Operating Procedures

Operating Procedures

General Information

  • This manual is issued by the Grand Chapter for the use and guidance of all members of the Society participating in the operation of active chapters.
  • All members should be familiar with the contents of the manual, but the officers of the Chapter are held responsible for the information contained herein by the Grand Chapter. The manual should have their careful attention.

The Constitution of Tau Sigma Delta

  • The constitution governs all actions of the Society, locally and nationally. This manual is intended to supplement, or clarify, some portions of the constitution, and to give information and suggestions that will be of material assistance to new officers in properly conducting the affairs of their Chapter. Always consult the constitution first.

Association of College Honor Societies

  • The Constitution of Tau Sigma Delta au Sigma Delta is the only honor society nationally recognized in the field of architecture, landscape architecture and the allied arts. The Society is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. This is a distinct honor and gives Tau Sigma Delta the same high rating enjoyed by the most distinguished honor societies of other educational
  • To meet the requirements for selection to Tau Sigma Delta is an individual achievement. When the Faculty and the Grand Chapter of Tau Sigma Delta confer the right to wear the key of Tau Sigma Delta it becomes a distinction. The membership has the right to be proud of its accomplishments and the emblem that signifies scholastic and professional attainments.

Faculty Advisors

  • Each institutional Chapter selects an advisor from among its faculty members. The faculty advisor (or his designated representative) represents the Chapter at conventions or meetings of the Society.


  • National conventions are held at the same time and place scheduled for the annual meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. This arrangement ensures representation of all chapters without adding a financialburden to the active members.

Chapter Officers Report

  • The names and addresses of elected officers and Faculty Advisors should be sent each year to the Grand Chapter Treasurer who will forward them to the Grand Chapter President. Other information concerning chapter activities may be included in the reports.

Selections to Membership

General requirements are specified in the Constitution. The following items are offered for information and guidance.

  1. Members are selected entirely on the basis of scholarship without regard to race, creed, sex or national origin.
  2. Students who have entered the second semester of the third year of their degree program may be considered for membership. They must have completed the majority of prerequisites of their major degree program during that period. (In schools where no major degree courses are taught in the first years, a later level may be considered as a more proper threshold for consideration.) No student should be considered for membership with less than a “B” average, or a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. (In schools not using a letter or numerical system, a minimum standard of performance suitable for recognition by membership must be determined by the Faculty Advisor of the local Chapter and the administration and faculty of the institution in which the Chapter is domiciled. Such standards must be approved by the Grand Chapter.) In addition to the minimum level expressly stated above, students being considered must be in the upper 20% of their class.
  3. In making the selection of eligible students to be considered, the highest 20% of each class should be listed. In compiling the eligible list, the Chapter should consider all students who have completed the required amount of work. Students who were not eligible
    on the first computation of their grades might become eligible in some later term.
  4. Only students from the upper 20% of each class are eligible for consideration even though more than 20% may satisfy all other requirements.

Selection of New Members

  1. When selections are completed, the officers of the Chapter shall extend an “Invitation to Membership” to each individual selected.
  2. The Officers of the Chapter shall follow up the invitation with letters including information and instructions which may be required for joining the local chapter.
  3. The following shall be sent to the Grand Chapter Administrative Assistant:
    • An indication of the total fees due and a check or money order for that total amount.
    • An alphabetical list of inductees with their full name as they should appear on the certificates, and the date set for their initiation (double spaced).
    • A statement of the jewelry ordered and the total amount of money involved.
    • An alphabetical list of individuals ordering keys, charms or tie tacs, and designation of type of jewelry desired by each. (Note: Any jewelry ordered for members other than the selected members listed under (a) should also state the date of initiation for each person.)
    • Name and address of the chapter officer to whom certificates and jewelry are to be delivered. (Note: Certificates will not be mailed to individual members. Orders must be placed in time for distribution during the regular school term. Six-weeks time between the mailing of information to the Grand Chapter and the initiation should be ample.)


  • Selections and invitations should be planned well in advance of the expected day of initiation. Fees shall be collected and sent to the Grand Chapter Administrative Assistant without delay. An interval of six weeks will provide time for the preparation of certificates
    and their delivery.
  • This interval of time should provide the chapter with an opportunity to plan a dignified and impressive initiation meeting. A meeting might feature a guest speaker of professional interest.
  • Attendance of alumni members at initiation should be encouraged.
  • Tau Sigma Delta is not a secret organization. The induction of new members may be attended by parents, faculty and friends of the initiate.

Chapter Finances

  • A fee may be assessed by each chapter. It is suggested that these Chapter fees be kept to a minimum to permit any individual to be able to accept the honor of selection to membership.
  • The initial Chapter fee should be sufficient to cover the cost of the initiate’s share of any incidental expenses pertaining to his or her induction into Tau Sigma Delta.

Grand Chapter Finances

  • All financial transactions between the local Chapters and the Grand Chapter should be addressed to the Grand Chapter Administrative Assistant and should be checked by the Faculty Advisor.
  • The Grand Chapter fee paid by each new member is the only sum required by the national organization.
  • There are no national, yearly dues.
  • Individual personal checks shall not be sent to the Grand Chapter Administrative Assistant for any initiate. The Chapter Treasurer should obtain a bank draft, cashier’s check, postal money order, or other similar form for sending money. This should be made out to Tau Sigma Delta Honor Society.

Membership Certificates, Jewelry, and Supplies

  • The Grand Chapter fee covers the cost of the membership certificate which is provided for each initiate and for lifetime membership.
  • A lost certificate may be replaced by any member upon application to the Grand Chapter Administrative Assistant and payment of an appropriate charge ($5.00). The application should contain the name, chapter, and date of initiation.
  • Purchase of official jewelry is in no way mandatory and need not be made at the time of selection. Any member may secure a key at any time by sending the pertinent information and the current cost to the Grand Chapter Administrative Assistant.
  • Tau Sigma Delta jewelry cannot be obtained from any source except by order through the office of the Grand Chapter Administrative Assistant.
  • For recording and engraving it is necessary to have the name, chapter, and initiation date for each piece of jewelry that is ordered.
  • Jewelry should never be worn by any other than members of Tau Sigma Delta.
  • There are no other forms of Tau Sigma Delta jewelry authorized. There are no pledge buttons.
  • Replacement for the Bylaws and Operating Procedures can be downloaded from the Society’s website
    or requested from the Grand Chapter Treasurer.

See Details.


See Details.

Ordering Procedures

The Bronze and Silver Medals may be ordered from the Grand Chapter Administrative Assistant. Orders should be placed well in advance of the presentation time. Engraving is up to the individual chapters. See Details.

The Functions of a Faculty Advisor

The responsibility for the perpetuation of a Chapter of Tau Sigma Delta actually is vested in the faculty. Membership is the result of scholastic achievement. Membership is an academic honor resulting from the educational process. Tau Sigma Delta is not a club or a social organization. It is not a political body in the affairs of the department, school or university. Its major functions are to emphasize and facilitate scholarship and to reward its attainment.

The choice of a Faculty Advisor is important. The Chapter confers a responsibility in choosing a Faculty Advisor. The faculty member shall formally confirm his willingness to participate. The Faculty Advisor becomes the liaison officer between the national officers and the members of the active group and their faculty. The Grand Chapter and the Faculty Advisors (or their designated representatives) constitute the personnel of the conventions of the Society.

The Faculty Advisor should be available to the officers of the Chapter, and should cooperate on all matters of interest and importance to their group.

The Grand Chapter has made the following definite suggestions to the Faculty Advisors for their guidance:

  • When the new officers are elected, the Faculty Advisor shall convene such officers and explain the functioning of Tau Sigma Delta. Officers should read the Constitution and Instruction Manual. Officers should know that all matters pertaining to membership or to the Grand Chapter should pass through the officers hands. Financial transactions must be carefully checked. Be sure that all requests for information by the Grand Chapter are answered carefully and promptly.
  • Check all selections to see that those invited to membership have satisfied the requirements as to scholarship and amount of work completed.
  • Instruct the new officers in the procedure of sending out invitations to membership, collection of fees, proper communications with the Grand Chapter, and the arrangements necessary for an initiation.
  • Be responsible for the safekeeping of the Chapter files.

The Grand Chapter hopes that the officers of each Chapter will understand the responsibilities outlined above. The best interests of the Society will be attained only by mutual cooperation.