How to Start a New Chapter

Establishing a Chapter

To establish a chapter you will need to gather a group of people who support this idea. You may need to discuss the idea with them individually, then in a group meeting. From this group meeting you may select your organizing committee. After receiving your chapter designation (i.e. Alpha Sigma) you are ready for the process of holding your Founding Induction. Here are some thoughts about these processes.

  1. ORGANIZING COMMITTEE: Recruit people who supported your petition for chapter status as your organizing committee. 6-8 people will suffice. Include faculty (preferable full time and tenure), staff, and students (upperclassmen international and domestic if possible) in this organizing committee. An ideal recruit would be the president of the institution or the provost. This committee is recommend to do the following:
    1. Agree on the primary objective of Phi Beta Delta.
    2. Agree on the mission of Phi Beta Delta.
    3. Make an appointment and discuss with the president of your institution or the provost about your intension to establish a chapter.
    4. Consider the requirements for establishing a chapter.
    5. Consider the potential the Society has for contributing toward comprehensive internationalization of the institution through the recognition of faculty, staff, and students.
    6. Consider service and programmatic efforts your chapter could initiate.
    7. Consider how members will be selected (see below).
    8. Review, and if agreed, complete the Policy and Rules of Procedure for Chartering Chapters (See below).
    9. After your Petition is accepted and a chapter designation is assigned,
    10. Make payment of petitioning, chartering, and other authorization fees.
    11. Prepare for your founding induction.

  2. SELECTING MEMBERS: The Organizing Committee will take the responsibility of identifying individuals to nominate for membership. This step should be discussed but not completed until chapter status has been awarded. The following methods should be used:
    1. The members of the organizing/nominating committee are automatically nominated to join.
      1. Phi Beta Delta is an academic honor society in which people become members from the following four categories:
      2. An institutional chapter may be established in any university, college, or community college recognized by its national government, offering at least the equivalent of a U.S. baccalaureate degree, or an associate degree, meeting standards of quality, and holding regional accreditation or its equivalent.
      3. Faculty and Staff are identified as having demonstrated outstanding service to the cause of international education, international exchange, and internationalization. Their nomination should be submitted by the Nomination Committee to the Chapter Board for approval.
      4. Domestic and International Students can become eligible for nomination or induction based on following criteria mentioned based on Article III, Section 1 of the by-laws:
        1. International students (non-immigrant visa holders) become eligible upon demonstrated high academic achievement at their institution and at the undergraduate level: attainment of 30 credit hours at the associate degree level, and 45 credit hours at the bachelor degree level; or at the graduate level of: (a) one semester in a one year master’s degree, or two semesters in a two year master’s degree; and (b) two semesters at the doctoral level.
        2. Domestic students become eligible upon demonstrated high academic achievement in the pursuit of academic studies abroad in exchange programs approved by the institution or in participation in comparable international programs or experiences where academic relevance can be demonstrated to the institution; and at the undergraduate level: attainment of 30 credit hours at the associate degree level, and 45 credit hours at the bachelor degree level; or at the graduate level of: (a) one semester in a one year master’s degree, or two semesters in a two year master’s degree; and (b) two semesters at the doctoral level.
      5. Undergraduate and Graduate Students are chosen based on Article III, Section 4 of the by-laws:
        1. ARTICLE III (Membership), SECTION 4: Criteria for eligibility of election to membership by an institutional chapter shall be determined by that chapter and with the provision that undergraduate student members must have achieved a minimum 3.2 grade point average (GPA) and rank in the top 20% of their class, and graduate students must have achieved a GPA of 3.5. For schools that use a different grade point average system, the school must verify that their candidates for Phi Beta Delta meet a GPA standard equivalent to that specified in this Section.
        2. The by-laws were amended in May 2020 to acknowledge the requirements of the Association of College Honor Societies, of which Phi Beta Delta has become a member.
      6. Outstanding service. Other individuals, such as those in the community, may be inducted on the basis demonstrated outstanding service to the cause of international education, international exchange, and internationalization. Some of the examples are: coordinate a study abroad program, teaching overseas, active in an international organization, etc. Their nomination should be submitted by the Nomination Committee to the Chapter Board for approval.
      7. Honorary members. These are individuals are honored for their excellence and do not have to pay any fees for the honor. These people include your University President, provost, and a very select few others. You may choose people from the community as well.
      8. Students. Graduate and undergraduate, domestic, and international students who have distinguished themselves academically in previous institutions (domestically or abroad) or having significantly contributed to international endeavors (i.e. programs, leadership, service, or publications) may be nominated for induction at the end of their first semester in residence.
      9. Membership. Persons nominated, selected, and initiated (inducted) into the Society shall retain this honor for life. Active and Inactive membership shall determine the privileges accorded to individuals inducted into the Society.
    2. Brainstorm: The organizing committee can brainstorm people who should be nominated. If your timeline is short don't spend too much on formalities, simply contact those people and invite them.
      1. If your Online/Onsite induction timeline is sufficient, Deans should be invited to nominate faculty; department chairmen should be invited to nominate faculty and students; the president, vice presidents or the provost and any other member should be invited to nominate anyone during onsite or virtual induction ceremony. You can find information on how to conduct the Onsite/Online Induction under Chapter Manual.
      2. Student Achievement: Another method for nomination of students is to use your registrar's information to identify domestic and international students' by GPA's. Then invite those domestic students who have studied abroad and have the requisite GPA. International students are automatically eligible because they are in their "study abroad" but must have the requisite GPA. Send a letter of nomination. (see sample letter and Acceptance Sheet).
  3. COMPLETE the Policies And Rules Of Procedure For Chartering Chapters found at PBD-Charter-Policies-.-Petition-Form-hk.pdf
    1. This set of procedures provides guidance in how to petition for chapter status.
    2. The qualifications it speaks of are those that apply to the institution. Qualifications for student, faculty, and staff membership
  4. FOUNDING INDUCTION: You will need to accomplish the following.
    1. Preparation
      1. Review the procedures in Documents & Forms: Guide to Initiation at
      2. By-Laws: Draft the by-laws to be ratified by the members on the day of the founding induction.
      3. Chapter Coordinator: Select the person who will be Chapter Coordinator.
      4. Board of Directors: Draft a slate of candidates to be the initial officers and Board members of the chapter (i.e. president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer, student members (graduate and undergraduate preferable sophomore or junior), and should you wish, at large members of your Board of Directors
      5. Identify potential members. See selecting members below.
    2. Procedures-face to face
      1. This will be a special occasion. Get the best auditorium or room available. The occasion should be treated amiably but with a sense of formality at the proper moments.
      2. Invite the Regional Vice President of Phi Beta Delta, or a member of Phi Beta Delta from an adjacent campus to preside over the actual induction. Contact your regional VP for advice.
      3. Give inductees a copy of their acceptance statement to be handed to the person announcing their induction.
      4. Have a reception after the induction if possible but not necessary.
      5. Discuss details with experienced chapter coordinators.
    3. Procedures – Virtual Online Induction
      1. If needed, a Virtual Induction is recommended with an in-person induction the following semester with certificates/medallions. Please follow the updated University and CDC guidelines for group gathering considering the Pandemic status in your state/country.
      2. Contact your IT for support for a virtual induction; do a test run with several of your board members.
      3. Invite the Regional Vice President of Phi Beta Delta, or a member of Phi Beta Delta from an adjacent campus to present during the virtual induction. Contact your regional VP and a national board member for advice regarding the virtual induction.
      4. Have your new members introduce themselves as well as the founding members and welcome them to the society.
      5. The awarding of the medallions and certificates can be done in the following semester during onsite Induction. If the Chapter is not able to present the certificates while maintaining social distancing measures, then mail it out to the inductees.
Draft Agenda for a Founding Induction
Suggested Initiation Ceremony Procedures



Agenda of the Evening

Chapter Coordinator

Opening Remarks

Chair or Member of Organization Committee

Remarks by the Regional VP of PBD



What is an honor society?

Member of Organizing Committee

What is Phi Beta Delta?

Member of Organizing Committee

Mission of Phi Beta Delta?

Member of Organizing Committee




University President or Provost TBA

INDUCTION CEREMONY (see notes below)


Reading of the Induction Statement

University President


Initial Conferring of Membership

By Regional VP or designate

Guiding of the Candidates

Member of Organizing Committee

Member of Organizing Committee

Reading of the Names

Chapter Coordinator, or designate

Presentation of Medallions
(over the head)
For Online – Mail it out

Various members of Organizing Committee and/or University President

Congratulations -Receiving Line


Certificates (handing them out)
Online – Mail Out

By mail




Chair of Organizing Committee

Approval of By-Laws
Election of Officers

Activities of PBD


National Conference
(face to face or webinar)

Annual by the end of May

Next Chapter Meeting




Adjourn and Group Photo
(physically or a screen shot)



  • Initial Conferring of Membership - This will be the Regional VP of PBD or a current member of PBD from another school. This person will confer the medallion to the Organizing Committee. Then the Chair of the Organizing Committee will confer the medallion to the University President and other honorary members. Then the other candidates will be inducted.
  • Guiding of the Candidates - Guide the inductees know where to stand to await their turn to be announced by the Reader of Names.
  • Reading of the Names - The person should be experienced in pronunciation of international student names.
  • Presentation of Medallions - This activity consists of placing the medallion on ribbon over the head of the inductee. (Check with the inductees for any preference in terms of religion or other reasons.)
  • Congratulations/Receiving Line - President, Provost and a few others previously inducted
  • Certificates - Have these alphabetically arranged to facilitate finding or mail to inductees after the ceremony.

Organizing a Chapter

Many resources are available to help you start a chapter on your campus. The information in the Chapter Manual can serve as an extensive overview of the steps you should take to get started. There are certain requirements your institution must fulfill in order to be eligible (View requirements). Once you have reviewed this information, you should contact and submit the completed Chapter Chartering Petition Form to the Executive Office. It would be useful to send us your petition in electronic format--as much as possible. See Requirements page for more detail.

The following institutions have recently been chartered, and we look forward to their founding ceremonies: (Latest update: August 2023 )

Theta Xi - West Chester University
Chapter Coordinator: Emily Rooney, DSO ARO, Associate Director of International Programs
West Chester University
Global Engagement Office
Mitchell Hall 311
675 S. Church Street
Phone: (610) 436-3515

Contact Info

Phi Beta Delta Headquarters
Administration Building
Rooms 148 & 150
CSU San Bernardino
5500 University Parkway
San Bernardino, CA 92407 USA
Telephone: (+1) 909-537-5018

If you have any questions, please call your Regional Vice-Presidents or nearby Chapter Coordinators.