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Who can join?
Any student who is currently enrolled as an engineering major with the Office of the Registrar is eligible to join. You must currently be majoring in one of the School of Engineering’s official list:
- Computer Science and Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Material Science and Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Undeclared Engineering
- Applied Mathematics with emphasis in Computer Science
Note: If you are undeclare at the time of recruitment, an eligible major as listed above must be declared by the time of initiation.
How can I join?
A member must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a declared Engineering major
- Have at least a 2.5 GPA at UC Merced (Freshman can go through recruitment spring semester)
- Be at least 18 years old
- Attend at least one Theta Tau event during recruitment week (attendance of all recruitment events are highly recommended)
If you are interested in joining you should participate in our recruitment events taking place fall and spring semesters. Our events will give you the opportunity to meet the brothers and find out what Theta Tau has to offer you. If you have any questions before our recruitment events, feel free to talk to any of the members that you may see wearing our letters.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q:What kind of organization is Theta Tau?
A: Theta Tau is a professional engineering fraternity. The purpose of Theta Tau is to develop and maintain a high standard of professional interest among its members, and to unite them in a strong bond of fraternal fellowship. We separate ourselves from being a social fraternity because we emphasize professionalism as a common goal. Nonetheless, we hold many social events, such as intramural sports, camping, and fraternity potluck dinners, all of which foster brotherhood.
Q:What is a fraternity?
A: A fraternity offers its members a lifelong bond of brotherhood and activities to promote their educational objectives. A general characteristic of fraternities is that membership is by invitation only, membership is for life, and a ritual proclaiming the ideals of the organization is revealed to its members upon initiation. Fraternity members generally have a higher GPA and are more likely to graduate than the overall student body. A general fraternity can organize only the social life of its members, but as a professional fraternity, Theta Tau offers more: a common bond of interest in the pursuance of engineering in its various branches.
Q:Is Theta Tau Co-Ed?
A: Yes. Theta Tau is a Co-ed National Professional Fraternity; we recruit high-achieving men and women. Theta Tau has been Co-ed since 1977.
Q:Do I have to be an engineer to join Theta Tau?
A: Yes. You must be currently enrolled as an engineering major or an applied math major with an emphasis in engineering at UC Merced.
Q:Is Theta Tau an honor society?
A: Although we promote scholarship and require a certain GPA for initiates, Theta Tau is not an honor society.
Q:Why should I consider Theta Tau?
A: What makes Theta Tau great is the development of its members. The area between social fraternity and honor society allows us to create an environment where students can grow academically, professionally, and socially. Professionalism is important, yet at the same time we don’t forget about the fundamental, social aspect of brotherhood; we ultimately help each other become well-rounded men and women. Theta Tau is a strong professional and social network that will last for life.
Q:What is Recruitment?
A: Recruitment (formerly known as rush) is an open invitation for eligible students to learn about becoming a member of Theta Tau. Recruitment is usually held during the first few weeks of the fall and spring semesters. During recruitment week, Theta Tau will have events where can you first meet the members of Theta Tau and they get to meet you. The purpose is to let the brothers of Theta Tau know you are interested in joining. You also learn about the fraternity and the upcoming process so you can make an informed decision about joining. During recruitment, you are encouraged to come to as many events as possible, introduce yourself to the members and ask any questions they may have about Theta Tau. At the end of this process, the brothers of Theta Tau will deliver a bid to whom they wish to continue on to the process to becoming a member of Theta Tau.
Q:What is a “bid” and how do I receive one?
A: A “bid” is a formal invitation to become a potential new member for the fraternity. Bids are given out to students who have shown potential of being a good member of Theta Tau. To receive a bid, come out to the recruitment events. Get to know the current members, as the chances of receiving a bid increase by doing so. Immediately after the recruitment events, be sure to sign up for an interview. In order to be considered for a bid, a student must go through the interview process. After the interviews, the members will hold a meeting to determine which students may move on to the process to become a member. If the members decide to allow the student to continue to the recruitment process, that student will receive a bid.
Q:What is the new member process?
A: The new member process (formerly known as pledging) is a continuing promise by the brothers to become an active member of the fraternity. If you choose to accept an extended bid, you will undergo the new member process, defined roughly by a 6 to 8 week period. During this time, you are given the opportunity to learn about the local and national history of the fraternity as well as a chance to bond with your concurrent pledge brothers and future fraternal brothers. Each new member session lasts approximately an hour. Throughout the new-membership, different requirements are asked to be fulfilled, including but not limited to learning teamwork, professional development, and the responsibility upon becoming a member of Theta Tau.
Q:What are “big brothers”?
A: A big brother is a member of Theta Tau assigned to act as a mentor to a potential new member. Big brothers help the potential new members adjust to Theta Tau and offer any advice they may have about courses, the fraternity, among other things.
Q:Are there any fees?
A: The new member process fee is $200 dollars, which covers the cost of chapter and national fees. If the potential member fails to cross over, they will be refunded $100. This fee is paid only one time (the semester you initiate). The member dues are $200 per semester. This fee covers cost of materials, chapter and national fees. Membership dues go toward leadership training, program development, chapter maintenance and a lifetime subscription to The Gear, Theta Tau Fraternity’s magazine. If you are concerned about paying the fees, contact the treasurer and a payment plan can be arranged.
Q:What is Theta Tau’s stance on hazing?
A: Theta Tau is clear and concise in its stance against hazing. Hazing is illegal; therefore, it has no place in the Fraternity. Theta Tau holds its members to the highest possible standard, and no chapter, colony, member or alumnus shall conduct nor condone hazing activities. Any action taken to intentionally hurt the individual, degrade them, or humiliate them will not be tolerated. Our chapter believes that everyone who joins our organization is equal.
Q:How do I correctly pronounce the "Tau" in Theta Tau?
A: Great question! In your physics or math classes, "tau" probably rhymes with "cow" or "how," which is the correct pronunciation for the modern Greek letter. However, in our name, "tau" rhymes with "law" or "saw," which is the pronunciation for the classical Greek letter.