College of Arts and Sciences

Sigma Delta Pi, Theta Rho Chapter


Sigma Delta Pi is the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society/La Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica. Its multi-faceted purpose/mission is:

  1. "To honor those who excel in the study of the Spanish language and in the study of the literature and culture of the Spanish-speaking world;
  2. To foster an understanding, appreciation and respect for the peoples, cultures and societies of the Spanish-speaking world;
  3. To honor those who have promoted and reinforced a better understanding of the contributions of the Spanish-speaking world;
  4. To serve its membership in support of the Society’s goals and ideals."


Sigma Delta Pi was started in 1919 at the University of California, Berkeley, when junior undergraduate student Ruth Helen Barnes invited six other students of Spanish to start what would eventually become the largest collegiate foreign language honor society in the U.S. Less than six months later on May 1, 1920, the Society's first formal induction ceremony took place. Today, November is celebrated annually as National Charter Month, and May 1 is commemorated as Sigma Delta Pi Day/Día de Sigma Delta Pi.

National Organization

Sigma Delta Pi is the largest foreign-language honor society in existence, with membership in the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS), the nation's only certifying agency for college and university honor societies, since 1966. It is the only honor society devoted exclusively to students of Spanish in four-year colleges and universities. Benefits members can enjoy include a scholarship program; annual undergraduate awards for study in Spanish-speaking countries; virtual internship grants for remote professional experiences in Madrid, Barcelona, Santiago (Chile) and Medellin (Colombia); and research grants for graduate students. For more information on the national organization, visit

SHU Theta Rho Chapter

Student members must have 18 credits in Spanish above Elementary II, with at least one of the courses at the 3000 or 4000 level; a GPA of 3.20; and a "B" (3.0) average in all Spanish language courses on a 4.0 scale. The candidate may be initiated in the semester when he or she is completing the 18 credits in Spanish, providing the instructor certifies that the student will receive a B or higher in the course. Students interested in joining should contact Professor Daniel Zalacaín at [email protected] or (973) 761-9468. The initiation/award ceremony is toward the end of spring semester.