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Membership Requirements

Undergraduate students (junior standing by credit or higher) and graduate students may apply for membership in Omicron Delta Kappa. Access to the online application is available during the first three weeks of each semester. Faculty, staff, alumni, and honorary membership is by nomination only, rather than by an application. 

Undergraduate & Graduate Membership

  • Junior, Senior, or Graduate Student standing by credit.
  • Rank in upper thirty-five percent of applicant’s respective class.
  • Receive a minimum number of Activity Points.
  • Distinguish themself in one of the five areas of leadership.
  • Be of unquestioned good character.
  • Receive a positive membership vote of seventy-five percent of the active circle present and voting.

Faculty, Staff, Alumni, & Honorary Membership

Individuals who have achieved distinction in their own field of expertise, or who have rendered unusually significant service through their leadership in significant causes may be elected into Faculty, Staff, Alumni, or Honorary membership in Omicron Delta Kappa. Nominations are made by current or alumni members of ODK. Qualifications include exemplary character, scholarship and intelligence, service and leadership in campus or community life, good citizenship, and fellowship and consecration to democratic ideals.

Alumni must have graduated more than 5 years prior to their nomination. Likewise, faculty and staff nominees must have served the campus community for at least 5 years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility Requirements

The GPA requirements are set by Omicron Delta Kappa National and require students to abide by the following criteria. Your class standing is based upon the number of credits that you possess. Omicron Delta Kappa requires a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.650 for Juniors (60-89 credits), 3.700 for Seniors (90+ credits), and 3.800 for Graduate Students to be considered for membership.

Yes, transfer students are eligible to apply for ODK membership so long as they have had a semester at UMD and have a UMD GPA to have their credits based upon. We encourage students to ensure they include their UMD activity/involvement information prior to others from the previous institution in the “Activity” section.

Yes! We encourage all applicants who are not accepted to reapply. In fact, most members do not get in after their first application since reviewers hope to seek continued growth in leadership before offering invitations to candidates. To make it easier for re-applicants, the application activities are saved from semester to semester but we hope to see changes and growth with each subsequent submission.

Yes. Every spring, there is an application for Top Ten Freshmen and Sophomore Leader of the Year awards. These applications open in February. The application as well as additional information can be found on the website under the “awards” section.

Individuals who are studying abroad are more than welcome to apply. It may mean different membership experiences this semester pending your return dates to campus, but study abroad would not be a factor for us not to select someone. In the class section, we suggest adding what you can, but being sure to indicate the location that you are study abroad at this time so we do not confuse if you are on campus or not.

Activity Section

ODK defines campus life into five different categories which we call “pillars.” The five are: scholarship; athletics; campus/community service, social/religious activities, and campus governance; journalism and the mass media; creative and performing arts. You can find example activities for each pillar below as well as a more in-depth discussion in the tutorial video on the website. All pillars are viewed as equal. Additionally, it is not expected that an applicant has activities in each pillar.

Make sure to think about activities that you have committed to and activities you have put time and passion into. Try to refrain from putting down activities that you only had a one-day or very short term commitment in. Here are some examples from the five different pillars:

In one entry, list both the organization name as well as your position within it. For the dates, you can put how long you’ve been in the organization as well as specifically specifying duration of roles within the activity description. Refer to the previous question for an example.

You can include them for consideration, but the most important activities you can put on your application will be your on-campus experience. We suggest that you list the top 20 activities which you consider significant activities and honors.

You do not need to hold leadership positions in each involvement, but these activities should contribute to your growth or leadership development/experience.

All activities and honors that occurred during your college time can be listed within the 20. We do ask that if the involvement was not at UMD, that you indicate that in your description of the activity.

There is no need to rank your activities. In order for the reviewers to have a complete picture of an applicant’s involvements, we suggest including as many activities as possible up to the 20 maximum. We ask applicants to select their top 5 activities that have been most impactful or valuable to your leadership experience as a student at UMD.

Parts of the Application and Submission

There is a 500-character (not word) limit for each question. Failure to ensure that your responses are within this limit may prevent them from being saved. Please note formatting from other applications (e.g. Word or Google Docs) can prevent your answers from saving properly. If you are copying and pasting text, please paste as plain text (Ctrl+Shift+V or right click and choose the plain text option). If you find you are having issues, please type directly into the form fields.

The answers to these questions are seen by the reviewers of your application and help to provide a glimpse into your leadership experiences and reason for applying to ODK. We also ask regarding any previous disciplinary history. Please note that this information is kept confidential with organization leadership.

You may edit and resubmit your application as much as needed prior to the deadline for submission. We do not allow edits to the application once our deadline has passed, so please be sure to have all edits complete and the application submitted prior to the deadline.

Tapping Week (our way of inviting new members to the organization) usually occurs about three weeks after the application officially closes. Additional details regarding dates of tapping week are provided upon completion of the application. If you are not selected for membership, we will email those applicants at the end of tapping week regarding their status. 

Yes, there is an induction scholarship available for those who require financial assistance. We have always been able to accommodate those in need and strive to remove any financial barriers to membership.

General ODK Information

Current members are expected to participate in events such as general body meetings, selection of new members, lectures, and service initiatives every semester. These requirements are minimally time consuming since we recognize that those who have been selected for membership are campus leaders with many other responsibilities.

Being inducted into the ODK Sigma Circle is an acknowledgement that you exemplify what it means to be a Terp and a leader at UMD. The ODK Sigma Circle fountain serves as a method to recognize those who are members. The ODK Sigma Circle also provides you with opportunities to network with current members as well as incredible alumni to grow and improve your own leadership abilities. Though we do not ask for too much of your time, we participate in service to give back to our local community. 

In addition to benefits of ODK Membership at UMD, you also receive benefits through ODK National. Additional information regarding national benefits can be found on their website.

Our current members represent all facets of campus life through the five pillars. The following inductee bios and word cloud provide a glimpse into our current members, our past members have been involved in an even greater array of activities on campus. This list is not all encompassing and we are always looking to diversify our membership.


Meet our recent inductees:
Senior Physics and Computer Science double major. As a Gemstone Honors College student, they serve as a Teaching Assistant for GEMS100 and GEMS104, a Committee Member on the Gemstone Leadership Council, and the Gemstone representative on the Honors College Student Advisory Board. This Banneker Key Scholar is a Computer Science Ambassador, a Counselor at the UMD Help Center, and a Rower for the Men’s Crew team. Junior English and Psychology double major. This Psychology Honors member and Dean’s Scholarship recipient serves as the Executive Administrator and Counselor of the UMD Help Center and serves on the Mental Health Student Advisory Board. They have gained experience as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at the Maryland Psychotherapy Clinic, The Social Justice Lab, and Counseling Psychology Research Center. They serve as the Managing Editor of the Paper Shell Review and is a Teaching Assistant in the psychology department.
Senior Neurobiology and Physiology major. Along with being part of the Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC), they have served as a Resident Assistant for two years. They serve on the Executive Board of the College Success Scholars, is an EMT in training for the Branchville Volunteer Fire Station, a volunteer for TerpsForChange and America Reads, a member of the ROTC Color Guard, and a mentor for the Drill Team. They have participated in the First Year Innovation and Research Experience (FIRE) Program, Hillel’s Israel Discovered Trip, and Project Global Officers Study Abroad. Junior Mechanical Engineering major. This ODK Top 10 Freshman and Banneker Key Scholar is the President of Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, the Treasurer for UMD Club Swimming team, a Connect Mentor and Teaching Assistant for the Gemstone Honors College, and a Student Mentor for the Society of Women Engineers and Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honors Society. They are the Vice President of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the President of the Banneker Key Community Council.
Senior Operations Management and Business Analytics and Information Systems double major. This Presidential Scholarship recipient serves as the Vice President of Finance of Student Entertainment Events and has worked on the Gemstone Leadership Council in various roles. They are a Project Manager and a Peer Mentor for the Gemstone Program. They have also been a Track Leader for Smith in the City, a Strategy Analyst for the Smith Undergraduate Student Association, and a Career Advising Intern for the Office of Career Services in the Smith School of Business. Junior Communication major. They work in the UMD Visitors Center as a Tour Guide and Campus Representative. They are the founder of Get Ovary It and is involved with PERIOD @ UMD, Preventing Sexual Assault, and Best Buddies. They are in Zeta Tau Alpha and this semester, has served as an intern in the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life focusing on sexual assault prevention.
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