MIT Actually Offers a Swashbuckling Pirate Certification
The university gave students a unique option for completing physical education requirements: learn to be the next Jack Sparrow.
Gym classes aren't always favorite courses for some students -- especially if they'd much rather be in a lab, or have their noses in books. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology realized that even some of its students procrastinated on taking physical education requirements. The prestigious university decided to create a fun incentive to complete those credits -- Pirate Certifications.
No, not like an internet pirate certification. These courses teach students how to become the next Jack Sparrow, Blackbeard, or their own swashbuckling hero.
Becoming an MIT pirate requires students to pass four "basic" courses: Archery, Fencing, Pistol (or Rifle) and Sailing.
The certificate was originally intended solely for undergraduate students. However, grad students can get in on the fun provided they complete the same courses required of the undergrad students.
The university even gave actor Matt Damon an honorary MIT Pirate Certificate after Damon's performance in The Martian. Damon's character identifies himself as space "pirate," and in 2016, MIT gave Damon the certificate before he gave his commencement address to graduates.
Interested in becoming a pirate? Here are some of the official guidelines according to the university:
"The MIT Pirate Certificate is only made available to MIT students and is intended as a fun way for undergraduate students to complete their Physical Education General Institute Requirement of 4 physical education courses. It is not a stand-alone certificate. Non-MIT courses and life experience are not counted towards completing the certificate. The MIT Pirate certificate is for entertainment purposes only and does not give the recipient license to engage in piracy or any pirate activities."