Is Omicron Delta Epsilon Worth Joining?

Economics is one of the most popular college majors.

As a matter of fact, the number of bachelor’s degrees in economics conferred by 4-year institutions of higher education in the US in the next year amounted to 34,992.

And speaking of which, there’s an honor society exclusive for economics majors or minors: Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE).

Joining Omicron Delta Epsilon is ideal for economics students who want to make the most out of their college careers and improve their potential as professionals via networking, publication opportunities and others. However, unlike most other honor societies, ODE doesn’t have scholarships and isn’t on an invitation-only basis.

Read on if you are thinking about submitting an application form at the local ODE chapter’s office.

In this post, I will tell you some of the best things about Omicron Delta Epsilon as well as some of the not-so-good things about it, thereby allowing you to make a more informed decision. After all, joining the organization isn’t for free.

How Do Students Become Omicron Delta Epsilon Members?

Students who are interested in joining Omicron Delta Epsilon may apply for membership in the ODE chapters at their colleges and universities. There are different eligibility requirements for undergraduate and graduate students. Having a GPA of at least 3.0 and a major or a minor in economics, however, are shared by both.

It’s not uncommon for some of the most prestigious and selective honor societies in the US to open their doors only to students whose academic profiles they find desirable and suited for addition to their respective rosters.

Eligible ones are sent invitations, which students could choose to accept or not.

Well, Omicron Delta Epsilon is nothing like those in that it welcomes students who are interested in joining by applying to their local ODE chapters provided that they meet eligibility requirements.

And leading the list is being an economics major or minor — it isn’t surprising since, after all, ODE is an international economics honor society.

Besides undergraduate students, graduate students may also apply to join the honor society. Let’s take a look at some of the things they need to meet to be welcomed to the organization:

Undergraduate students

  • Completion of not less than 12 credit hours of economics courses
  • Attainment of a GPA of not lower than 3.0 for economic courses
  • Attainment of an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Being at least in junior year of college
  • Being in residence for at least 1 semester

Graduate students

  • Completion of 1 semester of full-time work
  • Attainment of an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher

How Much Does the Omicron Delta Epsilon Membership Fee Cost?

Each Omicron Delta Epsilon initiate has to pay a lifetime membership fee costing $40. In exchange for the said amount, new ODE members receive a membership card and a scroll. It also allows for cost-free online access to The American Economist, which is the official publication of the international honor society.

There are many different perks that come with being a member of an honor society, particularly one that’s prestigious. However, almost always, induction into the organization doesn’t come free of charge.

It’s a good thing that the membership fee for Omicron Delta Epsilon isn’t too steep: $40.

Unlike at other honor societies where members have to shell out money annually to keep their membership intact, the fee that new initiates to ODE have to pay is one-time only.

So, in other words, once they pay the membership fee, they’re members for life. Additionally, it allows them to take advantage of the many perks that come with being on the roster.

Before we proceed to discuss some of the numerous benefits to enjoy for choosing to join Omicron Delta Epsilon, let’s get a couple of membership fee-related matters straight:

  • It’s possible for an ODE chapter to ask initiates to pay for local dues, too, which will take care of some of the activities and events held at a local level, such as the induction ceremony.
  • The membership fee does not include the official pin or key, which other honor societies include with the membership fee — ODE says that procuring them is optional but highly recommended.

Benefits of Being Omicron Delta Epsilon Member

Some of the advantages of joining Omicron Delta Epsilon are similar to those that other honor societies offer their members. They range anywhere from publication and networking opportunities to participation in conventions and competitions. Unfortunately, it seems like none of the members are eligible to win any scholarship awards.

It’s not just the prestige that comes with being a member of an elite honor society that you may enjoy for choosing to become a member of ODE — you also get to take advantage of a number of members-only perks.

Without any more ado, let’s check out some of the benefits that come with your ODE membership:

Publication opportunities

Omicron Delta Epsilon has an official publication: The American Economist. As a member of the international honor society, you have the opportunity for your paper to be published in it.

It’s a plus to gain popularity by means of having your research published whether you are headed to graduate school or the workforce. Undergraduate and graduate students get to enjoy rigorous peer review of their written works and, more importantly, high visibility for international exposure. After all, ODE is a global organization.

Free subscription to the publication

Not all articles in The American Economist are accessible at no cost. Needless to say, to check out those with restricted access, one must subscribe by paying a fee. Luckily for members of Omicron Delta Epsilon, free access to the honor society’s official publication is one of the various perks that they can enjoy.

Unfortunately, the free membership is only good for a year — if members want to continue their subscription, they will have to shell out money for the annual subscription fee. Still, as mentioned earlier, there’s no need to do the same to stay on the roster.


Networking is the key for economics majors to find jobs.

Omicron Delta Epsilon knows the sheer importance networking plays, which is why the international honor society gives its members the wonderful opportunity to build relationships with people who can help them attain success not only throughout their college lives but also during their professional careers.

Being a member of ODE allows you to establish academic and/or professional relationships with:

  • Faculty members at your institution
  • Fellow ODE members in your chapter
  • ODE members at chapters at other institutions

Participation in conventions

Every year, Omicron Delta Epsilon sponsors meetings at various annual conventions. This gives its members the opportunity to expand their knowledge of the economics discipline.

And since the participants in the said conventions held yearly are regional, national and even international associations, you can expand your network further.

This can help magnify your industry connections and allow you to obtain even more fresh perspectives and new ideas, all of which can be beneficial in navigating your college and professional career.


Whether your resume is headed to the admissions officers at your top-choice graduate school or the hiring manager at your dream company, having awards and recognitions can make it a complete standout.

As a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, you are eligible to participate in various competitions.

One of them is the Outstanding Student Leader Award — as the name suggests, it gives recognition to students who play active leadership roles in their respective ODE chapters.

Then there are also the ODE Undergraduate Research and ODE Graduate Research Awards, whose winners are rewarded with cash prizes and the publication of their written works.

Just Before You Decide to Join Omicron Delta Epsilon

Based on the pieces of information given above, it appears that Omicron Delta Epsilon is not as selective as some of the most prestigious honor societies around. Such is evidenced by the fact that the minimum GPA requirement is not that high.

What’s more, just about anyone can apply, unlike in the case of other organizations that are on an invitation-only basis.

While there are many perks that come with being an ODE member, many of which can be advantageous for an economics major’s college and professional career, it seems that scholarship awards are not handed out as in most other honor societies.

Related Questions

When was Omicron Delta Epsilon founded?

It was in 1963 when Omicron Delta Epsilon came into being. It did so after the honor societies Omicron Delta Gamma (also known as The Order of Artus) and Omicron Chi Epsilon merged — they were founded in 1915 and 1955, respectively. At the time that they merged, both organizations had 26 chapters each.

Is Omicron Delta Epsilon a legitimate honor society?

Omicron Delta Epsilon is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies (ACHS). The said agency is the only one that’s tasked with setting the standards for organizational excellence and scholastic eligibility among college and university honor societies. ACHS also certifies those that meet standards.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the College Reality Check.

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