EDU in Review News Blog

Top 10 College Sororities

There’s obviously been a lot of passionate commentary posted here. We won’t disagree that the sororal community is one that is strong. When this article was first created nearly two years ago, it was done so as a way to capture all of our sorority profiles in one place (and at that time, we’d, admittedly, only completely ten), it was never meant to place one above another or diminish the value of another. Although, we recognize, the headline says otherwise. Since that time we’ve written, to the best of our knowledge, profiles on most, if not all, of the major collegiate sorority organizations in the U.S. You can find those here.

The list of ten presented here is in alphabetical order, again, in no way meant to give preference.

Being a part of a Greek organization is often the first order of business for life on campus for college freshman. Typically a rush week just prior or at the start of the fall semester makes it possible for women to visit each sorority house on campus, before an invitation is extended to join one house or another. These sororities can be a major part of a student’s college career, being a source of social activies, cultivating relationships and keeping students accountable for their academic performance.

Ten sororities stand out as some of the oldest, largest and most popular Greek organizations for women. Learn more about their histories, philanthropic efforts, traditions and even celebrity alumnae.


Alpha Chi Omega

Founded 1885 on the Depauw University campus in Greencastle, IN by the dean of the music school, in an effort to cultivate a music culture for women. The Alpha Chis support charities for domestic violence, and famous alumnae include former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Bachelorette Trista Rehn Sutter.


Alpha Phi

Alpha Phi was the fourth Greek organization ever founded for women, in 1872 at Syracuse University. The sorority promotes sisterhood and character with philanthropic efforts focused on cardiac care and research. Famous alumnae include actress Jeri Ryan and Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey.


Chi Omega

The Chi Omega sorority was founded at the University of Arkansas in 1895, with the purpose of promoting friendship, scholarship, campus socializing and personal and career development. The Chi-O women support the Make-A-Wish Foundation and is currently the nation’s largest sorority. Celebrity alumnae include actress Lucy Liu and Tamira Cole, the sorority’s first black member and 2009 Miss Black Kentucky.


Delta Delta Delta

Not feeling as though they fit in with the other sororities at Boston University, four women began Delta Delta Delta in 1888. Their goal was for the women to be “kind alike to all” and to “think more of inner self and character than of personal appearance.” The Tri-Delts support children’s cancer charities, namely St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. In 1992, a famous SNL skit made the sorority a household name. Celebrity alumnae include actress Elizabeth Banks and CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric.


Delta Gamma

In 1873 at the Lewis School for Girls, Delta Gamma began with a purpose of helping women strive for excellence. The sorority has historical ties with the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. The philanthropic efforts of the DGs is focused on Service for Sight, matching their motto to “Do Good.” Celebrity alumnae of Delta Gamma include actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus and ESPN Sports Reporter Jill Arrington.


Delta Zeta

Delta Zeta was founded at Miami University in Ohio in 1902 by six women. This was the same year that women were given status to enroll as full-time students at Miami University. Their purpose was to cultivate friendship, knowledge, social culture and unity. The Delta Zeta women support organizations for the hearing or speech impaired. Famous alumnae include The View co-host Joy Behar and “Brady Bunch mom” Florence Henderson.


Kappa Delta

The sorority was founded in 1897 at the State Female Normal School, now Longwood University, by four women aged 15 to 23. Their objective was to perpetuate friendship, fellowship and sisterly love. The Kappa Deltas support four organizations — Girl Scouts, Prevent Child Abuse America, Children’s Hospital of Richmond, Virginia and Orthopaedic Research Awards. Famous Kappa Delta alumnae include former Miss USA and actress Ali Landry and the Army’s first three-star general Claudia Kennedy.


Kappa Kappa Gamma

The KKG sorority was founded at Monmouth College in 1870 by six women. It remains one of the oldest and largest active Greek organizations. The principle ideals set forth by the founding women were friendship, scholarship and leadership. The official philanthropy of Kappa Kappa Gamma is Reading is Fundamental. Famous Kappa alumnae include actresses Ashley Judd and Sophia Bush.


Pi Beta Phi

The Pi Beta Phi sorority was also founded at Monmouth College in 1867 by a group of women who wanted their own version of the men’s secret societies. The Pi Phis philanthropic efforts focus on literacy organizations like Champions Are Readers. Celebrity alumnae include actress Jennifer Garner and former First Lady Barbara Bush.


Zeta Tau Alpha

The State Female Normal School, now Longwood University, also produced the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. Founded in 1898 by nine women pursuing education degrees with the purpose of promoting friendship and happiness that would help build a purer womanhood. The Zetas philanthropic work benefits breast cancer awareness, with their national charity being The Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Famous ZTA alumnae include ESPN reporter Erin Andrews and President Gerald Ford’s daughter Susan Ford Bales.

Also see our list of Famous Sorority Sisters.






21 Responses to “Top 10 College Sororities”

  1. Quality over quantity says:

    You don’t have a list without Kappa Alpha Theta.There’s a reason it was the first sorority at Harvard- class, academics, and tradition. Theta won’t go to schools that are weaker in academics… that’s why we aren’t the biggest. Quality over quantity.

  2. June Webb-Vignery says:

    I would suggest that looking at the top ten sororities geographically may alter this list.

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  6. Sarah B. says:

    Why did you list all the National Panhellenic Conference Sororities?
    What happened to Alpha Omicron Pi. AOPi has some famous members, and
    is fairly strong nationally. Margaret Bourke White-Famous Photographer ; Heather Buck-Opera Singer ; Ed Sullivan’s Daughter-Betty Precht; Courtney Kupets-Olympic and World Champion Gymnast; Anne Byrn- “The Cake Mix Doctor,” Cookbook Author; etc.

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  11. JH says:

    I don’t see how Theta wasn’t on here. I would say Pi Phi, Tri-Delt, Theta, DG, Chi-O, Kappa, AXO, Alpha Phi, are 9 that are fairly strong nationally, all with strong and weak chapters.

  12. jena says:

    Jennifer Garner (actress) and so is Jennifer Biddulph Maxwell, co-creator of the Power Bar (business) and Grace Coolidge (First Lady, and wife of President Calvin Coolidge were Pi Beta Phis.
    Are these “Top Ten” based on membership numbers?

  13. Lola says:

    While I won’t criticize the inclusion of only National Panhellenic Conference sororities since they are simply so much bigger than the black or multicultural ones I have to wonder about the critera used when creating this list. If the consideration is for older, large well respected groups where is the first secret society for women, now Alpha Delta Pi or the first Greek letter fraternity for women, Kappa Alpha Theta, or the first to use the word sorority, Gamma Phi Beta. Creating a list like this also does a great diservice to the spirt of cooperation in the NPC. Really it would be best simply to have a list of all NPC groups.

  14. Kelsey says:

    How did you chose these groups? There are notable omision For example Kappa Alpha Theta, Alpha Delta Pi, and Phi Mu.

  15. megan says:

    wait, chi omega just recently got its first black member?

  16. Melissa Finn says:

    Wow, this is INCREDIBLY offensive. There are TWENTY-SIX sororities that are members of the National Panhellenic Conference and all are outstanding organizations. To choose the “top 10″ does a great disservice to the other sixteen, not to mention perpetuates nasty rumors and stereotypes. Every chapter is different at every campus. Your criteria seem to be who has the most famous members.

    And don’t get me started on the fact that you completely omitted the four members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council (the historically black sororities) and any sororities that are historically Latin, Asian, or multicultural.

    I must request that this article be removed immediately – the content is extremely damaging to sororities and their members.

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  18. SalmonPink/AppleGreen says:

    Alpha Kappa Alpha is the best sorority there is!

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