Delta Phi Alpha


The National German Honor Society, Delta Phi Alpha, seeks to recognize excellence in the study of German and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship. The Society aims to promote the study of the German language, literature, and civilization and endeavors to emphasize those aspects of German life and culture which are of universal value and which contribute to humanity's eternal search for peace and truth.

The Delta Phi Alpha National German Honorary Society began with the founding of the Alpha chapter at Wofford College in 1929, and now has constituent chapters at over three hundred colleges and universities throughout the United States. Delta Phi Alpha seeks to recognize academic achievement in the field of German studies and promotes student scholarship.  

The National German Honor Society for University students is advised by an AATG Committee. Reach out to the committee to get involved and engaged at the national level!

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Establishing a Chapter

Accredited institutions of higher education in the United States are welcome to apply to form a new Chapter of Delta Phi Alpha.

Prerequisites: There must be evidence of an active, long-standing program in German with courses in German offered above the intermediate level. The committee reviewing the application should be provided with the following kinds of supporting information:

  • Full, official mailing address (including USPS-verified street address)
  • Indication of intended chapter advisor with email contact information
  • Strength of the German Program (General comments about the program and its strength, history, etc)
  • Catalog information including:
    • Information about the German program
    • German faculty information
    • Number of students/graduates in German over the last three years

Send the relevant information in a .pdf file to evan@aatg.org

If the application is approved, a new chapter fee will be assessed which is payable through the AATG Store. The fee is currently $75 and includes a chapter charter, DPA Branded pen, DPA Embossed Membership Journal, and DPA Branded table runner for display at initiations. Once the charter has been approved, new students may be initiated and after two students have been initiated, the chapter is eligible to apply for funding.

Chapter membership is conferred in perpetuity. Once established, chapters are granted in perpetuity – no reactivation needed. If a new faculty advisor is selected, please notify AATG with the following information:

  • The name of the new faculty advisor
  • The institutional e-mail address of the new faculty advisor
New Member Initiation Process

Current Process for Initiation of New Members

  1. Faculty Advisors determine eligibility at their local institution, conforming to the national standards outlined below.
    • Individual Student Membership:
      • A minimum of two years of college or university German or their equivalent
      • A minimum average of B+ (3.3 GPA) or its equivalent in German courses
      • A minimum cumulative average of B- (2.7GPA) or its equivalent
      • Indication of continued interest in the study of German language and literature
    • Honorary Membership:
      • Honorary membership is conferred on any person (non-students) with marked literary, scholastic, or cultural achievements and an interest in promoting the language and culture of the German-speaking world, i.e. community members, business professionals, non-German program faculty members etc.
      • Conferral occurs through the same process and with the same fees as regular membership and is based on the recommendation of the constituent chapter.
  2. Please note: Inducting students is a two-part process:
    1. Faculty Advisors send the names of qualified members to AATG electronically using this form.
    2. Faculty Advisors or a designated representative place an order for the inductions via the AATG Online Store.

Fees for initiation through a chapter advisor: $25 induction fee per student or honorary member (lifetime membership)

Optional $15 fee for double braided honor cord. Cords can be ordered at any time through the AATG Online Store by students, parents, or chapter advisors.

Initiation times and dates are determined by the individual chapters. A copy of the “DPA Ritual” guidelines serves as a template for the initiation, but individual chapters determine their own details.


Grants & Scholarship Funding

Delta Phi Alpha fulfills part of its mission to promote excellence in German Studies by providing funding to recognize strong German programs throughout the United States and to honor and reward student excellence in the classroom. To this end, we employ sound financial management to grow an endowed fund that will be used to finance these scholarships in perpetuity.

Learn more about scholarship opportunities and grant funding here.


Find your Delta Phi Alpha Chapter!