Phi Sigma Rho was founded in 1984 by Abby MacDonald and Rashmi Khanna at Purdue University. Abby and Rashmi were unable to participate in traditional sorority rushes due to the demands of their engineering program, so they decided to establish their own sorority instead. In this sorority, women in engineering would be able to keep up with the rigorous demands of their courses while also experiencing Greek life on campus. Thus, Phi Sigma Rho was born. The Alpha chapter was founded with ten members.
In the twenty-four year span since then, Phi Sigma Rho has grown to twenty-three chapters from coast to coast.
The Phi Sigma Rho Colony at UCI began during the summer of 2002,
when roommates Regina Tam and Karen Sam discovered the colonization of Phi Sigma Rho at UCLA. The two sent out emails to the Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UCI in search of girls who would be interested in such a feat. The girls who were interested were then called to come together for a general meeting. The response was astonishing and the Alpha class was formed with a group of thirteen very dedicated and amazing young women. The Pi Chapter at the University of California, Irvine was installed on April 10, 2004.