Chapter Bylaws

Chapter BylawsHaving chapter bylaws approved and on file with Headquarters is required for a chapter to maintain good standing.

Your chapter's bylaws guide the operations of the chapter. This document can help guide today's chapter leaders as well as those in the future. Chapter bylaws often include specific rules, requirements and details on items like membership eligibility, elections, officer responsibilities and travel policies to name a few. In contrast, Phi Theta Kappa’s International Constitution and Bylaws addresses broad, global governance of the Society. Chapter bylaws must be compatible with both college polices and the International Constitution and Bylaws.

Whenever your chapter creates or updates its bylaws, submit a copy to the Key Services Department for review, approval and filing in your chapter’s record.

Questions? Contact Us.

Advisors needing a copy of their chapter's current bylaws or those needing assistance with interpretation, enforcement or revisions may contact the Key Service Department by email or by calling 800.946.9995 for assistance.

Topics to Consider

Membership Eligibility
The International Constitution allows chapters to set their membership eligibility standards as long as the chapter’s standards meet the minimum requirements defined in Article IV, Section 2 of the International Constitution.

For this reason, eligibility standards may vary slightly from chapter to chapter. However, the majority of our chapters require that students must have a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher on at least 12 hours of associate degree course work to be eligible for membership.

Transfer Credit
A chapter also may allow grades from other institutions to be considered when determining the cumulative GPA for eligibility. This policy should be stated in the chapter’s bylaws and followed consistently. Regardless of how the cumulative GPA is calculated, a student must still complete at least 12 hours of associate degree course work at the college they are presently attending before they may be considered eligible for membership.

Maintaining Membership
Once a student accepts the membership invitation, the student must only continue to enroll in courses at the community college and meet the chapter's maintenance GPA to maintain membership. Most chapters choose 3.25 as their maintenance GPA: however, the International Constitution permits chapters to designate a mainteance GPA as low as 3.0.

Any member whose GPA falls below the chapter’s maintenance level is allowed one term of probation. If the member’s GPA remains below the maintenance GPA at the end of the probationary period, membership is revoked. Although advisors are encouraged to monitor the academic standing of members, it is the member’s responsibility to notify the advisor when he or she is no longer in good academic standing with the chapter. Only an advisor may submit a Membership Revocation Form.

Transferring Membership
When determining eligibility requirements for a member wishing to transfer from another chapter, the chapter should define within its bylaws whether members must meet the chapter’s eligibility GPA (typically 3.5) or the chapter’s maintenance GPA (typically 3.25) in order to transfer membership. The GPA should be defined in the chapter’s bylaws and used consistently for any membership wishing to transfer membership to the chapter.

Officer Resignations
When an officer resigns, many chapter bylaws allow the chapter president to make a temporary appointment until an election can be held. In rare circumstances when a chapter finds it necessary to remove an officer, the International Constitution requires a ¾ vote to remove. The local chapter may decide if this is a ¾ vote of the members or just the officer team.

Some chapters receive funding from the college while others rely entirely on local membership fees and fundraising projects for their treasury. Chapters that collect local fees as part of their budget are encouraged to set a one-time local fee, collected prior to induction just as the international and regional fees are collected. Once a student pays the initial membership fee, a chapter may not remove a student from membership or limit access to membership benefits because of failure to pay local fees.

Service Requirements
Chapters may not deny member benefits, including wearing Phi Theta Kappa graduation regalia, based on the member’s grade point average, their participation in chapter activities or any other factor provided that the member is in good standing with the chapter.

This policy should be understood to mean that no member may be removed from membership due to lack of participation in chapter activities. The only legitimate grounds for removing a member is if that member’s GPA falls below the chapter's maintenance level GPA which listed in the chapter's  bylaws.


Chapter Bylaws Template

Essential Elements

  • Chapter’s name and purpose
  • Membership eligibility standards
  • Advisor appointment process and responsibilities
  • Procedure for selecting chapter leaders (officers, committee members, etc.)
  • Procedure for officer resignations and replacements
  • Chapter finances including local membership fees
  • Procedure for amendments to bylaws