Find your place at Carolina

Carolina can feel like a big place, but through the University's more than 900 student organizations, Tar Heels can find their community and make Chapel Hill feel more like home.

More than 70% of students are part of at least one organization, and you won't have to look too far to find a group that fits your passions. There's something for everybody at Carolina. Embrace your creative side. Stay active with club sports. Become a leader in student government. Learn more about international cultures. Serve the community.

Keep reading to learn more about the Tar Heel experience and how you can get involved in campus life.

Get in touch with your creative side

Interested in the arts? There’s a student group waiting for you. Carolina is home to dozens of performance clubs that focus on everything from music to dance to comedy to theater to magic.

If your creative vision requires the use of power tools and 3D printers, we have you covered there, too. The Be a Maker network is a community of makers designing and making physical objects for education, research, entrepreneurship and recreation. Students can participate in open studios, training sessions, workshops, hosted classes and group activities in spaces equipped with emerging technologies like 3D printing as well as wood and metalworking tools.

Stay active

Carolina varsity athletes aren’t the only ones competing in Chapel Hill.

Thousands of Tar Heels find plenty of ways to stay active through student groups, Campus Recreation’s Sport Clubs and intramural sports. With a variety of teams, ranging from jump rope to triathlons to rugby to figure skating, it’s easy to find a sport that is a good fit for you.

Not looking to compete on the field but want to keep moving? Carolina Expeditions might be what you’re looking for. The program takes Tar Heels hiking, climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, backpacking and more.


Get outside and connect with nature

Carolina offers students plenty of opportunities to put their green thumbs to work. Joining a student group like the Edible Campus is the perfect way to get outside, dig in the dirt and make a difference.

If you're passionate about the environment, there are plenty of other ways to get involved, too. From CompostMates to the Environmental Law Project to Carolina Green, more than a dozen student organizations are focused on caring for and protecting the environment.

  • Hands of a gardner pulling up weeds.

    The Gardening and Ethnobotany in Academia Project is a student organization that maintains the Sam W. Hitt Medicinal Garden on campus and encourages students and faculty to explore the relationship between plants and people — medicinally, economically and culturally at a local and global scale.

    Learn more about the project
  • High above campus, on the roof of the FedEx Global Building, a group of students is caring for one of Carolina’s most valuable resources: bees. Through the Carolina Beekeeping Club, Tar Heels are learning to care for hives and exploring the impact bees have on our environment and food systems.

    Meet Carolina's beekeepers
  • Students working in a flower bed.

    Edible Campus UNC is growing fruits, herbs and vegetables in gardens throughout campus. The program manages nearly a dozen public gardens while also tending to a quarter-acre garden that is dedicated to providing fresh food for the student-run food pantry, Carolina Cupboard.

    Read more about Edible Campus

Give back to the community

  • SHAC Logo

    Student Health Action Coalition

    Student Health Action Coalition, better known as SHAC, is a student-led organization that offers free health services to uninsured and underinsured patients in Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Durham.

    Learn about one medical student's impact through this group.

  • Left: Helping Paws hosts a Puppy Kissing Booth to raise money for local animal rescues. Right: Helping Paws volunteers bring dogs to the Pit for students to play with during exams.

    Carolina Helping Paws

    One of Carolina’s largest student organizations, Carolina Helping Paws works with the Orange County Animal Shelter to create opportunities for Tar Heels to interact with shelter animals and raise money for the animals’ medical procedures.

  • A student plays the trumpet.

    Musical Empowerment

    Led by Carolina students of all majors, Musical Empowerment provides one-on-one music lessons for nearly 130 underserved children in the Chapel Hill and Carrboro community.

  • A graphic with cartoon science icons.

    Science in the Stacks

    More than a dozen Tar Heels are working to bring the wonders of science to children in the community through the graduate student-run organization Science in the Stacks. The group partners with North Carolina libraries to teach science lessons through a mix of in-person and virtual demonstrations.

  • Helping Hand Project

    Founded by a Tar Heel in 2015, the Helping Hand Project uses 3D printing to make free prosthetic devices for children and adolescents born without fingers. Student designers and builders create and assemble the prosthetic hands for specific children.

  • A dancer at dance marathon

    Carolina for the Kids

    Best known for its annual Dance Marathon, Carolina for the Kids is a student-run volunteer organization that provides emotional and financial support for the patients and families served by the hospital through year-long fundraising campaigns and events. They focus on assisting families with expenses not covered by insurance.