Extracurricular Activities at WashU: The Ultimate Guide

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of WashU campus

Extracurricular Activities at WashU: The Ultimate Guide

The bustling campus life at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is a hub of academic growth and personal development. A crucial element contributing to this vibrant atmosphere is the vast array of extracurricular activities at WashU. From academic clubs to sports teams, cultural organizations to community service initiatives, WashU offers countless opportunities for students to pursue their passions, develop essential skills, and forge lasting connections with their peers.

View of WashU campus

Diving into the extracurricular activities at WashU allows students to cultivate a well-rounded college experience, balancing academics with social and personal growth. By engaging with clubs, organizations, and campus traditions, students can discover new interests, strengthen their sense of community, and create unforgettable memories. As you navigate your journey at WashU, be sure to explore the diverse array of extracurricular activities that cater to every interest and passion.

What is WashU Known for?

What is WashU known for? Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is a renowned private research institution known for its academic excellence, vibrant campus life, and commitment to innovation. Founded in 1853, the university has since established itself as a leading institution in the United States, with a reputation for providing world-class education and fostering groundbreaking research.

Academically, WashU is particularly recognized for its strong programs in medicine, social work, business, law, and architecture. The university’s School of Medicine consistently ranks among the top medical schools in the country, with a focus on research, patient care, and education.

Additionally, the Brown School of Social Work and Public Health is highly respected for its dedication to addressing social issues and promoting public health. The Olin Business School, the School of Law, and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts also contribute to the university’s reputation for academic excellence across various disciplines.

WashU campus

The university’s vibrant campus life is another aspect for which WashU is known. With a diverse array of extracurricular activities, ranging from student clubs and organizations to intramural sports, cultural events, and community service opportunities, WashU students can actively engage with their peers and the surrounding community.

WashU is also recognized for its dedication to research and innovation. Home to numerous state-of-the-art research facilities, the university encourages collaboration among faculty, researchers, and students in various disciplines, fostering an atmosphere of innovation and discovery. The university’s research endeavors span a wide range of fields, including medicine, engineering, social sciences, and humanities, with a focus on addressing pressing global challenges.

Furthermore, WashU is known for its commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. The university has implemented numerous initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote eco-friendly practices on campus. From constructing LEED-certified buildings to promoting waste reduction and recycling programs, WashU strives to create a more sustainable future for its community and the environment.

In all, Washington University in St. Louis is known for its academic excellence, diverse and engaging campus life, commitment to research and innovation, and dedication to sustainability and social responsibility. The university’s world-class programs, supportive learning environment, and vibrant campus atmosphere provide students with an unparalleled college experience that prepares them for success in their future endeavors.

What’s it Like to Attend WashU?

What’s it like to attend WashU? Attending Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is an enriching and dynamic experience characterized by academic rigor, a vibrant campus life, a supportive community, and countless opportunities for personal and professional growth. Students at WashU benefit from the university’s dedication to providing a world-class education while also enjoying the many aspects of campus life that contribute to a well-rounded college experience.

Academically, WashU offers a wide range of majors, minors, and interdisciplinary programs across its various schools and departments. Students can expect a challenging and intellectually stimulating environment, with faculty members who are experts in their fields and dedicated to fostering a collaborative and engaging learning experience. The university’s emphasis on small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio ensures that students receive personalized attention and support from their professors.

View of a student smiling at the camera.

The campus itself is a picturesque setting featuring Collegiate Gothic architecture and plenty of green spaces, providing an inspiring backdrop for learning and personal growth. Additionally, state-of-the-art facilities, such as libraries, research centers, and modern classrooms, support students in their academic pursuits and foster an environment conducive to innovation and discovery.

Outside the classroom, WashU offers a diverse array of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to engage with their peers and the surrounding community. With over 450 student-run clubs and organizations, there is something for everyone, regardless of their interests or passions. From academic and professional clubs to cultural organizations, performing arts groups, and intramural sports, students can explore their interests and develop new skills while making lifelong friends.

A strong sense of community pervades the WashU campus, with numerous events and traditions that bring students together and foster a sense of belonging. Annual events like the Thurtene Carnival, WILD concerts, and Art Prom, as well as numerous cultural and social events organized by student groups, provide opportunities for students to unwind, connect, and create lasting memories.

Living on campus is an integral part of the WashU experience, with the majority of undergraduate students residing in university housing. Residential life at WashU is designed to promote a sense of community and support, with Residential College systems that provide students with access to faculty mentors, academic resources, and social events. Living on campus also allows students to immerse themselves in the diverse and inclusive environment that WashU prides itself on.

WashU’s commitment to community engagement and service is evident in the numerous volunteer programs and service-learning opportunities available to students. Through initiatives like the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, students can participate in local and global service projects, fostering personal growth and making a positive impact on the world around them.

Attending WashU is a unique and transformative experience that combines academic rigor with a vibrant campus life, a supportive community, and a wealth of opportunities for personal and professional growth. Students at WashU can expect an engaging and fulfilling college experience that prepares them for success in their future endeavors.

What are the Extracurricular Activities at WashU?

What are the extracurricular activities at WashU? Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is a hub of academic growth and personal development, with extracurricular activities playing a crucial role in shaping a well-rounded college experience.

These activities allow students to explore their interests, develop new skills, forge lasting friendships, and contribute to the vibrant campus community. A diverse range of extracurricular activities at WashU includes:

Student Clubs and Organizations: Boasting more than 450 student-led clubs and organizations, WashU offers an abundance of opportunities for students to engage in a wide range of campus life aspects.

These groups cater to a wide array of interests, from academics and professional development to culture and identity, performing and visual arts, service and advocacy, and special interests. Notable examples include the Engineering Student Council (ESC), Association of Black Students (ABS), All Student Theater (AST), and GlobeMed. Students can also create their own clubs or organizations if they identify a unique interest not already represented.

Intramural and Club Sports: For students looking to stay active and engage in friendly competition, WashU offers a variety of intramural sports and club sports. Intramural sports are recreational leagues designed for students of all skill levels, encompassing activities such as basketball, soccer, flag football, and volleyball.

Sports equipments placed on a grass turf.

Club sports, on the other hand, cater to more competitive athletes and often involve traveling to compete against other universities. Examples of club sports at WashU include rugby, ice hockey, sailing, tennis, and equestrian, among many others.

Greek Life: WashU’s vibrant Greek community is comprised of 29 fraternities and sororities that contribute to the rich social fabric of the campus. Greek life provides students with the opportunity to develop lifelong friendships, hone leadership skills, and participate in various social and philanthropic events.

The Interfraternity Council (IFC), Women’s Panhellenic Association (WPA), and National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) govern the Greek organizations at WashU, ensuring a sense of unity and shared values among these diverse groups.

Community Service and Volunteering: WashU places a strong emphasis on community engagement and encourages students to give back through service and volunteering initiatives. The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement serves as the central resource for these endeavors, providing students with programs and opportunities to make a positive impact in the surrounding community and beyond.

Student volunteers holding material for community service.

Popular volunteering programs at WashU include Each One Teach One (EOTO), a tutoring and mentoring program for local students; Washington University Student Associates (WUSA), a support network for incoming first-year students; and Alternative Breaks, which allows students to participate in community service projects during their fall, winter, or spring breaks.

Campus Events and Traditions: WashU is home to a variety of events and traditions that unite the campus community and create opportunities for students to connect, unwind, and make lasting memories.

Some popular events include WILD (Walk In, Lay Down) concerts, which are biannual music events featuring live performances by well-known artists; Art Prom, an annual formal event hosted by the Kemper Student Council at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; and the Thurtene Carnival, the oldest and largest student-run carnival in the nation, which attracts thousands of visitors from the St. Louis community every spring.

Why are Extracurriculars Important?

Why are extracurriculars important? Extracurricular activities are an essential aspect of the student experience at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) and provide numerous benefits to students in their academic, personal, and professional lives.

They complement the rigorous academic environment at WashU and contribute to the holistic development of students. The importance of extracurricular activities at WashU can be understood through the following aspects:

Personal Development: Extracurricular activities enable students to explore their interests and passions outside of the classroom. By participating in various clubs, organizations, and events, students can develop new skills, hone existing ones, and discover new hobbies. These activities promote qualities like teamwork, leadership, time management, and problem-solving, which contribute to a student’s personal growth and self-awareness.

Social Interaction and Networking: Engaging in extracurricular activities at WashU provides students with opportunities to interact with peers from diverse backgrounds and form lasting friendships. These connections help create a sense of belonging within the campus community and foster a supportive environment where students can thrive. Additionally, involvement in clubs and organizations allows students to network with alumni, faculty, and professionals in their fields of interest, establishing valuable connections for future career opportunities.

Academic Enhancement: Participation in extracurricular activities can enhance a student’s academic experience by providing opportunities to apply classroom knowledge in real-world situations. For example, joining a research-focused club or working on a community service project can deepen a student’s understanding of the subjects they study while also promoting critical thinking and analytical skills.

Resume Building: Involvement in extracurricular activities can strengthen a student’s resume and make them more competitive in the job market or when applying for graduate school. Employers and admissions committees often value well-rounded candidates who have demonstrated leadership, teamwork, and time management skills through their involvement in various activities outside of the classroom.

Mental Health and Well-being: Engaging in extracurricular activities can help students maintain a healthy work-life balance by providing an outlet for stress relief and personal fulfillment. Activities such as sports, arts, or volunteering can help students manage stress, boost self-esteem, and promote overall well-being.

Community Engagement: Extracurricular activities, particularly those focused on community service and volunteering, encourage students to engage with the surrounding community and contribute to its betterment. Such involvement fosters a sense of social responsibility and empathy, enriching the student experience and creating a positive impact on the community.

Cultural Exchange and Diversity: WashU’s diverse range of extracurricular activities also promotes cultural exchange and understanding among students. By participating in cultural clubs and events, students can learn about different cultures, traditions, and perspectives, fostering an inclusive and open-minded campus community.

Ultimately, extracurricular activities play a crucial role in the WashU experience, offering numerous benefits to students in terms of personal growth, social interaction, academic enhancement, career preparation, mental health, community engagement, and cultural exchange. By participating in these activities, WashU students can maximize their college experience and lay the foundation for a successful future.


Extracurricular activities at WashU play a vital role in shaping a well-rounded college experience. By immersing themselves in clubs, organizations, sports, and community events, students have the opportunity to grow personally and professionally while building meaningful, lasting relationships.

As you begin your journey at WashU, it is essential to explore the myriad of opportunities that are available to enhance your time on campus. Engaging in these activities can lead to the discovery of new interests, the development of essential life skills, and a deeper connection with the vibrant campus community. By embracing extracurricular activities, you can not only enrich your academic pursuits but also create a lasting impact on your personal development and future success.

So, as you navigate your college years at WashU, remember that the wealth of extracurricular opportunities available to you can significantly contribute to your overall experience. Embrace these activities, make meaningful connections, and enjoy the unique journey that lies ahead at Washington University in St. Louis.

Want to learn more about your chances of getting into Washington University in St. Louis? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

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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