Start a Chapter

There are three simple steps you'll need to take to establish an NHS chapter in your school. Please note that parents and students cannot apply to establish a chapter, though they are encouraged to share this information with their local school officials. 


Step 1: Make a Commitment

There are a few things to consider and prepare before beginning the official application process.

  1. Review the National Honor Society Constitution and ensure your school is willing to comply with its guidelines.
  2. Select a chapter adviser. This faculty member will serve as the supervisor of the chapter, in charge of daily operations, file maintenance, and other duties (see Article VI). You may also designate a coadviser, though please note this carries an additional fee.
  3. Appoint a five-member faculty council. The council will meet at least once a year to select new NHS members and review and revise chapter procedures (see Article VII).

Step 2: Complete a Charter Application

Alternatively, you can download the charter application here. (Virtual schools, please also download this questionnaire if not submitting online.)

The chartering fee is $125. Please note that nonpublic schools must supply proof of accreditation in the form of a valid accreditation letter or certificate from one of the organizations on this list, and that all applications require a principal's signature

Please send applications with payment included to our national headquarters: 

National Honor Society
Charter Application
P.O. Box 3250
Reston, VA 20195-1250


Step 3: Review Your Chapter Materials

Once your charter has been approved, you'll receive a letter of congratulations, a copy of the NHS Handbook, and other relevant information from the national office. After reviewing the handbook thoroughly, the principal, adviser, and faculty council should develop the following:

  • Selection procedures, including a proposed calendar with induction date. This procedure must be published and available for review (see Article IX). 
  • Discipline and dismissal procedures, beginning with the guidelines outlined in the corresponding chapter in the NHS handbook (see Article X).
  • Chapter bylaws, outline the obligations of membership, including participation in annual service projects (see Article XIV). We recommend you involve student leaders in crafting your local bylaws.