About Tau Beta Pi

Tau Beta Pi is the second oldest nationally recognized honor society in the U.S., second only to Phi Kappa Alpha. The society’s first chapter, Pennsylvania Alpha, was chartered in 1885 at Lehigh University by Dr. Edward H. Williams (shown at right) in order to recognize academic achievement and exemplary character among engineering undergraduates. Eventually, chapters across the nation grew, and in 1974, Tau Beta Pi merged with Sigma Tau,
becoming the sole honor society to represent the entire engineering profession. Currently, there are over 564,000 members across the nation. For a more detailed history and more general information, please visit the Tau Beta Pi Website.

About Our Chapter

The UC Davis chapter, California Lambda, was officially chartered on May 3, 1969. Students from all disciplines in the College of Engineering are eligible for membership in Tau Beta Pi, and initiation ceremonies are held each fall and spring quarter. Eligible students are notified and invited to join as they qualify. Criteria for eligibility are academic record, as well as exemplary character. Once initiated, an engineer retains membership in Tau Beta Pi for life, though certain requirements must be met to be considered an “Active” member in the California Lambda chapter.


Mission Statement

It is the goal of the California Lambda Chapter of Tau Beta Pi to fulfill all its responsibilities as described by the National charter. We strive to use our skills and resources to improve our community and help foster an environment dedicated to exceptional academic study. Furthermore, we wish to aid in the development of not only technically skilled engineers but of the leaders of the future. To meet these goals, the California Lambda Chapter of Tau Beta Pi strives to promote student interests in the following areas:

  • Improved Education: The chapter seeks various opportunities to help educate our members on issues outside of the classroom, through speakers, internship opportunities, and company visits.
  • Social Outlet: The society strives to promote socialization and camaraderie among member by holding a variety of events and activities.
  • Networking Opportunities: The chapter seeks to provide opportunities for members to connect with employers, professors, and other Tau Beta Pi members through meetings, conferences, and presentations.
  • Service and Outreach: Tau Beta Pi works to serve in both the university and public forums, including tutoring of undergraduate courses, community service projects, and high school outreach programs.
  • Academic Recognition: A central tenet of the society is academic excellence, highlighted by the honor stoles bestowed on graduating members during graduation.

bbqActive Membership

Membership in Tau Beta Pi may never be taken away. Once initiated, you are considered a life member. However, the chapter differentiates its members as either “Active” or “Inactive” for parliamentary reasons prescribed by the national charter. Given this distinction, there several benefits from active membership. These include:

  • The ability to vote on important chapter considerations.
  • Social and professional activities like bowling tournaments, casual luncheons/dinners with UCD Faculty members, and resume workshops.
  • The ability to wear the TBP honor stole at your graduation.

Active Membership Requirements

Membership is determined by a point system where points are earned by attending Tau Beta Pi events or doing some form of community service or outreach. A member must earn 12 points total for the quarter to be considered active. Of these points, 4 must be from attending socials, 4 from tutoring/outreach, and 4 from either category. You earn 1 point for every hour you tutor. Please see the emails from our listserv to learn about further details on how to earn points. 

Historically, the rule is that if the above requirement is not fulfilled by the end of the quarter, you will lose active status for the next quarter. To regain active status, you must fulfill the requirement during your quarter of inactive status.

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