Theta Alpha Phi is the only national organization which honors graduate and undergraduate students for quality as well as quantity of work and study in theater arts alone. Unlike some organizations which demand that students achieve a certain level in all studies, most of which are unrelated to theater, Theta Alpha Phi demands excellence only in theater. Recognizing individual differences as a fact of life, Theta Alpha Phi believes a student can be outstanding in theater and deserving of honor in theater without comparable achievement in all areas of study.
Theta Alpha Phi provides its members and member schools with greater prestige than any similar organization. Having been founded in 1919, it is the oldest, nation-wide, educational theater honors society in the world. Since its founding, it has consistently admitted only the finest colleges and universities with the highest academic standards and the highest theater standards.
Theta Alpha Phi is a completely democratic organization. There is no secrecy, no "blackball," and no chapter or member discrimination on the basis of race, color or creed. The constitution, initiation ceremony, financial statements, and other records are available for inspection to any responsible person or organization. Throughout its history, however, Theta Alpha Phi has retained a consistent and dynamic "fraternity" policy of mutual aid among members and member schools.
The first chapter was formed on December 22, 1919 at Oklahoma A & M College in Stillwater, Oklahoma. NJ Alpha Chapter at Stevens Institute of Technology was founded in 1960