Life & Culture
There are over 450 student organizations at MIT. They include 7 media organizations; 62 ethnic and cultural associations; more than 50 musical, theater, and dance groups; 32 religious organizations; 17 activism groups; and many more. Chances are, there's a group of students here doing something you'd love to do; if there isn't, you can start your own.
Some of the extracurriculars offered at MIT include:
- The Laboratory for Chocolate Science
- The Mocha Moves Dance Club
- The MIT Quidditch Team
- The Roadkill Buffet Improv Troupe
- Camp Kesem, a student-run summer camp for kids whose parents have or have had cancer
and literally hundreds more.
With 33 varsity sports teams, MIT is the largest DIII athletics program in the nation. MIT student-athletes have earned 156 Academic All-American citations, the most of any DIII school in the nation. About one in five MIT students participates in varsity athletics.
For students who want to stay active but who don't wish to participate in varsity athletics, there are also 30 club teams, and 23 intramural sports with over 1,000 teams. Whether you're a potential Olympic contender or if this is the first time you've ever thrown a frisbee, you will have an opportunity to exercise your body. In fact, MIT has 10 athletic facilities and 26 acres of playing fields, and the Zesiger Center gymnasium was named the best in Boston by the local CBS affiliate.
Traditions & Residential Life
Outside of the formal extracurriculars and athletics there is also quite a bit of unstructured tomfoolery that occurs on campus. Probably most famous are the MIT hacks, which are elaborate, anonymous practical jokes played on MIT and the local community by MIT students.
Some famous hacks include:
- Putting a police car on the roof of the Great Dome
- Transforming a campus tower into the world's largest volume meter during a Boston Pops concert
- Launching a giant "MIT" balloon from beneath the football field at a Harvard-Yale football game
- Replacing the Lobby 7 skylight with the Jurassic Park logo
- Transforming the Great Dome into an enormous R2D2
Much of the fun on campus is also centered around MIT's unique residential life system, where wildly different cultures thrive in different dorms and living groups. About 90% of MIT students live in residence halls and fraternities, sororities, and independent living groups (FSILGs). All twelve dorms include a live-in faculty housemaster.
At MIT, students choose where they would like to live via the i3 process, during which each dorm sends each student information about all of the cool stuff they do, and REX, during which students explore dorms on-campus before choosing one to move into. So you will be able to find a community of folks here who like to do what you like to do and live with them. It's an incredible opportunity to find your home away from home here at MIT.