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The Tar Heel experience

With options such as joining a student organization, going for a stroll on Franklin Street, cheering on the Tar Heels in the Dean Dome or Carmichael Arena, or giving back to our community, there's something for everybody at Carolina.

Learn more about the Tar Heel experience and how you can get involved in campus life.

Making Carolina connections

At UNC-Chapel Hill, we think the best education includes finding ways to explore your passions. There are hundreds of opportunities to connect with fellow Tar Heels, get involved in activities and develop your talents.

With more than 900 student organizations, you will find many ways to explore your personal and intellectual interests and embrace your passions for music, the performing arts, computer programming, the environment, creative writing, student government, politics, international cultures and more.

  • 900+student organizations
  • 70%of students are part of at least one student organization

Get in touch with your creative side

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

Carolina has more than 50 clubs dedicated to creativity and arts, including nearly a dozen a cappella groups with styles ranging from R&B and pop hits to religious and Asian fusion.

Give back to the community

Tar Heels give back, and Heel Life hosts a plethora of organizations that are focused on helping students find ways to make a positive difference in their communities and the world.

Just to give you a few ideas of how our groups are making a difference: Science in the Stacks and SciREN share information about the world-class research that happens at Carolina. Music Empowerment provides free music classes to young community members. The Carolina Beekeeping Club cares for beehives that pollinate our entire community, including our Edible Campuses that help feed not just hungry Tar Heels, but community members.

A man works in a garden.

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 flag football, 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.

Find your place

  • Members of the Bridge pose for a photo outside.

    Fostering collaboration, building community with The Bridge

    Established in 2016 by three students — two from Duke and one from Carolina — The Bridge is a digital publication that aims to provide an uplifting online space for women and non-binary people of color.

  • Hands of a gardner pulling up weeds.

    Gardening and Ethnobotany in Academia Project

    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.

  • Students playing video games.

    Press play on esports

    From casual gaming to competitive tournaments, Carolina's esports club is the place for all things gaming. Check out what the group has to offer at the University's gaming arena in Craige Residence Hall.

  • Active Minds at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Tar Heels supporting Tar Heels

    Active Minds at Carolina is a student organization that works to increase students’ awareness of mental health issues. It is dedicated to creating a safe space for students to seek help and resources for mental health issues without fear of stigma.

Connect with storied traditions

  • The DiPhi room in New West.

    Join Carolina’s oldest student group

    Created on June 3, 1795, the DiPhi debate and literary society is the University's oldest student organization. Carolina's colors can actually be traced to the light blue from the Dialectic Society and the white from the Philanthropic Society.

  • Students pose for a selfie in front of a blue-lit Bell Tower.

    Be a keeper of Tar Heel traditions

    As the oldest General Alumni Association student group, the Order of the Bell Tower serves as the official student ambassadors and tradition keepers to the University. Through our events and services, the group connects past, present and future Tar Heels.

  • A collage of photos that includes a sculpture of a lion head as a fountain; a silver and brass button on the Old Well; branches of a tree wrapping around each other; the rings of a cut tree trunk; blue 3D printing robots in a line; and a cup of steel pieces from a letter press.

    Explore our historic campus

    The Old Well may be our most famous and recognizable spot on campus, but Carolina's beauty doesn't end there. With historic buildings and picturesque landscaping, Carolina's campus is iconic, and some of the University's most beautiful spots are worth a closer look.

  • A North Carolina flag flies on South Building.

    Serve our state

    Since its founding, the University has been dedicated to serving the state of North Carolina. Tar Heels today continue that legacy by working with nonprofits and community organizations throughout the year to address critical issues and challenges facing North Carolinians.

  • headphones sitting a desk.

    Take the air with WXYC

    Initially taking to the airwaves in 1977, WXYC is the University's student-run, freeform radio station. Its broadcast encompasses approximately 900 square miles in and around Chapel Hill, Durham, Pittsboro, Apex and parts of Raleigh. In 1994, the station made history by becoming the first radio station in the world to broadcast over the internet.

  • Painting that reads

    Meet your neighbors in Chapel Hill

    For two centuries, the Town of Chapel Hill has supported Carolina and has been a critical partner in the University’s mission to serve our state, nation and world through teaching, research and public service. Carolina is proud to be located in this Southern Part of Heaven.

    Discover why Tar Heels call Chapel Hill home not just for the years they are here, but for life.