Alpha Kappa Alpha vs. Delta Sigma Theta

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Difference between Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta

Greek lettered sororities that focus mainly on the needs of African-American communities have traditionally been in the minority in academic circles. There are however two such organizations that have been at the forefront of these groups’ concerns: Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta. In this comparison article, we take a look at the key characteristics of both and how they have helped their communities.

Alpha Kappa Alpha
Delta Sigma Theta


Alpha Kappa Alpha is a sorority that was established primarily to address the concerns of African American college women. Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded in January 1908 by a group of nine students at Howard University in Washington, D.C.. This group was led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle, and it was instrumental in establishing a sorority that paved the way for increased opportunities for African American women in areas where they were previously underrepresented. The sorority was incorporated in January of 1913.

Delta Sigma Theta is another Greek-lettered sorority that caters primarily to the needs of African American women. A non-profit organization, Delta Sigma Theta was founded by a group of 22 women students at Howard University in January 1913. The initial goal of the sorority was to promote academic achievement, and to provide necessary assistance to other African American students. The sorority was involved in the March 1913 Women's Suffrage March in Washington D.C., and was incorporated in 1930.


Alpha Kappa Alpha is comprised of African, Caucasian, Asian, Native American, and Hispanic college-educated women. There are currently over 250,000 members spread out over 900 Alpha Kappa Alpha chapters in the United States and many other countries around the world. Aspiring sorority members may either sign up through college or university chapters, or through a graduate chapter after graduation from college.

Delta Sigma Theta is currently the largest Greek-lettered African American sorority in existence. The sorority accepts members of any race, nationality, or religion, and aspiring members can similarly sign up via undergraduate or a graduate chapter after obtaining a college degree. There are at present more than 350,000 members in the Delta Sigma Theta Grand Chapter. Although comprised mainly of college-educated African American women, Delta Sigma Theta also has Caucasian, Asian, Native American, Hispanic, and African women members.


Since its establishment, Alpha Kappa Alpha has sought to implement various community programs that seek to improve social and economic conditions of the community. Among its most noteworthy accomplishments are the establishment of the Mississippi Health Clinic and the lobbying for Civil and Democratic Rights. The sorority has also undertaken various education, family, health, and business related projects.

Delta Sigma Theta for its part has launched numerous programs that aimed to address various education, health care, and international development related issues. The sorority is in fact driven by what it calls the “Five-Point Program Thrust”, which deals with economic development, educational development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and political awareness and involvement.

Similarities and Differences

Alpha Kappa Alpha

  • Established primarily to address the concerns of African American college women
  • Has undertaken various education, family, health, and business related projects

Delta Sigma Theta

  • Caters primarily to the needs of African American women
  • Driven by the “Five-Point Program Thrust

Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta Video

Which sorority is more well-known?
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha
  • Delta Sigma Theta

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