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How to start a chapter

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

If you believe in the power of the Key and in the pillars of Academics, Leadership and Service, and dream of working and learning alongside others like you, it may be time to take that first step and begin the process of chartering a Golden Key chapter on your college’s campus. First, search Golden Key’s global map to make sure your university doesn’t already have a chapter. Next, apply for membership. Then, once you’ve been accepted and join as an individual member, you can charter a chapter at your school.

Chartering a Chapter

In chartering a chapter, you are paving the way for future generations of students on your campus. You’re giving them something to aspire to, while creating a steady network of likeminded individuals with whom you will learn, laugh and lead. By establishing a Golden Key chapter, you’re helping your school identify and develop talented student leaders. Through Golden Key’s international network, the university can encourage and fund community and university service projects, increase corporate and nonprofit support of a student body, and help improve the recruitment of students and professionals.

New chapters must be approved by the Golden Key Board of Directors.

To charter a chapter:

  • Find two full-time faculty and/or staff members to be your chapter advisors.
  • Locate other academically accomplished students who are enthusiastic leaders and interested in becoming Golden Key officers.
  • Officially register your chapter as a student organization on campus.
  • Download and fill out the charter application.

Questions? Please read our Chartering FAQs for chapters in the U.S.

For more information, contact your regional office for specific chartering information:

  • Asia-Pacific –
  • Canada – Ian Sankey:
  • United States – Melissa Leitzell:
  • South Africa – Elmie Castleman:
  • Other locations not listed above – Melissa Leitzell:

Individual Member Program*

The individual member program is for students who wish to join Golden Key at universities where we do not have chapters.

Though you may join Golden Key as an individual member, you’ll never be alone. You’ll be a part of an international network of peers, advisors and alumni, all connected by their dedication to excellence and their passion for service. You’ll be linked to great leaders who can guide your personal and professional development.

To qualify for individual membership, you must meet the following prerequisites*:

  • You are a bachelor’s or master’s degree candidate studying at an accredited institution without a chapter.
  • You are a sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student.
  • Your G.P.A. is 3.7 or higher on a 4.0 point scale.

*Asia-Pacific Countries – If you are a student in an Asia-Pacific country, please click for specific instructions.

Otherwise, to request a Golden Key membership invitation, please choose one of the following options*:

  • Email member services ( a copy of your transcript and your contact information; or
  • Fax a copy of your transcript and contact information to member services at 1-678-698-2298; or
  • Mail a copy of your transcript and contact information to the appropriate international office, in c/o Membership Application.