All fraternities and sororities recruit members primarily during the spring semester. Fraternities and sororities belonging to the Interfraternity Council or Panhellenic Association participate in deferred recruitment in January. Students registered and eligible to participate return to campus at a designated time near the end of the holiday break. NPHC chapters participate in a separate process known as intake. By waiting until the beginning of the second semester, first-year students have the opportunity to meet and learn about all of the organizations on campus while adjusting to the college experience. Many students use this time to find the organizations that meet their individual needs. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may participate in deferred recruitment, but may also participate in any fall recruitment activities sponsored by eligible chapters.
During the January recruitment period for IFC and Panhellenic chapters, potential new members have the opportunity to meet members from the respective council's chapters and attend recruitment events. Advance registration is required. Sorority events are by invitation only after the first day. IFC recruitment participants are encouraged to attend all chapters' events during the process. Students who participate are under no obligation to join. If the student receives and accepts an invitation to membership, then and only then, has the student joined the organization. Students may not move into Greek housing until the beginning of the sophomore year.
Only students who have completed 12 or more credit hours and have met the academic requirements for membership may participate in recruitment activities. In addition, participants may not be on probation for any reason.
New members of Greek organizations participate in a five- to eight-week educational program designed to orient them to their respective chapters. During this time, students attend meetings, social events, and educational programs, as well as participate in philanthropies and other projects. New members are customarily matched with a big brother or sister who serves as a mentor. The culmination of the new member educational period is initiation, the ceremony in which new members become full members.