Q: What kind of organization is Theta Tau?
A: Theta Tau is a professional engineering fraternity. The purpose of Theta Tau is to develop and maintain a high standard of professional interest among its members, and to unite them in a strong bond of fraternal fellowship. We separate ourselves from being a social fraternity because we emphasize professionalism as a common goal. Nonetheless, we hold many social events, such as intramural sports, camping, and fraternity potluck dinners, all of which foster brotherhood.
Q: Is Theta Tau Co-Ed?
A: Yes. Theta Tau is a Co-ed National Professional Fraternity; we recruit high-achieving engineering students of all genders. Theta Tau has been Co-ed since the late 1970’s.
Q: What are the requirements?
A: There are several requirements that must be met at the time of initiation:
- Must be at least 18 years of age at the time of initiation
- Overall GPA 3.0 (Freshman - good academic standing)
- Must be an engineering student and currently progressing into the field
- Must not be an active member of a competing fraternity
- Must show an active role within the College of Engineering
- Most importantly, must show good character
Additionally, in order to rush you must have the ability to remain in the fraternity for a significant amount of time. This means that you must either be a freshman or a sophomore. Exceptions can be made for juniors if you are graduating in more than four years.
Q: Do I have to be an engineer to join Theta Tau?
A: Yes, you need to be in one of the following engineering majors at the University of Illinois while you are a pledge:
- Aerospace Engineering (AE)
- Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE)
- Bioengineering (BioE)
- Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE)
- Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)
- Computer Engineering (CompE)
- Computer Science (CS)
- Computer Science + X (CS+X)
- Electrical Engineering (EE)
- Engineering Physics (EP)
- Engineering Mechanics (EM)
- Industrial Engineering (IE)
- Materials Science Engineering (MatSE)
- Mechanical Engineering (ME)
- Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering (NPRE)
- Pre-Engineering (PREP)
- Systems Engineering and Design (SE)
- Undeclared Engineering
Once you are initiated into Theta Tau, you are a member for life even if you switch majors.
Q: Is Theta Tau an honor society?
A: Although we promote scholarship and require a certain GPA for initiates, Theta Tau is not an honor society.
Q: Why should I consider Theta Tau?
A: What makes Theta Tau great is the development of its members. The area between social fraternity and honor society allows us to create an environment where students can grow academically, professionally, and socially. Professionalism is paramount, yet at the same time we don’t forget about the fundamental, social aspect of brotherhood; we ultimately help each other become well-rounded people. Theta Tau is a strong professional and social network that will last for life.
Q: What is “Rushing”?
A: “Rushing” is an open invitation for eligible students to learn about becoming a member of Theta Tau. Rush is usually held during the first few weeks of the fall and spring semesters. Theta Tau holds rush events where we give out pizza, go bowling, BBQ, play sports among other activities. During this time, you first meet the members of Theta Tau and they get to meet you. The purpose is to let the brothers of Theta Tau know you are interested in joining. You also learn about the fraternity and the upcoming pledge process so you can make an informed decision about joining. During the rush period, you are encouraged to come to as many rush events as possible. You should introduce yourself to the members and ask any questions they may have about Theta Tau. At the end of the rush period, the members of Theta Tau choose who will receive a bid to continue on to the pledge process.
Q: What is a “bid” and how do I receive one?
A: A “bid” is a formal invitation to pledge a fraternity. Bids are given out to rushees who have shown potential of being a good member of Theta Tau. To receive a bid, come out to the rush events and get to know the current members. The chances of receiving a bid increase by doing so.
Q: What is “Pledging”?
A: “Pledging” Theta Tau is a continuing promise by the student to become an active member of the fraternity. If you choose to accept an extended bid, you will undergo the pledge process. The pledge period lasts for about 11 weeks. During this time you learn some history about the fraternity, important Theta Tau facts, and you bond with your fellow pledge brothers and soon to be fraternity brothers. Each pledge session lasts about an hour. Throughout the pledge period, different requirements are asked of the pledges. As a pledge class you learn teamwork, professional development, and what it means to be a member of Theta Tau.
Q: Are there any requirements to be initiated into Theta Tau?
A: Yes, there are several requirements:
- Attend the weekly pledge sessions
- Pay the pledge fee on time (please see the question about fees below)
- Complete a pledge project (the Pledge Marshal will let you know more about it later)
- Pass the National and Chapter Exams
- Attend initiation
Q: What if I cannot make it to events due to conflicts?
A: Pledges and members are highly encouraged to attend their respective meetings and activities. However, school comes first. As we are all students, we recognize the importance of having time to study. If a class or review conflicts with a meeting or activity, academics have top priority. If you know you are going to be absent, pledges should contact the Pledge Marshal; members should contact the Scribe.
Q: Are there any fees?
A: Yes, as with most student organizations on campus, there are initiation and member fees. The initiation fee is ~$220 dollars, which covers your initiation badge as well as cost of materials. This fee is paid only one time (the semester you initiate). The member dues are ~$260 per year with a $35 security deposit. This fee covers the cost of materials as well as national fees. If you are concerned about paying the fees, contact the treasurer and a payment plan can be arranged.
Q: What is “hazing” and will I be hazed?
A: Absolutely not. Theta Tau has a strict no-hazing policy. Our chapter defines “hazing” as an action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off campus or fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Any action taken to intentionally hurt the individual, degrade them, or humiliate them will not be tolerated. Our chapter believes that everyone who joins our organization is equal.
Q: May I still join Theta Tau if I am already in another fraternity/sorority?
A: Yes, as long as the other social or honors fraternity or sorority is not a competing fraternity with Theta Tau. The competing fraternities are:
- Alpha Chi Sigma
- Alpha Omega Epsilon
- Alpha Rho Chi
- Kappa Eta Kappa
- Phi Sigma Rho
- Sigma Beta Epsilon
- Sigma Phi Delta
- Sigma Rho
- Triangle Fraternity
Q: How do I correctly pronounce the “Tau” in Theta Tau?
A: Good question. In your physics or math classes, “tau” probably rhymes with “how” or “cow,” which is the correct pronunciation for the modern Greek letter. However, in our name, “tau” rhymes with “saw” or “law,” which is the pronunciation for the classical Greek letter.
Q: I have more questions!
A: We have more answers! If you have any other questions, please contact the Rush Chair or the Pledge Marshal. Either one of them will be happy to answer them for you.