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World Languages & Cultures | Sigma Delta Pi
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Sigma Delta Pi

Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, is a non-profit organization incorporated in the State of South Carolina, a member of the Association of College Honor Societies and partners with the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese and the North American Academy of the Spanish Language.

The nationally-recognized honor society was founded at the University of California, Berkeley in 1919.  The Spanish name of society is La Sociedad Nacional Honoraria Hispánica, and the chapter of Iowa State University is Sigma Psi.  The Greek motto of the society is ¡Spanías Didagéi Proágomen! (We go forth under the guidance of Spain

As stated in the Sigma Delta Pi National By-laws (http://www.sigmadeltapi.org/bylaws.html), the purposes of this society are as follows:


  1. To honor those who attain excellence in the study of the Spanish language and in the study of the literature and culture of the Spanish-speaking peoples;
  2. To honor those who have made the Hispanic contributions to modern culture better known in the English-speaking world;
  3. To encourage college and university students to acquire a greater interest in and a deeper understanding of Hispanic culture;
  4. To foster friendly relations and mutual respect between the nations of Hispanic speech and those of English speech;
  5. To serve its membership in ways which will contribute to the attainment of the goals and ideals of the society.

As such, the society provides support, academic recognition and fellowship to outstanding students who have dedicated a good part of their university coursework to the Spanish language and Hispanic culture.  Activities of the university chapter include the following:


  • Sponsorship Spanish-related programs that will benefit younger students
  • Hispanic-related activities to raise awareness of the Spanish-speaking world
  • Service activities to enhance the quality of campus and community life
  • Opportunities to obtain Sigma Delta Pi-sponsored grants, scholarships and awards
  • Social gatherings with chapter members and Spanish faculty
  • Meetings with guest speakers and performers

Active membership in Sigma Delta Pi shall be limited to college students who have demonstrated high scholarship in general and excellence in the academic study of Spanish.

The following criteria state the requirements for membership:


  1. Each must have completed three years of study of college-level Spanish (eighteen semester credit hours) or the equivalent thereof, including at least three semester hours of a course in Hispanic literature or Hispanic culture and civilization at the junior (third-year) level. A student may be admitted to active membership while still enrolled in the second junior-level course if all other requirements have been met and if the instructor of the course certifies that the student’s work is of “B” or “A” quality.
  2. The candidate for active membership must have a minimal grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale in all Spanish courses taken.
  3. The candidate must rank in the upper 35% of his/her class—sophomore, junior, or senior—and must have completed at least three semesters or five quarters of college work.
  4. Graduate students who have been unconditionally admitted to a degree-granting program may be elected to membership upon completion of two graduate courses in Spanish with an average which, if continued, will make them eligible for a graduate degree.
  5. Sigma Delta Pi does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability.

Please note that “the equivalent thereof” referred to in #1 also refers to by-pass credit or courses by-passed when a student is admitted to your institution and placed in a course above the elementary language level. Six of the 18 semester credit hours in college-level Spanish MUST be above the intermediate language level, and three of these credit hours must be in a Hispanic literature, culture, civilization or Spanish for the professions course (considered a culture course).    Also for #1, a student can be currently enrolled in the Spanish course that fulfills the 18-credit hours needed, but he/she can NOT be simultaneously enrolled in two Spanish courses that when added to the sum equal 18 hours.

For #3 above, institutions unable to generate class rank should use a 3.2 GPA in Spanish courses completed.  However, a candidate MUST have earned grades in completed Spanish courses in order to qualify for membership.

The earliest an undergraduate student can qualify for membership is during his/her second semester of the sophomore year.


We encourage dedicated scholars of Spanish at Iowa State University to join Sigma Delta Pi.  The membership fee is $30.00.


For more information on Sigma Delta Pi, contact the adviser of Iowa State University’s Sigma Psi chapter, Professor Eugenio Matibag, at ematibag@iastate.edu.

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