Greek Life

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Greek Life


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3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: I haven't had a lot of exposure to Greek life at NU.

4 College Sophomore

Greek Life: I think you really get a social advantage if you join Greek life, if you're looking to meet new people and get in on the social scene. That being said, the process of recruitment for sororities can be judgy and there is a slightly palpable elitist vibe that comes from some of the chapters. I think joining a sorority was one of the best things I did during my first year, but it's not for everyone. No one will judge you if you don't, it's all personal preference.

3 College Freshman

Greek Life: There are a lot of fraternities and sororities, but while they're very present on campus, they're not always super notiiceable.

2 College Sophomore

Greek Life: I am not a supporter of Greek Life on any college campus.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: I'm not a member of Greek life, but I know many who are and seem very happy with their fraternities and sororities.

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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While Greek life at NU is tame compared to its state school counterparts, students are likely to gain a fair grasp of the Greek alphabet during their time at Northwestern. Greek life is a pretty big deal at Northwestern, with 30 percent of men joining fraternities and upwards of 40 percent of women joining sororities. Because of Northwestern’s delayed rush process (rush happens the first week of January, rather than in the fall), many students, who were originally opposed to the idea, pledge. Some houses center themselves around drinking and partying, but others pride themselves in their friendships and philanthropies. Bottom line: If you want to join a fraternity or sorority, there will be one to suit your needs. But at the end of the day, the choice is up to you. Either way, you are going to have friends who rush and those who don’t. And although many students do choose to rush, you can have a social life regardless.

One important aspect to keep in mind is that formal recruitment for guys and girls happens in the winter. This is good because it gives students a chance to make friends and grow accustomed to college life before deciding if Greek life is something they want to be a part of. For guys, the rush process is very informal; the fraternities offer Sunday night dinners during the fall, which give guys a chance to test out different houses to see what they like before accepting formal bids in the winter. For girls, the process is much more structured. Sororities and prospective new members (PNMs) go through a period of visiting specific houses. Through mutual selection, every PNM will be matched with a house. Northwestern does not allow hazing, so the rushing and pledging process should be fun and easy for anyone interested.

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
  • Beta Theta Pi
  • Chi Psi
  • Delta Chi
  • Delta Tau Delta
  • Delta Upsilon
  • Evans Scholars
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Lambda Chi Alpha
  • Omega Delta Phi
  • Omega Psi Phi
  • Phi Beta Sigma
  • Phi Delta Theta
  • Phi Gamma Delta
  • Phi Kappa Psi
  • Phi Mu Alpha
  • Pi Kappa Alpha
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon
  • Sigma Chi
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon
  • Theta Chi
  • Zeta Beta Tau
  • Alpha Chi Omega
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha
  • Alpha Phi
  • Chi Omega
  • Delta Delta Delta
  • Delta Gamma
  • Delta Sigma Theta
  • Delta Zeta
  • Gamma Phi Beta
  • Kappa Alpha Theta
  • Kappa Delta
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma
  • Kappa Phi Lambda
  • Lambda Theta Alpha
  • Pi Beta Phi
  • Sigma Lambda Gamma
  • Sigma Psi Zeta
  • Zeta Phi Beta
  • Zeta Tau Alpha
Multicultural Colonies
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha
  • Alpha Phi Alpha
  • Delta Sigma Theta
  • Kappa Alpha Psi
  • Kappa Phi Lambda
  • Lambda Theta Alpha
  • Omega Delta Phi
  • Omega Psi Phi
  • Phi Beta Sigma
  • Sigma Lambda Gamma
  • Sigma Psi Zeta
  • Zeta Phi Beta
Other Greek Organizations
  • Gamma Sigma Alpha
  • Interfraternity Council
  • Multicultural Greek Council
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Order of Omega
  • Panhellenic Association
  • Rho Lambda

Student Polls

What is Greek life's role in the campus social scene?    Based on 85 responses

  • 47% Greek life is pretty big. You don't have to join to enjoy the parties, but you might want to consider it.
  • 44% Greek life is average, and no one will treat you differently if you don't join.
  • 4% Greek life is huge-you're no one if you're not Greek.
  • 2% Greek life is pretty low-key and has little effect on the social scene.
  • 4% We don't have Greek life.

What is the general attitude of non-Greeks toward Greeks?    Based on 85 responses

  • 7% Most non-Greeks think Greeks do great things for the community.
  • 62% Most non-Greeks are indifferent about Greeks.
  • 18% Non-Greeks think Greeks are only good for the parties they throw.
  • 13% Non-Greeks see Greeks as snobby and cliquey.

How difficult is it to get into a fraternity or sorority?    Based on 84 responses

  • 12% Very easy.
  • 58% Somewhat easy.
  • 29% Somewhat difficult.
  • 1% Very difficult.
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