In 1920, University of Southern California sociologist, Dr. Emory S. Bogardus, founded Alpha Kappa Delta for the purposes of stimulating scholarship and promoting the scientific study of society. Bogardus' impetus in establishing this organization was to provide a forum for student and faculty interchange. His endeavor paved the way for what has become an international organization dedicated to promoting, facilitating, and recognizing academic scholarship.
Alpha Kappa Delta comes from the first letters of three Greek words: anthropon (mankind), katamanthanein (to investigate, to research), and diakonesein (in service). These words define the Society’s motto "To investigate humanity for the purpose of service." In the past eight decades, over 80,000 scholars have been initiated into the Society and more than 490 chapters have been chartered in the United States, Canada, China, Finland, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Singapore.
Membership in AKD is lifetime and includes a one year subscription to its publication, Sociological Inquiry. Students who wish to join AKD must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Must be an officially declared sociology major or demonstrate a serious interest in sociology
- Must be at least a junior (third year) by SOU standards
- Must have accumulated the equivalent of an overall g.p.a. of 3.0 (by a four point scale where: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) and rank in the top 35% of their class in general scholarship
- Must have maintained the equivalent of a 3.0 g.p.a.\ in sociology courses taken at SOU prior to initiation.
- Must have completed at least four regular courses in sociology prior to initiation (exclusive of extension or courses graded pass/fail).