The purpose of the Alpha Kappa Delta honor society is to promote scholarship, but the focus has always been fellowship for students, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Conferring a charter signifies that the institution meets high standards of program quality and scholarship.


Individual students must also meet high standards. In the 1930s, undergraduate students needed the equivalent of a ‘B+’ average in at least 12 hours of sociology and a ‘B’ average, overall, to be considered. Today, to become a member of AKD, a student has to 1) be a declared sociology major or demonstrate a serious interest in sociology within an official program of the host institution; 2) be at least a junior; 3) have accumulated the equivalent of an overall GPA of 3.0 and rank in the top 35% of their class in general scholarship; 4) have maintained the equivalent of a 3.0 GPA in sociology courses taken at the host institution prior to initiation; and 5) have completed at least four regular courses in sociology prior to initiation (exclusive of extension or courses graded pass/fail).


Student scholarship in Alpha Kappa Delta is recognized in several ways. The Society sponsors student travel to regional meetings, supporting those who want to present their own work and learn from the scholarly presentations of others. The Society sponsors annual student paper contests, presenting awards which include monetary prizes, travel support, and scholarships. In addition, by funding research symposia and honoraria for guest speakers, the Society supports chapter activities which further education. The Society continues to recognize scholarly excellence in sociology by inducting approximately 4,000 lifetime members each year.

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