50 Best Movies For College Students

Looking for the best movies for college students? Here are 50 titles that will make you laugh as well as explore serious issues. Enjoy!

College is one of the best times of your life. For many, it’s the first time you’re on your own, trying out this whole “adulting” things without the huge stress of a full-time job or (too many) bills. It’s exciting, overwhelming, fun, and hard work all in one.

Even though the main stream media has lots of ideas of what “real” college life looks like, college looks different for everyone. It really is one of those things that’s what you make it.

If you commute, it looks different than if you dorm. If you join a fraternity or sorority, it looks different than if you don’t. If you go to school close to home, it looks different than if you went to a school far away, and so on and so forth.

But whatever college looks like for you, there are so many college movies that you can enjoy, even if you don’t exactly relate to it.

So whether you’re getting ready for college and want to “study” by watching some college themed movies or if you’re in college and want to watch something relatable (or something you just want to laugh at), here’s the list you need of best movies for college students, both to get a look into “college” but also to learn a great life lesson or two from.

50 Best Movies For College Students

“Legally Blonde” (2001)

You’ve most definitely seen this one, but even if you’re not planning on ever going to law school, re-watch it as you’re sure to learn a thing or two from Elle Woods played by Reese Witherspoon.

“The Social Network” (2010)

A star-studded cast of Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake show us how Facebook was created by Mark Zuckerberg and a small group of students all while they were in college.

“Animal House” (1978)

The classic college comedy about a frat that throws crazy parties and challenges authority of the dean. “Neighbors,” “Accepted” and “Old School” are just some of the movies that have used “Animal House’s” portrayal of Greek life in their movies.

“Pitch Perfect” (2012)

A college freshman isn’t sure she fits in, until she joins an all-girl acappella group and becomes consumed by crushing their competition.

“House Bunny” (2008)

A Playboy bunny who’s kicked out of the mansion gets a job managing an unpopular sorority.

“Accepted” (2006)

After getting rejected by every school he applies to, a high school senior fools everyone into thinking he’s college bound and creates his own university.

“The Internship” (2013)

Two men who have been graduated from college for a while enroll in an internship program where they’re competing with recent college grads.

Photo by Atul Vinayak

“EuroTrip” (2004)

A high school grad goes on an epic trip to Europe after he was dumped by his GF.

Eurotrip follows the misadventures of Scott (played by Scott Mechlowicz) and his friends as they travel around Europe trying to reunite him with his long-distance German love interest.

Along the way, they meet a variety of characters, all while learning about themselves and each other. This movie is a great example of how college students can go on crazy adventures and make lifelong memories.

It’s a coming of age comedy that will make you laugh, cry, and have you ready to plan your own trip across Europe! The movie is full of hilarious moments, surprises, and lessons about friendship, love and growing up.

“Old School” (2003)

After a bad breakup, an attorney, played by Luke Wilson, moves into a new house near a college campus. With his two best friends, played by Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn, they open a new fraternity to relive their glory days.

“Monsters University” (2013)

Beloved animated character Mike Wazowski enrolls in Monsters University to become a Scarer and quickly gets into a rivalry with Sulley.

“The Great Debaters” (2007)

Based on the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, Denzel Washington plays a professor at a college in Texas that’s historically black.

He forms the first debate team at the school and goes on to the national championship, where they face Harvard.

“American Graffiti” (1973)

A nostalgic looks at teens from the 1960s, it follows high school grads as they enjoy their last days of summer vacation before college.

“22 Jump Street” (2014)

The sequel to “21 Jump Street,” police offices go undercover at a local college.

In 22 Jump Street, undercover police officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) try to find the dealer of a new synthetic drug that has been circulating around a local college campus.

However, as they investigate further, they quickly realize that their lives in college are more complicated than expected – from unwelcome roommates to a kinky professor, these two police officers must find a way to survive college while still doing their job.

It’s a hilarious film that will have you laughing through the entire movie! It’s one of the funniest movies for college students.

“American Pie 2” (2001)

The sequel to “American Pie” where the group reunites at the beach the summer after their first year of college.

“Sydney White” (2007)

A college remake of classic Snow White, a freshman played by Amanda Bynes pledges her mother’s sorority, only to find out sorority life isn’t what she expected.

“The Graduate” (1967)

Dustin Hoffman plays a recent college grade who’s seduced by a bored housewife while he’s back home for the summer. It shows his struggle on what he should do next, post-grad.

“The Dead Poets Society” (1989)

Robin Williams played a professor at an all-boys school, where the students are a bit sheltered. He teaches them how to live life to the fullest and to think for themselves.

This is highly regarded as one of the best movies for college students.

“The Waterboy” (1998)

Adam Sandler stars as The Waterboy, who starts out as a college football waterboy but learns he has talent for football.

“Good Will Hunting” (1997)

Matt Damon plays a math genius who works as a janitor but must confront his past when he meets a psychologist, played by Robin Williams.

“Van Wilder” (2002)

Ryan Reynolds plays Van Wilder who is living his best life in college and doesn’t graduate, instead becoming a professional student partier… until his dad finds out.

“Neighbors” (2004)

A young couple moves next door to a frat house. At first they try and get along with frat president, played by Zac Efron, but then a war erupts between the two.

“Forrest Gump” (1994)

You may not think of this as a “college” movie but the film includes Forrest Gump’s, played by Tom Hanks, time playing college football.

“Drumline” (2002)

Nick Cannon plays a marching band drummer who’s struggling to confirm to the rules of the band, which puts him in hot water at a Georgia University.

“The Blind Side” (2009)

A true story of Michael Oher, focusing on his prep for college life and shows his path to playing college ball.

“The Blind Side” is a 2009 biographical sports drama focusing on Michael Oher, an American football offensive tackle. The film follows his journey from being a homeless teen to becoming a successful college athlete. It documents his transition into college life and shows the obstacles he faced such as adapting to new coaches, teammates and academics. Starring Sandra

“We Are Marshall” (2006)

A new coach brings a college football team in West Virginia back together after tragedy strikes.

“A Beautiful Mind” (2001)

Russel Crowe plays an egotistical genius who has to face new mental limits as he ages.

A Beautiful Mind tells the story of John Nash, a mathematical genius who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

After making groundbreaking advancements in economics, Nash’s mental illness spirals out of control as he struggles to keep up with his studies at Princeton University.

Despite the challenges posed by his illness, Nash is determined to make something of himself and ultimately discovers a way to use his unique gifts and live a fulfilling life. The film won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Because of this, it’s one of the best movies for college students.

“The Theory of Everything” (2014)

Based on Stephen Hawking’s full story, Eddie Redmayne plays him in the film, which shows his time at Cambridge University, including his ALS diagnosis.

“The Program” (1993)

Halle Berry and Omar Epps stars in this film that follows college football players who are trying to cope with the pressures of playing at a top university.

“St. Elmo’s Fire” (1985)

The classic 1985 “Brat Pack” coming of age film about a group of recent Georgetown graduates as they struggle with adulthood. The star-studded cast includes Emilio Estevez, Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, and Andrew McCarthy.

“The Paper Chase” (1973)

A first-year Harvard law student tries to keep up with the demands of a tough professor… and then makes things worse by dating his daughter.

“21” (2008)

Based on the bestselling nonfiction book “Bringing Down The House,” it tells the story of a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology who card-count to earn money to pay for med school.

“Mona Lisa Smile” (2003)

“Mona Lisa Smile” follows Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) as she takes a teaching job at Wellesley College, a conservative all-women’s college in the 1950s.

Katherine challenges the status quo with her progressive ways and encourages her students to think for themselves and pursue their dreams.

Despite facing opposition from the administration and parents, Katherine continues to inspire her students and encourage them to pursue their own paths.

As the movie progresses, Katherine’s lessons become more meaningful and resonate with each of the young women she teaches.

In the end, it is clear that Katherine has had a profound impact on her students and changed their lives for the better.

In fewer words, an art history teacher who has a unique lesson plan to inspire her students.

“Glory Road” (2006)

Loosely based on the true story of the 1966 Texas Western Miners, a new basketball coach at Texas Western College leads the first all-Black starting lineup to the NCAA national championship.

“Stand and Deliver” (1988)

Based on a true story of high school math teacher Jaime Escalante, a very strong willed teacher encourages his disgruntled students to do well.

“Love & Basketball” (2000)

Two childhood friends, who fall in love as they grow older, have the same dream of playing professional basketball.

“Life of the Party” (2018)

Melissa McCarthy plays a middle-aged mother who goes back to school after she gets divorced, and ends up at the same school as her daughter.

“Revenge of the Nerds” (1984)

Geeky college students are thrown out of their dorm by fraternity bros after their frat house burns down.. and the geeky college students plot their revenge.

“Rudy” (1993)

High school students dream of playing football at University of Notre Dame but they don’t have the grades or the money to attend. Rudy overcomes the obstacles to attend and works his way to the football team.

“Whiplash” (2014)

Miles Teller plays a talented younger drummer studying at a competitive music conservatory… where a respected professor both mentally and physically abuses him.

“The Rules of Attraction” (2002)

Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, it focuses on the empty lives of privileged students of fictional Camden College.

“Kill Your Darlings” (2013)

Daniel Radcliffe plays Allen Ginsberg, a freshman at Columbia University. The biographical drama centers around young poets during their college years.

“Road Trip” (2000)

To help save their friend’s relationship, a group of college students go on a wild road trip from New York to Austin, TX.

“With Honors” (1994)

Joe Pesci plays a homeless man who steals a Harvard student’s thesis.

“Higher Learning” (1995)

A diverse group of freshman at Columbus University explore life while coping with racism, sexual assault, and other violence on campus. Stars include Omar Epps, Ice Cube, Jennifer Connelly, and Laurence Fishburne.

“Back To School” (1986)

A concerned father, played by Rodney Dangerfield, enrolls in college to help encourage his son to attend… but soon faces troubles of his own as he learns how to manipulate the system.

“Smart People” (2008)

Dennis Quaid plays a depressed Carnegie Mellon lit professor ho starts a relationship with a former student, played by Sarah Jessica Parker. But when his adopted brother shows up, he realizes he needs to make some life changes.

“Orange County (2002)

A smart high schooler, played by Colin Hanks get into Stanford University, but his acceptance is jeopardized when his guidance counselor sent the wrong transcript to them.

“The Freshman” (1990)

Matthew Broderick is an NYU film student who accepts a job with a local mobster. It’s one of the best movies for college students because it’s fun to watch.

“PCU” – 1994

A high school senior visits the fictional school of Port Chester University. While there, he gets a taste for the politically correct campus life while he stays at the most wild house on campus.

“The Sure Thing” (1985)

John Cusack plays a college freshman who roadtrips to California to meet a girl after he struck out with women at his own college. 

In Summary: 50 Best Movies For College Students

Movies about college students can be a great source of entertainment, and they often provide insight into the lives of young adults.

They capture the excitement, drama, comedy and romance that come with college life while also exploring important issues like racism, sexual assault and mental health.

For those who have already experienced college life or are currently in school, movies about college students can be a fun way to reminisce or see familiar scenarios and situations played out on the big screen.

For those who have yet to experience college life, these films can provide an entertaining glimpse into what student life may be like.

Whether it’s watching intense drama in “Whiplash” or laughing along with Rodney Dangerfield’s antics in “Back to School,” these films can provide an entertaining escape from reality.

No matter what stage of life you’re at, watching movies about college students can be a great way to relax and enjoy an evening.

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About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts ’13 and a Master of Arts ’14. She’s currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she’s not working, she’s likely planning her escape to a tropical island.