Understanding Sorority Life at the University of Tennessee Knoxville

With students returning to campus this month, many first-year students are experiencing life on a college campus for the first time.

With that comes a slew of new people, experiences, and challenges that make one’s time in college so memorable. This includes exploring Greek life and many new students’ involvement in a fraternity or sorority.

Greek life is new to many incoming first-year students and a source of anxiety for students trying to find their way through college. To help understand the sororities’ role in campus life at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, here’s a rundown of some common questions we hear from students at UTK.

Yes, sororities are very popular at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

With more than a dozen traditional Greek sororities to choose among – plus traditionally African American and multicultural sorority offerings – there are options for nearly all students interested in joining Greek life at UT Knoxville. Although there are fewer sororities than fraternities on campus, sororities tend to have more members per chapter than fraternities.

What percent of UT Knoxville students participate in sororities?

According to the Office of Sorority & Fraternity Life at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, around 25% of undergraduate students participate in Greek life.

Current enrollment figures indicate more than 6,200 students in sororities and fraternities at UTK, making Greek life the most prominent social organization on campus head of university athletics.

Approximately 6,200 students are in sororities and fraternities at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

How many sororities are there at UT Knoxville?

There are 20 sororities at the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

All Greek organizations at UTK are governed by one of four governing councils, which coordinate Greek activities and serve as liaisons between the individual chapters and the university.

These governing councils include traditional Greek councils and councils specific to multicultural and academic sororities and fraternities on campus. The three councils that govern sorority life at UT Knoxville are the Panhellenic Council, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council.

The Panhellenic Council is specific to sororities, while the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council govern fraternities and sororities.

The 13 sororities at UT Knoxville governed by the Panhellenic Council (PC) are:

  1. Alpha Chi Omega
  2. Alpha Delta Pi
  3. Alpha Omicron Pi
  4. Chi Omega
  5. Delta Delta Delta
  6. Delta Gamma
  7. Delta Zeta
  8. Kappa Delta
  9. Kappa Kappa Gamma
  10. Phi Mu
  11. Pi Beta Phi
  12. Sigma Kappa
  13. Zeta Tau Alpha

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) governs historically black sororities and fraternities across the country. UT Knoxville has representation for 8 of the 9 Greek organizations chartered under the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

The four sororities governed by the NPHC at the University of Tennessee are:

  1. Alpha Kappa Alpha
  2. Delta Sigma Theta
  3. Sigma Gamma Rho
  4. Zeta Phi Beta

The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) governs culturally-oriented sororities and fraternities at UTK, including chapters for specific racial, ethnic, and social groups on campus.

The three sororities governed by the MGC are:

  1. Delta Phi Lambda
  2. Lambda Theta Alpha
  3. Sigma Sigma Rho

The other governing council at UT Knoxville, the Interfraternity Council, governs fraternities on-campus.

When does sorority rush begin at UT Knoxville?

The rush process, also known as recruitment, at the University of Tennessee begins on August 15th and runs through August 23rd.

Prospective new members must register for Primary Recruitment (the fall recruiting period) to ensure they meet the academic criteria and submit any required letters of recommendation in advance of rush. Students must also pay a $175 registration fee to start the process.

Recruitment entails a weeklong series of events for prospective new members to get to know the sorority chapters on-campus, meet current members, and start narrowing their preferences. Usually, the week includes themed events to showcase the differences among the sorority chapters. The primary recruitment period ends with Bid Day on August 23rd, when prospective new members are offered a bid to join a sorority.

How much does it cost to join a sorority at UT Knoxville?

Members of a sorority at the University of Tennessee can expect to pay at least a couple hundred each semester for their chapter, not including housing expenses associated with living in one of the sorority houses.

Costs vary by each chapter, but members can expect to pay the following payments:

New Member/Initiation Fees

  • Chapter Dues
  • National Chapter Dues
  • Room & Board in the chapter house

It’s important to note that these are the standard dues and fees to be a member but do not include additional out-of-pocket expenses for social events, including formals, off-campus outings, and socials with other Greek chapters.

Commons at Knoxville offers seven floor plans to accommodate your needs and budget. 

Do sororities have their own houses at UT Knoxville?

Yes, most sororities at the University of Tennessee have their own chapter houses.

An area known as Sorority Village was completed in 2014 to house all thirteen chapters of the Panhellenic Council. Located off Neyland Dr. SW, the UTK Sorority Village serves as the main center of sorority life on campus and is where most members live during their second and/or third year in the sorority. Students offered a space to live in the chapter house must complete a housing contract form with the university.

Other housing options at the University of Tennessee

For Greek and non-Greek students looking for off-campus housing that provides convenient access to campus and an array of floor plan options, there’s no better choice than The Commons at Knoxville!

The Commons at Knoxville offers UT students one of the best locations for an off-campus student housing community with various buildings and unit styles. The community is within easy walking and biking distance of the center of campus and is just a few blocks from the restaurant and retail options along Cumberland. The Commons at Knoxville offers one, two, three, and four-bedroom apartments.

As of 2022, all units have gone through a series of in-unit upgrades, including new flooring and kitchens but remain at some of the best prices in the neighborhood. For information about pricing and availability, contact The Commons at Knoxville team today at (865) 268-8255.