Frequently Asked Questions

Classic Pi Nu Epsilon

1. What is Pi Nu Epsilon?

Pi Nu Epsilon is a Co-ed Honorary Music Fraternity comprised primarily of Non-Music Majors. We seek to serve and promote the musical organizations at the institutions at which our chapters reside and to promote the general furtherance of good music everywhere.


2. What are the aims of Pi Nu Epsilon?

The aims of Pi Nu Epsilon are threefold:

  • To honor those outstanding men and women who have devoted their time and efforts to the musical organizations at the institutions of the respective chapters.
  • To stimulate interest in and to further the aims of the musical organizations at the institutions of the respective chapters.
  • To foster and develop a broader interest in music and musical affairs.


3. Where and when was Pi Nu Epsilon founded?

Pi Nu Epsilon was founded at Armour Institute of Technology in January of 1927 for the purpose of giving recognition to those men and women who had unselfishly devoted their time and energies to the furtherance of good music. For more information, please visit our history page.


4. What do the letters Pi, Nu, and Epsilon stand for?

The letters Pi, Nu, and Epsilon are the first three letters of the word “Pentagon” when it is written in Greek. The pentagon is the shape of the Pi Nu Epsilon Key, which appears as our official symbol on the website as well as official fraternity documents. The pentagon was chosen to signify the five musical organizations that existed at Armour Institute of Technology prior to the founding of the fraternity in 1927.


5. What does Pi Nu Epsilon do?

Pi Nu Epsilon provides fellowship for its members as well as service to the institutions at which the chapters reside and the surrounding communities. Some specific activities have included ushering at university performances, caroling at nursing homes during the Holiday season, sponsoring of “Battle of the Bands” competitions, volunteering at local parades, and fundraising for non-profit student radio stations.


6. What are the membership requirements?

The requirements for membership are as follows:

  • A member must be an undergraduate student at an institution at which a chapter resides.
  • A member must have completed at least one semester (or two quarters) of membership in a musical or performing arts organization at the institution at which the chapter resides.
  • A member must successfully complete a period of association in which they are educated about the fraternity by current brothers and sisters in preparation for full active membership.


7. From which types of ensembles does Pi Nu Epsilon Draw its members?

Pi Nu Epsilon draws its membership from a diverse group of musical and performing arts organizations. While the list of groups will vary from chapter to chapter, here is a list of examples of groups from which the current chapters have drawn members:

  • Concert Bands
  • Concert Choirs
  • String Ensembles
  • Dance Ensembles
  • Theater Groups
  • A Cappella Choirs
  • Jazz Choirs
  • Jazz Bands
  • Marching Bands
  • Pep Bands
  • Chamber Choirs
  • …and others!


8. What are the benefits of membership?

Membership in Pi Nu Epsilon provides opportunities to serve the institutions at which the chapters reside and the surrounding communities, networking opportunities with fellow music lovers, opportunities to build one’s resume, and a close-knit group of friends that encompasses multiple chapters.

Additionally, when you become a member of Pi Nu Epsilon, you become a member of a principle-bound honorary fraternity, as well as a member of a larger society which is composed of every race, creed, color and ethnicity, and which encompasses the entire world. The society of music lovers has neither national bounds nor caste-line discriminations. Music is universal and fervently embraces all people with an unbreakable bond – the love of music.


9. What kind of time commitment is required to be a member?

The time commitment can vary from chapter to chapter, as the chapters plan their own meetings and events; however chapters typically meet once a week when the institutions at which they reside are in session, and usually hold multiple events (service, fundraising, social, etc.) over the course of each academic term.

Additionally, individual members may be elected as chapter officers, or appointed to chair or serve on committees. These members take on additional time commitments analogous to the responsibilities of their positions.


10. What is the National Council and what is their role in Pi Nu Epsilon?

The National Council of Pi Nu Epsilon serves a dual purpose: The Council is the official governing body of the fraternity encompassing all chapters, colonies, and alumni; however the Council also exists to serve the members and alumni by answering questions, providing guidance, and above all working to foster free and open communication throughout the Pi Nu Epsilon family. The National Council is comprised of the following officers:

President – Responsible for setting the national agenda and presiding over national meetings

Vice President of Internal Affairs – Responsible for inter-chapter relations, member recruitment, and member retention

Vice President of External Affairs – Responsible for the planning and implementation of all activities associated with the expansion of the fraternity through the creation of new chapters

Treasurer – Responsible for the collection and disbursement of National Council funds, budget development, filing tax returns to maintain non-profit status, and overall financial oversight of the fraternity

Secretary – Responsible for keeping written records of national meetings and coordinating public relations activities on behalf of the National Council

Historian – Responsible for maintaining the historical records of the fraternity and establishing and sustaining relations between the National Council and fraternity alumni

Chapter Representatives – Represent the interests of their respective chapters as voting members of the National Council

Additionally, national officers may appoint cabinet members to assist them at their discretion with the approval of the National Council.

For more information regarding the Council, please visit the National Council page.


11. How does the process of starting a new chapter work?

The initial contact is made through the Vice President of External Affairs ( who in turn addresses any questions the students and faculty at the prospective institution may have about the fraternity, in some cases visiting the campus to meet with interested students and faculty members.

Once students at an institution have made up their mind to start a new chapter, they must complete the Application for Certificate of Colonization to start the process. The National Council of Pi Nu Epsilon reviews each application carefully, and will work with the students and faculty at the institution to ensure the success of the colony.

Finally, once a colony has inducted new members, performed service projects, raised funds, and drafted bylaws, they must complete the Application for Chapter Charter. If all requirements for chartering have been met, the National Council will schedule a chartering ceremony, after which the colony becomes a new chapter of Pi Nu Epsilon.

To download the application forms mentioned above, please visit our expansion page.