeks?    Based on 94 responses

  • 18% Non-Greeks see Greeks as snobby and cliquey.
  • 24% Non-Greeks think Greeks are only good for the parties they throw.
  • 51% Most non-Greeks are indifferent about Greeks.
  • 6% Most non-Greeks think Greeks do great things for the community.

What kind of housing is available for Greek students?    Based on 94 responses

  • 40% Greek students live in run-down chapter houses.
  • 6% No special housing is available.
  • 17% Greek students live in dedicated wings in the dorms.
  • 36% Greek students live in opulent chapter houses.

How difficult is it to get into a fraternity or sorority?    Based on 94 responses

  • 3% Very difficult.
  • 34% Somewhat difficult.
  • 54% Somewhat easy.
  • 9% Very easy.
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