Joining a Black Greek Graduate Chapter

Last Updated on November 14, 2017

Members of Alpha Phi Alpha's South Dallas graduate chapter.
Members of Alpha Phi Alpha's South Dallas graduate chapter.

So, it looks like you may not join the Divine Nine fraternity or sorority of your choice in college. Whether the reason is something beyond your control or you choose to hold off until you graduate, you are in the same boat with a lot of college students who are interested in Black Greek life. There is no shame in joining a Black Greek-Letter Organization (BGLO) on the graduate level.

Some students fear missing the best years of their lives by not joining a fraternity or sorority during college but joining a graduate chapter is part of a new beginning. Think of it. Your college commencement marks a new phase of life; why shouldn’t joining a grad chapter serve you the same?

Here is what you can look forward to if you join a BGLO as a college graduate:

A Professional Network

You would be with people who are into their careers and some of them will be well-seasoned veterans in their fields. That means you would have immediate access to much-needed guidance and career mentoring. Although undergraduate chapters have advisors and custodial chapters with the same kinds of members, a graduate chapter will put you in direct contact with these valuable folks on a more consistent basis.

Tighter Focus on the Business and Mission of the Fraternity or Sorority

Okay, I have a confession to make. Grad brothers irked the heck out of me when I was an undergrad. There didn’t seem to be an end to what I perceived as stale, non-productive, out-of-date criticism. Then I became a graduate chapter president and figured out that their feedback was anything but stale, non-productive and normally right on time.

Graduate Greeks are people with, shall we say, more life experience. With a tighter focus on personal responsibility and accountability, graduate members respect the lofty demands of honoring their respective organizations’ business and missions. By being initiated on the graduate level, you get on a tighter track to getting down to the business of fulfilling your fraternity’s or sorority’s mission. This is especially attractive to students who are told they have wisdom beyond their years.

More Fun!

One of the biggest misconceptions among college students who are interested in Greek life is the fun ends after college. Honestly, that depends on the individuals in the chapter. Hey, I have seen some seriously boring undergrad chapters in my day. Let's look at the Dallas-Fort Worth area as an example. When I moved here, I was pleasantly surprised at how active graduate Greek life is. Actually, I think we put a lot of undergrads to shame sometimes.

Yes, we graduate members go on road trips. Yes, we grad chapters have parties a few us step (even some of us with gray hair and big bellies). Actually, one of the events growing in popularity in DFW is the graduate Greek show. The best thing is that, as a professional, you will be able to manage the cost of having a good time unlike you probably do in college. *smile*

17 thoughts on “Joining a Black Greek Graduate Chapter”

  1. Brother Francis this is a great article as I think you give great insight on the Alumni level and what alumni brothers do. No matter which way you came into the organization as long as you hold steadfast the aims and missions of your organization you are an ACTIVE member.

  2. This article was a great read. In college I wanted to join a sorority, but due to things out of my control I couldnt. I have a lot of friends who are Greek and they’ve never said anything bad about joining through the grad chapter level. I believe that its not how you get into the organization, but what you do when you’re in it. I never knew how strong the division was when it came to “pledging” vs. “MIP”. But the ladies who’ve I met in my journey were amazing!

    Thanks for writting this article!

  3. Nothing stated in this article is any different from the experience an undergraduate would have after matriculating into an alumni chapter upon graduation from college. The premise and title of the article suggests otherwise; that somehow, being initiated into an alumni chapter offers a different and unique experience.

  4. As a Brother of Kappa Alpha Psi who finished his undergraduate degree in the military, I was unable to experience Greek life as a college student. However, the alumni level offers much of what I was looking for in a Fraternity. I believe you hit some great point on the head, great read!

  5. So I am currently in undergrad and the sorority I would like to be in isn’t a part of my school anymore and probably wont be offered untill I graduate, so this was very helpful. Hopefully when I do go to graduate school, I can still pledge. Thank you .

  6. So if am a 50 year old man and want to be an Omega, how do you go about it? What are the steps and do I have to “Pledge” as a young adult, I must admit there are somethings this 50 year old granddad isn’t going to do

  7. A short and sweet article, but it does not touch on the downside of becoming a member at the graduate level. There is no mention of the perception of some brothers and sisters who consider those who become members at the grad level “unofficial’. I have heard from many who became made at the undergrad level that those who join at the grad level are treated as members but are not taken seriously because they missed out on the undergraduate process. Personally, that is one of my issues about joining at the graduate level. Why go through the graduate process when there will be little to no respect given from those who went through undergrad? I wanted to become a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. but there was no chapter anywhere, in the entire region! The closest one was over a hundred miles away! I digress. And now I would still like to become a member, but I refuse to join only to be disrespected.

  8. JW Wilkerson, II

    Parker, we are in the same mental “place”, despite having different organizational aspirations! (“Taking Wood” is just another way of trying to see if this retired Army COL still has any fight left in him!)

    Did you ever get an answer to your posted questions about the steps/process, besides mine?


  9. Hi Ashley! My apologies for the delayed reply but I’m just seeing this. Go for it! Your story is common, just make sure you are on solid academic footing in grad school before you make your move. You may even find that it will be better once you are into your career. Whatever, you do, make the best decision at the best time for you. Best of luck!

  10. Jay, that’s bull. Many grad chapters, including the past two I have joined, are heavily influenced by those who were initiated on the grad level. Also, it doesn’t matter what people think. What matters is what you bring to the table. In other words, someone who joins to genuinely carry out the mission of the fraternity will earn respect. Finally, your reason for not joining on the undergrad level is beyond your control. You will have a hard time finding a member who is so irrational that he can’t understand your reason for not going undergrad. My recommendation is that you reach out to the grad chapter, attend their public events, observe the members, try to get to know them, and make your decision from there. I hope this helps!

  11. Yasmin Bradshaw

    Thank you for this, Mr. Francis! I really appreciate your viewpoint as a grad chapter member who is very active and a part of the leadership therein. You assuaged a lot of my anxieties and misconceptions about joining a BGLO grad chapter. Many thanks!

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