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Tau Sigma FAQ

What is Tau Sigma?

Tau Sigma is a national honor society designed to recognize the academic achievement of transfer students.

Is this organization legit or is it a scam?

This is one of the most common questions we get.  It is definitely not a scam.  Tau Sigma at Appalachian was started in 2010.  It is recognized by Appalachian’s Center for Student Involvement and Leadership as an official campus organization.

Tau Sigma was incorporated as a non-profit in 1999 with Auburn University being the home of the first chapter. At that time, Auburn University was becoming increasingly aware of the significant number of transfers on campus as well as the university’s inability to adequately serve them. Tau Sigma was born out of Auburn University’s desire to improve its service to and recruiting and retention of transfer students.

Today, over 100 other universities have established or are currently establishing Tau Sigma chapters in their efforts to improve the services that they provide to their transfer student population. Although Tau Sigma is a relatively young organization, many members in all parts of the country have become active at their universities, participating in such activities as on-campus recruiting events for prospective transfer students, transfer student orientation, community service projects, assisting the admissions office with the recruitment of prospective transfers at junior colleges, and participating in intramural sports and socials that allow them opportunities to fellowship with one another and make new friends.

Who can join?

Candidacy for membership in Tau Sigma is granted to those students who have transferred to ASU having completed at least one year at a prior institution and earned at least a 3.5 GPA during their first term based on a full time course load of 12 hours or more.  Membership is extended to students earning their first four-year degree.

What is the time commitment?

As much or as little as you want it to be.  As of fall 2014 Tau Sigma at Appalachian is making the transition from an honor society to an active club on campus.  We have meetings monthly and are trying to do some social events and community service events each month as well.  We hope to provide students with the opportunity to meet and network with other high achieving students.  All that being said, you can be as active or inactive as you want to be.  You can join and never come to a meeting or you can join and participate in everything we do.  We hope you will do the latter, but understand if you do the former.

Do I need to be an on-campus student to join or is it open to distance ed students as well?

Tau Sigma is definitely open to distance ed students and we welcome them as members.  It is more difficult for distance ed students to be active, but your academic achievements should be recognized like any other transfer student.

What are the advantages of joining Tau Sigma?

Obviously Tau Sigma membership makes a great bullet point on your resume but beyond that, we try to provide leadership opportunities to our members.  You can run for a spot on our executive board, lead a committee or just be an active member with other high achieving students.  We encourage feedback from our members as well.  How do you think we can better support the transfer student population at Appalachian.

Every fall, Tau Sigma national awards scholarships but you need to be an active member to get one.  In fall 2018, they awarded fifty-nine scholarships totaling $100,000 ranging from $500 to $5,000.

What if a member's GPA falls below 3.5?   Does this person lose their membership?

No.   While we hope that the members will continue to strive for academic excellence, the member has a lifetime membership that is based only on their first term GPA or standing among the incoming transfers.

If I join Tau Sigma, does it prevent me from joining other honor societies on campus?

No.  Membership in Tau Sigma in no way prevents you from joining other honor societies.  Each honor society is a little bit different and recognizes the accomplishments of a different population of students.  For instance there are honor societies on campus for students in business, biology, education, communications, history, etc.  You can join as many honor societies as you are eligible for.  Tau Sigma is the only honor society on campus specifically recognizing the academic achievements of transfer students.  For more information on the various honor societies on campus, check the Honorary Category of CSIL’s Club Directory.

Contact Us


Matt Huntanar
Online and Transfer Services


Phone: 828-262-7617