Clubs in College: Different Types and Benefits

Different types of clubs in college
April 26, 2024
4 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/26/24

Looking to join a club in college? Read on to learn about the different types and benefits of clubs in college.

Want to amplify your college experience? Consider joining a student club!

Joining different clubs in college can be the most rewarding experience in your undergraduate journey. It allows you to meet like-minded people, pursue various interests, build long-lasting connections with mentors and peers, and develop a strong skill set that can help you in your post-college career.

Curious to learn more about what kinds of student clubs you can join while in college? Read on to learn all about them and how they can benefit you during your college experience and beyond.

Types of College Clubs

According to The Best Schools, the different types of student clubs in colleges are as follows:

  • Academic Clubs
  • Political Clubs
  • Media and Publication Groups
  • Community Service and Social Justice
  • Theatre and the Arts
  • Religious, Spiritual, and Cultural Groups

We will break them down in further detail below.

Academic Clubs

Academic clubs are a great option that will complement your college experience. Usually, these clubs will be based on specific majors or specialties that the school offers, so joining one is a great way to supplement your studies. 

You’ll find many academic clubs in college, some of which may include Biology Club, Economics Club, and Spanish Club. If you’re interested in another subject that you’re not majoring in, or if you’re still not exactly sure what to major in at all, joining an academic club is a great low-risk way to test the waters. 

Being a part of an academic club can expand your network within your major, allowing you to gain subject matter expertise. It also encourages you to build strong mentorships and relationships with faculty and other students. 

These mentorships and relationships can be useful if graduate school is in your future; you will need to ask people for references and referrals to successfully complete your application. If you're passionate about a certain subject or curious to learn more about another, an academic club might just be the one for you!

Political Clubs

If you have political or law school aspirations, you may want to add joining a political club to your college to-do list. 

Political clubs can consist of many different types of groups. They can include a representative group of a governing party (i.e. College Democrats of America), a debate club, or even a dedicated political science club, like the Political Science Majors Association, 

Political clubs are beneficial to join for many reasons. For starters, you will meet people that have the same values and political interests as you. These may be people that are in different programs from you that you would have never met otherwise.

It's also important to consider that many political clubs also participate in a variety of extracurricular events, such as networking or speaking events with individuals currently working in politics. This is a fantastic networking opportunity, as it gives you the chance to see how politics plays out in the working world.

Joining a political club, in particular, a debate club, will allow you to express your thoughts and think critically, alongside polishing off your public speaking and presentation skills. 

And, of course, joining a specialist PoliSci club can encourage you to think more broadly about politics and expand your knowledge further than what you would be learning in your typical politics class.

Whatever your political association may be, joining a political club in college can open many doors and exercise certain skill sets that you may have never known that you had!

Media and Publication Groups

Are you an aspiring writer or journalist? If so, you'll want to be sure to join a media or publication group at your college. There are plenty of colleges that have their own newspapers or publications, which is the perfect opportunity to flex your creative muscles.

Examples of media and publication groups that you could find on your college campus could be:

  • Your college’s newspaper/Associated College Press
  • College Media Association
  • College Radio Station

There is a big probability that many of the tasks you will find yourself completing in a media or publication club will have to do with writing or editing. However, you may be able to find other roles that interest you, such as a graphic designer, photographer, or website designer.

Regardless of your role within the club, you'll find that you gain a lot of soft skills while participating. Examples of these skills include:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Time Management

The wide array of soft skills that you gain through joining a media or publication group will follow you as you transition and advance in your career. Learning them early on will give you a competitive advantage when it comes to searching and interviewing for a job down the line. 

These types of student clubs in college are a great way to channel your creativity and writing skills while also being awarded the opportunity to collaborate with others and build your personal network. An added benefit of joining these types of clubs is that you will usually have something tangible that you have created, like a newspaper article or graphic design project, that you can utilize in a portfolio for your post-graduate endeavors!

Community Service and Social Justice

If you're looking for an opportunity to give back to the community or stand up for a cause that you believe in, look into joining a community service or social justice club. Many colleges offer a huge variety of these types of clubs, so there's something for everyone. Examples include:

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Autism Self-Advocacy Network
  • UNICEF Campus Initiative

The benefits of giving back to the community by joining a community service or social justice club are immense. You'll find that it feels good to do good and make a difference, and it can even be a good change of pace and stress reliever from your busy college life and schedule. 

An added benefit of volunteering your time with these specific clubs is that, on occasion, you may be asked to dedicate your niche skill set to help with these organizations.

For example, if you're a computer science major, an opportunity may arise where you are asked to build a website for the specific non-profit that you are working in within your student club. 

Once your website is complete, you can use it to your advantage by including it in a portfolio for your post-graduate career. This can help show future employers or college admissions faculty that you have experience and are gifted at what you do! 

Theater and the Arts

Do you love being in the limelight? Are you a fiend for musicals? Have you lost track of how many plays you've seen in your lifetime? If you answered "yes" to any and all of these questions, you might want to opt into joining theater or art clubs in college. 

There are many different types of theater clubs available at any given college. Your options can include:

  • Film Society
  • Student Players
  • Shakespeare Club

If you're passionate about drama, joining a theater or art club can be a fantastic way to relieve stress and balance your college studies. You will also gain the added benefit and skill of being able to speak in front of large audiences with confidence and poise, a skill that, for many, is very daunting!

Religious, Spiritual and Cultural Groups

When you're in college, you may find yourself longing to connect with others that have the same values, spirituality, or culture as you. This is where religious, spiritual, and cultural groups come in.

Joining religious or spiritual clubs in college can allow you to learn more about yourself and your faith and spirituality and can be a guiding light during your studies. It can also allow you to meet and develop long-lasting friendships.

A cultural club celebrates the diversity of various students and is a great way to create a sense of community. It can bring awareness to various races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations while providing an imminent sense of belonging. 

Examples of religious, spiritual and cultural groups can include:

  • National Black Student Union
  • Hillel (the largest Jewish college organization in the world!)
  • Latter Day Saints Student Association

All of these clubs allow you to create meaningful connections with individuals, encouraging the act of bonding over similar character traits and spreading awareness over the diverse religions, spiritualities, or cultures that we all share.

Benefits of Joining a Club in College

There are many benefits of joining and participating in a club while in college. For starters, you will be able to meet and connect with like-minded people, which could open the door for new friendships and networking opportunities. You never know exactly who you’ll meet and what those connections will lead to!

By bringing people together, student clubs in college allow for a sense of camaraderie and community and, in turn, make a student's undergraduate experience memorable.

Joining a club also awards you the opportunity to try something new and to see if you enjoy it or not. Let's say you've always dreamt about being an actor but chose to pursue biology in your undergrad. 

By joining the theater club, you are still awarded the chance to test the waters and flex your acting muscles without having to commit to changing your major. 

It can also act as an outlet to pursue your interests without having to make changes to your studies. Whatever that outlet may be is completely subjective - for example, some may find graphic design or photography fun, so being a part of that club is a nice switch from a busy college schedule.

For many students, joining a club allows them to give back or make a difference in their schools and communities, which acts as a stress reliever and a nice break from their college studies.

Another added benefit of joining a student club is the potential to learn new soft skills. You might not even realize it, but by being a part of a club, you will add many soft skills to your repertoire - things like verbal communication, teamwork, and time management are just a few.

Things To Consider Before Joining a College Club

If you're interested in joining a student club in college, there are some things you need to think about before you participate. If you are choosing a club to align with your career goals, you must ask yourself what the return on investment will be if you join the specific club. 

For example, let's say you want to be an investigative journalist, and you join the school newspaper at your school. This would be considered a good investment of your time and effort, as you will gain practical experience that will assist you in finding a role as a journalist once you graduate.

Another thing you will have to consider is the time commitment that joining a club requires. While some clubs are more relaxed and meet one to two times a month, some are more intensive and require a weekly commitment, with the possibility of additional responsibilities and roles included. 

You must determine if your school schedule allows for you to join without sacrificing your academic performance. There is a lot of dedication and work that goes into joining and participating in a club - but the benefits and the experiences that you receive in return are unlike any other!

FAQs: Clubs in College

Still have questions about joining a club in college? Take a look at our answers to these frequently asked questions for more information.

1. What Is the Purpose of Clubs in College?

The purpose of clubs in college is to bring like-minded people together to connect and network, build a sense of community and belonging, pursue individual interests, and gain tangible experience and skills. 

2. What Are the Different Types of Clubs in College?

There are many different types of clubs in college, but the main categories include:

  • Academic Clubs
  • Political Clubs
  • Media and Publication Groups
  • Community Service and Social Justice
  • Theatre and the Arts
  • Cultural Clubs
  • Religious, Spiritual, and Cultural Groups

3. What Are Examples of Clubs?

Examples of different student clubs in college include:

  • Biology Club
  • Debate Club
  • Associated College Press
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • National Black Student Union

4. What Are the Best Clubs To Join in College?

The best clubs to join in college are the ones that pertain to your individual interests. There are many to choose from, and regardless of your choice, you will still reap all the benefits - the opportunity to meet new people, make connections, learn new skills, and, most of all, have fun!

Final Thoughts

Joining a student club in college can be a great asset to your college experience. It can award you with unforgettable memories and lifelong relationships and friendships. The working experience that you gain while participating can be an essential building block to a long and successful career.

If you’re in the first initial stage of researching prospective colleges, or if you’re already in undergrad, be sure to check out your college’s website to see what kind of clubs they offer. It’s often something that most potential applicants and students overlook, but it can truly make a positive impact on the duration of your college experience.

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