Lists  Reviews  Images  Update feed
MoviesTV ShowsMusicBooksGamesDVDs/Blu-RayPeopleArt & DesignPlacesWeb TV & PodcastsToys & CollectiblesComic Book SeriesBeautyAnimals   View more categories »
Listal logo
Added by PulpRoman on 7 Nov 2013 04:29
3863 Views 3 Comments

25 Best Fictional Colleges and Universities

Sort by: Showing 25 items
Decade: Rating: List Type:
Hillman College

"I ain't one of the Cosby's, I ain't go to Hill-man." When Kanye West asserts this on "Can't Tell Me Nothing," he's both tipping his hat to an HBCU that doesn't exist, and providing insight to those who weren't in the know. For anyone still in the dark, Hillman College is the best fictitious college or university. Ever. It was the setting for The Cosby Show spin-off A Different World, following Denise Huxtable as she pursues her education at the esteemed HBCU. When she leaves to find herself, Whitley Gilbert and Dwayne Wayne became the focal points.The development of their relationship, as it transforms from undergraduate love to holy matrimony, is one of the most storied in television history. Many meet their spouses in college, and these two met at Hillman.

Through Hillman, A Different World explained the black college experience in a different way than School Daze could because it was a weekly program, so it was able to provide greater detail than the show that birthed it. The show's accurate portrayal of how unique the black college experience is also owed to Debbie Allen's time at Howard University, which ultimately gave the show a greater level of authenticity. At Hillman, the student body and faculty were like a family. They pushed and pulled each other through the experience.

Hillman played a prominent role in what are arguably two of the most important television shows ever created, and its introspective look at the black college experience, along with its alumni, easily make it the best fictional college.
PulpRoman's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
Faber College

Faber College laid the blueprint for hilariously bad behavior at fictional colleges, and its impact on fictitious schools is still apparent 35 years later. Animal House is a spin-off of National Lampoon's magazine, and loosely based on the undergraduate experiences of the film's writers. The film is set in the early '60s, and begins when two freshmen are searching for a fraternity to join at Faber. After getting shut down by Omega Theta Pi's, they find a home at the Delta Tau Chi house, but only after getting urinated on by the always-intoxicated Bluto (John Belushi). Because everyone hates the good guys, the Omegas and the uptight dean conspire to have the Deltas booted from campus.

The Deltas are lead by Boon (Peter Riegert) and Otter (Tim Matheson), who are responsible for organizing toga parties with live music from Otis Day and the Knights, sleeping with the dean's wife, and making a general mockery of the administration. The dean succeeds in expelling the Deltas, even going as far as to notify their local draft boards of their sudden eligibility, and the Omegas jump Otter. After Bluto gives a horribly historically inaccurate speech, the Deltas are motivated to sabotage the annual homecoming parade. Payback's a bitch, especially when it's deserved.

Faber College is where pothead professors sleep with students, dean's catch projectile vomit to the face, and a mayor's underage daughter becomes the conquest of a desperate virgin. It's also where a young Kevin Bacon attempted to fight back tears while getting that ass paddled, and where we've given confirmation that, yes, girls do have naked pillow fights during sleepovers.

The hilarious happenings of Faber have influenced countless college movies, from PCU to Old School, and its legacy will live on forever thanks to Bluto's iconic "College" crewneck. Seriously though, it will live on forever; Animal House is also preserved in the National Film Registry.

PulpRoman's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 64 Average listal rating (36 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 5.8
Mission College

The significance of homecoming weekend at a historically black college or university has been well-chronicled, and Spike Lee brought that experience to the big screen with 1988's School Daze. Lee's second feature film highlights the issues between fraternities, sororities, and other students at leading HBCU, Mission College.

With homecoming as the setting, Dap (Lawrence Fishburne), clashes with Dean Big Brother Almighty (Giancarlo Esposito a.k.a Gus Fring), the leader of the elitist Gamma Phi Gamma Fraternity, Inc. The film takes an honest look at many issues within the black community, from skin tone and education equality, to perceived notions of superiority. Lee details how insecurity, assumptions, and jealousy can lead to friction between blacks, and the fight between Dap and his boys and a group of local guys is a perfect example of this. School Daze also shows that, despite all of its prestige, Mission still has administrative issues. Some took offense to Lee's decision to include this in the film, not realizing that depicting both Mission's negatives and positives provided a more accurate portrayal of the HBCU experience.

School Daze also offered a glance at HBCU homecoming traditions, such as the step show, which features the fight between Dap and his friends and the Gammas. There's also the pajama party, a typical hormone-driven undergrad party, soundtracked by E.U.'s live performance of "Da Butt."

The story of Mission College influenced an entire generation, including Alicia Keys (although she attended Columbia), whose video for "Teenage Love Affair" was inspired by School Daze, all the way down to the pajama party. The film's ending, which features Dap screaming "WAAAAKKKKEEE UPPPPPP!" into the camera, may be heavy-handed, but it's still as relevant today as it was 25 years ago.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 121 Average listal rating (71 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 6.6
PCU (1994)
Port Chester University

One of the best Gen X college films ever made, PCU depicts the hilarious misadventures of college life, as well as Jeremy Piven's original hairline. Loosely based on the experiences of the film's writers Zak Penn and Adam Leff at Wesleyan Univeristy, PCU chronicles the experiences of a potential student as he clashes with various on-campus groups at Port Chester University. Fraternities have been banned, so their politics and activities have been spread out among several on-campus factions. There's The Order of Balls and Shaft (a play on Yale's Skull and Bones society), the "cause heads," and a radical feminist group known as the Womynists who didn't yet have the Lilith Fair to air their grievances.

These groups, and even the school's president, are thorns in the side of The Pit, a fun-loving bunch whose attempts at revelry are constantly interrupted by the other groups on campus. It's through divine blessings and the power of George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic that The Pit is able to keep their house on campus and overthrow the evil regime who conspired to have them removed.

The film became a cult-classic thanks in part to a famously less-than-PETA-friendly scene, and its spot-on portrayal of the extremes of college life during the '90s.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 1361 Average listal rating (896 ratings) 6.4 IMDB Rating 7.1
Harrison University

Enjoy your college years, undergrads. Once they're gone, you can't get them back. We don't mean returning to school to finally earn your degree or even pursuing an advanced degree, we mean being a 30-something and running a fraternity. That's the premise of the Frat Pack classic, Old School, where Luke Wilson's heart-broken character moves into a house near the campus of Harrison University. After the school's spiteful dean tells him and his friends that the house can only be used for school activities, the group turns it into a frat house.

If for no other reason, Harrison University is amazing for letting three old guys (WIlson, Vince Vaughn, and Will Ferrell) with no affiliation to the university run a fraternity full of loveable rejects, and allowing "Mitchapalooza" to take place. Old School is a classic, and like your college memories, every bit as hilarious today as it was a decade ago.
Watched Wanted Custom
The University of Los Angeles

The fourth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air marked a big change for the show, aside from a new Aunt Viv. Will and Carlton begin college at ULA, which is basically UCLA with a letter removed for legal purposes. It's here that the cousins experience the highs and lows of undergraduate life, such as Carlton losing his virginity, the humiliation associated with pledging for a fraternity, and working in the school's student center, known as "The Peacock Stop." It's there that Will cultivates his love-hate relationship with Jackie, a familiar face from his past (played by a young Tyra Banks).

Carlton eventually becomes the school's mascot and Will withdraws from school briefly to sell used cars. Luckily for him, his mother scares him into re-enrolling. When the series ended in 1996, Carlton transfers to Princeton, the entire Banks clan movies east, and Will remains in California to continue his education. It's almost too real.
PulpRoman's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 195 Average listal rating (117 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 8
University of Northeastern California

It's a travesty that we didn't get to see more of the antics that took place on the campus of the University of Northeastern California. The underrated Undeclared went the way of Freaks and Geeks and was cancelled far too soon. As soon as the boyish Stephen Karp (Jay Baruchel) touches down on UNEC's campus, he leaps into the exciting new world of college, losing his virginity within 24 hours of becoming a college student. He quickly forms a bond with a tight-knit group of students who experience the trials and tribulations of undergraduate life, honestly illustrated by Judd Apatow.

During their freshman year, the UNEC bunch wrestle with issues such as peer pressure, long distance relationships, the Freshman 15, Greek life, being away from home for the first time, and purchasing essays from a townie played by Will Ferrell. Repeat viewings will evoke fond memories of freshman year "Truth or Dare" games, which just give people an excuse to hook up and the fear of not knowing what to major in, and gratitude that the latter is behind you.
Watched Wanted Custom
California University

California University also made an appearance in another popular '90s show: Beverly Hills: 90210. After graduating from West Beverly High School, the main characters attend a different California University, which makes for some of the best episodes of the show's ten season run.

CU became the show's main setting during its fourth season, acting as the source for that mid-'90s drama that made the show the hit that it was. Some characters were written out of the series, and the school itself disappears from the show after the seventh season's graduation.
Watched Wanted Custom
Coolidge College

This is the film that thrust Ryan Reynolds into the spotlight, thank to his portrayal of the king of Coolidge College, Van Wilder, Jr. Van spends seven years at Coolidge, bullshitting his way through six consecutive semesters with no intention of ever graduating.

Despite appearances, Van Wilder is no slacker. In fact, he's quite active on Coolidge's campus, actively participating in fund raisers and charity work and going out of his way too help fellow students. He's like everyone's cool older brother; he even has a personal assistant who applies solely on the notion that Van might get him laid.

Coolidge isn't without it's share of dickheads—it actually has a whole fraternity of them. Delta Iota Kappa, or DIK, is led by Richard Bagg (yes, dick bag). Van and Richard duke it out for the affection of a cute school newspaper reporter (Tara Reid, prior to her drinking herself into irrelevance).

In an ode to National Lampoon's Animal House, Van's father is played by Tim Matheson, who is the OG Van Wilder, minus the extra undergrad years.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 621 Average listal rating (392 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 6.6
Adams College

In addition to inspiring a lot of Lupe Fiasco's early work, Revenge of the Nerds also inspired nerds everywhere to stand up for themselves. The campus of Adams College became a battlefield after nerds Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowe join the Tri-Lambs (Lambda Lambda Lambda) and take on those cruel jocks, The Alpha Betas. Arguably the best way to get back at a long time rival is to sleep with their significant other, and that's exactly what Lewis does to Stan Gable's girlfriend, Betty. When she's shocked at how well Lewis put it down, he has to remind her that all nerds think about is sex, so there's no way they're blowing it (no pun intended) when given a shot.

The Tri-Lambs smash the Alpha Betas in the Greek Games thanks to a musical ensemble that would make Mark Mothersbaugh proud, and Gilbert becomes president of the Greek Council. Adams College becomes a safe place for all students, and as for Lewis? He got the girl. We also have to may homage to the presence of Dudley "Booger" Dawson, because it just wouldn't be right if we didn't.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 1523 Average listal rating (978 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 6.1
South Central Louisiana State University

When Lil Wayne said, "I hit the beat hard—Bobby Boucher," he was referring to Adam Sandler's portrayal of the good-natured waterboy with a serious mean streak.

Bobby's anger eventually makes him one of the most feared linebackers in the nation, a combination between Lawrence Taylor, Ray Lewis and a wolverine. His fierce play (and ability to provide teammates with ice cold water) carries the the Mud Dogs to victory in the Bourbon Bowl. South Central Louisiana State University wins points for giving an underdog the chance to shine, and Boucher doesn't lose points for sacking an asshole professor for making fun of him during a lecture. Everybody wins.
PulpRoman's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 984 Average listal rating (614 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.5
Greendale Community College

Greendale Community College is the setting for most of Community's innocent hijinks. The fictional Colorado open-admissions college where a "No More Than 64" policy is in effect, meaning students never pay more than $64 per credit hour.

Greendale also takes great pride in adhering to the five A's: accessibility, affordability, air Conditioning, awesome new friends, and a lot of classes. There are also plenty of of wholesome student activities, from intramural sports, a chess club and even a smoker's club. They also have an annual paintball tournament, which is meant to bring out the best in students, and jealousy in you.

Above all, Greendale is a place where a bunch of strangers from all walks of life can come together and become friends, even if Chevy Chase is a complete asshole. That's why fans of NBC's Community love the show so much.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 292 Average listal rating (166 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.9
Big State University and Tech U

It's amazing to think that 15 years have passed since Ray Allen made his acting debut in Spike Lee's He Got Game. Allen plays Jesus Shuttlesworth, the top high school basketball recruit in the country, who attends the same Brooklyn high school as Stephon Marbury. While Shuttlesworth became a prodigy, his father Jake (Denzel Washington) was doing hard time in Attica for accidentally killing Jesus' mother. Based on his son's potential, the governor temporarily grants Jake's release so that he can persuade Jesus to attend the governor's alma mater, "Big State."

Big State is really only cool because of its association with Tech U, another school Jesus is considering. During his campus visit, he's hosted by the very old Rick Fox (whose Tech U shirt is tucked into his pants). He's swayed by an impressive and somewhat blasphemous highlight reel, John Tuturro handing him a Tech U "Shuttlesworth" jersey, and the perks of being a student athlete. In layman's terms, we mean a threesome with two porn stars masquerading as co-eds.

It was a scene that left more than a few young athletes with unmet expectations on their susprisingly dull campus visits, and probably inspired more than a few porn spoofs.
Watched Wanted Custom
Columbus University

Anyone who's seen or even heard of Higher Learning knows about its violent climax, but in an era where the phrase "school shooting" is heard far too often, violence isn't what makes Columbus University one of the best fictional colleges. Director John Singleton uses the school as a vehicle to discuss date rape, racism and even the financial struggles that students experience. The subject of race relations is unavoidable when discussing Higher Learning, as the film explores how ignorance and fear help to perpetuate stereotypes. It's not all negative though; Singleton also uses Columbus to explore sexuality and love.

While the infamous shooting scene still makes for a difficult viewing nearly two decades later, the film helps illustrate how miscommunication between different groups can lead to an unexpected boiling point. It's a painful reminder, but a necessary one.
Watched Wanted Custom
Camden College

Bret Easton Ellis is the king of convoluted tales about spoiled youth in the 1980s, and a dark reminder of this is his 1987 novel The Rules of Attraction. The book was adapted to film in 2002, bringing the sordid tales of Camden College to life in a shocking fashion. Though some details were changed for the silver screen, the underlying themes and cringe-worthy college horror stories remain.

The student body is made up of unsavory characters, including Patrick Bateman's sociopath, drug-dealing younger brother Sean (James Van Der Beek), a dope-addicted Fred Savage, a girl who attempts to remain chaste by looking at a scrapbook of STD images, and her roommate who banged the entire football team. There's also a sensitive local drug dealer who keeps his foot on Sean's neck (literally and figuratively) over a large debt. The curriculum is not important at Camden; it's all about who's sleeping with who (even the faculty), excessive partying, rampant drug use and one of the most painfully realistic suicide scenes ever filmed.

The parties are great at Camden, from the "Dressed to Get Screwed" party which features Ron Jeremy himself, to the "End of the World" party, which features hurt feelings and a disgusting rape filmed by the lab rat from CSI and passed off as "art." Regardless of how much fun they had, some people don't like to discuss their undergrad days, and Camden College is a reminder of why.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 397 Average listal rating (259 ratings) 5.8 IMDB Rating 6.8

Clearly based on NYU, the University of New York served as the setting for Felicity Porter's (Keri Russell) ascent into adulthood after moving across the country. Just like NYU, UNY is located in Greenwich Village, and was almost as important of a character as Felicity herself.

Following her high school graduation, Felicity blows off Stanford for UNY after a classmate signs her yearbook saying he wished he got to know her. It was clearly a horrible decision, but it made for four seasons worth of good television.

While chasing the object of her affection, Felicity gets caught up with an RA and learns all about life and love. Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Watched Wanted Custom
Pacific Tech

Pacific Tech is named Pacific Tech because Caltech was already taken, and it's the place where a campus legend and a boy genius joined forces to work on a laser. All of the students at Pacific Tech are nerds to some extent, but that doesn't mean they're lames. Leave it to a bunch of geniuses to figure creative and efficient ways to have dorm fun, from an apparatus that makes skating and sledding indoors possible, to indoor waterslide party. If that weren't enough to make your undergrad experience look lame, students and professors regularly skip class, but leave tape recorders to catch the missed action. Mind you, this well before online courses existed.

Pacific Tech is that necessary reminder that it's just as cool to be exceptionally intelligent as it is to have a good time, and that both can happen simultaneously on one campus.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 939 Average listal rating (571 ratings) 5.9 IMDB Rating 6.5
South Harmon Institute of Technology

If you were a high school student getting rejected from every school you applied to, what would you do? In real life, community college might seem like a logical option, but nobody wants to see that on the big screen.

Accepted tells the story of a group of DIY students who create their own college after being denied by their schools of choice. What results is the South Harmon Institute of Technology, where the curriculum includes classes like "Rock Our Faces Off 222," "Foreign Affairs: Hooking Up Overseas," and "How to Blow Shit Up...With Your Mind."

Predictably, the student body goes gets a little wild post-class. With a skate ramp on campus, a student paper titled S.H.I.T Rag and a mascot affectionately known as the S.H.I.T Sandwich, it's no surprise the campus is full of S.H.I.T heads. For the record, they called themselves that first.
Watched Wanted Custom
House Party 2 (1991)

House Party 2 follows Kid (Christopher Reid), who attends college thanks to a church scholarship fund following the death of his father. Kid enrolls at Harris University along with his high school sweetheart Sydney (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and struggles to adjust to college life, particularly after his tuition check bounces.

Along the way, he bonds with his dreadlocked, very white roommate Jamal, takes a job working in the school cafeteria, and endures continued harassment from the trio of musclebound brothers played by Full Force.

Harris University captures early '90s college life, and the power struggles, stress, and occasional good times are a realistic representation of the college experience. Except, ours wasn't set to a montage of "Yo Baby Yo" and Kid and Play performing "Ain't Gonna Hurt Nobody." If only...
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 48 Average listal rating (29 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 6.4
The Program (1993)
Eastern State University

There are similarities between The Program and Blue Chips, but there's far more drama on Eastern State University's campus. The stakes were wildly high for coach Sam Winters (James Caan), who's given a pre-season ultimatum: Win or get fired. He enlists a speedy freshman running back to help right the ship, but there's so many shenanigans at ESU that he can barely hold the team together.

The first and second-string running backs are fighting over a girl (it's Halle Berry, so we don't blame them), the Heisman-nominated starting quarterback tries to drown his stress in liquor, and a special teams player has packed on a suspicious amount of muscle in the off-season. To further complicate things, the coach's daughter is dating the backup QB, which leads to their expulsion, and the team's leader is lost to a career-ending injury.

Coach Winters might have a struggle ahead of him, but the high-stakes drama of a major football program are what make the exploits of Eastern State University so memorable 20 years later.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (95 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 8.4
Blue Mountain State

We thank the cable TV Gods over at Spike for giving us Blue Mountain State, a look at the fictional university and its team of heathens, the Mountain Goats. It's not your average look at student athlete life, unless your team also passed around sex toys. Despite it feeling like "bangin' a sunset over the ocean," it left an STD trail (much like you'd expect a groupie to do). Other activities also included the fun-loving, backup quarterback sleeping with the coach's cougar ex-wife, played by Denise Richards.

Blue Mountain State featured appearances by former NFL players such as Boomer Esiason, Brian Bosworth, Bill Romanowski, Chad Ochocinco, and even legendary coach Bill Parcels. But wait—what would college be without Thad Castle, the douchebag linebacker you loved to make fun of? Better, that's what.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 873 Average listal rating (615 ratings) 6.9 IMDB Rating 8.1
Pennbrook University

Boy meets college after Cory (Ben Savage), Shawn (Rider Strong), Topanga (Danielle Fishel), and Angela (Trina McGee) join Eric (Will Friedle) and Shawn's half-brother, Jack (Matthew Lawrence), at Pennbrook University, a fictional Philadelphia institution loosely based on a combination of the University of Pennsylvania and St. Joesph's University. The gang gets a blessing in disguise when their lifelong mentor Mr. Feeny (William Daniels) decides to take classes at Pennbrook. Eventually, he's offered a position at the university, because it just wouldn't be right if he wasn't.

While at Pennbrook, Jack and Eric become roommates, Angela and Shawn break up and reconcile, and Cory and Topanga attempt to balance their studies and their engagement. At one point, Cory even gets suspended for punching a professor (played by Ben Savage's brother, Fred) who crosses the line with Topanga. Ah, young love.

Cory and Topanga eventually get married, and Pennbrook becomes the place where each of the principal characters reach adulthood before the series' conclusion in 2000.
PulpRoman's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
UC Sunnydale

What's not to love about a college campus abounding with supernatural activity? UC Sunnydale is the college Buffy Summers attends after graduating from Sunnydale High School. Her first dorm was in Stevenson Hall, where she rooms with a demon (no, not figuratively speaking) and is forced to move out. There's only so much additional drama a vampire slayer can handle.

UC Sunnydale was also home to frat houses that served as vampire feeding grounds, which are revealed to be a front for a government agency working to capture demons for military research. Sounds about as red-tape laden as the average college experience, except our college wasn't destroyed during an epic battle.
PulpRoman's rating:
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 71 Average listal rating (54 ratings) 5.4 IMDB Rating 6.1
Blue Chips (1994)
Western University

In Blue Chips, Nick Nolte plays Pete Bell, the head coach for the Western University men's basketball team struggling to win games and attract elite talent, neither of which help his Bobby Knight-like temper. Bell goes against his better judgement, using boosters to provide cash and gifts to land top notch talent, and it's at the expense of his conscience.

Bell's struggle at Western University provides valuable insight into the world of NCAA athletics, from point-shaving, to the argument that student athletes should be compensated for their talents, particularly when they're generating crazy cash for their respective universities. Blue Chips also features some classic basketball scenes, and appearances by b-ball legends Shaquille O'Neal, Penny Hardaway, Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Rick Pitino, and even Bob Knight himself.
Watched Wanted Custom
People who added this item 245 Average listal rating (174 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 6.6
Grand Lakes University

Back to School follows the son of wealthy Thorton Melon (Rodney Dangerfield), a college student named Jason (Keith Gordon) who intends to drop out because he gets no respect. To support him, dad offers to enroll in college too (despite not having a high school diploma), transforming Back to School from a trite dropout flick into one of the best college films of all time.

Much of Back to School's greatness is due to the strangeness of the University of Wisconsin-Madison serving as the backdrop for the fictional Grand Lakes University, where a young man can become an overnight campus celebrity thanks to his father's financial generosity and on-campus revelries. Having Kurt Vonnegut pop up on campus to co-sign him doesn't hurt either.
Watched Wanted Custom

Added to

Related lists

Martin Sweeney Dallas' Best Fictional Characters
13 item list by martinsweeney dallas
2 votes
Top 10 Fictional Towns
14 item list by filmbuilder
1 votes 3 comments
Great Fictional Characters
11 item list by Psychoffspring
3 votes 1 comment
Fictional Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame
76 item list by Agent Kermit D. Fonz
5 votes
Favourite Fictional Males
36 item list by ladybellatrix
3 votes
Tim Burton: The best and worst of
17 item list by Agent Kermit D. Fonz
4 votes
Fictional U.S. Presidents
31 item list by Alabama1971
56 votes 7 comments
Favorite Fictional Snails
12 item list by kathy
20 votes
Models as Fictional Characters
32 item list by brazilfashion
50 votes 1 comment
Top 25 Movies: 2000-2009
25 item list by Lerschy
8 votes

View more top voted lists

People who voted for this also voted for

More lists from PulpRoman