Gamma Theta Upsilon

Gamma Theta Upsilon Logo

Beta Rho Chapter

Founded May 1, 1956

Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) is an international honor society in geography. Gamma Theta Upsilon was founded in 1928 and became a national organization in 1931. Members of GTU have met academic requirements and share a background and interest in geography. GTU chapter activities support geography knowledge and awareness.

Eligibility for Membership

Persons seeking membership must be initiated through an established chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon. A chapter is also maintained for Alumni after graduation. There are two classes of membership in GTU:

Regular Member

Initiates must have completed a minimum of three geography courses, have a B average in geography, rank in the upper 35 percent of their class and shall have completed at least three semesters (or five quarters) of college course work.

Honorary Member

A chapter may extend honorary membership to anyone whom it feels has, by exploration, research, lecturing, publishing, teaching or otherwise contributed to marked advancement in any phase of geography. The fees for Honorary membership are paid by the local chapter.

Purpose of Gamma Theta Upsilon

  1. To further professional interest in geography by affording a common organization for those interested in the field.
  2. To strengthen student and professional training through academic experiences in addition to those of the classroom and laboratory.
  3. To advance the status of geography as a cultural and practical discipline for study and investigation.
  4. To encourage student research of high quality, and to promote an outlet for publication.
  5. To create and administer funds for furthering graduate study and/or research in the field of geography.

Why Join Gamma Theta Upsilon?

Membership in Gamma Theta Upsilon is earned through superior scholarship; it is an honor and a professional distinction. Members receive a handsome certificate, suitable for framing. No further membership dues are paid to the national organization after the initiation fee. Many members choose to remain active in GTU after graduation by joining Omega Omega, the Alumni Chapter of GTU.

Benefits of Membership

Most chapters sponsor speakers, campus-wide programs, field trips and social events, and participate in service functions. Members can participate in numerous extracurricular activities.

Membership provides a network where you can become better acquainted with other geography students and can meet and talk with geography faculty informally. Members can improve their expertise in the field of geography by learning things not normally dealt with in the classroom. Members are eligible to apply for Gamma Theta Upsilon scholarships. Membership in an academic honor society is evidence of your dedication and competency in your career field. Some employers give hiring preference to honor society members. For information on membership, ask your local chapter officers or GTU faculty advisor for information on membership procedures, and the many benefits of joining Gamma Theta Upsilon.

The Geographical Catalog

This scholarly journal is published twice a year by Gamma Theta Upsilon. Articles concerning any area of geographical interest are solicited from students and faculty. Initiates receive two free issues after initiation and may subsequently renew their subscription.

Educational Fund

An Educational Fund has been established to support publications, scholarships and other activities.


Five scholarships are awarded annually to Gamma Theta Upsilon members: three to undergraduates, one to a senior entering graduate school, and one to a continuing graduate student.

Visiting Geographical Scientist Program

The Visiting Geographical Scientist Program, funded by Gamma Theta Upsilon and administered by the Association of American Geographers (A.A.G.), provides an opportunity for chapters to host a distinguished geographer on their campus. The visiting geographer will give a lecture on a topic in geography and will meet with faculty, students and administrators. Chapters should contact the A.A.G. for information about the Visiting Geographical Scientist Program.

International Organization

The society is governed by a constitution and bylaws. Nine elected officers, including two student representatives, form the Executive Committee. The annual business meeting, held at the fall meeting of the National Council for Geographic Education, is open to all GTU members and other interested persons.

Local Chapters

Local chapters are chartered by Gamma Theta Upsilon at colleges and universities. These chapters sponsor a variety of activities that support geographical learning.

Alumni Chapter

The Omega Omega chapter serves alumni of all chapters. After graduation, alumni members are encouraged to join the Omega Omega chapter and receive continuing benefits from active affiliation with the society.