Student Life


Student Housing

Residency Requirement. Living on campus is a vital part of the college experience and aids the student’s adjustment to college. Therefore, all first-time first year students at Rhodes must live on campus for their first two full academic years. Transfer students must live in College housing until they have completed two full academic years; previous enrollment at other institutions counts toward fulfilling this requirement.

Exchange students must reside in College housing for the duration of their enrollment at Rhodes.

All rising sophomore resident students are expected to participate in the housing lottery process to comply with the residency requirement. In the event that a student does not participate in housing lottery, a space will be selected for the student by the Director of Residence Life. The student will be notified of the room and meal plan assignment in writing.

New Students. Applicants to Rhodes will indicate their desire to live on campus or to commute (within the terms of the residency requirement). Students who pay their enrollment deposits by May 1 and complete their housing information forms will receive their housing assignments by the end of July.

Returning Students. To participate in housing selection for the next academic year, a student must complete an online registration by 11:59 pm on February 10. Students who register on time will receive a lottery number to use in selection of an apartment, suite, or room during the housing selection process. Students who register for housing after February 10 will select from available upperclass housing spaces after housing selection.

By registering for housing selection, students agree to the housing cancellation policy. By contacting the Director of Residence Life, a student may cancel the registration or housing assignment.

  1. If a student cancels by 5 pm on the last business day before housing selection begins, the student will incur no cancellation fee.
  2. If a student cancels by May 15, a cancellation fee of $200 will be placed on the student’s account.
  3. Students who cancel between May 16 and June 30 will incur a $300 cancellation fee.
  4. After June 30, the cancellation fee is $500.

If a student registers for housing, and then decides to participate in a study abroad program during fall semester, the registration will be deferred to the spring semester, and no cancellation fee will be incurred.

Bryan Campus Life Center

The Bryan Campus Life Center is the hub of athletics and recreation at Rhodes. It houses the varsity basketball/volleyball gymnasium, a three-court recreational gymnasium, three racquetball and two squash courts, indoor jogging track, and a 6,900 square foot fitness room equipped with free weights, resistive equipment, and cardiovascular equipment. The Lynx Lair, a pub-style grill, provides students with a dining alternative on campus, and is the site of many student activities such as concerts, comedians, and ‘open microphone’ nights. In the 5,400 square foot McCallum Ballroom students attend lectures, dances, dinners, and receptions.

Student Government

The main purpose of the Rhodes Student Government is to provide an organization to represent the needs and concerns of the Rhodes student body to the faculty and administration. The Student Government is the primary vehicle for student participation in the governance process of Rhodes. The members of Student Government seek to keep the group effectively involved in many areas of campus life. All meetings are open to the entire campus, and students are strongly encouraged to attend.

The Student Government oversees the allocation of the Student Activity Fund; nominates students for appointment to serve on faculty and administrative committees; directs the Student Government Committees; and generally entertains any matters of student interest or concern at meetings and campus-wide forums. Elections are held in the Spring for all positions except the First-Year Representatives, which are elected in the Fall.

Honor Societies

The Rhodes College Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, Gamma Chapter of Tennessee, was established at the College in 1949. For over two hundred years, election to Phi Beta Kappa has been a recognition of exceptional academic achievement in the liberal arts and sciences. Rhodes students are elected to Phi Beta Kappa by the members of the chapter chiefly on the basis of outstanding academic achievement in the study of liberal subjects.

Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Circle, was established at the College in 1927. The purpose of this national organization is to recognize leadership in college activities and to undertake various activities for the good of the College. Student members are chosen from the junior and senior classes, and not more than three per cent of the student body may be elected to membership. Members must have distinguished themselves in such activities as scholarship, athletics, and publications.

Sigma Tau Delta, national English honor society, was established at Rhodes in 1984. The purpose of this society is to promote the study of literature in English and to recognize outstanding achievement in this area.

Mortar Board, a national honor society for seniors, was established at Rhodes April 17, 1964, for the purpose of recognizing excellence in scholarship, leadership, and service.

The Pi Kappa Lambda honorary academic music fraternity was established in the spring of 1949. It recognizes outstanding achievement in music and may elect not over twenty per cent of those members of the senior class majoring in music.

Eta Sigma Phi, honorary society for students of classical language, was established at Rhodes in 1952. The purpose of this society is to promote interest in all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman culture.

Those who have at least a B average in advanced courses in either Greek or Latin are eligible for membership.

The Rhodes chapter of Sigma Pi Sigma, the national physics honor society, was established May 27, 1963. The chapter receives into membership physics students and a limited number from closely related fields when such students attain high standards of scholarship, professional merit, and academic distinction.

Omicron Delta Epsilon is one of the worldís largest academic honor societies. The objectives of Omicron Delta Epsilon are recognition of scholastic attainment and the honoring of outstanding achievements in economics; the establishment of closer ties between students and faculty in economics within colleges and universities, and among colleges and universities; the publication of its official journal, The American Economist, and sponsoring of panels at professional meetings as well as the Irving Fisher and Frank W. Taussig competitions. The minimum requirements for admission for undergraduates are completion of 12 semester hours economics courses and attainment of at least a 3.50 in economics courses and an overall 3.50 in all classes. Students do not have to be economics majors, but must have a genuine interest in economics in addition to meeting the above requirements.

Theta Chapter of Sigma Iota Rho, a national honor society in International Studies, is a charter chapter that was founded at Rhodes in 1986. The purpose of Sigma Iota Rho is to recognize academic excellence and to promote information about and study of contemporary international issues. Students are eligible for membership beginning in their junior year, and must have a 3.2 cumulative grade point average and a 3.3 within the major.

Psi Chi, the national honorary society in Psychology, was reactivated at Rhodes in 1987 for the purpose of encouraging, stimulating, and maintaining excellence in scholarship and advancing the science of Psychology as a profession. Membership in this society, which is affiliated with the American Psychological Association and which is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, is by invitation and limited to Psychology majors.Theta Nu chapter of the National Order of Omega was chartered in the spring of 1987. It serves to recognize outstanding members of the fraternities and sororities on the basis of scholarship and leadership. A grade point average equal to or above the all-Greek average is required for consideration for membership. Applications for members are extended each year to eligible rising juniors and seniors.

Theta Nu chapter of the National Order of Omega was chartered in the spring of 1987. It serves to recognize outstanding members of the fraternities and sororities on the basis of scholarship and leadership. A grade point average equal to or above the all-Greek average is required for consideration for membership. Applications for members are extended each year to eligible rising juniors and seniors.
The Alpha Epsilon Delta Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, international honor society in History, was established at Rhodes in 1990. Phi Alpha Theta brings students, teachers, and writers of history together both intellectually and socially, and it encourages and assists historical research and publication by its members. Students who have completed the required number of history hours at the 3.3 level and maintain at least a 3.2 overall grade point average are eligible for membership. Student members host informational gatherings for first-year students, hold career workshops, sponsor speakers, and publish an annual journal of exemplary student papers.

Beta Beta Beta is an honorary and professional society for students of the biological sciences. The Mu Rho Chapter of this national society was founded at Rhodes College in 1992. It seeks to encourage scholarly attainment in this field of learning by reserving its regular membership for those who achieve superior academic records and who indicate special aptitude for and major interest in the life sciences.
Pi Delta Phi is an honorary society for students of French language, literature, and culture. The Nu Nu chapter of this national society was founded at Rhodes in 2004. The purpose of the society is to recognize outstanding scholarship in the French language and its literatures, increase the knowledge and appreciation of Americans for the cultural contributions of the French-speaking world, and to stimulate and encourage French and francophone cultural activities.

Iota Iota Iota is a national honor society that recognizes academic excellence in the field of women’s studies while striving to maintain the feminist values central to women’s studies: egalitarianism, inclusiveness, and a celebration of the diversity of women’s experiences. Iota Iota Iota works to promote an interest in women’ s studies and research in social problems affecting all women. The Chi Chapter of Iota Iota Iota was chartered at Rhodes College in 2004.

Delta Phi Alpha, the National German Honor Society seeks to recognize excellence in the study of German and to provide an incentive for higher scholarship. The Society aims to promote the study of the German language, literature and civilization and endeavors to emphasize those aspects of German life and culture which are of universal value and which contribute to man’s eternal search for peace and truth.
Dobro Slovo, the National Slavic Honor Society, is an honorary organization for talented undergraduate and graduate students in the Slavic languages. It serves as a means for the recognition of academic excellence in the study of Slavic languages, literature, and history, and provides incentive for scholarly interest in Slavic life and culture. The Rhodes Chapter of the society was established in 2003.
Sigma Delta Pi is the national collegiate honorary society for students who distinguish themselves in the study of Hispanic language, literature and culture. The society was founded in 1919 at The University of California, and the Phi Epsilon chapter was established at Rhodes in 2005.

Theta Alpha Kappa is the only national honor society serving the needs of those involved in the study of religion and/or theology at both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels of higher education. Honoring excellence in these academic fields is its primary purpose, and it currently hosts over 140 local chapters throughout the United States at institutions both large and small, public and private. The Rhodes chapter, Alpha Epsilon Iota, was created in 2000 and serves approximately 40 members. Candidates for admission to Theta Alpha Kappa must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0, at least 12 credit hours in Religious Studies (including Humanities “Search” courses) and at least a 3.5 GPA in those classes.

Nu Rho Psi, national Neuroscience honor society, was established at Rhodes in 2014.  The Rhodes chapter will be the first for Tennessee.  The objectives of Nu Rho Psi are to encourage professional interest and excellence in scholarship in neuroscience, award recognition to students who have achieved such excellence, promote intellectual and social interaction between students, faculty, and professionals in the field, and encourage service to the community.

Bonner Center for Faith and Service

The chaplain and community ministry programs at Rhodes provide opportunities for worship, community service, and spiritual growth. As a college that is related to the Presbyterian Church (USA), Rhodes employs a full time chaplain and staff who reach out to students of all faiths. The Presbyterian tradition has a long history of encouraging diversity of thought and respect for religious differences, while remaining deeply rooted in the biblical witness and Christian commitment to service. The staff in the Chaplain’s office is ready to help all students make connections with campus religious programs, nearby congregations, and with social ministries in Memphis.

Student-led religious organizations of many faiths and denominations are active on campus. Student groups currently include: Buddhist Meditation Group, Charis (Presbyterian Church, USA), Catholic Student Association, C.O.R.E. (Community of Rhodes Episcopalians), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Jewish Student Organization (Hillel), Muslim Student Association, Reformed University Fellowship (Presbyterian Church in America), Rhodes Christian Fellowship (InterVarsity), Tuesday Fellowship (non-denominational, Christian). Pastoral care and counseling, retreats and mission trips, social justice ministries, interfaith dialogue, and servant leader programs are all part of the college’s holistic and inclusive approach to student ministry.

Students considering church-related professions or any faith-based vocations may participate in the preparation for ministry program (pre-ministry), which includes internships in youth ministry, hospital chaplaincy, social services, and short-term missions. Seminaries, theological schools, Peace Corps, Teach for America and global mission recruiters frequently visit the campus.
The Chaplain’s office also serves as the campus-wide community service center and central resource for all faith-based services. The chaplaincy sponsors the Kinney Program and an extensive range of volunteer services, a student-operated soup kitchen near downtown Memphis, and the Rhodes chapter of Habitat for Humanity. As part of its multifaith ministry and peacemaking programs, the chaplaincy supports community partnerships with the Gandhi-King Peacemaking Conference, PeaceJam, Muslims in Memphis, the India Cultural Center and Temple, Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, and a variety of church partnerships for urban ministry in Memphis.

The Laurence F. Kinney Program - Community Service

The Kinney Program is an integral part of life and learning at Rhodes, and has been recognized regionally and nationally for outstanding initiatives in community service. Through the Kinney Program and its projects, hundreds of Rhodes students make weekly commitments to serve with critical needs in Memphis. Coordinated by a council of student leaders and the Bonner Center for Faith and Service staff, the purposes of the Kinney Program are: (1) engage students in meaningful service to the community, (2) develop Memphis partnerships and service sites with nonprofit agencies, churches and public services; (3) help students become aware of community issues and integrating service with learning; and (4) nurture a lifelong commitment to serve with neighbors in need. Students serve voluntarily throughout the city in nearby hospitals, soup kitchens, crisis centers, environmental programs, public schools, transitional housing programs, and church-based social ministries. Students may also participate in community-based research, strategic planning and community organizing with nearby nonprofits and neighborhood associations.

Initiated by a grant from the Danforth Foundation in 1956, the Kinney Program was named in memory of a beloved Rhodes Professor of Religion. It is perpetuated by a gift from the estate of John D. Buckman, and supported by generous gifts from the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation, local churches and alumni. Over its long history, the volunteer program has grown to include a large majority of the student body and has worked with faculty to develop service-learning courses in the academic curriculum. Rhodes now offers work-study jobs in community service and a four-year service scholarship through the Bonner Scholarship Program.

Some of the strongest service initiatives among Rhodes students are Souper Contact (a student-operated soup kitchen), Habitat for Humanity, Snowden Adopt-a-Friend tutoring and mentoring program, International and Domestic Spring Break Service-Learning experiences, ESL tutoring, work at regional medical facilities and Hollywood – Springdale community development projects near campus.
Students are invited to drop by the Bonner Center for Faith and Service anytime to talk with Kinney Program leaders, share new ideas, and to learn how to get started serving in the Memphis community.

Bonner Scholars

The Rhodes Vision aims “to graduate students with a life-long passion for learning, a compassion for others, and the ability to translate academic study and personal concern into effective leadership and action in their communities and world.” For Bonner Scholars, this means enhancing leadership skills, developing social commitment, studying social issues and developing a strong sense of self. Specifically, program participants learn about themselves and their personal values and beliefs. They spend time in the study of leadership, understanding the efforts and challenges that other leaders in service have encountered. They also strive to connect their academic lives, personal beliefs, knowledge of leadership, philosophies of service, and their futures.

Students who are selected for the program must make a four-year commitment, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.5, complete 10 hours per week of community service and leadership activities, and place community service and leadership development among their highest priorities at Rhodes.

The Social Fraternities and Sororities

Membership in fraternities and sororities places an emphasis on volunteer service, academic achievement, and leadership. Such opportunities are available through any of Rhodes’ 14 nationally-affiliated Greek letter organizations. Eight organizations for men currently hold charters at Rhodes. These groups include Alpha Tau Omega, Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Alpha Psi, Kappa Sigma, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and Sigma Nu. The seven sororities currently holding chapters at Rhodes include Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Omicron Pi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Kappa Delta, Delta Sigma Theta, and Sigma Gamma Rho.

Each IFC fraternity chapter is represented on the Interfraternity Council (IFC). Sororities are represented on the Panhellenic Council (PAN). Historically black fraternities and sororities are represented by the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). PAN, NPHC, and IFC, in cooperation with the Director of Student Activities, work together to host educational programs, recruit new members, implement campus and inter/national policy, and regulate group activity.

To join an IFC or PAN chapter in the fall, students should participate in a membership recruitment program, complete a period of pledgeship, and if eligible, are initiated into full membership. To be eligible for initiation, a student, during his or her pledgeship, must have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or higher as set by each individual organization. Membership Intake for NPHC organizations is determined by the national organizations in conjunction with Rhodes College.

Musical Activities

The Department of Music at Rhodes College provides students with a number of opportunities to study music, consistent with standards of the National Association of the Schools of Music. Students may take applied music lessons on almost any instrument with esteemed performance faculty in all genres and/or perform in musical ensembles pending passing of audition requirements. Rhodes large vocal ensembles include the Rhodes Singers, Women’s Chorus, Men’s Chorus and MasterSingers Chorale. Large instrumental ensembles include the Rhodes College Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and the Rhodes Jazz Band. Small Ensembles include Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Harp Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Combos, and other chamber ensembles and combos. All ensembles are open to students from all academic disciplines and require an audition or consent of Instructor.

Rhodes Singers is an auditioned choral ensemble that performs SATB music with an emphasis on small-form unaccompanied choral works. Rhodes Singers tour in the United States during spring annually, and travel abroad every three years.

Rhodes Women’s Chorus and Men’s Chorus are auditioned ensembles of female singers who perform a variety of musical genres several times each semester, on and off campus.
Rhodes MasterSingers Chorales is an auditioned choral ensemble consisting of members of the greater Memphis Community, including Rhodes Faculty and staff members and Rhodes students. This ensemble performs up to four concerts each year in various venues, particularly Evergreen Presbyterian Church, presenting larger choral works with orchestral accompaniment, performing often with Memphis Symphony Orchestra.

The Rhodes College Orchestra and Wind Ensemble are auditioned symphonic ensembles that presents several concerts during the academic year with repertoire ranging from the Baroque Period to the 21st century. All students are welcomed to audition for these ensembles and do not need to be a music major or minor to participate. The orchestra tours the United States periodically, performing in a variety of professional and academic settings. Instrument rentals are available.

The Rhodes Jazz Band is an auditioned performing group that explores literature from all historic periods of jazz. The ensemble performs several times per semester in various venues on and off campus. In addition, students often have opportunities to participate in clinics with acclaimed jazz musicians such as Charles Lloyd, George Coleman, Pat Marino, Harold Mabern, Kirk Whalum, Bobby Rush and Ellis Marsalis.

Chamber Music Ensembles serve to engage students in an intimate study of repertoire. Ensembles offered may include Chamber Singers, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Brass Quintet, Flute Choir, Commercial Music Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Piano Trio, String Quartet, and Woodwind Quintet. All ensembles are auditioned and coached by music faculty consisting of professional musicians.
Opportunities are available for music students to participate in activities of such professional groups as the National Associations of Teachers of Singing, the American Choral Directors Association, the American Guild of Organists, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the National Federation for Music Education Fellowships through the Mike Curb Institute, as well as internship opportunities with various local organizations such as Arts Memphis, Opera Memphis, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Theatre Memphis, Memphis Chamber Choir, and other arts organizations. Hassell Hall houses practice rooms, faculty studios and offices, a music technology lab, classrooms, and Tuthill Performance Hall. Additional performance spaces include Hardie Auditorium, McCallum Ballroom, and Evergreen Presbyterian Church.

Theatre Activities

The Theatre Department at Rhodes provides numerous opportunities for student involvement, with students from diverse disciplines participating in a variety of activities in the areas of acting, design, stage management, set crews, costume crews, running crews, and properties management. There are also many opportunities for involvement in what are called front-of-house areas of office management, house management, public relations, McCoy website editor, press management, marketing and advertising. The McCoy Theatre offers low rates for student subscription memberships. Since opening its first season in 1982, the McCoy Theatre has produced plays that are consistently chosen as outstanding by the Memphis press, the Memphis Arts Council, and the public. Plays have included The Laramie Project, The Marriage of Figaro, Nicholas Nickleby, J.B., and various works by Shakespeare, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Richard III and Twelfth Night. Musical productions have included Candide, Sweeney Todd, Chicago, Urinetown, Assassins, Blood Brothers, Into the Woods and the opera Gianni Schicchi.

Student Media

Official student media outlets have been established as forums for student expression, as voices of free and open discussion of issues, and as an educational setting in which students learn proper journalistic practice. No publications of these organizations are reviewed by College administrators prior to distribution or withheld from distribution. The College assumes no liability for the content of an official student publication and urges all student journalists to recognize that with editorial control comes responsibility, including the responsibility to follow professional journalism standards.

Black Student Association

The Black Student Association (BSA) operates to promote unity within the African-American community, and to create harmonious relationships among people of different cultures and backgrounds. In its effort to fulfill this purpose, BSA sponsors and co-sponsors a variety of African-American cultural events at Rhodes, and participates in numerous campus events. BSA is an organization for anyone who aspires to help with its ideas of promoting activities of the Black community while promoting diversity among people of all cultures and backgrounds. Membership is open to all students at Rhodes.

Other Organizations

Participation in co-curricular organizations provides students the opportunities to explore new interests, develop skills, enhance an academic program, and become involved in campus and community leadership and service. There are currently over 110 campus organizations that offer religious, political, service, cultural, academic, social, recreational, governmental, and athletic involvement.


The Department of Athletics administers extensive intercollegiate sports, intramurals, club sports, and fitness and recreational programs.

Intercollegiate Sports: Rhodes sponsors teams in eleven varsity sports for men (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, swimming, golf, lacrosse, tennis, indoor track, outdoor track, and cross country) and twelve varsity sports for women (softball, golf, field hockey, lacrosse, volleyball, basketball, tennis, soccer, indoor track, outdoor track, swimming and cross country). The intercollegiate athletic program is an integral part of the total educational process and a substantial percentage (approximately 25%) of the student body participates in the program.

Rhodes is a member of the NCAA and competes at the Division III level. As such, all financial aid awarded to athletes is either based upon the family’s financial need or is part of the merit scholarship program. Financial Aid for all students is the responsibility of the Director of Financial Aid and the Committee on Admissions and Financial Aid.

Varsity teams compete in the Southern Athletic Association (SAA), whose members include Rhodes, Birmingham-Southern College, Centre College, Hendrix College, Millsaps College, Oglethorpe University, Sewanee-University of the South and Berry College.

Intramurals: A large percentage of Rhodes men and women participate in the popular intramural program. Teams are organized by a wide variety of groups. Intramural teams compete in flag football, volleyball, basketball, wiffle ball and soccer. There is squash, racquetball and tennis competition. The emphasis is on full participation, and many faculty and staff compete.

Club Sports: Rhodes currently offers eight club sports: cheerleading, dance team, outdoor organization, ultimate frisbee, fencing, quidditch, ice hockey, and crew. Student initiated, these clubs offer an opportunity for competition against club teams from neighboring colleges and universities.

Physical Education: Classes are offered in many areas. The specific courses are listed in the Physical Education section of the Courses of Instruction. Three half-semesters of Physical Education are required for graduation. Emphasis in the courses is placed upon the individual student’s growth in competence and appreciation for the particular sport or activity. The majority of the courses are in areas that can be continued on an individual basis after graduation.

Facilities include the Bryan Campus Life Center, Alburty Swimming Complex, Dunavant Tennis Center (ten lighted tennis courts), and Fargason Fields, which include Crain Field, Mason Field, the Winston Wolfe Track and Field Complex, Solomon Field, Jerden Practice Field, Stauffer Field, varsity soccer, and softball fields, and numerous practice and recreational fields.

PLEASE NOTE: This document reflects information as it was published in the 2014-15 Rhodes Catalogue. You may find more current information elsewhere on