College Campuses Featured in Movies


Cinema has a very particular way of making us suspend disbelief, and we love it and even call it entertainment. Movies about college in particular may seem to test our suspension of disbelief because of all the crazy antics that happen in typical college films. In any case, several of these films about attending a university usually feature a particular campus. There are some universities that have been featured more often than others, for one reason or another.

University of Toronto

This college campus has been featured in a ton of movies. The setting for more popular movies like Time Traveler’s Wife, Mean Girls, Tommy Boy, Good Will Hunting, and The Bride of Chucky, the University of Toronto tends to end up featured in the movie theater quite a bit. There are also several films that are not as popular, such as Shadowland, Take the Lead, The Prince and Me, and Paper Chase, which had scenes take place at this popular university.

University of British Columbia

It seems that Canada’s colleges are used as movie sets a lot, because the University of British Columbia was the site for such movies as Good Luck Chuck, She’s the Man, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Butterfly Effect, Perfect Score, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Several television shows were also filmed there, including the Smallville series and Battlestar Galactica.

Harvard University

Something you may not know about Harvard is that it is the oldest educational institution in the United States, founded in 1636. This historic site lent itself to movie sets for films like Love Story and The Great Debaters, but that was the last movie filmed on Harvard’s actual campus because the university prohibited filming on its grounds. Movies wanting to portray Harvard were only allowed to shoot in look-alike locations instead of on campus. Legally Blonde and Across the Universe were just a few of the films not allowed to record their scenes on campus.

University of Southern California

Everyone knows that the University of Southern California, better known as USC, always ends up portrayed in films. However, the college does not always “play” itself; some movies portray the college as Oxford or the aforementioned Harvard. Being John Malkovich, Forrest Gump, Young Frankenstein, and What Women Want were all filmed on the USC campus.

University of California, Los Angeles

Of course the University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA, would be the subject of many films. In fact, this university is at the top of the list when it comes to being featured in the most films. Since it is situated so close to Hollywood, using UCLA for a college film makes sense. Films like Erin Brockovich, American Pie, Old School, The Nutty Professor, and How High all feature UCLA as its campus. Several television shows also use UCLA for their set, like Alias, The O.C., and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


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