This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "High school fraternities and sororities" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (July 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) This article possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. (July 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Fraternities and sororities exist for high school students as well as college students. Like their college counterparts, most have Greek letter names. Although there were countless local high school fraternities and sororities with only one or two chapters, many secondary fraternities founded in the nineteenth, and twentieth, century in the United States grew into national organizations with a highly evolved governing structure and regularly chartered chapters in multiple regions. Many of the local chapters of these national fraternities were not tied to (or affiliated with) individual high schools but were instead area based, often drawing membership from multiple high schools in a given area.


High school fraternities and sororities were inspired by and modeled after Greek-letter organizations which became prevalent in North American colleges and universities during the nineteenth century (Owen 492). In some respects, these fraternities and sororities are designed to better prepare individuals for college-level fraternities. Known active groups are indicated in bold, while known dormant groups are inset and indicated by italics.

General fraternities include, or included:

There were a number of Jewish high school fraternities. These include, or included:

ΙΦ- Iota Phi, sorority, high school, dormant. [2]
ΦΒ- Phi Beta, fraternity, high school and preparatory schools for boys, founded 1920, dormant? [3][4]
ΦΣΒ- Phi Sigma Beta, high school fraternity, 1910, became ΤΔΦ collegiate fraternity.[5]
ΠΥΦ - Pi Upsilon Phi, high school fraternity, dormant? [6][7]
ΣΘΠ - Sigma Theta Pi, Jewish high school girls, founded circa 1909 or earlier, dormant? [8][6][9][10][11]
ΥΛΦ - Upsilon Lambda Phi, founded April 5, 1916, dormant? Publication was The Hour Glass. Most of the American secondary fraternities that were successful in the twentieth century had national governing bodies, produced regular publications and convened in regular (often annual) national conventions. They also each possessed a secret ritual and handshake and a Greek-letter name which, like college fraternities was usually derived from the abbreviation of a secret Greek motto. These groups were identified by a coat-of-arms and members wore distinctive fraternity badges or pins.

In the 1900s, some state governments banned fraternities and sororities in public schools, driving them underground, or out of existence. California, for example, passed a law banning them in 1906.

See also

Temple News, an article about a college brawl between two fraternities titled "Noon Time Diversion" written between 1991 and 1995.


  1. ^ Omega Nu homepage, accessed 7 Dec 2020.
  2. ^ Their 1960 convention program lists several chapters in the New England area. Accessed 3 Feb 2020.
  3. ^ Noted in a 1941 list of national Jewish organizations, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  4. ^ Not to be confused with the professional fraternity for the creative and performing arts.
  5. ^ ΤΔΦ's online history notes the fraternity's origin as a high school fraternity on 22 June 1910, in New York. The fraternity re-established as a collegiate organization in 1914. Accessed 9 Jun 2020.
  6. ^ a b The Jewish Daily Bulletin of 26 June 1934, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  7. ^ Its Sigma chapter was at Syracuse.
  8. ^ Noted in the American Jewish Year book, vol22, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  9. ^ Upsilon chapter was in the Twin Cities.
  10. ^ This source notes the high school focus, accessed 27 Jan 2020.
  11. ^ Not to be confused with the international sorority with a similar name, Sigma Thêta Pi, founded in 2003, nor the local Christian fraternity at Howard Payne University, founded in 2004.

The Record, West Philadelphia High School yearbook. 1990