Are you ready to find your fit?

These Colleges Have the Best Extracurriculars Student Organizations

In your four plus years of college, you’ll have lots of free time. Yes, college workloads can be stressful, but this is a mixed bag. In reality, you’ll find that for long periods, you’ll be free to focus on things other than your studies. Most students spend just 17 hours a week studying their degrees. But this doesn’t mean that those students are lazy. They’re just spending their time on other important activities.

Student clubs and organizations have been a vital part of college life dating back to the medieval age. And while a lot has changed about colleges and student organizations in the last 1000 years, one thing is clear: they’re incredibly useful for careers and having fun. Perhaps you want to build up your resume with more skills. Perhaps you want to show that you are engaging with your community. Perhaps you want to make friends. Perhaps you want to excel at a sport. Perhaps you’ve always been interested in an activity but have never had the chance to engage in it. Whatever your reason, there’s a student society out there that is perfect for you!

Nowadays, colleges offer so many different clubs and organizations that it can be difficult to know where to begin. First of all, you need to work out what it is that you want to do with your extra time. Do you want to reaffirm your studies with something that gives it an extra edge? Or do you want to engage with something that allows you to escape from your degree for a few hours? Maybe you have time to join multiple societies, accommodating both wishes. There is so much possibility, but the key thing is to know what to pick and how much you can engage in without hindering your studies.

Luckily, this article has been put together to show you what the best clubs and societies in America look like. It does this by selecting the colleges in the USA that show that they are leading when it comes to extracurricular activities. And then we highlight one or two standout organizations within the colleges or the things the colleges have in place to ensure that the organizations are the best. This will give you the info you need when it comes to your college activity ideas. Perhaps you’ll choose to attend one of the colleges below. Perhaps you’ll choose somewhere that has comparable societies. Or perhaps you’ll be inspired enough to want to start your own society if your ideal choice doesn’t currently offer anything comparable.

For many, college equals freedom. This is how you can make the most of it.


Our research involves both list based articles that highlight colleges with the most and best student organizations and opinion style articles that highlight which colleges are leading with their clubs. All are from reputable sources that have vast amounts of articles online that discuss the best aspects of different colleges. We’ve used these as a starting point and then conducted further research.


QS/Top Universities, 7 Types of US College Student Organization: https://www.topuniversities.com/blog/7-types-us-college-student-organization

College Xpress, Colleges With the Largest Number of Registered Student Organizations: https://www.collegexpress.com/lists/list/colleges-with-the-largest-number-of-registered-student-organizations/2096/

Business Insider, The 30 most fun colleges in America: https://www.businessinsider.com/the-30-most-fun-colleges-in-america-2016-1

Campus Tales, 7 Best Student Business Clubs in the World: http://www.campustales.com/222/7-best-student-business-clubs-in-the-world

Forbes, 25 Top Colleges That Dominate Academically And Athletically: https://www.forbes.com/sites/huntersharf/2017/08/02/25-top-colleges-that-dominate-academically-and-athletically/#403a6a497c3d

College Magazine: 10 Clubs That Will Make Your Resume Flawless: https://www.collegemagazine.com/10-clubs-will-make-resume-flawless/

Overall, we’ve compiled the colleges mentioned in the articles above, ensured that the claims the sources state are true and sorted the colleges from 30 to one in terms of offering the best activities. Some choices favor athletics. Others favor community building or business engagement. The best engage with all areas of student life activity. Our rankings have been sorted by frequency of mentions and highest ranking places on the methodology lists, as well as by evidence of giving students a great time.

Our results are below:

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. University of Texas at Austin

    Austin, TX

    College Xpress notes that the University of Texas at Austin has the most student organizations of any college in the south. Forbes also notes that the college spends the most money in America on athletics, with the college paying out $155 million in 2017. The same Forbes article also states that the University of Texas at Austin is the fourth best college for mixing athletics with academics in America. The current intake of students who participate in sports is 500, and they're spread across 20 different programs. The sports teams are highly successful and have claimed more Big 12 Conference titles than any other college.

  2. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

    Ann Arbor, MI

    This college has the second highest number of student organizations, according to College Xpress. It's also the fifth best college for mixing academics with athletics, according to Forbes. In fact, the University of Michigan has so many organizations, it's hard to focus on just a few and their achievements. On the activism side, they have Call for Humanity, which works on providing aid for people who need it the most and creates a sense of unity among different college groups to provide that aid. On the sports side, the college's rowing team has managed to earn a top 10 place in the NCAA Championships for the last five years in a row. And the college's student organization achievements are sure to carry on for many more years!

  3. University of California, Los Angeles

    Los Angeles, CA

    UCLA has more organizations than any other college on the entire west coast of America, according to College Xpress. It's also Forbes's second best college in America for mixing academics with athletics. And if you want to take part in the athletics on offer at UCLA, there's plenty of choices. There are 10 men's sports and 13 women's sports to choose from. These include water polo for both men and women, golf for both men and women and beach volleyball for women.

  4. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

    Champaign, IL

    Urbana-Champaign is over 100 miles from Chicago. This may tempt some to apply to more metropolitan colleges than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. However, they may be missing out, as the college does a great job of ensuring its students are always engaged. Business Insider even names it the number one college for fun in America. College Xpress notes that there are over 1,000 student organizations. One of the more unique organizations at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign is the Baltic Club, which preserves and celebrates the culture, history, and traditions of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

  5. University of California, Berkeley

    Berkeley, CA

    Forbes names Berkeley the sixth best college for mixing academics with athletics, and the citations don't end there. QS/Top Universities uses Berkeley's five honor societies as great examples of top academic organizations. Lastly, Campus Tales cites Berkeley's consulting club as one of the seven best student business clubs in the world. It's clear that Berkeley Consulting is the business club to join if you want to be involved with the world's top businesses before you even graduate college. It's been running for over 20 years, and members have advised Fortune 500 businesses and huge nonprofits. This includes Aston Martin, Samsung, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Airbnb.

  6. Pennsylvania State University

    Hershey, PA

    Three methodology lists consider this to be a great college for student organizations. Business Insider ranks it as the eighth most fun college in America. Forbes considers it to be the 10 th best college for mixing academics with athletics. And College Xpress names it the college with the 11 th most student organizations in America. Some of this college's more unusual athletic offerings include bocce, dodgeball and ultimate frisbee. With all these diverse offerings, it's no surprise that Penn State is the fifth healthiest college in the United States.

  7. Stanford University

    Stanford, CA

    Forbes states that Stanford University is the top college for mixing academics with athletics, noting that the college spent $112 million on athletics in 2017. College Xpress states that Stanford has over 600 student organizations. And the college's athletic credentials are second to none. For the last 23 years, the college has won the Directors' Cup, and for 42 consecutive years, Stanford has won an NCAA championship in at least one sport. No other college has managed to win as many championships for as many years. Overall, the college offers 36 varsity sports and 31 club sports. 900 students take part in the range of sports on offer.

  8. Ohio State University, Columbus

    Columbus, OH

    When it comes to sheer numbers, then Ohio State University's extracurricular offering is number one in America. College Xpress states that the college has 1,493 organizations overall. That means that if you're undecided on what activities you want to engage in, then OSU might be your best option. There's so much on offer that something is bound to appeal! Forbes also considers the college to have the 16th best mix of academics and athletics. Ohio State University has even developed the Student Organization Success Framework to help students make their organizations the best they can be.

  9. University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Madison, WI

    Business Insider and Forbes agree that University of Wisconsin, Madison is a great college for mixing academics with leisure, placing the college at 16 th and 15 th respectively. College Xpress also notes that the school has almost 900 student organizations. These organizations include ones that focus on Democratic politics and Republican politics . Both organizations bring in prominent speakers that are focused on their political affiliation and help with gaining appropriate internship opportunities. Additionally, there are many clubs that focus on less serious subject matter, such as the card game Euchre .

  10. Colorado State University

    Greenwood Village, CO

    College Xpress states that Colorado State University has over 600 student organizations. Top Universities/QS highlights that many of these organizations are some of the best of their kind. It specifically cites the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Society of Interior Designers, the Campus Feminist Alliance, the Advertising Club, the Swing Dance Society and the Muslim Student Association as great examples of student organizations. In fact, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is the world's largest society dedicated to aerospace. It has 30,000 members that span the entire globe (due to alumni spreading far and wide.)

    9. University of Wisconsin, Madison

Get prepared for your next steps

Use articles and resources to uncover answers to common questions, get guidance on your goals, and learn about applying to schools.

" data-src="https://res.cloudinary.com/highereducation/images/w_2560,h_1707/f_auto,q_auto/v1628015079/BestValueig电子竞技(新疆)结果视频.com/GettyImages-1298871231/GettyImages-1298871231.jpg?_i=AA" alt="8 Career Paths for a Master’s in Counseling Graduate" data-public-id="BestValueig电子竞技(新疆)结果视频.com/GettyImages-1298871231.jpg" data-format="jpg" data-transformations="f_auto,q_auto" data-version="1628015079" data-size="2560 1707" data-delivery="upload" onload=";window.CLDBind?CLDBind(this):null;" data-cloudinary="lazy" />

8 Career Paths for a Master’s in Counseling Graduate

June 24, 2021   |   Erin Gobler

Are you interested in helping others resolve their issues and hurdles through talk therapy? You may want to consider a career in the counseling field. Counseling is a field that’s...

" data-src="https://res.cloudinary.com/highereducation/images/w_2560,h_1707/f_auto,q_auto/v1628015084/BestValueig电子竞技(新疆)结果视频.com/GettyImages-991176006/GettyImages-991176006.jpg?_i=AA" alt="The Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Career Guide" data-public-id="BestValueig电子竞技(新疆)结果视频.com/GettyImages-991176006.jpg" data-format="jpg" data-transformations="f_auto,q_auto" data-version="1628015084" data-size="2560 1707" data-delivery="upload" onload=";window.CLDBind?CLDBind(this):null;" data-cloudinary="lazy" />

The Master’s in Mental Health Counseling Career Guide

June 16, 2021   |   Lyss Welding

Mental health counseling jobs exist across many settings — from hospitals and government agencies to schools and private practices, and they’re projected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)...

Discover a program that is right for you.

Explore different options for you based on your degree interests.