40 College Movies That’ll Make You Want to Revisit Your Alma Mater

Ah, college. It was a time when we lived on ramen noodles, crammed last-minute for final exams and partied the night away with our BFFs. Unfortunately we can’t go back to those days, but we can still satisfy our nostalgia by enjoying a variety of college movies that capture the experience. From coming-of-age classics like The Graduate to romantic comedies like Neighbors, these films will take you right back to your younger days as a student. Below, see 40 titles that’ll make you want to revisit your alma mater.

The 57 Best Teen Movies of All Time

1. ‘school Daze’ (1988)

  • Who’s in it? Larry Fishburne, Giancarlo Esposito, Tisha Campbell
  • Run time: 121 minutes

Inspired by Spike Lee's real-life experiences as a Morehouse student during the 1970s, School Daze offers a refreshingly honest look into Black college life. Starring familiar actors like A Different World’s Jasmine Guy and Kadeem Hardison, the musical comedy tackles issues like hazing, classism, texturism and colorism within the Black community. Consider this one required viewing.

2. ‘pitch Perfect’(2012)

  • Who’s in it? Anna Kendrick, Skylar Astin, Rebel Wilson, Adam DeVine
  • Run time: 112 minutes

Who can resist incredibly talented acapella groups going head to head as they cover catchy pop tunes? Follow Beca Mitchell (Anna Kendrick) and the rest of the Barden Bellas as they use their killer vocals to make their way to the national championship.

3. ‘drumline’ (2002)

  • Who’s in it? Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, Orlando Jones, Leonard Roberts
  • Run time: 120 minutes

Nick Cannon is simply delightful as Devon Miles, a gifted street drummer from Harlem who struggles to adapt to his new environment at the fictional A&T University. After joining the school’s marching band, he quickly learns that it takes more than talent and overconfidence to lead the team to victory.

4. ‘legally Blonde’(2001)

  • Who’s in it? Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair, Matthew Davis
  • Run time: 96 minutes

Reese Witherspoon stars as Elle Woods, better known as the ultimate IT girl in this iconic comedy. Follow Elle on her exciting journey as a Harvard law student who completely shatters stereotypes against blondes. Oh, and did we mention that part three is coming soon?

5. ‘damsels In Distress’ (2011)

  • Who’s in it? Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Analeigh Tipton
  • Run time: 99 minutes

A tight-knit group of fabulous young ladies are on a mission to help fellow students with their depression through Seven Oaks College’s suicide prevention program. But when they all get involved romantically with different men, it puts a strain on their friendship.

6. ‘animal House’(1978)

  • Who’s in it? John Belushi, Peter Riegert, Tim Matheson, John Vernon
  • Run time: 109 minutes

If you think films like Old School and Neighbors are wild, then just wait until you see Animal House—the iconic college movie that pretty much paved the way for those titles. When two freshmen, Larry (Thomas Hulce) and Kent (Stephen Furst), fail to get into a prestigious fraternity, they settle for the rowdiest frat house on campus: Delta Tau Chi. Little do they know, however, that the school’s dean has concocted a plan to take the group down.

7. ‘higher Learning’ (1995)

  • Who’s in it? Jennifer Connelly, Ice Cube, Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport, Regina King
  • Run time: 127 minutes

This powerful ‘90s film focuses on three freshmen as they struggle to navigate adulthood and their newfound independence at the fictional Columbus University. You’ll notice quite a few familiar faces, from Tyra Banks to Busta Rhymes.

8. ‘old School’ (2003)

  • Who’s in it? Luke Wilson, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn
  • Run time: 90 minutes

Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell star as a trio of middle-aged men who create a brand-new fraternity at a nearby college campus. Before they know it, their home turns into the ultimate party spot for local students, much to the dismay of the school’s dean.

9. ‘the Graduate’(1967)

  • Who’s in it? Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross
  • Run time: 106 minutes

Recent college grad Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) begins an affair with a seductive older woman, but he’s faced with quite the dilemma when he falls for her daughter, Elaine (Katharine Ross). *Cue “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel*

10. ‘good Will Hunting’ (1997)

  • Who’s in it? Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Minnie Driver
  • Run time: 128 minutes

Although Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a high IQ, he's content with working blue-collar jobs. But things go south for Hunting when he gets arrested for fighting an officer. It isn't until he meets the delightful Dr. Sean Maguire (Robin Williams), a psychology professor, when things start to look up for the young genius.

11. ‘the Paper Chase’ (1973)

  • Who’s in it? Timothy Bottoms, John Houseman, Lindsay Wagner
  • Run time: 111 minutes

Join first-year Harvard Law student James Hart (Timothy Bottoms) as he tries to navigate college life and survive one of the school's toughest instructors: Professor Charles Kingsfield Jr. (John Houseman). The comedy-drama wound up earning Houseman an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

12. ‘the Great Debaters’ (2007)

  • Who’s in it? Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, Kimberly Elise
  • Run time: 126 minutes

This film tells the inspiring true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a passionate debate coach who famously created an award-winning debate team that pioneered interracial college debates during the 1930s. Denzel Washington shines as the legendary coach, and other cast members include Forest Whitaker, Nate Parker and Jurnee Smollett.

13. ‘everybody Wants Some!!’ (2016)

  • Who’s in it? Blake Jenner, Zoey Deutch, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin
  • Run time: 116 minutes

Ah, the thrill of newfound freedom and independence. There's nothing quite as exciting (or challenging) as getting to explore unsupervised adulthood. Set in Texas in 1980, a group of college baseball players seek to make the most of their college experience, from punk concerts to drunken parties.

14. ‘mistress America’ (2015)

  • Who’s in it? Noah Baumbach, Scott Rudin, Lila Yacoub
  • Run time: 84 minutes

Adjusting to college life as a freshman is no easy task, and Tracy Fishko (Lola Kirke) knows this all too well. Feeling lonely and out of place, Tracy decides to spend some quality time with her soon-to-be step-sister, Brooke (Greta Gerwig), whose adventurous lifestyle does quite a number on Tracy.

15. ‘like Crazy’ (2011)

  • Who’s in it? Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence
  • Run time: 90 minutes

British exchange student Anna (Felicity Jones) and her American peer Jacob (Anton Yelchin) fall deeply in love after they meet in college. But there's just one problem: Anna overstays her student visa, causing her to be denied re-entry to the United States after she leaves. Can their relationship survive the long distance?

16. ‘liberal Arts’ (2012)

  • Who’s in it? Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Zac Efron
  • Run time: 97 minutes

When Jesse Fisher (Josh Radnor), a college admissions officer in his 30s, is invited to visit his alma mater for an old professor’s retirement party, he falls in love with a 19-year-old college student named Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen).

17. ‘neighbors’ (2014)

  • Who’s in it? Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne, Dave Franco
  • Run time: 97 minutes

As Mac Radner (Seth Rogen) and his wife try to adjust to their new life as parents, a rowdy fraternity that’s known for their loud parties moves in next door. When they refuse to keep the noise down, Mac resorts to calling the cops—but this doesn’t solve the problem. Instead, a full-blown war ensues.

18. ‘mona Lisa Smile’ (2003)

  • Who’s in it? Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles
  • Run time: 119 minutes

Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) is no ordinary history professor. When she signs on to teach at the all-female Wellesley College in Massachusetts, she encourages her students to be independent and challenge the status quo. Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal also star.

19. ‘stomp The Yard’ (2007)

  • Who’s in it? Columbus Short, Meagan Good, Ne-Yo, Darrin Henson
  • Run time: 109 minutes

DJ Williams (Columbus Short), a new student and talented dancer, pledges to a Greek fraternity at the historically-Black Truth University. But things get intense when his team has to face off against a rival fraternity from the same school. We may or may not have tried to mimic the synchronized footwork during every single step routine (FYI, it didn’t go as planned).

20. ‘revenge Of The Nerds Ii: Nerds In Paradise’(1987)

  • Who’s in it? Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Curtis Armstrong, Larry B. Scott
  • Run time: 89 minutes

The first installment saw BFFs Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowe plot their revenge against fraternity jocks at Adams College. But in this wild sequel, the nerds of Tri-Lamba travel to Fort Lauderdale to attend a national fraternity convention. Naturally, chaos ensues when their rivals at Alpha Beta also attend.

21. ‘the Program’ (1993)

  • Who’s in it? James Caan, Halle Berry, Omar Epps, Craig Sheffer
  • Run time: 114 minutes

Pre-Monster's Ball Halle Berry stars in this poignant drama, which follows the lives of several college athletes at the fictional Eastern State University. The film depicts how each player handles the pressures of college life and football, touching on issues like parental neglect, alcoholism and steroid abuse.

22. ‘accepted’ (2006)

  • Who’s in it? Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively
  • Run time: 92 minutes

After getting rejection letters from every single college he applied to, Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) invents a fake college, the South Harmon Institute of Technology. Bartleby and his fellow rejects go to great lengths to make this “college” look legitimate, but keeping up the ruse proves to be more difficult than they initially thought. Get ready to laugh your socks off.

23. ‘rudy’ (1993)

  • Who’s in it? Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, Jason Miller, Robert Prosky
  • Run time: 116 minutes

Set during the 1960s, Rudy chronicles the inspiring real-life story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, a motivational speaker who had big dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame, despite his lack of skills and good grades. After he loses his best friend in a horrible accident, Rudy (Sean Astin) sets out to pursue his dream, even if it means facing multiple rejections along the way.

24. ‘life Of The Party’ (2018)

  • Who’s in it? Melissa McCarthy, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Julie Bowen
  • Run time: 105 minutes

It’s never too late to return to college and finish your degree, and if you need proof, just look at Deanna (Melissa McCarthy), better known as "Dee Rock." In Life of the Party, the determined mom decides to enroll into her daughter’s college after her ex-husband, Dan (Matt Walsh), announces that he’s leaving her for someone else. Wild frat parties and dance-offs ensue.

25. ‘real Genius’ (1985)

  • Who’s in it? Val Kilmer, Gabe Jarret, Michelle Meyrink
  • Run time: 106 minutes

What do you get when you add a secret CIA mission, deceitful college professor and a teenage genius? A whole lot of chaos. Val Kilmer, Gabriel Jarret, William Atherton and Michelle Meyrink star in this wild sci-fi comedy.

26. ‘the Social Network’(2010)

  • Who’s in it? Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake, Armie Hammer
  • Run time: 120 minutes

The biographical drama tells the story of social media’s biggest empire, Facebook, and how it led to multiple lawsuits. All the drama goes down at Harvard University, where founder Mark Zuckerberg went to college and came up with the idea.

27. ‘dear White People’ (2014)

  • Who’s in it? Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson, Kyle Gallner, Teyonah Parris
  • Run time: 108 minutes

In this thought-provoking satire, which inspired the Netflix series of the same name, tensions reach an all-time high at a predominantly white college when one outspoken Black student's radio show prompts a white student to throw a blackface party. It tackles timely themes like racism, privilege and navigating white spaces as a Black student.

28. ‘smart People’ (2008)

  • Who’s in it? Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, Elliot Page
  • Run time: 95 minutes

Just as Lawrence, a widowed college professor, begins a new romance with his former student, his adoptive brother reenters his life, with nowhere else to go. To make matters more complicated, he doesn’t have the closest relationship with his two kids. Can he step up and make the necessary changes to get his life back on track?

29.‘the Spectacular Now’ (2013)

  • Who’s in it? Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
  • Run time: 95 minutes

After finding a popular senior from her school passed out on her lawn, Aimee, an introverted student, bonds with him and strikes up an unlikely romance. But will it last once they head off to college?

30. ‘american Pie’ (1999)

  • Who’s in it? Jason Biggs, Chris Klein, Alyson Hannigan, Natasha Lyonne, Thomas Ian Nicholas
  • Run time: 95 minutes

A group of high school seniors make a pact to lose their virginity before they graduate and head off to college, but this proves to be a lot more challenging than they anticipated. While technically a teen movie, it tackles coming-of-age themes that any college student can relate to.

31. ‘road Trip’(2000)

  • Who’s in it? Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, Paulo Costanzo
  • Run time: 94 minutes

A college student finds himself in a tough spot when his friends accidentally send his girlfriend taped evidence of him cheating on her. In a race against time, these college friends embark on a road trip to intercept it.

32. ‘college Road Trip’ (2008)

  • Who’s in it? Martin Lawrence, Kym Whitley, Raven-Symoné, Brenda Song, Margo Harshman, Donny Osmond
  • Run time: 82 minutes

Raven-Symoné is Melanie Porter, a teen who embarks on a road trip with her family to visit different universities. However, her overbearing father makes it clear that he isn’t quite ready for his daughter to leave home, making their trip quite the challenge.

33. ‘21’ (2008)

  • Who’s in it? Kevin Spacey, Laurence Fishburne, Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth
  • Run time: 123 minutes

Desperate for cash to pay off his tuition, MIT student Ben Campbell decides to join a group of skilled students who use their smarts to beat casinos at blackjack in Las Vegas. The film was inspired by the real-life MIT Blackjack Team, which Ben Mezrich wrote about in his book, Bringing Down the House.

34. ‘orange County’ (2002)

  • Who’s in it? Colin Hanks, Jack Black, Catherine O'Hara, Schuyler Fisk
  • Run time: 82 minutes

A high school student is thrilled to hear that he got into his dream school, Stanford University. That is, until he discovers that his guidance counselor accidentally submitted the wrong transcript with his application. As a result, he goes out of his way to improve his chances of getting accepted, with a bit of his help from his stoner brother.

35. ‘100 Girls’ (2000)

  • Who’s in it? Jonathan Tucker, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James DeBello, Katherine Heigl
  • Run time: 94 minutes

After going to a party, college student Matthew gets trapped in an elevator with a girl during a blackout. The two hook up in the dark, but when he wakes up the next morning, she's already gone. Will he ever find out the identity of this mystery girl?

36. ‘spring Breakers’ (2012)

  • Who’s in it? James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson
  • Run time: 94 minutes

Four college gals head to Florida for the ultimate spring break. But when they cross paths with a drug dealer, he takes them under his wing and pulls them into the world of drugs and crime.

37. ‘the Rules Of Attraction’(2002)

  • Who’s in it? James Van Der Beek, Shannyn Sossamon, Ian Somerhalder, Jessica Biel, Kate Bosworth
  • Run time: 110 minutes

Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, this comedy drama revolves around three self-destructive students at Camden College, who get caught up in a complicated love triangle. It may not have received the best response from critics, but it wound up becoming a box-office success and gained a cult following.

38. ‘kill Your Darlings’(2013)

  • Who’s in it? Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall
  • Run time: 104 minutes

Inspired by true events, this biographical drama follows the first members of the Beat Generation—a literary movement that started during the ’40s—during their college years. It also depicts the Riverside Park killing, which involved Lucien Carr and David Kammerer.

39. ‘rudy’ (1993)

  • Who’s in it? Sean Astin, Ned Beatty, Jason Miller, Robert Prosky
  • Run time: 116 minutes

Arguably one of the best sports films of all time, this ’90s classic follows the life story of Daniel "Rudy" Ruettiger, a high schooler whose biggest dream is to play football at the University of Notre Dame. Though he doesn’t have the means to attend, he works twice as hard to make this goal a reality.

40. ‘starter For 10’ (2006)

  • Who’s in it? James McAvoy, Alice Eve, Rebecca Hall, Charles Dance
  • Run time: 92 minutes

In this charming coming-of-age tale, McAvoy stars as a college freshman who tries to land a spot on a quiz team for a TV show called University Challenge. Thanks to a solid cast and British humor, there’s never a dull moment.

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...