Extracurricular activities at Northwestern

August 4, 2022
By AdmissionSight

Extracurricular activities at Northwestern

Students at Northwestern take advantage of the different extracurricular activities at Northwestern and a wide variety of learning opportunities that take place outside of the conventional classroom environment. We will acquire additional information regarding the extracurricular activities at Northwestern University for its students to take part in.

What is Northwestern known for?

What is Northwestern known for and where is it located? Northwestern University is a preeminent research institution that places an emphasis on education that spans multiple disciplines.

Northwestern University is often referred to as the “Ivy of the Midwest,” due to its location in Evanston, Illinois, which is right on the water of Lake Michigan. In addition to being a member of the Big 10 athletic conference, the university is home to a number of highly regarded and acclaimed academic and performing arts programs. Students at Northwestern are afforded the opportunity to excel in both their academic and athletic pursuits, giving them the best of both worlds.

Signage of Northwestern university placed near dead trees.

Northwestern University, which, along with Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, is recognized as an “Ivy” university and typically has fewer than 10,000 undergraduate students enrolled at any given time, is also known as the “Ivy of the Midwest.”

It is possible that learning that Northwestern’s endowment is one of the largest university endowments in the world at $16.1 billion will come as something of a surprise to you.

On-campus interdisciplinary research receives significant funding from the institution’s endowment, which was established specifically for this purpose.

The University of Northwestern has a long list of distinguished alumni who have achieved success in a wide variety of fields and fields of study. The current Governor of Illinois, Jay Robert Pritzker, is the wealthiest politician in the United States. He is also one of Northwestern University’s ten living alumni who are worth a billion dollars or more.

In honor of him, the Pritzker Legal Research Center which is housed within the Northwestern Law School was established.

The majority of Northwestern’s schools and colleges offer undergraduate degrees, and some of those schools and colleges are as follows:

  • The College of Arts and Sciences at Weinberg University
  • The School of Public Relations
  • The School of Education and the Graduate School of Social Policy
  • The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University
  • Journalism, Media, and Integrated Marketing Communications at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
  • Music at the Bienen School of Music

Journalism and music were both offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels and were regarded as two of the most noteworthy programs. In point of fact, Medill is regarded as the best journalism school in the entirety of the United States. Through the Medill on the Hill program, certain journalism students even have the chance to report from Northwestern’s newsroom in Washington, DC.

What’s it like to attend Northwestern?

What’s it like to attend Northwestern University? The students at Northwestern are happy and bright, but they don’t want to appear to be too intelligent. In addition, they drink too much, and there is very little romantic activity taking place. Students at Northwestern feel that their choice to attend the university was one of the best decisions of their lives.

Students working on a school work while sitting.

You will be intellectually challenged on a consistent basis by both your professors and peers, but the experience will help you develop in so many ways. At NU, there is a strong emphasis placed on interdisciplinary education, and the school is very accommodating in terms of letting students explore a variety of academic disciplines. The university practically tosses opportunities like internships and funding for research projects in your direction, making it ridiculously simple to acquire these experiences.

In addition, virtually all of the lecturers have been excellent instructors in addition to being experts in their respective fields, which is a quality that is undervalued in any large university. They have found, in general, that the professors here genuinely care about their students’ education and success, and they are more than willing to provide additional assistance if it is required.

However, being a student at NU does not come without its share of difficulties. The winter months can be very depressing, particularly if you are used to living in a warmer climate. The academics are challenging, and when you add in the hectic nature of the quarter system, it’s easy to feel like you’re drowning in work.

At roughly the middle of the quarter, everybody is starting to feel a little bit exhausted. You really can’t understate how difficult college is, particularly when attending a school that doesn’t engage in a lot of grade inflation.

On the other hand, one of the things that makes Northwestern such a great place to be is that there is a robust sense of community. At Northwestern, the focus is not on academic competition but rather on the pursuit of knowledge by all students. If you attended a high school that was known for its level of competition, you might be surprised to learn how many people would go out of their way to assist you if they saw that you were having difficulty.

When there are fewer students in a class, the students almost always end up forming informal study groups in which they meet on a regular basis to work on assignments together. Even though the work is frequently challenging, you will all do your best to support one another and assist one another in gaining as much knowledge as possible.

Although you’ll find people interested in both pure academics and making an impact on the world here, the majority of students at NU are driven more by the desire to make an impact on the world than by academics alone (although you’ll find both types of people here). Students are typically very involved in the life of their schools, whether it be through student research, working on startup companies, participating in sports, theater, journalism, or any number of other activities.

You will have classmates who started a handmade jewelry company and give all of the profits to local community organizations; since they started their business almost two years ago, they have been raising thousands of dollars every month. It doesn’t matter what their interests are; I’ve found that every single one of my contemporaries has an incredible amount of enthusiasm for the things they do and a genuine interest in the world around them.

You have complete control over how the social scene unfolds. You can find parties if you look for them, but no one will ever make you feel obligated to go to any of them. On top of that, there are a ton of different clubs and events that take place on campus, making it extremely difficult to feel bored.

However, traveling to Chicago is relatively simple, making it an attractive option for tourists interested in urban life. It’s possible that Greek life was very popular many years ago, but recently it’s been on a downward trend. A significant number of students are advocating for the elimination of the system, and within the past year, approximately 75% of members have deactivated their accounts.

Although there is still a lot of work that the university needs to do in this regard, supporters of Greek life might be opposed to this, but it is representative of our move as a university toward creating a more welcoming environment for all students. Despite this, there is still a lot of work that the university needs to do.

The experiences that attending students at NU have had, on average, have been nothing short of incredible. There are unquestionably facets of the university that could be developed further.

What Extracurricular Activities are Available at Northwestern?

What Extracurricular Activities are Available at Northwestern University for students to take part in? There are more than 400 different extracurricular groups that make up the extracurricular activities at Northwestern, which means that students have access to an incredible variety of activities outside of the classroom.

Aerial view of Northwestern University during day time.

In addition to its athletic programs, Northwestern is home to a large number of student organizations and clubs, some of which are the Solar Car Team, the Mixed Race Student Coalition, the Cookology Club, and the Lipstick Theatre. The following is a list of some of the student organizations at Northwestern that you can join:

Student Counselors for Social Justice

As part of the extracurricular activities at Northwestern, the goal of the Student Counselors for Social Justice organization is to serve as a source of community, connection, training, and empowerment not only for students enrolled in the online Master of Arts in Counseling program offered through Counseling@Northwestern but also for students enrolled in other Northwestern degree programs who are interested in social justice and advocacy action.

In accordance with the ACA Code of Ethics and the mission of Counselors for Social Justice, members of the SCSJ are advocates for increasing diversity and acceptance in the world as well as with their clients. Members of the SCSJ make it a point to educate themselves on power, privilege, and the ways in which these concepts are ingrained in biased systems.

They create an environment where they can support, motivate, inspire, and encourage one another to find ways to make both small and large changes in their respective spheres of influence, as well as to become more culturally sensitive and compassionate in the work that they do with their counseling clients.

64 Squares

Is committed to growing the popularity of chess within the Northwestern community by creating an inviting space in which the game can be played. In addition to this, 64 squares provide students with the opportunity to compete in intercollegiate chess matches as well as the only chess league in Chicago.

A&O Productions

Since its founding in 1969, A&O Productions has been committed to providing undergraduate students at Northwestern University with high-quality programming on a large scale. Do you have an interest in working in the entertainment industry, whether it be as a concert or speaker booker, a show producer, someone who screens films on a 35mm projector, someone who promotes events all over campus, or even someone who just wants to be backstage? You would fit right in with A&O!

Academy of Music and Arts for Special Education

AMASE, which stands for the Academy of Music and Art for Special Education, is a student organization that teaches music and art to people of all ages who have some form of impairment. On the Northwestern University campus in Evanston, student volunteers from Northwestern University get together with students from the surrounding community every Saturday to give individual music lessons and participate in group arts and crafts activities. They work with people of all ages, from toddlers as young as three years old to young adults in their early twenties.

Two people playing a guitar.

AMASE also organizes a weekly Community Music Choir on a weekday in the Evanston area as part of our partnership with other non-profit organizations in the city, such as Our Place and Transition House. As part of the extracurricular activities at Northwestern, this choir is open to anyone in the community, regardless of whether or not they have a disability. They recognize and applaud the efforts and abilities of our students by holding a concert at the end of each quarter, which is attended by the students, their families, and our volunteers.

AMASE hopes that all of our students, regardless of their cognitive abilities or ages, will feel comfortable creating music in a supportive environment thanks to the Saturday Ensemble and Community Music Choir programs that we offer. AMASE volunteers are also committed to promoting awareness and acceptance of neurodiversity in the greater campus community. They do this through a variety of campaigns, fundraisers, and collaborations with other student organizations that have interests that are comparable to their own.

Active Minds

Changing the conversation about mental health is one of the goals of the organization Active Minds. We want to eliminate the stigma that is associated with mental illness and foster an environment where it is easy to have an open conversation about issues related to mental health by hosting events that are open to the entire campus. Through education, advocacy, and awareness events, NU Active Minds seeks to reduce the stigma that is associated with mental illness through the use of the student’s voice.

Advancement for the Undocumented Community

A student organization known as Advancement for the Undocumented Community (AUC) is committed to offering undocumented students and students who have undocumented family members as well as other students resources and support.

They hope to raise awareness, uplift, and advocate for this community through the hosting of events, workshops, and other organized activities. They hope to collaborate with a variety of local and national organizations in order to locate resources and cultivate an environment that is welcoming to all.

African Students Association 

The African Student Association (ASA) is a student organization that serves as a community for students of African descent at Northwestern University and raises awareness of Africa throughout the larger Northwestern community.

Their primary objective is to establish and maintain a community for individuals who are interested in participating in African culture. A spoof on Showtime at the Apollo known as Afropollo is one of the events that the African Student Association (ASA) puts on every year in the fall.

As part of the extracurricular activities at Northwestern, the annual Cultural Show known as Jabulani is held during the winter months and features a fashion show, skits, and performances to keep everyone entertained. Throughout the course of the year, we host events to foster community bonding and host discussions on topics related to Africa. In addition, they collaborate with a variety of organizations both on and off campus to produce programming that is pertinent.


When you join AIESEC, you become a member of the largest youth leadership organization in the world, which is comprised of young people who are committed to being global leaders. People who are interested in expanding their own potential while also making a contribution to something that is much more significant than themselves.

AIESEC gives you immediate responsibilities so that you can learn by doing, take yourself out of your comfort zone, and experience both success and failure within the context of a community that is there to support you.

They are looking for people who are interested in realizing their full potential while also contributing to a mission that has the potential to change the world. We are unable to guarantee that it will be simple for you, but rest assured that the results will be well worth the effort.


Fumio Toyoda Shihan established the Northwestern Aikido Club in 1974. At the time, it was known officially as the Zanshinkan Dojo. The NU Aikido dojo is the campus’s oldest martial arts group and has been around for 46 years. Students at all levels, including undergraduates and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff, make up our membership.

Morihei Ueshiba was the one who first developed the dynamic, powerful, and graceful martial art known as aikido in the early 20th century. Training in Aikido teaches students not only how to defend themselves (through strikes, throws, and joint locks), but also how to use traditional weapons (long sword, staff, and knife).

All Ears

All Ears is an organization with the mission of bringing together undergraduate students who have a strong interest in volunteering in a clinical environment (which will be located at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Prentice’s Women’s Hospital).

Undergraduate students will have the opportunity to team up with medical students and visit patients at the hospital to provide companionship for terminally ill patients who do not have many visitors if any visitors at all. Medical students will lead the patient visits.

All Ears will also provide the opportunity for its members to participate in monthly discussions about end-of-life issues with medical students and doctors. These conversations will be led by medical professionals. There will also be events with speaker panels held in order to educate general Northwestern students on palliative care.

The primary objectives of All Ears are as follows: 1) to be a companion to terminally ill patients; 2) to give undergraduate students clinical experience by teaching them about end-of-life care. 3) Provide undergraduate students with the knowledge and abilities required to interact with patients in a relaxed and natural manner with the assistance and facilitation of medical students.

In addition, there is a high participation rate in Greek life; during the 2019–2020 academic year, between 35 and 40 percent of undergraduate students were affiliated with fraternities or sororities.

Athletics and Recreation

The Northwestern Wildcats compete in NCAA Division I for both men’s and women’s sports as part of the Big Ten Conference. The Wildcats field eight men’s teams and eleven women’s teams. The university provides a wide variety of athletic opportunities, including varsity sports, intramural competitions, and club sports, such as the widely participated-in crew program.

Varsity Athletics and Intramurals

The Northwestern University Intramural Sports Program’s goal is to provide the university’s students, faculty, and staff with opportunities to participate in recreational activities that are both enjoyable and fun. The program offers participants the opportunity to participate in sports in an environment that is both organized and competitive, while also arranging the competition in accordance with varying levels of skill.

Students playing baseball in a field.

It is important to understand that the goal of Northwestern University’s intramural sports is to provide a setting in which students, faculty, and staff can enjoy participating in sports in a relaxed and enjoyable manner free from competitive pressure. The following is a list of the sports that are available to students at NU:

Men’s sports

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Soccer
  • Swimming & diving
  • Tennis
  • Wrestling

Sports competed by women

  • Basketball
  • Running in the country
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Golf
  • Lacrosse
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming & diving
  • Tennis
  • Volleyball

Why Are Extracurriculars Important?

Why are extracurriculars important to Northwestern University students?  It may appear to those who are not familiar with Northwestern that the student body is dominated by nerds. In spite of this, the community has a strong sense of vitality. Although it’s true that everyone cares about doing well in this class, many students’ interests lie in areas that are unrelated to the subject matter.

After you’ve spent some time getting to know people at this school, you’ll notice that the majority of the students have a lot more to discuss besides just their academics.

Different sports equipments placed

Students’ emotional, intellectual, social, and interpersonal development is positively impacted by the numerous experiences that extracurricular activities at colleges and universities provide. This is because the development of a well-rounded individual is one of the primary goals of extracurricular activities on college and university campuses.

Students gain the skills necessary to negotiate, communicate, handle conflict, and lead others when they collaborate with other people to complete a task. Students who take part in activities like these that take place outside of the classroom gain a better understanding of the significance of academic and intellectual prowess, as well as the ability to think critically and manage their time effectively.

Participation in activities provides a setting for student interaction, the development of relationships, and discussion, all of which contribute to the social maturation of students.

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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