A UMass Amherst student ascends a rock climbing wall.

Unique UMass

Want to hang ten, hurl a disc, or clip in? Hundreds of clubs, sports, and cultural organizations mean no interest is too niche at UMass Amherst. Whatever fun looks like to you, you can find it here.

College is about gaining an education that will open doors to careers and future exploration. But it's also about finding community, expanding your horizons, and having fun. At UMass Amherst, a vibrant network of Registered Student Organizations—made up of clubs, sports teams, societies, cultural organizations, and more—allows you to venture beyond the traditional academic experience. 

Whether you're passionate about Shakespeare, have a talent for video gaming, or simply want to try your hand at competitive lettuce eating (yes, it's a thing!), UMass offers a world of opportunities to delve into your niche interests and connect with like-minded peers.

@umassamherst Lettuce not spill the tea… but the Lettuce Club has a new king! #umass #massachusetts #university #studentlife #lettuce #lettuceclub #clubs #college #fyp ♬ original sound - UMass Amherst

What's a Registered Student Organization?

For decades, Registered Student Organizations (RSOs, often better known as clubs, societies, councils, or associations) have shaped the culture, reputation, and history of UMass Amherst. From creative showcases to national competitions to local and global service projects, student organizations present an opportunity for students to express passion, reflect on experiences, understand diverse voices and perspectives, and have fun.

The focus areas of RSOs at UMass run the gamut from the Lettuce Club—members of which challenge their minds, bodies, and teeth to eat heads of iceberg lettuce as fast as possible—to competitive video gaming, to economics, climate change, and politics.

RSOs also include many clubs focused on physical activity and encompass club sports that engage in intercollegiate competition and provide unique opportunities for student development and leadership.

Not Too Weird World of Sports

A UMass Amherst student poses on the rock wall of the ASCEND bouldering facility at UMass Amherst.

A world of climbing possibilities opened up to UMass students with the opening of ASCEND. This 2,300 sq. ft. climbing gym on the first floor of the Fieldstone residential building, our bouldering haven is a testament to vertical adventure and home to the UMass Amherst Climbing Team.

A UMass Amherst student throws a frisbee in front of a shiny silver backdrop.

Chuck a disc (respectfully) at your teammate in time for them to make a goal. Check out this recent feature in UMass magazine about how the ultimate frisbee club teams at UMass are keeping the spirit of the game alive.

UMass Amherst students and members of the surf club train on a wave machine.

The Surf Club provides a community of surfing and surf culture to the students, faculty, and staff at UMass, as well as local communities. The club also helps students connect with the Massachusetts coast, organizing affordable trips and tournaments that take place on our commonwealth's fabled beaches.

Navigating Sports at UMass 

What's the difference between university athletics, club sports, and intramural sports? UMass Amherst Athletics competes at the NCAA Division I level, and its 21 men's and women's teams are comprised of some of the best competitive athletes. If you're interested in playing competitively—just not that competitively—there are many other choices. 

Club sports engage in intercollegiate competition but are less competitive than NCAA teams. At UMass, club sports are Registered Student Organizations chartered through the Student Government Association. 

Intramural sports are a good option if you want to join a group of friends for casual games. The 40+ leagues, tournaments, and events provide opportunities for everyone to participate. Close to 7,000 participants take advantage of the wide array of intramural offerings throughout the year.