Circle Operations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Below are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) that we receive at the national headquarters with the answer.  As we get more, we will post the question and the answer.


Does membership last a lifetime?

Yes. There are no additional financial or informational requirements. The Society has programs and services for post-collegiate members where fees to participate may be necessary (e.g. convention or career services) but these are voluntary.

Is OΔK membership transferable to another circle?

The only path to membership in ODK is through an active circle on a college or university campus. OΔK does not maintain alumni circles, national circles, or national initiation of any kind.

How do I transfer my membership to the new circle?

There is no need to transfer membership.  You will always be considered a member of the original O∆K circle into which you were initiated.  Your O∆K membership is recognized by every circle nationwide.  A student member transferring in good standing to another institution in which a circle is located may hold voting membership, at the discretion of the circle, during the period in which he or she is enrolled.


Who reviews the applications to decide who gets accepted?

The officers and members of the local circle manage the selection process. The national bylaws allow for the executive director of the association to reject an individual candidate but only in extreme circumstances. Membership is determined by the circle as long as the selection meets the national bylaws (Jr/Sr, Grad, Faculty, Alumni, and top 35% of class).

Are circles required to use the national membership application?

Yes. All individuals who will be inducted into the society must complete the National Membership Application and agree to the terms and conditions of the Society.   A circle may choose to use this as the primary application or as a final step after they selected by the circle for membership. The data gathered through the national membership application is crucial and needed to generate charters, membership certificates and serves as the beginning of the members’ permanent record with Omicron Delta Kappa.

What is the OΔK GPA requirement??

The bylaws specify that students must be in the top 35% of the class.  OΔK does allow institutions to determine how that 35% is calculated as long as the circle and the institution state transparently in the circle governing documents how the percentage is calculated.

Is there a certain percentage of individuals who may be inducted?

Yes. Article I of the Society Bylaws is the basis for all membership levels. Check out the Bylaws.

Are co-ops and study abroad student eligible?

Co-ops and students studying abroad are eligible so long as they meet all other enrollment criteria.  are considered enrolled students so they are eligible.  Many times with co-ops and study abroad students the problem is getting back to campus for the ceremony.  They may apply and be accepted along with the rest of the class in that term.  If they cannot return for the ceremony that term, they may be initiated later at a “desk ceremony” or a ceremony when they are back on campus.  So long as the students have not graduated before the initiation ceremony it is acceptable to initiate them at a later date.


Can I use the ODK national tax identification number?

Circles are prohibited from using the Employer Identification Number (EIN) of Omicron Delta Kappa Society, Inc. Circles are independent entities from the national organization; therefore, they must apply for and hold a separate FIN for any financial processes.

What is the purpose of the national lifetime membership fee?

The lifetime membership fee is the core financial stream for Omicron Delta Kappa. As a non-profit organization, we are member supported and member driven. The lifetime membership fee supports all operations of the association including member and circle services, career services platform (including internships and mentoring program), web content including developing the leadership matters web site, leadership program development, subsidizing workshops and conferences, and general operations. Unlike some other associations and honor societies, there are no national dues after the initiation.

Are circles permitted to charge local dues?

 Local dues are completely up to the circle. The OΔK national organization does not require, set, or collect local dues. For circles that do not have direct financial support from the institution, we recommend some kind of dues for members each year. This allows the circle to hold programs, plan a reception at initiations, or provide awards for service [for example, some circles purchases senior cords for members who complete set service hours. The circle sets the local dues process completely. Some have a one-time fee. Other have small amount annually.

Can the national headquarters collect our local dues?

The national headquarters can not collect local dues for circles through the payment of the lifetime membership fees.  If a circle charges local dues, those must be collected locally.  

What are affiliation fees and when are they due?

Every circle, being an affiliated member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society, will pay an annual affiliation fee ( much like an institutional membership fee) that helps to fund and support the programs, services, and administration of the national organization. The Society Board of Directors determines the amount of the affiliation that is due each year that is due by December 3 each year.  For circles that only initiate in the spring term, we do allow an exception to pay the affiliation fee at the time of initiation.


Are the membership fees due before the initiation ceremony?

Yes. According to the national bylaws, no member may receive the certificate and pin before the national lifetime dues are paid. For circles that pay the membership dues through a single invoice, we allow for payment of that invoice up to 30 days after the ceremony so long as the circle has completed the membership certificate order form at least ten (10) working days prior to the initiation ceremony.

How does a student appeal a rejected application?

According to the Society Bylaws, there is no appeal for a rejected application. The decision to accept or reject an applicant is left solely to the discretion of the initiating circle.

Are circles permitted to change the initiation ritual?

The ritual is approved by the Society Board of Directors and should be followed exactly as written.  The current initiation handbook provides alternative texts for the opening and closing portions of the program.  Circles that find specific language troublesome should contact the national headquarters for advice on how to alter that specific portion of the ritual.


Where can I find a list of initiated members?

The data from the national membership application is stored in the Member Management System (MMS). Circle advisors can access the applications and download a spreadsheet of initiated members back to 2010.  Before 2010, you will need to contact the national headquarters to request a specific list.

When are applications in the MMS removed or deleted?

All applicants for membership in ODK are required to complete the National Membership Application. The data from the national membership application is stored in the Member Management System (MMS). Applications submitted will be maintained in MMS for one fiscal year. On or about July 1 of each year, all records that were not handled and are more than one calendar year in age will be removed from MMS and stored electronically in a separate file. All unhandled records are deleted after three years.

The Circle Operations FAQ page is updated regularly. If you have a question, please send it to [email protected].  If we receive similar ones, we will add it to the FAQ.