Ready to Code? Crush These 5 University Hackathons

Ready to Code? Crush These 5 University Hackathons

Daniel Hall 23/04/2024
Ready to Code? Crush These 5 University Hackathons

Hey, coders, are you ready to level up your skills faster than you can say “binary code”?

Forget those all-nighters cramming for exams – this is where you actually get to BUILD something epic from scratch! 

We’re talking about the best hackathons: those legendary coding marathons where you team up, brainstorm crazy ideas and turn them into reality in record time.

You get to test your skills, meet awesome like-minded people (maybe even land a sweet internship!), and walk away with a project to boost your portfolio big time. 

Plus, free food, unlimited energy drinks, and the chance to win super cool prizes? Sign me up!

But with so many awesome university hackathons out there, where do you even start? Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. I’m about to reveal the top 5 hackathons that should be on your radar, plus all the insider tips for crushing them. 

Need a little help polishing those project presentations or nailing that final report? Snag a discount on custom writing services with NoCramming and get those assignments done. With that out of the way, you can move forward.

Now, let’s get you prepped for that coding victory!

What Is a Hackathon?

Alright, so maybe you’re totally new to this and the word “hackathon” sounds slightly intimidating. No worries, let’s break it down. 

Forget images of shadowy figures breaking into top-secret computer systems – this type of hacking is all about creativity!

A hackathon is like a supercharged coding marathon. Teams (or sometimes individuals) get together to build something awesome from scratch within a set time limit – usually 24 to 48 hours. 

It could be a website, an app, a game, or even a hardware project. Think crazy problem-solving, fueled by caffeine, with a dash of friendly competition.

What makes hackathons unique is the focus on turning ideas into reality – fast! There’s a crazy energy in the air, with everyone coding through the night, swapping tips, and hustling to bring their projects to life. 

And yeah, many hackathons happen in person, but there are also tons of great online hackathons where you can join the action and connect with other awesome coders from all over the world.

Top 5 University Hackathons

Okay, time to reveal the heavy hitters! Get ready because these top hackathons are where you can code alongside some of the brightest minds in the tech world. 

Here’s a sneak peek at the epic showdowns that should be on your radar:

  1. MHacks. A massive hackathon known for its amazing tech workshops and focus on social impact projects.

  2. PennApps. Hosted at the University of Pennsylvania, this one’s all about innovation and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

  3. DubHacks. Ready for some West Coast coding action? This University of Washington hackathon is a major launchpad for tech talent.

  4. HackMIT. One of the oldest and most prestigious hackathons, attracting brilliant minds from across the globe – get ready to level up seriously!

  5. TAMUhack. Texas A&M brings the heat with this rapidly growing hackathon focused on diversity and inclusion in tech.

And that’s just the start! Think these sound awesome? We’re going to do a deep dive into each one so you can crush any of these hackathons in the USA (and beyond!).



Let’s kick things off with a true legend in the world of college hackathons: MHacks, hosted at the University of Michigan. This massive event draws in thousands of hackers each year, and for good reason! 

MHacks is known for its focus on social good. It’s the perfect place to create tech solutions that solve real-world problems. 

Plus, they have some awesome workshops on cutting-edge tech so that you can walk away with some new killer skills added to your arsenal.

MHacks also has insane energy! The organizers go all-out, providing awesome food, crazy fun activities, and chances to network with industry mentors. It’s a great mix of coding marathon and super geeky summer camp vibes. 

Oh, and did I mention it regularly boasts some big-name sponsors, which can open doors for internship opportunities? 

Whether you’re a seasoned hacker or a total newbie, MHacks is an experience you won’t want to miss.


Get ready to hack like an Ivy Leaguer! PennApps, hosted at the University of Pennsylvania, is one of the most prestigious and competitive hackathons in the USA. 

This isn’t just about coding; PennApps is known for fostering crazy-cool innovation at the intersection of tech and all sorts of fields, from healthcare to finance. 

Think outside the code editor because this hackathon is designed to push boundaries!

PennApps also draws in top-tier mentors and representatives from major tech companies. You’ll rub elbows with serious tech talent and network with people who could jumpstart your career. 

Of course, with that level of competition comes some serious pressure. This isn’t a hackathon for beginners – you’ll need to bring your A-game and be ready to build something groundbreaking. 

But if you’re hungry to prove yourself and take your tech skills to the next level, PennApps is an incredible opportunity.


Ready to bring those West Coast tech vibes? DubHacks, hosted at the University of Washington, is the place to be! 

Known for its supportive atmosphere and strong sense of community, DubHacks is a fantastic choice, especially if you’re newer to university hackathons. They prioritize mentorship and learning, so you’ll find plenty of workshops tailored toward different skill levels.

It’s also a major launchpad for talent in the Pacific Northwest tech scene. Expect to network with reps from Seattle-based companies who are looking for fresh, passionate coders. That focus on real-world skills and career opportunities is what sets DubHacks apart. 

Of course, they also have all the standard hackathon fun: plenty of caffeine, team-building games, and probably some killer views of the Seattle skyline. 

If you’re looking for a place to build confidence, make awesome connections, and maybe even snag that West Coast internship, DubHacks is calling your name.


Alright, time to talk about the granddaddy of them all: HackMIT. Hosted at the legendary Massachusetts Institute of Technology, this is one of the longest-running and most competitive college hackathons in the world. 

HackMIT attracts the best of the best from across the globe, so if you thrive in a high-pressure environment, this could be your ultimate coding challenge.

Don’t expect much hand-holding here; HackMIT is known for throwing participants into the deep end. They emphasize rapid prototyping and innovative thinking. 

If you’re the kind of hacker who lives for those “Eureka!” moments and wants to push the limits of what’s possible with code, this is your arena. 

Plus, being able to say you rocked HackMIT holds serious weight in the tech world – it’s a sign that you can hack it under intense pressure!


Get ready to bring some serious innovation to the Lone Star State! TAMUhack, hosted at Texas A&M University, is a fast-growing contender with a unique mission. They’re all about making hackathons for college students more inclusive and diverse. 

TAMUhack prioritizes creating a welcoming space for underrepresented groups in tech, with targeted workshops and mentorship opportunities.

If you’re passionate about using code to make an impact and level the playing field, TAMUhack is a fantastic choice. It’s a place to connect with like-minded people who share your values and build projects that empower others. 

While it’s still a relatively young hackathon, they’re quickly building a reputation for their focus on social good and their supportive, fun-filled atmosphere. 

This is where you can collaborate with talented coders from all backgrounds and build tech that truly matters.

Pro-Tips for Hackathon Success

Let’s shift gears and talk about those insider tips to help you dominate your next hackathon:

  • Prep your toolkit. Make sure you’re comfortable with essential coding languages, have your favorite code editor ready to go, and maybe even test out some handy project management tools beforehand. Smooth tech = focused mind.

  • Arrange a team talk. Whether you join with friends or get assigned a team, communicate early and often! Clearly define roles, play to each other’s strengths, and set realistic goals.

  • Don’t forget food (and sleep!). It’s easy to get caught up in the adrenaline, but take breaks, fuel your body, and grab a few hours of shut-eye when possible. You code better when you’re not a zombie!

  • It’s not just code. Practice those communication skills! Be able to pitch your idea clearly and confidently, especially when those judges make their rounds.

  • Network like a pro. Hackathons are about more than just building cool stuff. Talk to mentors, company reps, and other hackers – those connections are invaluable!

Ready to start turning those ideas into reality?

The Bottom Line

Forget those stale lectures and all-nighter textbook sessions. Hackathons are where true learning goes wild, where you show your coding prowess and supercharge your skills in a way no classroom ever could. 

Whether you’re drawn to the prestige of competitive showdowns like HackMIT or the socially conscious atmosphere of events like TAMUhack, there’s a hackathon out there perfectly suited for you.

Yet, hackathons aren’t just about the final project; it’s about the crazy ride along the way! The teamwork, the problem-solving, the rush of making something awesome under pressure – it’s an unforgettable experience. 

Besides, with many amazing online hackathons popping up, you can connect with coders from around the world, finding mentors and collaborators without even leaving your dorm room.

So, are you ready to step into the hackathon arena? The world of best hackathons is waiting. Embrace the challenge and get ready to change the way you think about building with code!

Share this article

Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

terms and condition.
  • No comments found

Share this article

Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

Cookies user prefences
We use cookies to ensure you to get the best experience on our website. If you decline the use of cookies, this website may not function as expected.
Accept all
Decline all
Read more
Tools used to analyze the data to measure the effectiveness of a website and to understand how it works.
Google Analytics