Frequently Asked Questions

Why should you join TBP?

Tau Beta Pi is the most prestigious honors society of which an engineer can be a member. It is made up of over 600,000 members, notably astronaut Buzz Aldrin, double Nobel Prize winner John Bardeen, and founder Jeff Bezos. The Illinois Alpha Chapter, which has its office in 111 Engineering Hall, has more than 10,000 alumni and is well-known for its member scholarships and fellowships, numerous service events, and outreach activities.

What qualifications do I have to meet to be invited to TBP?

In order to be invited to join TBP, an engineer must be in the top 1/8 of the Junior class or top 1/5 of the Senior class. For more details, visit the initiates' page or stop by the office.

What makes TBP members so special aside from their GPA?

Members of TBP are unique in that they are an eclectic bunch. We are from various majors of engineering, demonstrating diversity of training and studies. We mark ourselves different from the rest for our excellence in academics and service.

Where can I find out about other member benefits?

You can see more about member benefits here or visit or members' page.

What exactly is involved with TBP initiation?

Tau Beta Pi initiation activities include a myriad of activities from community service activities such as volunteering at a soup kitchen to recreational social activities such as wine tasting at Krannert Uncorked. As an honors society, we at TBP heavily stress the community service nature of our organization. Consequently, initiates typically receive more hours towards their initiation requirements from participation of community service events.

How much service do I need to complete for TBP Initiation?

5 hours of service activities minimum, including 1 hour of service (community) work, 1 hour of professional work, 1 hour of social activity, and 2 hours of elective service. The initiate social and initiate interview are also required.

Why so much work? Isn't this just an honor society?

While it is true that Tau Beta Pi is an academic honor society for engineers, we take much pride in our tradition of service to the College and the community. To ensure that we initiate the people of the highest caliber, and to make the initiation process as rich and rewarding as possible, we require that you provide service on behalf of our society.

What exactly is involved with TBP service?

This depends on the type of project or activity you are participating in. For example, if you attend a social event like the Paintball War for 5 hours, you will get approximately 2 hours of credit. However, for an event like Habitat for Humanity, we will credit the actual number of hours worked towards initiation. In this way, we encourage participation in both recreational and service events.

How can I get my service hours?

Projects (i.e. Summer Employment Career Fair, Tutoring, Engineering Open House), coming to the Social Events (i.e. Happy Hours, Paintball), coming to the General Meetings Attending and TBP conferences (i.e. Personal Development Conference). For upcoming events, please check the calendar.

How do I get involved with a particular project?

At the information meeting, you will receive a notecard with all the activities listed. Check the box next to ANY of the activities that you are interested in. You are under no obligation to perform all of them, so feel free to check as many as you want. The appropriate officer will then contact you with specific information, either by mail, phone or email. If you don't hear from an officer within a week, please contact them directly. At other times of the semester, look at the projects and contact the officer in charge of the project.

How do I know when general events like meetings and socials will take place?

We will notify you of our general events using our weekly newsletter sent via email. You may also check our calendar for our society's events. If you have expressed interest in a certain event at the general meeting, we will also send you a separate reminder.

What if I have an idea for a new project?

Please feel free to talk to any of the officers after the meeting or at any time during the semester during office hours. Not only will you get to lead your own event, but also you will complete your service hour requirement.

How can I get in touch with Tau Beta Pi?

The officers' page has all of the officers' names, positions, and contact information. Or just scroll down to check the CONTACT US section in the footer.

What if I have difficulty deciding to join or performing my service hours?

The officers of Tau Beta Pi are here to serve you, and to make your initiation as enjoyable and worthwhile as possible. If you ever have a question or a personal matter, please contact one of the officers , and we will do our best to meet your needs and ensure your privacy.