If you’re considering the University of Delaware, you may be wondering about the social atmosphere and whether UD has a reputation as a party school. This is an important factor for many prospective students.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: While Greek life and partying are present at UD, overall it is not considered a top party school. The social scene is active but balanced with strong academics.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll look at the role of Greek life, nightlife, tailgating, academics, and other elements to explain the true social environment at the University of Delaware.

Greek Life at UD

The University of Delaware boasts a vibrant Greek life community, with over 25 fraternities and sororities on campus. Greek organizations play a significant role in the social scene at UD, offering students the opportunity to join tight-knit communities and participate in a variety of activities.

Large Greek system with over 25 fraternities/sororities

The Greek system at UD is extensive, providing students with a wide range of options when it comes to choosing a fraternity or sorority. With over 25 chapters, there is something for everyone, allowing students to find an organization that aligns with their interests and values.

Greek life offers a sense of belonging and fosters lifelong friendships, making it a popular choice among many students at UD.

Parties more low-key compared to other big state schools

While the University of Delaware is known for its social scene, the party culture is generally more low-key compared to other big state schools. Instead of large-scale, raucous parties, UD’s Greek life tends to focus on smaller gatherings and events.

This can be attributed to the university’s emphasis on academics and the overall culture of the campus. Students at UD still enjoy socializing and having a good time, but the party scene is more balanced and conducive to a well-rounded college experience.

Only around 15% of students join Greek life

Contrary to popular belief, joining a fraternity or sorority is not the norm for the majority of students at the University of Delaware. Approximately 15% of the student body participates in Greek life, indicating that a significant portion of students choose alternative social avenues.

UD offers a diverse range of extracurricular activities and organizations, allowing students to find their niche outside of Greek life. This inclusivity ensures that students have ample opportunities to get involved and make connections, regardless of their involvement in Greek organizations.

Nightlife and Bar Scene

When it comes to the nightlife and bar scene, the University of Delaware offers a variety of options for students looking to have a good time. There are several popular student bars and clubs located near campus that cater to the college crowd.

These establishments provide a lively atmosphere where students can socialize, dance, and enjoy a night out with friends. Some of the well-known student hangouts include Grotto Pizza, Klondike Kate’s, and Deer Park Tavern.

Popular student bars and clubs near campus

One of the most popular student bars near the University of Delaware is Grotto Pizza. Known for its delicious pizza and affordable drink specials, Grotto Pizza attracts a large number of students on weekends.

Another favorite spot among students is Klondike Kate’s, which offers a lively atmosphere with live music and a dance floor. If you’re looking for a historic venue with a vibrant nightlife, Deer Park Tavern is the place to be. This iconic bar has been a favorite hangout for students for decades.

Moderately lively but not wild nightlife overall

While the University of Delaware has a reputation for its social scene, it is important to note that the nightlife is moderately lively, but not wild overall. The university takes measures to ensure the safety and well-being of its students, and the local community is also actively involved in maintaining a peaceful environment.

This means that while there are opportunities for students to have a good time, the atmosphere is generally controlled and balanced.

Plenty of non-alcoholic social options at night too

For students who prefer non-alcoholic options or simply want to explore alternative social activities, the University of Delaware offers plenty of options at night as well. The campus hosts a variety of events, such as movie nights, live performances, and game nights, that provide opportunities for students to socialize and have fun without the need for alcohol.

Additionally, there are numerous cafes, bookstores, and recreational facilities that remain open late into the night, allowing students to engage in other social activities.

Athletics and School Spirit

When it comes to athletics and school spirit, the University of Delaware doesn’t disappoint. The campus is known for its vibrant sports culture and enthusiastic fan base. Whether it’s football season or basketball season, the university organizes big tailgates and events that bring students, alumni, and community members together.

Big tailgates and events for football and basketball

Football and basketball games at the University of Delaware are not just about the sport itself, but also about the overall experience. The tailgates before these games are legendary, with students and fans coming together to enjoy food, music, and good company.

These events often attract large crowds and create a lively atmosphere that adds to the excitement of the game.

During football season, the university’s football stadium, Delaware Stadium, becomes a hub of activity. The tailgates are filled with grills, coolers, and spirited fans dressed in blue and gold. It’s a time when students and alumni come together to show their support for the team and celebrate the university’s sports culture.

Tailgates have spirited but not crazy party vibe

While the tailgates at the University of Delaware are known for their spirited atmosphere, they are not overly wild or out of control. The focus is on having a good time and showing school spirit, rather than engaging in excessive partying.

The university has put measures in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone attending these events.

Students and fans at the tailgates can be seen playing games, socializing, and enjoying the festivities. It’s a great opportunity to bond with fellow Blue Hens and connect with alumni who share a common love for the university and its sports teams.

Strong but not over-the-top sports culture

The University of Delaware has a strong sports culture that is deeply ingrained in the campus community. Students take pride in their university’s athletic achievements and support their teams with unwavering enthusiasm.

However, it’s important to note that this sports culture is not over-the-top or overwhelming.

The university strikes a balance between promoting school spirit and maintaining a focus on academics. Students are encouraged to excel both in the classroom and on the field, and the university provides opportunities for student-athletes to succeed in their chosen sports while also prioritizing their education.

Academic Environment

The University of Delaware is renowned for its rigorous academics and competitive programs. With a strong emphasis on academic excellence, students at the university are constantly challenged to reach their full potential.

The faculty members are highly qualified and dedicated to providing a top-notch education to their students. This commitment to academic rigor sets the University of Delaware apart from other universities.

Rigorous academics and competitive programs

The University of Delaware offers a wide range of rigorous academic programs that prepare students for successful careers in various fields. From engineering to business, the university’s programs are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in their chosen fields.

The university’s faculty members are experts in their respective fields and are committed to ensuring that students receive a high-quality education.

One of the hallmarks of the University of Delaware’s academic environment is its competitive programs. The university attracts some of the brightest minds from around the world, creating a stimulating and challenging learning environment.

The competitiveness of the programs pushes students to strive for excellence and fosters a culture of achievement.

Students take academics seriously

At the University of Delaware, students take their academics seriously. They understand the value of their education and the opportunities it provides for their future. The university has a strong academic support system in place to help students succeed.

From tutoring services to study groups, students have access to resources that can help them excel in their coursework.

Additionally, the university encourages a culture of academic integrity. Cheating and plagiarism are strictly prohibited, and students are expected to uphold high ethical standards in their academic endeavors.

This emphasis on integrity further reinforces the seriousness with which students approach their studies.

Not an academically easy party school

While the University of Delaware has a vibrant social scene, it is important to note that it is not an academically easy party school. The university’s commitment to academic excellence means that students are expected to put in the necessary effort to succeed academically.

While there may be opportunities for socializing and enjoying the college experience, students at the University of Delaware understand the importance of balancing their social lives with their academic responsibilities.

It is worth mentioning that the Princeton Review’s annual ranking of party schools may not accurately reflect the academic environment at the University of Delaware. These rankings are based on surveys completed by students, which focus primarily on the social aspects of college life.

It is always important to consider multiple factors when assessing the academic environment of a university.


In summary, while the University of Delaware has an active social scene with partying, it is not primarily considered a party school. The campus culture balances academics with having fun. For students seeking a balanced experience, UD is a great option.

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