Student Organizations

Get involved with departmental student organizations and get more out of your education.

Pi Kappa Delta

Pi Kappa Delta is the oldest national collegiate forensic organization in the country and is supported by the Department of Communication Studies. As a member, you have access to resources, regular newsletters with up-to-date information on the speech and debate community, and opportunities for service and programming, both on campus and off campus. Join PKD to take your major to the next level.

What is Pi Kappa Delta (PKD)? 

Pi Kappa Delta is a national forensics honorary dedicated to promoting excellence in speech and debate. For more than 100 years, its 80,000 members have pursued “The Art of Persuasion, Beautiful and Just.” In addition to its civic engagement and advocacy activities, Pi Kappa Delta hosts a comprehensive national tournament each year, sponsors a professional development conference and publishes a scholarly journal (The Forensic), as well as a quarterly newsletter (The Key).  

Those who have participated in programming sponsored by Pi Kappa Delta will value “the Art of Persuasion, Beautiful and Just,” and will be well-prepared to lead just lives of leadership and service in a global community.  

Towson University was the first chapter in Maryland founded almost 60 years ago. TU PKD remains connected to its historical roots as a speech and debate club/team.  We have hosted local, regional, and national tournaments as well has brought home many national championships! Giving back to our community has focused our attention towards developing our communication skills and valuing the persuasive art and responsibilities we have when engaging with others. 

Who is eligible for membership? 

Pi Kappa Delta is committed to assuring equal opportunity to all persons, regardless of race, color, religious creed, national origin, physical ability status, age, economic status, gender, sex or sexual orientation. Pi Kappa Delta is opposed to all forms of discrimination and seeks to encourage an atmosphere in which every individual is accorded respect. Mindful of the importance of First Amendment freedoms, Pi Kappa Delta reminds its members of their ethical obligations to audience members and encourages members to refrain from disrespectful or derogatory speech. As an organization dedicated to fostering the development of functional leadership skills, Pi Kappa Delta encourages the participation of individuals from traditionally under-represented groups. Pi Kappa Delta is an equal opportunity employer. 

Towson University eligibility requirements: 

  • Participation in a minimum of 4 competitive collegiate forensic competitions (speech/debate) OR 
  • Complete a minimum of two semesters of work with the Public Communication Center OR  
  • Completed a minimum of 40 hours of service in communication-based activities 

Sample activities may include: 

  • Judging speech and debate tournaments at the local high schools and clubs. 
  • Attending Tiger Pride Day in Annapolis, MD. 
  • Participating in the “living bookHuman Library” project sponsored by the libraryCook Library. 
  • Entering university or local speech and debate competitions (e.g., TedX TowsonU, TU Public Speaking Competition, TU Public Debate Forum). 
  • Leading the creation of advocacy projects important to you and the community. 
  • Volunteering in public service to your community. 
  • Organizing an advocacy-based or social protest event.
  • Participating in an advocacy-based student group on campus. 

How do I join and are there any costs? 

  1. Complete the PKD Application Form.
  2. Once your form is approved by the faculty director, you will receive a link to enroll through the national office.  Fees are paid electronically by each student. 

Order of the Undergraduate: Membership in the Order of the Undergraduate is the most common individual membership and is designed for undergraduate students who wish to join the honorary and to participate in Pi Kappa Delta activities or events. Membership in the Order of the Undergraduate entitles the member to each of the rights and privileges designated by the National Council, including the right to participate in Pi Kappa Delta National Tournament competition, the right to be designated as a voting delegate, and to participate in Pi Kappa Delta governance, the opportunity to receive Pi Kappa Delta scholarships, prizes or awards, and the ability to pursue PKD orders or degrees. Once inducted into the honorary, membership in Pi Kappa Delta lasts a lifetime. 
 
Lifetime Individual Membership Fees: 
Order of the Undergraduate - Lifetime Dues:     
$35.00       (cost for joining between September 1st and February 1st) 
$50.00       (cost for joining between February 1st and August 31st) 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Who do I contact for information?

  • For additional inquiries into PKD, please email

Is there support available if I don’t know what to do?

  • Absolutely! The Department of Communication Studies will have a regular list of events where opportunities exist. Keep your eyes open for opportunities throughout the University. The Campus Activities Board (CAB) is always looking for people to help plan University wide events. If you have questions about PKD, please email

I am graduating this semester?  Can I still join? 

  • Yes! As long as you have time to complete the requirements for membership before graduation. 

I am not in Communication Studies?  Can I still join? 

  • Yes! We are open to all students who are in good academic standing.   

Can I complete my requirements off campus? 

  • Yes! You can complete work wherever it is available. For example, creating social media opportunities for nonprofit organizations online or traveling to Colorado for a debate tournament would both count. 

Can I be paid for my work? 

  • Yes! As long as the work you are actively involved in focuses on civic engagement and advocacy activities.  For example, PCC mentors are paid for meeting with public speaking students and judging high school tournaments may receive stipends from the schools.