- Membership is by invitation only through one of the Society's campus chapters.
- Students must be journalism or mass communication majors* in a program with a chapter.
- Chapters may set higher standards than those listed below.
- Undergraduate students:
- Must rank in the upper 10 percent of their journalism/mass communication class (i.e., juniors among juniors, seniors among seniors).
- Must have completed at least 5 semester hours or 8 quarters of degree work.
- Must have completed at least 9 semester hours of credit in professional skills courses in journalism/mass communication (for example, newswriting, advertising copy, basic photojournalism, broadcast news reporting, editing, magazine writing, reporting, desktop publishing). Examples of courses that do NOT meet that requirement include journalism/mass comm history, mass media and society, communications law, communication theory, broadcast production).
- Must have at least a 3.00 GPA (on 4.0 system) in junior/senior level journalism/mass communication courses.
- Must count ALL college courses applicable to their degree in computing the overall GPA to determine rank in upper 10 percent.
- Graduate Students:
- Masters students must rank in the top 10 percent of those who have completed the equivalent of two semesters of full-time coursework in their graduate degree program.
- Doctoral students must have received no more than two course grades of B in their Ph.D. programs, with A grades in all other courses, and must have completed all requirements for the degree but dissertation (ABD).
- No person shall be initiated before paying national initiation fees.
- Faculty Members:
Must meet high standards of excellence equivalent to those required of students (That is, upper 10 percent). In general, they must have demonstrable records of teaching and scholarly excellence at least equivalent to that required at most universities for the conferral of tenure. Faculty status alone is not sufficient for KTA membership.
- Honorary Members:
Are those who, by definition, do not meet the qualifications for regular membership but have excelled in other scholarly ways. Chapters may elect as honorary members persons whose scholarly qualities have distinguished them in media and elsewhere. Excellence in media performance is not sufficient for honorary membership; it must be coupled with demonstrable scholarly qualities. Chapters must submit a letter of nomination for an Honorary Member and explain how the nominee qualifies. Students are not eligible for honorary membership.
- Alumni are not eligible for membership.
*Non-journalism/mass communication majors may be eligible for KTA membership depending on a program's administrative structure.
If the journalism/mass communication program is one of two or more related departments in a school or college administered by the same dean or director, non-j/mc students may qualify. A typical example might be a College of Communication in which there is a department or school of journalism/mass communication, a department of communication and perhaps other departments. Students within the college would be eligible in such an instance, unless a determination was made at the time the chapter was chartered that specified which departments would not qualify.
Students still must meet all of the other qualifications for membership, including the completion of 9 semester hours of professional journalism/mass communication courses (see 4-c). For the purpose of determining rank in the top 10% of the class, students from non-journalism/mass comm departments must be considered separately.
Students in a traditional communication program should consider joining Lambda Pi Eta, national honorary society for communication.