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The 10 Best Movies About College


Leaving for college at the end of the summer? From browsing the course catalog to picking out dorm decorations, there are so many things to do before you leave. Don't underestimate the power of a movie to help prepare yourself for college, too! Here's a list of the 10 best movies about college to get yourself pumped about starting the best years of your life.

1. Animal House

This infamous 1978 film is supposedly based off of the writers’ own experiences with fraternities when they went to college. The movie chronicles the efforts of college freshmen, Larry Kroger and Kent Dorfman, as they pledge Delta Tau Chi at Faber College. The frat is filled with your typical bros, such as John “Bluto” Blutarsky, portrayed by John Belushi, who has a GPA of 0.0. While some of the incidents Larry and Kent encounter are a little extreme and outlandish, you could definitely come across some of these experiences yourself! From toga parties to cheating boyfriends to bad grades, this movie will expose you to the trials and tribulations of Greek life.

2. Good Will Hunting 

In this 1997 drama, Matt Damon stars as 20-year-old Will Hunting, a janitor at MIT and a genius. Even though Will can’t afford to attend college and has a long history of run-ins with the police, education is his top priority. An MIT professor takes him under his wing and helps him turn his life around. Despite the fact that Will is not actually a college student, this film is full of lessons that every college student can learn from, like learning how to handle both your past and future. Plus, many scenes of the movie are filmed in the greater Boston area, which helps display the famous college town.

3. Monsters University 

This recently released prequel to the 2001 Disney Pixar film Monsters, Inc. reveals what Mike Wazowski and James “Sulley” Sullivan were up to before they started scaring children. Mike and Sulley, both scaring majors, get ejected from the esteemed Scare Program at Monsters U and have to work hard to get their education back on track. In addition to their struggles at school, the two become roommates for the first time and have to learn how to live with each other despite being very different. Even though you and your roomie might not have much in common, that doesn't mean you can't become friends!

4. Sydney White 

This 2007 spin on the famous fairytale Snow White features Amanda Bynes as Sydney White, a tomboy trying to rush a sorority. However, the head of the sorority and president of student council, Rachel Witchburn, portrayed by Sara Paxton, tries to do everything she can to prevent Sydney from pledging. In response, Sydney bonds together with seven dorks in order to try and bring down Rachel and her elitist and exclusive views. This movie shows how Greek life may not be for everybody, and it’s important to focus on finding a group of friends who you feel comfortable with.

5. The Social Network 

We can’t imagine college without Facebook, so let’s go back to the social network’s birth. In this 2010 film starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Zuckerberg’s story about how his popular site took off is showcased for all to see. Also featuring Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker and Andrew Garfield as Eduardo Saverin, this movie exposes the secrets and conflicts behind the founding of Facebook and the lawsuits that followed. An Academy Award winner for the Best Adapted Screenplay category, this film is definitely one for all you Facebook addicts to watch.

6. The Roommate

This 2011 thriller is perfect to show all you incoming freshmen what your roommates will NOT be like – at least, we hope! Sara Matthews, played by Minka Kelly, meets tons of new people during her freshman year, including her roommate, Rebecca Evans, played by Leighton Meester. As time passes, Rebecca becomes obsessed with Sara turns increasingly violent as Rebecca looks to destroy anyone who could come between her and Sara. As you anxiously wait for your roommate assignment, just know that your roommate will never be as terrible as Rebecca!

7. Dead Man on Campus 

This 1998 film is based off the urban legend that if a college student’s roommate commits suicide, then he or she will get straight A’s for the semester. Mark-Paul Gosselaar portrays Cooper Frederickson and Tom Everett Scott plays his roommate, Josh Miller. The two desperately need to improve their grades quickly. Cooper, a lazy student, spends most of his time partying at school, and Josh begins to adopt this lifestyle as well. Josh needs to earn an A+++ on his term paper in order to keep his scholarship, while Cooper needs to earn passing grades or his dad will stop paying for college. The two then begin searching for a depressed third roommate who will hopefully kill himself so they can get straight A’s. When you’re off at school, it’s important that you stay on top of your schoolwork so you’re not put into Josh and Cooper’s situation! Although it’s easy to get carried away and tempted by the freedom at college, it’s no excuse to neglect the academic side of school.

8. Pitch Perfect

Have you heard the song “Cups” by Anna Kendrick on the radio? This popular 2012 film not only has a great soundtrack, but also contains some great lessons for college. Beca Mitchell, played by Kendrick, has no desire to be at college and would much rather be creating music of her own. However, she must attend school and join a club in order to please her father. Beca’s talent and great voice lands her a spot on an a cappella group called the Barden Bellas. This movie highlights the best parts of college: clubs, friends, and that one cute boy you can't keep your eyes off of.

9. Higher Learning

This 1995 drama follows the lives of three different incoming college freshmen. Omar Epps plays an African-American boy, Malik Williams, who is a star on the track but not in the classroom; Kristy Swanson plays a quiet but troubled white girl, Kristen Connor; and Michael Rapaport plays an outwardly awkward white man named Remy. The three go through your typical college experiences, from living with their roommates to going to sports practices to rushing fraternities. At the same time, the movie addresses issues of race. This film is a great lesson in understanding others’ backgrounds.

10. Legally Blonde

This 2001 film features Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, the president of her sorority at a school in Southern California. Elle knows everything about fashion, but ends up deciding to study for the LSAT and apply to law school in order to try and win back her ex-boyfriend, Warner Huntington III, played by Matthew Davis. After studying for hours on end, Elle is accepted to Harvard Law School, yet she is judged by her fellow students when she gets there because of her blonde hair and bubbly personality. Elle can serve as inspiration that it’s never too late to change your mind about what career path you want to pursue. She also can teach us not to judge a book by its cover, because she ends up being very successful in the law field when many of her colleagues initially pinned her as a dumb blonde.


While a lot of events in movies about college may seem like they would never happen to you, there is always something to take away from them. Be sure to check out these 10 films before you leave for school!

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