The 16 Best College Themed Movies

Looking for some collegiate entertainment?  Well we broke down the 16 best movies that feature college as the main theme behind each movie:

16.  Son-In-Law

Son In Law

Son In Law tells the tale of Rebecca Warner (Carla Gugino), a sheltered valedictorian from a quiet South Dakota farming town who heads off to UCLA. Pauly Shore plays her RA and shows her around. After recovering from culture shock, she adapts, and adopts a new appearance and style. Soon it's time for her to return home for Thanksgiving and an inevitable marriage proposal from her high school sweetheart. Faced with this challenge she asks Shore to come home with her. Silly Pauly Shore plot twists and jokes ensue and everyone lives happily ever after...except the bad guy of course.

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15.  How High

How High

What would a college movie list be without stoners? Redman and Method Man (you guys were really broke huh?) play two potheads that fertilize marijuana with the ashes of their deceased buddy.  Let that sink in. The magic weed summons the friend's ghost (don't give up on us yet) who helps the boys get perfect scores on their college entrance exams...because that's what ghosts do; help their still living friends get good grades. The guys are both admitted to Harvard and continue to succeed with the help of the magic weed but run into trouble when their nerdy nemesis steals the remainder of their magical stash. Watch "How High" instantly.

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14.  Accepted


Accepted throws some real life jabs at US higher education when high school senior Bartleby Gaines, who's been rejected by every college he applied to, creates a fake university in order to please his constantly disappointed father.  In order to make his scheme as realistic as possible, Bartleby acquires a campus and encourages students in similar college-rejection situations to attend South Harmon Institute of Technology (S.H.I.T.)  He's forced to defend his school from nearby Harmon College by attaining accreditation. Watch "Accepted" instantly.

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13.  Rudy


The premise of Rudy, based on a true story, centers around blue-collar raised Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger.  Despite being undersized and unable to afford college, Rudy, played by Sean Astin, is able to make it onto the practice squad.  After years of hard work, coach Dan Devine gives Rudy the chance to play in a real game. Watch "Rudy" instantly.

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12.  Paper Chase

Paper Chase

The Paper Chase is the coming of age tale of Hart, a first year Harvard Law student who busts his balls to survive, succeed and impress the toughest professor, Kingsfield. During his studying and struggling Hart begins dating Susan only to find out later that she is Kingsfield's daughter.  Watch "The Paper Chase" now.

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11.  With Honors

With Honors

Brendan Fraser plays Monty, a Harvard student on the brink of graduating with honors, pending the approval of his senior thesis. Due to a hard drive crash, Monty has only one physical copy of his thesis that he accidentally drops into the basement of the library where unbeknownst to anyone, Simon Wilder (Joe Pesci) a homeless man, has been living. Monty must fulfill different tasks for Wilder in return for one page of his thesis. With Honors is more profound than the typical college comedy.  Watch "With Honors" instantly.

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10.  Dead Man on Campus

Dead Man On Campus

Everyone knows that if your roommate commits suicide, your teachers are required to give you straight A's.  That's the premise in Dead Man On Campus.  Two buddies in severe danger of failing try to find a suicidal roommate.  They provide ample opportunity for their victims to do so, like leaving ropes and razor blades around the room, and hilarity ensues.  Don't try this on your roommate though, it's been reported that "Pass by catastrophe" is merely an urban legend.  But hey, if you hate your roommate enough, why not give it a shot?

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9.  Real Genius

Real Genius

Val Kilmer is a genius college senior at the fictitious Pacific Tech who is working on a government project to build a chemical laser. Mitch (Gabriel Jarret) is a young high school student who is accepted as the youngest student ever at Pacific Tech. Mitch begins to burn out quickly and is caught up in the project's lead professor's lies and evil plots. Of course, the students team up and save the day.  Watch "Real Genius" instantly now.

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8.  Slackers


Three pals have scammed and cheated their way through college. They are about to graduate when the geekiest kid on campus catches Dave (Devon Sawa) cheating and threatens to blow him and his friends in unless Dave hooks him up with the object of his masturbation/affection, played by Jaimie King.  Of course, Sawa is banging her, so it leads to all sorts of hilarious problems.

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7.  Van Wilder

Van Wilder

Van Wilder has been called the Animal House (see below) of our generation.  Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds) is the utmost goof-off, attending college for years with no intentions of graduating.  He makes advances at Gwen (Tara Reid) a reporter for the school newspaper who dates Richard, the classic douchey frat boy.  When Richard finds out about Van's motives, he sets forth to destroy him.  And yes, there's plenty of poop and semen humor in this movie.  Watch "Van Wilder" Instantly.

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6.  Back To School

Back To School

Rodney Dangerfield plays an uneducated but wealthy father whose son is struggling with college.  He brokers a deal with his son that he, Rodney Dangerfield, will attend college with him until he finishes.  Since he's pretty dumb, he bribes his way through the admissions process then hires professionals to complete his coursework for him.  Follow the silly plot of professors out to get him and the final oral exam that determines his collegiate fate.  Watch "Back To School" Instantly.

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5.  Road Trip

Road Trip

Road Trip follows a group of college buddies driving across the country trying to beat the postal service.  Josh (Breckin Meyer) taped a message to his girlfriend Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard) who attends college across the country because he hadn't heard from her in awhile.  In the meantime he convinces himself that she's been cheating and hooks up with Beth (Amy Smart) who tapes their tryst.  Naturally, the sex tape accidentally gets mailed instead of the intended video. All sorts of crazy mishaps and adventures occur on this wild trip.  Watch "Road Trip" instantly.

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4.  Old School

Old School

Since college is the greatest four (or more) years of a person's life, it's understandable that a person might want to travel back in time to relive them.  That's what Old School is all about.  A group of thirty-somethings start a fraternity even though they aren't students. Dean Pritchard (Jeremy Piven) wants to shut the frat down and the fellas, along with their pledges, set out to fulfill all the requirements Pritchard creates.  

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3.  Revenge of the Nerds

Revenge Of The Nerds

Nerd buddies Lewis Skolnick (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert Lowell (Anthony Edwards) have just arrived at Adams College.  When the jock/frat boys burn down their own fraternity house, they put pressure on the school to put them up somewhere else.  They invade the freshman dorms, much to Lewis and Gilberts chagrin.  When the guys renovate an old run down house, the jocks and their sorority friends trash the place, leading to a showdown of hilarious proportions.

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2.  PCU


The ultimate college satire, PCU takes stabs at every possible group: frats, feminists, geeks, tree-huggers and more. Incoming freshman, Tom Lawrence (Chris Young), manages to offend every group during his campus visit.  He meets Droz (Jeremy Piven) and his degenerate but awesome-at partying friends at their place known as The Pit.  In order to stay on campus, members of The Pit throw an enormous and realistic party when funk musician George Clinton shows up.  This is the movie with the classic line; Droz:  "What's this? You're wearing the shirt of the band you're going to see?  Don't be that guy."  

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1.  Animal House

Animal House

Animal House is the college movie to which all other college movies are compared.  It has everything: sex, drugs, alcohol, the fat friend who parties harder in one night than you will in your entire life, and of course, douchy rich kids trying to narc on the cool kids good times.  If you were indifferent about going to college after high school, Animal House got your mouth watering at the prospect of partying higher education style.  Even if college life isn't exactly the same as it was in this movie, you may have found that it's not that different, either.  It's about the elitist frat, the Omegas, and their battle against the Deltas, who are dirty and fun-loving.  All efforts by the Omegas to force the Deltas off campus are thwarted by the Deltas extreme pranks and outrageous parties. Watch "Animal House" Instantly!

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June 25. 2008 10:43


Why is any article with a top 10 or top 20 list automatically deemed worthy of a Digg? Seriously, is this list a joke? Accepted? Slackers? Even the racially offensive Soul Man is easier to watch then those 2 so called movies. Did the author just name the first 16 movies he could think of? These are so terrbily ordered it's amazing. Have these jokers ever heard of John Cusack? Scream 2 while not great was also way more watchable. Van Wilder is a 2.5 star flick, how is it ranked over Real Genius easily a 4 star. Higher Learning, American Pie 2, School Dayz, The Program, NERDS 2, Less than Zero or better yet Rules of Attraction. That was about 5 minutes of thought which is probably 4 more then it took to write this article.

hhhhh us

June 25. 2008 11:25


So it's not the best list, and it's pretty cliche to put Animal House as the number one. It's better to make lists like these numerically ambiguous, and let the readers form their own opinions on which is number one.

But an awesome John Cusack college movie? It doesn't exist. His best movies are when he's a teenager (Say Anything), or post college (High Fidelity). He was in, what...two, maybe three college-esque movies?

That being said, it's a good list. Kudos for Real Genius.

crushthemall us

June 25. 2008 11:45


This has to be a joke, right? Right? I mean, this is truly incomprehensible. Three of the films on the list are downright terrible (Son-In-Law, Dead Man on Campus, Slackers). Over the half of the movies are mediocre at best. Where's Rules of Attraction? Or, if you're going old school, how about If? Good Will Hunting? Scent of a Woman? American Pie 2? Wonder Boys? The Program? Less that Zero? How the eff did this shameful article get so many Diggs? Do you guys even watch movies, or did you just wander into a random meathead frat kid's room and look at his DVD collection? YOU HAVE A PAULY SHORE MOVIE ON HERE!!! Despicable.

odahl us

June 25. 2008 11:45


Cusack made several colleg-esque movies, but you're right in saying that none were great. In the great movies, his characters were often in there pre college summer, or were college aged but not in college. For stubborness sake The Sure Thing, a definite college movie is in itself a better movie then several in this top 16. That being said, I will retract my Cusack talking point. Please tell me why any of the movies I named aren't on this list that so many people "dugg".

hhhhh us

June 25. 2008 12:12


LOL, Revenge of the Nerds! best college movie of ALL time! Nerds Nerds Nerds! LOL


JimmyDoDipp us

June 24. 2009 07:40

Dolares a Pesos

hhhhh, get a life. Great article.

Dolares a Pesos pr

December 9. 2009 00:02

College papers

Great stuff!

College papers us