Extracurricular Activities at MIT

August 4, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Extracurricular Activities at MIT

A degree from MIT entails much more than just attending classes and conducting research in laboratories and classrooms. Students have access to a wide variety of extracurricular activities at MIT and groups that complement their academic pursuits and offer them opportunities to grow and develop new interests or activities that they will pursue for the rest of their lives.

Students who participate in student organizations are better able to develop their leadership potential, acquire essential life skills, and make meaningful connections with others through social engagement. This section provides an overview of some of the extracurricular activities at MIT, which contribute to the overall atmosphere of the campus.

What is MIT known for?

What is MIT known for, and where exactly is it situated? Cambridge, Massachusetts is home to the esteemed Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT for short. MIT is a private research university known for its outstanding academic programs. MIT is a research university that was established in 1861. Its primary areas of study are science, engineering, and technology, and its mission is to promote research, discovery, and innovation.

Aerial view of MIT with its campus surroundings

The undergraduate enrollment at the university is only 4,363, and there are a total of 11,934 students enrolled there. This places the university in the category of being on the smaller side (which, as you can see, means that there are more graduate students than there are undergrads). There are currently close to 13,000 staff and faculty members working at MIT.

MIT is comprised of the following six schools and colleges:

  • The School of Planning and Architecture
  • The Department of Engineering
  • Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • The Graduate School of Management at Sloan
  • The Faculty of Science
  • The Arnold and Barbara Schwarzman College of Computing at MIT

It should come as no surprise that the School of Engineering is the most popular school; at the moment, it has approximately 5,700 students enrolled. MIT’s undergraduate program includes a total of 56 majors and over 50 minors.

The admissions process to MIT is extremely competitive, with only about 4 percent of first-year applicants being accepted each year. It is also highly regarded in the United States as well as the rest of the world, and it is ranked second on the list of the best national universities published by US News.

In order to gain admission to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), you will need to have a grade point average (GPA) in high school that is extremely close to perfect, excellent scores on either the ACT or the SAT, and a variety of extracurricular activities that allow you to demonstrate your level of dedication and your capacity for leadership.

You will also be required to be able to write an essay that not only demonstrates that you have exceptional writing skills but also tells a compelling story about yourself and the thoughts that you have.

Former students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are among the most intelligent and successful people in a variety of fields today. The university’s alumni, staff, and faculty have won a combined total of 96 Nobel Prizes, eight Fields Medals, and 26 Turing Awards.

As of the year 2014, the annual revenues of businesses that were established by alumnae of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology total more than $1.9 trillion. An estimated 4.6 million people are currently employed by the 30,000 companies that were established by MIT graduates.

What’s it like to attend MIT?

What’s it like to attend MIT as a student? The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is known for having a tough reputation or for being full of nerds who prefer to construct things while holed up in their rooms. The reality is that MIT is home to a very diverse collection of student bodies.

Everyone was exceptionally bright, but some individuals were extroverts who enjoyed being around others while others were more reserved and preferred to keep to themselves. Everybody moves at their own pace throughout the process.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

When you get out of high school, you quickly come to the realization that there are many people all around you who are just as smart as you were in high school and many who are even smarter than you and don’t have to work as hard as you do.

You may find that you need to study more, or even get some extra help from a tutor, but if you can get over your pride and acknowledge that you aren’t in a race against them, you should be able to make it through this situation.

There is a wide variety of entertainment available, ranging from games and sports to music and the arts. When you’re in Boston, it’s easy to get to a lot of really exciting things, such as baseball games at Fenway, great ethnic food, sailing on the Charles River, concerts, the best fireworks on July 4th, historic sites like Faneuil Hall, beaches out at Cape Code, and so on. Being in Boston is a real treat. Because there are more than 100 colleges within a radius of fifty miles from Boston, there are many young people living in the surrounding area.

The vast majority of students reported that they experienced a profound sense of freedom while attending MIT. Students at MIT are some of the least judgmental people you will ever meet, and this created an environment in which they felt encouraged to try new things without the fear that they would embarrass themselves in front of their peers.

Students at MIT felt that they would worry too much about embarrassing themselves in other environments, whereas at MIT, they were actively encouraged to do so on a regular basis. Other educational institutions may not have the same culture.

The students’ ability to let go of this worry provided them with the freedom to try many things that they had never even considered before; as a result, the students developed much further as individuals than they would have if they had not done so.

Therefore, despite the fact that you have to put in a lot of effort and put a lot of hours into studying, there are a lot of things about student life at MIT that make it quite worthwhile.

What Extracurricular Activities are Available at MIT?

What Extracurricular Activities are Available at MIT for students to join? At MIT, there are approximately 450 extracurricular student organizations (many of which are open to faculty, staff, and students).

Some of these organizations include the Outing Club, the Solar Electric Vehicle Team, the Debate Team, the FM local broadcasting station (WMBR), the MIT Society for Women Engineers, the Student Art Association, Model United Nations, and interest groups focusing on dance, chess, ham radio, and strategic games, just to name a few extracurricular activities at MIT.

Group of students laughing about a topic.

A significant number of students participate in volunteer work, either in conjunction with the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center or on their own initiative. Active social and public service programs are sponsored by a variety of organizations, including Alpha Phi Omega, the national service fraternity, Amphibious Achievement, and the Educational Studies Program, amongst others. Students in MIT’s Educational Studies Program, for instance, have the opportunity to collaborate with adolescents enrolled in high schools in the surrounding area.

In addition, MIT is home to a diverse collection of cultural and identity-based student organizations, such as the South Asian American Students Association, the Native American Student Association, the Black Students’ Union, and the Latino Cultural Center. There are over thirty different international student organizations that sponsor a wide variety of programs, such as social gatherings and discussion groups.

For instance, the International Students’ Association is responsible for the publication of a newsletter, in addition to hosting assemblies and other events. [email protected] is an organization that hosts weekly awareness programs and discussion groups, as well as social events all throughout the year, for the LGBTQ+ community at MIT, as well as allies of this community.

Graduate Women at MIT (GWAMIT) is an organization with the mission of fostering the intellectual, personal, and professional growth of women enrolled in graduate programs at MIT. In addition, there are over 30 different religious groups at MIT, each of which represents a unique faith and set of spiritual interests.

In addition to these more traditional pursuits, however, we also host a number of clubs that are a bit more out of the ordinary that makes up extracurricular activities at MIT, such as:

  • The Laboratory for Chocolate Science is the only organization on campus that places an annual order for more than 500 pounds of chocolate, as it is the only club that is dedicated to cultural appreciation as well as the scientific investigation of chocolate.
  • The Science Fiction Society is home to the world’s largest open stacks library devoted to science fiction and fantasy books.
  • The Spinning Arts Club offers a place to learn and practice fire spinning and LED prop spinning in a controlled environment
  • The Puppy Lab, which uses the stress-relieving effects of interacting with animals, which have been shown through research to be effective, in order to improve the overall mental health and wellness of the community
  • The Outing Club, whose mission is to encourage members of the MIT and Cambridge communities to spend time in nature, and which owns several cabins in New Hampshire, including ones with whimsical names like Camelot and Intervale

Arts & Music

Each year, more than half of all undergraduate students take part in activities related to the arts and music. As part of the extracurricular activities at MIT, our institution is home to a state-of-the-art black box performing arts theater, and our music education programs range from training at the conservatory level to ensembles and classes that even beginners can participate in. Our campus is home to more than 3,500 notable works of contemporary art

Both inside and outside of the classroom, MIT provides a wealth of opportunities for students to exhibit their artistic and creative abilities. You can explore the arts in a variety of ways, some of which include the Open Documentary Lab, the Center for Art, Science & Technology, and cross-registration with Massachusetts College of Art, just to name a few. These are just some of the many options available to you.

The Institute for Advanced Study (MIT) is home to five distinct schools, each of which offers a curriculum that incorporates subjects from a variety of academic fields. The following are a few things that we think are absolutely wonderful:

  • The List Visual Arts Center investigates difficult works of contemporary art across all mediums.
  • Any student at MIT who is interested in trying out for a position in the Symphony Orchestra can do so. Students have the opportunity to participate while earning credit.
  • The Arts Scholars Program organizes monthly field trips and workshops for any student at MIT who has an interest in the wide variety of artistic opportunities available both at MIT and in the surrounding area of Boston.
  • Art, Culture, and Technology at MIT are critical studies and production-based laboratory that offers an undergraduate minor and concentration, in addition to a variety of introductory courses that are open to all MIT students.

At MIT, you will find a greater variety of opportunities than ever before to express yourself through the arts. MIT offers more than 25 majors, minors, and degree programs; hands-on classes; makerspaces; and more than 100 concerts and exhibitions open to the public each academic year.

Activities in sports and leisure time

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) boasts the largest Division III athletics program in the entire country. A quarter of the student body at MIT competes at the varsity level in one or more sports; many more students take part in club and intramural sports, as well as general fitness and recreation activities which make up a part of the extracurricular activities at MIT.

Athletics at the varsity level

We have the largest Division III program in the country with 33 varsity sports teams, and we also have a Division I crew program. This makes us the national leader. Within its NEWMAC Conference, MIT competes at a high level of intensity.

An athlete getting ready for a sprint.

At MIT, both academic study and participation in athletics are viable options. The varsity athletic program at MIT is participated in by approximately 25 percent of the student body, and our varsity athletes, on average, have slightly higher GPAs than our non-varsity athletes. In point of fact, MIT student-athletes have been recognized with 358 Academic All-America accolades, which is the most of any DIII school in the entire country.

Since MIT is a Division III institution, it does not give out athletic scholarships, and its coaches do not have the ability to choose students directly. On the other hand, prospective student-athletes who are interested in MIT should discuss their intentions with the head coach of their sport.

Club & intramural sports

You have the option of taking part in club sports or intramural sports if you want to play sports on campus but not at the varsity level. Intramural sports pit teams of MIT students against each other, whereas club sports primarily compete against teams from other universities. The most important distinction between the two is that club sports compete against teams from other universities.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is home to more than thirty different club sports, some of which compete at the national level, such as archery, pistol, and martial arts. In the meantime, there are over 20 different intramural sports available, and within those sports, hundreds of teams that are organized by members of the MIT community compete annually at varying skill levels.

Facilities for leisure and recreation

The recreational facilities at MIT cover a total area of 477,053 square feet, and each and every student has access to them:

  • The Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center, which features a swimming pool of Olympic size, as well as a smaller teaching pool, a fitness center that is up to date with the latest equipment, and a sports medicine center that is fully staffed.
  • Alumni Pool & Wang Fitness Center, which includes an instructional pool in addition to a lap pool, a fitness floor with stationary machines as well as free weights, a group exercise studio, and a spin studio
  • The Johnson Athletic Center, which includes an ice skating rink, a six-lane indoor track with a large indoor field, as well as four tennis courts
  • The duPont Athletic Center with Rockwell Cage features multiple squash courts, a firing range, an indoor golf range, a fencing room, a wrestling room, and five basketball courts.
  • The J.B. Carr Indoor Tennis Bubble is home to four indoor tennis courts that are used by MIT’s varsity tennis team, as well as students and members of MIT Recreation.
  • The Harold Pierce Boathouse on the Charles River, which features a fleet of over 50 shells, 64 ergometers, and an eight-oared moving water indoor rowing tank;
  • The Walter C. Wood Sailing Pavilion, which holds the record for being the oldest university sailing pavilion in the world and was the origin of collegiate sailing competition in the United States
  • Steinbrenner Stadium, which serves as the primary venue for MIT’s athletic competitions in football, lacrosse, and track and field
  • Briggs, O’Brien, and/or Barry field(s), which provide acres of on-campus athletic fields for a variety of sports and recreational activities in general

Mischief-making, foolery, and practical jokes

In addition to athletics and the arts, MIT also explores the world of practical jokes. Students at MIT are responsible for carrying out “hacks,” which can be described as harmless and covert pranks that are carried out on campus in accordance with an unofficial code of ethics. The gist of these ethics is that hacks shouldn’t cause any harm to people or property, they should be risk-free, and they should make the people who experience them happy or amused.

At MIT, the term “hacking” refers to a variety of activities in addition to breaking into computer systems. According to what the journalist Steven Levy wrote in his history of hacking, the definition of hacking descends from a much older tradition of clever and elegant pranks that exist at the intersection of creative technology and guerrilla art. This tradition can be traced back to the early days of computing.

The following is a summary of the hacker code of ethics in general terms:

  • Be subtle. Don’t leave evidence that you were there.
  • Always leave things as you found them, or better.
  • Leave no permanent damage, both during hacks and while hacking.
  • Don’t steal anything. If you must borrow something, always return it; perhaps even leave a note saying when it will be returned.
  • Brute force is the last resort of the incompetent.
  • Never hack alone.
  • Above all, exercise common sense.

Why Are Extracurriculars Important?

Why are extracurriculars important to MIT’s students? The life of a student is centered on their studies, and extracurricular activities provide them with the opportunity to pursue their interests while also providing mental stimulation.

Female student clutching her book while smiling at the camera.

Students who get involved in student organizations at MIT are more likely to develop their leadership potential, acquire valuable life skills, and form connections with others through the social interaction that is an integral part of the MIT experience.

If you need help putting the finishing touches on your early applications, or want some advice on whether or not applying Early Decision or an Early Action is a good option for you, at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process, including our athletic recruitment program.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.


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