For the past 20 years, students who have completed classes in pistol, archery, sailing and fencing are considered pirates. MIT decided to make it official. Last fall, the inaugural certificate program recognized six students as pirates, the Boston Globe reports:

MIT, which requires undergrads to take four physical education courses, is a haven for competitive, unconventional students, and some of them wanted official recognition for their efforts. Carrie Sampson Moore, MIT’s director of physical education, said she is contacted every year by students who want to receive a tangible pirate document. “I always tell them it’s a student initiative,’’ she said, “and they’re very disappointed.”

But now the physical education department is printing out official “certificates on faux parchment paper with diploma-esque calligraphy,” according to the Globe.

One math and computer science major says he observes International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Sept. 19) and showed up for his big newspaper interview dressed the part: a pirate hat, eye patch, earring, knickers and a stuffed parrot on his shoulder.

MIT, typically known for hard-core math and science, also offers degrees in charm.

Image: Per Ola Wiberg/Creative Commons