Top 10 College Fraternities

While on the surface fraternities are synonymous with mid-day drinking games and weekend keggers, at their heart, fraternities remain true to the visions set forth by their founders. Fraternities offer college men a place to develop outside of the classroom, offering friendship, leadership development, academic accountability and a firm alumni base post-graduation.

There are 10 fraternities that stand-out as some of the largest and oldest collegiate Greek organizations. We’ll introduce you to those and share their histories, philanthropies and even famous alumni.


Kappa Sigma

Kappa Sigma is one of the oldest fraternities in the country, and also currently a leader in new pledges annually. Kappa Sigma was founded at the University of Virginia in 1869 by five men to promote fellowship, leadership, scholarship and service. Kappa Sig currently leads in donation and service hours over all other Greek organizations, with each chapter choosing its own philanthropy. Famous Kappa Sig alumni include singer Jimmy Buffet and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.


Lambda Chi Alpha

The Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity was founded at Boston University in 1909, with this year marking its centennial celebration. It was the first fraternity to eliminate pledging and it also takes a fervent stand against hazing, being one of the founders of the Greek Anti-Hazing Hotline. The official philanthropy of Lambda Chi Alpha is the North American Food Drive. Famous Lambda Chis include singer Kenny Chesney and radio broadcaster Paul Harvey.


Phi Delta Theta

Several sororities were also founded at Miami University in Ohio, where Phi Delta Theta came to be in 1848. Since implementing alcohol-free housing in 2000, the fraternity has enjoyed an increase in membership. In 2002 the official philanthropy of Phi Delta Theta became the Amytrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association. Famous Phi Delts include actor Burt Reynolds and astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon.


Phi Kappa Psi

Founded at Jefferson College in 1855, the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity was founded as an organization intended to help others. The fraternity creed mentions a brotherhood of honorable men who are cultured, moral and loyal. The official philanthropy of Phi Kappa Psi is the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Famous Phi Psi alumni include actor Zach Braff and Yahoo! co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang.


Pi Kappa Alpha

In 1868, the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity was founded at the University of Virginia to share the ideals of friendship, truth, honor and loyalty. The fraternity takes the education of its members seriously, and has a program called Pike University, which includes leadership development and educational events. There is no official philanthropy, but each chapter supports its own causes. Famous Pikes include the founder of KFC Colonel Harland Sanders and singer Tim McGraw.


Sigma Alpha Epsilon

The fraternity of Sigma Alpha Epsilon was founded in 1856 on the University of Alabama campus, and was the first fraternity to be founded in the South. Suiting their Southern ties, the SAE’s motto is “The True Gentleman.” The official philanthropy of Sigma Alpha Epsilon is the Children’s Miracle Network. Famous Sigma Alpha Epsilon alumni include LA Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and actor David Spade.


Sigma Chi

Sigma Chi fraternity is one of the oldest and largest fraternities, founded in 1855 on the campus of Miami University in Ohio. The two official philanthropies for the Sigma Chi fraternity are the Children’s Miracle Network and the Huntsman Cancer Institute. Sigma Chi was the first Greek society to be honored by the United States Congress for the fraternity’s 150th birthday in 2005. Famous Sigs include actor Brad Pitt and actor John Wayne.


Sigma Nu

Sigma Nu fraternity was founded in 1869 by three cadets at Virginia Military Institute to stand against the hazing they saw taking place on campus. The official philanthropies of the Sigma Nu fraternity are Habitat for Humanity, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Character Counts!. Famous Sigma Nu alumni include former Price is Right host Bob Barker and NFL quarterback Eli Manning.


Sigma Phi Epsilon

Founded in 1901 at the University of Richmond, Sigma Phi Epsilon currently has the highest undergraduate membership of any fraternity in the country. Sigma Phi Epsilon has adopted YouthAids as its official philanthropy. In 1991 the Sig Eps eliminated pledging to fall more inline with their three principles — Virtue, Diligence & Brotherly Love. Famous Sigma Phi alumni include James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, and Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s.


Tau Kappa Epsilon

The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity was founded in 1899 at the Illinois Wesleyan University as a society for young men to develop mentally, morally and socially. The official philanthropy of TKE is the Alzheimer’s Association, adopted in 2001 in honor of alumnus former President Ronald Reagan. Other famous Tekes include singers Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley.

Also see our list of Famous Fraternity Members.






79 Responses to “Top 10 College Fraternities”

  1. Van Scott says:

    Sigma Nu Fraternity was founded in 1869 at VMI. It was founded by 3 VMI cadets. I have visited many Sigma Nu houses; among them: The U. of: California; U of Missouri; U of Oklahoma; U of Cincinnati; Georgia Tech; Purdue; Drury; William Jewell; Auburn; San Jose State and Washington U.;
    all of them “rolled out the red carpet”, to include: providing a bunk, arranging dates, inviting me to meals in the house and going out to drink with them—-instant camaraderie! In addition, my son is a Founding Father of the Sigma Nu Chapter at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, Texas.
    To believe in the life of love, to walk in the way of honor, to serve in the light of truth—this is the life, the way and the light of Sigma Nu—this is the creed of our Fraternity.

  2. Bob says:

    DKE is a farm club of Skull and Bones at Yale University. Skull and Bones is only at Yale founded in 1832, DKE founded at Yale in 1932. All Bushes from Yale were DKE’s and Skull and Bones. DKE is the ultimate Fraternity. Although not as large in chapters as in the past NO other Fraternity in the USA has its “world Power”. Don’t believe it? Get an old Bairds Manual of College Fraternities and look through it’s members. It’s a globalists dream. Many people say that Kappa Sigma is an offshoot of DKE. That may or may not be true but DKE and Skull and Bones share many similarities with Kappa Sigma. Their mottos are also eerily similar. Do the research and you will become a true believer. Look up Skull and Bones, http://www.kappasigma.org, and http://www.deltakappaepsilon.org or http://www.deke.org .

  3. James Hamilton says:

    I think that delta upsilon is better than some of these fraternities

  4. HopTillWeDie says:

    how tf isn’t omega psi phi on this list this list is bogus.

  5. sara says:

    o to be in a college fraternity. In the UK they dont really have such things, just more lame versions ‘student societies’that they have in the union. am sure it would have been a blast to be in one of these

  6. Max says:

    Any list that dies not include Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity is suspect. It is the largest and most noteworthy Fraternity in the world.
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Civil Rights
    W.E.B. Dubois: Writer, Historian, Civil Rights Activist
    Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.: Civil Rights Activist
    Thurgood Marshall: Civil Rights Activist, Supreme Court Justice
    Paul Robeson: Activist, Scholar, Singer, Football Player
    Dick Gregory: Comedian
    Quinn Buckner: Former NBA Player and Coach
    Wes Chandler: Former NFL Player
    Todd Day: NBA Player
    Rosie Greer: Former NFL Player
    Charles Haley: NFL Player
    Michael Jackson: NFL Player
    Carnell Lake: NFL Player
    Jesse Owens: Olympic Gold Medalist
    Fritz Pollard: 1st Black Head Coach in the NFL
    Mike Powell: Track Star
    Eddie Robinson: Winningest Football Coach in NCAA History
    Jackie Robinson: First Black Man in Major League Baseball
    Art Shell: Former NFL Player and Coach
    Wes Unseld: Former NBA Player and Coach
    Gene Upshaw: President of the NFL Players Association
    Lenny Wilkens: Winningest Coach in NBA History
    John “Hot Rod” Williams: Former NBA Player
    Reggie Williams: Cincinnati Bengal
    Dennis Archer: Mayor of Detroit
    Richard Arrington: Mayor of Birmingham
    Willie Brown: Mayor of San Francisco
    David Dinkins: Former Mayor of New York
    Rev. Emmanuel Cleaver: Mayor of Kansas City
    Chaka Fattah: Congressman, Pennsylvania
    Ernest Finney: South Carolina Supreme Court Justice
    Earl Hilliard: Congressman, Alabama (7th District)
    Maynard Jackson: Former Mayor of New Orleans
    Earnest “Dutch” Morial: 1st Black Mayor of New Orleans
    Marc Morial: Mayor of New Orleans
    Charles Rangel: Congressman, New York (15th District)
    Robert C. Scott: Congressman, Virginia (3rd District)
    Andrew Young: Former Mayor of Atlanta

    These are all Men of Alpha!! So again, any list that doesn’t have Alpha Phi Alpha is bogus!!

  7. zach garrett says:

    Sigma Phi Epsilon is the shit. SigEp for life

  8. mike burnett says:

    what NO Phi Beta Sigma…
    Jerry Rice
    Emmitt Smith
    Cong. John Lewis
    Cong. Ed Towns
    George Washington Carver
    Rev. Al Sharpton
    Pres. Bill Clinton

  9. Dude says:

    Not sure what you are basing this list off of… but it’s not a very good list. A lot of these don’t deserve top 10 status.

  10. SouthSAE says:

    If you’re not an SAE, you’re nothing.

  11. Tyler says:

    TKE ALL DAY ERR DAY

  12. Seer says:

    Yall cry more than a bunch of rejected Rushees
    releveance is key boys
    It’s all about the here and now

  13. Nuddy says:

    If my facts are correct, I believe Beta Theta Pi has the most members that have gone on to become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Why are Betas not represented on this list?

  14. Jimbo says:

    BETA THETA PI… Where the hell is it?. Beta should be the only one up there. The wealthiest most well connected fraternity. This web sight has no validity.

  15. Mr. Alpha Sig says:

    Alpha Sigma Phi, all day, errday.

  16. Cheops says:

    @Since 1844

    A small correction. Deke was not the first fraternity at Ole Miss, nor even the second. Both Delta Tau Delta and the W.W.W. had chapters founded at Ole Miss in 1848, a full three years before Deke was on campus.

  17. Woog says:

    Plus about 3 non betas have already mentioned Beta Theta Pi on the comments… Which shows that even other fraternities acknowledge our brotherhood

  18. Woog says:

    Regie, if you want to go by those standards than Beta should definitely be on this list… Most fortune 500 CEO’s and Olympic Athletes, even politicians haha… A rich tradition whose main objective is to build men of principle…

    Its big, its old, it has tradition, and it has “quality members”….

    There is no reason for Beta to not be on this list

  19. regie says:

    itz not about being oldest and largest its all about the “quality and the unity of the members”. SAE 1856

  20. Tom says:

    No Beta Theta PI? Should be up there. This site is a joke.

  21. Beta Boy says:

    Truthfully, i’m a bit insulted to not see Beta Theta Pi on this list. Beta is not only the fourth oldest college fraternity still in activity, but also one of the largest. It’s definitely larger and more popular than some of the fraternities on this list. We are a fraternity with a great history that has had MANY successful alumni throughout the nation including athletes, CEO’s (maybe a few billionaires), politicians, and even a few actors and writers. Unfortunately, (and fortunately for many) Beta has been labled as big party frat. As a result, we have had many large chapters including some in both state schools and Ivy leagues closed. OF course, this screws our numbers BIG TIME, BUT I don’t think its reason enough to not be put on this list…..

  22. D.A.L.W. says:

    Phi Kappa Psi is a great national fraternity, and I’m very proud to be a member. As Zach Braff said, “High! High! High!”

  23. law says:

    Pi Kappa Phi is the only Greek fraternity founded in the Carolinas, is one of the fastest expanding, operates its own philanthropy, and still has its alpha chapter active at the College of Charleston.. which is maybe one of three alphas left tops.

  24. Regie says:

    Sigma Alpha Epsilon 1856 is the best!

  25. skullsgroup666 says:

    hey all of you no chance to our phi kappa sigma is the oldest and largest fraternity men!

  26. skulls says:

    you all! no one can defeat phi kappa sigma is the oldest and largest fraternity

  27. Since 1844 says:

    Let me add some other things about DKE.

    They are not even in the top 20 when it comes to number of chapters or initiates.
    But they have a disproportionate share of famous alumni and history that is amazing!

    There have been 6 Presidents, if one counts FDR who was a member of the Harvard chapter that lost their charter due to duplicate memberships with ADPhi.
    The next closed fraternity Sigma Chi only has 2 presidents.

    There have been 4 Vice Presidents.

    The first man to reach the North Pole and the 4th man to step on the moon are Dekes.

    According to Baird’s Manual of Fraternities. DKE ranks number 2 in total Olympic athletes produced. Only Beta ranks higher, but they have TRIPLE the number of initiates of DKE.

    DKE was at Alabama (1847) BEFORE Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
    DKE was at Miami (1852) BEFORE Sigma Chi.
    DKE was established in Massachusetts (1846) BEFORE Lambda Chi was at Boston University
    DKE was at Virginia (1852) BEFORE Kappa Sigma or Pi Kappa Alpha.
    DKE was established in the state of Virginia (1852) long BEFORE Sigma Phi Epsilon was at Richmond.
    DKE was established in the state of Virginia (1852) BEFORE Sigma Nu was at VMI.

    DKE was the FIRST fraternity at Alabama, Ole Miss, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Vanderbilt, and Syracuse.

    The mother Phi chapter at Yale has initiated over 5000 men since 1844. This is more than other fraternity chapter in the nation. It also likely has the oldest UNINTERRUPTED existence of any fraternity chapter out there!

  28. jack says:

    Founded in 1865 Kappa Alpha Order is the best!

  29. Harrison says:

    Not going to make a big deal out of this but there are some fraternities on this list that are absolute jokes. Your biggest mistake is not listing Kappa Alpha Order. KA and SAE are the tier-1 fraternities in the south and are about as old row as it gets.


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