Complete List of Extracurricular Activities – 250+ Examples

February 26, 2024

extracurricular activities examples

There are many reasons to participate in extracurriculars. They’ll allow you to develop skills and widen your social circle. Plus, they’re fun! Moreover, extracurriculars are not only personally and professionally enriching, but can also be a critical component of your college applications. In fact, there are ten blank spaces for extracurricular activities on the Common Application. Now, do you need ten extracurricular activities? Nope. While you should feel free to experiment during your freshman and sophomore years, it is fine—preferrable, actually—to focus on a few core activities your junior and senior years. That is, focus on quality over quantity (scroll down for 250 extracurricular activity examples).

In addition, one’s ability to participate in extracurricular activities is shaped by a number of factors including academic load, personal and familial obligations, economic circumstances, and availability. It’s difficult to join a ski club if you live in Florida, write for the student newspaper if your high school doesn’t have one, or participate in after-school activities when you have younger siblings to babysit or a part-time retail job. Admissions officers will account for these factors, and you should as well.

Why Are Extracurriculars Important?

Different schools place different weight on extracurriculars. Generally, the more competitive the school, the more your extracurriculars can help you stand out amongst a field of academically-qualified applicants.

More specifically, extracurriculars:

  • Give insights into your priorities and passions.
  • Demonstrate commitment and initiative.
  • Establish your interest in a prospective major. This is more important for some majors than others. Examples: pre-med, computer science, theater.

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

However, contrary to popular belief, college admissions officers are people, not robots. They are focused on accepting applicants who will make up a well-rounded student body, not necessarily on accepting individual students who check each and every box. This distinction is critical. Treat the activities section of your application as an opportunity to show what you have to offer to your future college community. What does your list of activities say about you? What do you want it to say about you? For example, perhaps you participated in only one club in high school—a single line item on the activities section of your application. Is that “bad?” Well, no. Let’s expand the scenario and say that you were a member of said club all four years of high school, eventually served as Vice-President, and participated in regional activities.

Now, what does that one activity say about you? It says that you are dedicated and secure in your interests. Conversely, let’s say you participated in eight different extracurriculars—some sporadically, some regularly. What does this say about you? You are a joiner. You are not afraid to experiment, but know how and when to prioritize. Both of these hypothetical students are promising candidates.

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

When reviewing extracurriculars, college admissions officers are looking for evidence of:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Participation
  • Achievement
  • Commitment
  • Ambition
  • Initiative
  • Community Engagement
  • Relevant (or Unexpected) Interests
  • Social Awareness
  • Personal Growth

Typically, what your list of extracurriculars communicates about you is the most valuable part of this application section.

What Are Extracurriculars?

Whether you are just starting to explore extracurricular opportunities or are already considering how to complete the Common App activities section, it can be helpful to consider the range of activities. What constitutes an extracurricular activity? What are your options? Which extracurriculars fit your interests?

As the list of extracurriculars below shows, the list of potential activities is quite expansive. Use this list to brainstorm ideas or get a sense of the range of possibilities. In fact, if you are researching extracurriculars early enough in your high school career, you might even be able to establish a club or chapter that doesn’t yet exist at your school or in your community.

Alternatively, by perusing this list, you might find that are already participating in an activity without even realizing it “counts.” What do you do after school? For fun? During the weekends? That is, before you despair, are you sure that you have no extracurriculars? No matter your circumstances, it is highly unlikely that you have nothing to include in this section of your application. Remember that an extracurricular can be any activity not related to coursework. This includes both formal activities and informal hobbies, paid work and volunteer positions, clubs and sports, etc.

List of Extracurricular Activities Divided by Category

Many of these activities could easily fit into multiple or alternate categories. For example, some language clubs are more academic and founded by and for students interested in learning and practicing a language, whereas others function more as cultural affinity groups.

Numerous organizations, clubs, or teams listed are national organizations, with students joining or belonging to a local or school-specific chapter. Where possible, we’ve linked to the national organization for more information.

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

Academic Clubs or Teams

Do you love science and plan to major in pre-med? An anatomy or biology club might be for you! Are you interested in practicing your Spanish skills outside of class? There might be a club for that! Join a club or an academic team because it interests you, not because you think it will look good (or, at least, not just because you think it will look good).

These groups can vary in competitiveness and levels of commitment. Academic competitions or challenges often entail some degree of travel, as well as opportunities for prizes and scholarships.

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

  • Physics Club
  • Psychology Club
  • Robotics Club
  • Russian Club
  • Science Olympiad
  • Spanish Club
  • STEM Club
  • Trivia and Quiz Clubs
  • Web Design/Coding Club
  • Writing Club

Affinity Groups

This list is not comprehensive, as these types of groups tend to vary according to the demographic make-up of one’s high school or region. Likewise, the names of these groups can vary significantly. Don’t see a group that serves you or your peers? Establish one!

  • African American Student Alliance
  • American Sign Language Club
  • Asian Students Association
  • Association of Latin-American Students
  • Autism Awareness Club
  • Black Students Alliance
  • Black Students Union
  • Buddhist Club
  • Caribbean Culture Club
  • Chinese Student Association
  • Diversity Awareness Club
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes
  • Feminist Club

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

  • Filipino-American Club
  • Gay-Straight Alliance
  • Indian Students Association
  • International Students Association
  • International Women’s Club
  • Jewish Culture Club
  • Jewish Student Union
  • Latino Students Union
  • LGBTQ2S+ Club
  • Multicultural Student Union
  • Muslim Student Union
  • Muslim Students Association
  • National Organization for Women
  • Nigerian Student Association
  • Pacific Islander Student Association
  • Persian Club
  • Queer Student Alliance
  • Refugee Support and Awareness Club
  • South Asian Student Association


Do you have a creative side, or are you planning in majoring in art or design?

  • 3-D Modeling
  • 3-D Printing Club
  • Animation
  • Anime/Manga Club
  • Art Club
  • Blacksmithing
  • Carpentry
  • Cartooning
  • Ceramics
  • Drawing

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

  • Fashion Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Jewelry Making
  • Knitting and Crochet
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Sewing
  • Video Game Development
  • Weaving
  • Woodworking

Community Involvement & Service Organizations

Many school clubs or societies require community service, as do many scholarships. Likewise, some college applications provide a separate section for listing your community service. However, you might also consider volunteering more regularly or joining a service organization. Not only can it be more enriching than a one-off volunteer opportunity, but it also counts as an extracurricular. There are many established service organizations, or you can look up local groups and reach out about volunteer opportunities.

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

Employment & Professional Development

Are you worried about your extracurriculars because you want or need to work instead? Well, don’t. Holding down a job is serious business, and demonstrates responsibility and resolve.

  • Childcare
  • Educators Rising (for future educators)
  • Entrepreneurship Club
  • HOSA (organization for future health professionals)
  • Internships (paid and unpaid)
  • Lifeguarding
  • Landscaping
  • Mechanics
  • Pet sitting
  • Retail Work
  • Service Industry Work (waiting tables, housecleaning, etc.)
  • Teacher Assistance
  • Tutoring (paid and volunteer)

Government, Leadership & Activism

From serving on your student council to volunteering for a local (or national) political campaign, there are many government-adjacent extracurricular opportunities. Other ways of cultivating your leadership skills including checking out one of the many established youth leadership groups or working with an organization that represents your political interests and concerns.

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

Honor Societies

Commitment level and degrees of selectiveness can vary.

Media & Writing

Even if there is no club or group that fits your media or writing interests, anyone can start a blog or a podcast!

  • Blogging (personal or through an established web publication)
  • Book Club
  • Creative Writing (poetry, fan fiction)
  • Culture Reviews (books, films, television)
  • Film Club
  • Literary Magazine
  • Playwriting Club
  • Podcasting
  • Radio (school or local station)
  • Scriptwriting Club
  • School Newspaper
  • Sports Writing
  • Television (school or local channel)
  • Yearbook Committee

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

Music & Performance Art

Remember that this category includes more than performance. Do you love theater but have terrible stage fright? Join the stage crew to help with costumes or design. Do you want to support musical groups but can’t carry a tune? Offer to do the lighting or work as an usher during concerts.

  • Acapella Group
  • Chamber Music Group
  • Choreography
  • Chorus/Choir (school or community)
  • Comedy Club
  • Concert Band
  • Dance (ballet, jazz, modern, tap, etc.)
  • Drama Club
  • Ensembles
  • Glee Club
  • Improv Club

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

  • International Thespian Society
  • Jazz Band
  • Marching Band
  • Miming
  • Orchestra
  • Puppetry
  • Slam Poetry Club
  • Spoken Word
  • Theater (school or community, acting or production)

Special Interests

There is (or can be) a club for any interest.

  • A/V Club
  • Astrology Club
  • Bible Club
  • Bridge Club
  • Chess Club
  • Comicon
  • Cooking Club
  • Dungeons and Dragons Club
  • Forensics Team
  • LARPing (Live Action Role Playing)
  • Magic Club
  • Pokemon Club
  • Renaissance Faires
  • Society for Creative Anachronism

Sports & Recreation (Teams and Clubs)

You don’t have to be the MVP to get (and stay) involved with athletic extracurriculars. In fact, pursuing a sport even if you’re not an all-star demonstrates commitment and teamwork. If your school doesn’t offer a sport, look for recreational or intramural opportunities.

  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Bird Watching
  • Bodybuilding
  • Bowling
  • Cheerleading
  • Climbing Club
  • Crew
  • Cross Country
  • Cycling
  • Dance Team
  • Diving
  • Equestrian Club
  • Fencing

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

  • Fishing
  • Flag Football
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Hiking Club
  • Hockey
  • Intramural Sports
  • Lacrosse
  • Marital Arts
  • Pickleball
  • Ping Pong
  • Quidditch Club
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing & Snowboarding
  • Soccer

Extracurricular Activities Examples (Continued)

  • Softball
  • Surfing Club
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Ultimate Frisbee Club
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo
  • Weightlifting
  • Wrestling
  • Yoga Club

Remember, you can always start a club if you’re intrigued by one on this list and it is not already available at your school or in your region!

Other blogs that may be of interest include: