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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions


1. What is a sorority?

  1. A sorority is a group of undergraduate women bound together by common goals, values, and friendships. Together, women in a sorority commit to scholastic, philanthropic, and social development and participate in numerous events, service projects, and activities like other clubs at the University of Maryland. Though Maryland has 16 sororities, they all share common founding principles and can have lifelong impacts on their members, lasting far beyond graduation.

  2. What is primary recruitment?

    1. Primary Recruitment occurs during the spring semester and is a structured form of recruitment. Interested potential new members (PNMs) must register for primary recruitment prior to the PNM Orientation date. All interested PNMs will be placed in groups and given Rho Gammas (recruitment guides), who will support and guide PNMs throughout the recruitment process.

  3. How do I join a chapter?

    1. Visit the Start With Your Journey page on our website to guide you through a step-by-step process of how to register for primary recruitment.

  4. What is the Panhellenic Association (PHA)?

    1. The Panhellenic Association, otherwise known as PHA is the governing body for the University of Maryland’s 16 inter/national sorority chapters. For more information, visit the National Panhellenic Conference website. 

  5. What is the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)?

    1. The National Panhellenic Conference is the world’s largest trade association specifically charged with advancing the sorority experience through 26 women’s-only inter/national member organizations. 

  6. What is the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life (DFSL)?

    1. The Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life, otherwise known as DFSL, oversees all recognized social and cultural/multicultural interest fraternities and sororities at the University of Maryland. 

  7. Does each chapter have a chapter house?

    1. Yes! Each sorority at the University of Maryland has a chapter facility on campus, either on Fraternity Row or around the Graham Cracker, which is a block in College Park where some chapter houses are located. Members can live in their chapter house and chapters often conduct events in their facility.

  8. What is a legacy?

    1. A legacy is a close relative of a member of a sorority. Legacies are not guaranteed a bid and all PNMs are expected to consider all chapters equally. It is important that each PNM finds a chapter with whom she shares values and feels comfortable.


  1. How do I know if I am eligible to participate in Panhellenic Recruitment?

    1. To be eligible to register and participate in Panhellenic Recruitment, you must first be fully enrolled at the University of Maryland and have completed at least 12 college credits. These 12 credits must be transfer, dual enrollment, or University of Maryland credit only. If a Potential New Member meets both of these requirements then they are eligible to participate in primary recruitment.

  2. Is there a GPA requirement to join a sorority?

    1. There is no minimum grade point average required for registration, however, it is strongly recommended that you have at least a 2.8 cumulative grade point average. It is also important to note that meeting this minimum does not guarantee membership in a sorority. Each chapter has its own individual GPA requirement which can be found on each chapter’s page.

  3. Can I go through Panhellenic Recruitment as an upperclassman?

    1. Yes! Anyone involved in our UMD community is encouraged to register and go through the process!

  4. Do I need to send my transcript to Panhellenic or the chapters?

    1. All submitted academic information in Campus Director when you register to go through primary recruitment will be verified against official transcripts on file with the University of Maryland and academic information will be updated to match University records. You do not need to send your transcript to the chapters. 


  1. How much does Panhellenic Recruitment cost to register?

    1. There is a $25.00 fee when you register for primary recruitment. This covers your Values Round shirt and all meals that the Panhellenic Association provides during primary recruitment.

  2. How much does sorority membership cost?

    1. The financial requirements for each chapter at the University of Maryland is found under the Membership Requirements tab on our website.

Primary Recruitment Questions

  1. Can I be excused from recruitment events because of prior commitments?

    1. Potential new members must attend all recruitment events indicated on their schedule. However, in the case of illness, emergency, or academic conflict, potential new members are required to provide documentation to be excused from any recruitment event. 

  2. Does participating in primary recruitment guarantee a bid for membership?

    1. The purpose of the recruitment process is to allow you and the chapters to decide on the best fit. The reality is that not everyone who goes through recruitment finds a match. However, as long as a PNM maximizes their options every round until they end through Preference round then they are more than likely going to receive a bid.

  3. Do I need alumnae references or recommendation letters?

    1. Alumnae references, or recommendation letters, are not required to participate in primary recruitment at UMD. Potential new members are not required to secure recommendations in order to receive bids.

  4. What should I bring with me to primary recruitment?

    1. Bring what you think are necessities to you. Oftentimes, PNMs bring a bag with them that has water, mints, a hair brush, an umbrella, feminine hygiene products, band-aids, snacks, hair ties, powder, mini mirrors, and more. However, only bring what you think you will need and what will make you feel the most prepared during the process.

  5. If I go through primary recruitment, do I have to join a chapter?

    1. PNMs who choose to participate in recruitment are not obligated to join a sorority. The recruitment process is structured to allow PNMs interested in sorority membership the opportunity to explore Panhellenic sororities and to see if it is the right fit.

  6. What is Snap Bids?

    1. Snap bidding occurs a few hours before the start of Bid Day during primary recruitment and ends when bids are distributed on Bid Day. Snap bidding is only allowed for those chapters that did not match to Panhellenic quota in the bid-matching process of Primary Recruitment. Snap bids are coordinated and extended through representatives of the Panhellenic Association prior to the distribution of bids and the start of Bid Day activities.

  7. If I register for primary recruitment but decide to not participate, is my registration fee refundable?

    1. Unfortunately, the registration fee for primary recruitment is non-refundable. 

  8. What is the MRABA?

    1. The Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement, otherwise known as the MRABA, is a binding agreement that says that a PNM agrees to accept a bid from any chapter she lists on her MRABA form. If she declines the bid, she may not go through recruitment again until the following year. 

  9. What if I received a bid during recruitment, and have since decided to decline it?

    1. If at the conclusion of primary recruitment a PNM receives a bid to a chapter that she listed on her MRABA and later decides to decline it, she is still bound to the chapter for one year or until the next primary recruitment period occurs. Meaning, she cannot participate in COB and/or accept a bid for membership to another NPC sorority.

Informal Recruitment Questions

  1. What is Continuous Open Bidding?

    1. Continuous Open Bidding (COB) begins after the conclusion of primary recruitment and continues for a period throughout the academic year. You are only eligible to participate in COB if you did not get matched to a chapter during primary recruitment. COB events are usually very relaxed and include informal activities amongst an individual chapter. Participating sororities will contact you to invite you to attend their membership activities or may host open events that anyone can attend. Some chapters fill their total during the spring recruitment process and are not eligible to participate in COB, so you will not hear from all sororities.

  2. When is Fall COB?

    1. Fall COB is an informal recruitment process during the Fall semester to reach Panhellenic Total (i.e. median chapter size). For example, if Alpha Alpha Alpha sorority has 150 members for the spring semester and chapter total is 155, then Alpha Alpha Alpha can offer 5 COBs if they are interested in participating.

  3. When is Spring COB?

    1. Spring COB is an informal recruitment process during the Spring semester following Bid Day after primary recruitment.

  4. If I receive a COB bid from a chapter, what are my options to accept or decline?

    1. If a potential new member receives a COB bid from a chapter that she is not interested in joining, then she may decline the bid.

    2. If a potential new member receives a COB bid from a chapter she is interested in joining then she can accept the bid. Those accepting bids through the COB process will be required to sign a COB MRABA acceptance binding agreement, much like during primary recruitment.

    3. If a potential new member receives a COB bid from a chapter and is unsure about accepting at that time then she may ask to wait to accept or decline the bid. The Panhellenic Association recommends a 24-hour period to make a decision from the time a bid is issued. 

  5. Do all chapters participate in COB?

    1. Not all chapters participate in COB. A chapter’s eligibility to participate depends on their overall chapter size and the Panhellenic Total.

  6. Is there a cost associated with COB?

    1. Nope! There is no cost to participate in Continuous Open Bidding!

Other Questions

  1. Will I be hazed upon joining a chapter?

    1. Hazing is strictly prohibited on the University of Maryland campus and is considered a fundamental violation of human dignity. All forms of hazing, new member day, and/or pre-initiation activities, which would reflect unfavorably on the fraternity system shall be banned.

  2. What will I eat during primary recruitment?

    1. During primary recruitment, all meals will be provided by the Panhellenic Association. Meals will be determined and communicated to PNMs after the registration date closes. If you have any dietary restrictions this is also when you would let the Panhellenic Association know as well. 

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