10 Hollywood Movie Sets on US University Campuses

College years are probably the best years of one’s life. The impact of higher education on pop culture is evident from the sheer number of college movies churned out by Hollywood each year. Some of them strike a chord with a generation of people and get passed on as legacy, while some fail miserably at making an impression. Some go on to become highest grosser while some prove to be box office bombs. So, if you were making a college movie, what would be the best setting for you to shoot it?

The answer is as obvious as it gets…an actual college US University campus! Some of these reel campuses portrayed are in fact shot on real campuses. From the lush green grass to the imposing buildings, from bustling cafeterias to the tranquil library halls; the feel of an actual campus is very difficult to recreate.  This article will take you behind the scenes to the campuses where the magic happened.

10. Rudy

The 1993 American sports movie was the only movie since “Knute Rockne, All American” to be filmed at Notre Dame‘s campus. The training Room in the Joyce Center also made an appearance.

Reel Campus: University of Notre Dame

Real Campus: University of Notre Dame; South Bend, Indiana

RUDY - Reel Campus: University of Notre Dame

RUDY – Reel Campus: University of Notre Dame

Real Campus: University of Notre Dame; South Bend, Indiana

Real Campus: University of Notre Dame; South Bend, Indiana

9. 21

The 2008 heist drama film starring Kevin Spacey takes place in Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The film is actually shot in Boston University as MIT didn’t allow filming on campus.

Reel Campus: MIT

Real Campus: Boston University

21 - Reel Campus: MIT

21 – Reel Campus: MIT

Real Campus: Boston University

Real Campus: Boston University

8. The Social Network

The 2008 drama film portraying the founding of social media giants Facebook was filmed in the Homewood campus of Johns Hopkins University. The movie was supposed to be filmed at Harvard but request were denied as on-campus filming has been banned ever since the physical damage caused to the campus while filming “Love Story” (1970).

Reel Campus: Harvard University

Real Campus: John Hopkins University

The Social Network - Reel Campus: Harvard University

The Social Network – Reel Campus: Harvard University

Real Campus: John Hopkins University

Real Campus: John Hopkins University

7. Old School

The 2003 American comedy film featuring Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn, and Will Ferrell was set in the fictional campus of Harrison University. The actual filming is done on numerous venues which include Harvard, University of California Los Angles and University of Southern California.

Reel Campus: Harrison University

Real Campus: Harvard University, UCLA, University of Southern California

oldschool -Reel Campus: Harrison University

oldschool -Reel Campus: Harrison University

Real Campus: Harvard University, UCLA, University of Southern California

Real Campus: Harvard University, UCLA, University of Southern California

6. Revenge of the Nerds

The 1984 comedy film depicting social life in college is set in Adams College. The exterior scenes were shot at University of Arizona. The other campus to make an appearance was Texas A&M University’s campus.

Reel Campus: Adams College

Real Campus: University of Arizona, Texas A&M University

Revenge of nerds - Reel Campus: Adams College

Revenge of nerds – Reel Campus: Adams College

Real Campus: University of Arizona, Texas A&M University

Real Campus: University of Arizona, Texas A&M University

5. Wonder Boys

Based on the 1995 novel “Wonderboys” by the  American writer Michael Chabon, this comedy film is set in Carnegie Mellon. It was shot in CMU and some parts were also filmed at Chatham College.

Reel Campus: Carnegie Mellon University

Real Campus: Carnegie Mellon University,  Chatham College

wonder boys - Reel Campus: Carnegie Mellon University

wonder boys – Reel Campus: Carnegie Mellon University

Real Campus: Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham College

Real Campus: Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham College

4. Breaking Away

The 1979 academy award winning Comedy-drama is set and shot in Indiana University campus.

Reel Campus: Indiana University

Real Campus: Indiana University

breakingaway - Reel Campus: Indiana University

breakingaway – Reel Campus: Indiana University

Real Campus: Indiana University

Real Campus: Indiana University

3. Back To School

The 1986 comedy film starring the veteran comedian Rodney Dangerfield, stresses on the point that money can’t buy education or happiness. University of Wisconsin-Madison served as the fictional Grand Lakes University.

Reel Campus: Grand Lakes University

Real Campus: University of Wisconsin

BacktoSchool - Reel Campus: Grand Lakes University

BacktoSchool – Reel Campus: Grand Lakes University

Real Campus: University of Wisconsin

Real Campus: University of Wisconsin

2. Good Will Hunting

The critically and financially successful 1997 drama film starring Matt Damon, Robin Williams and Ben Affleck depicts the struggle of a working class genius just like Lennon’s working class hero. The movie takes place at MIT, but was shot at a lot of venues including Harvard, MIT and University of Toronto.

Reel Campus: MIT

Real Campus: Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

GoodWill - Reel Campus: MIT

GoodWill – Reel Campus: MIT

Real Campus: Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Real Campus: Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1. Animal House

Regarded by some as the best college movie of all time, this 1978 comedy flick is set in the fictional college called Faber. The University of Oregon served as the backdrop of Faber College.

Reel Campus: Faber College

Real Campus: University of Oregon, Eugene

AnimalHouse - Reel Campus: Faber College

AnimalHouse – Reel Campus: Faber College

Real Campus: University of Oregon, Eugene

Real Campus: University of Oregon, Eugene

Higher education plays a very important role in shaping you up for your career ahead. It has the potential to be the two best years of your life, if you choose wisely.
So be careful with your university shortlisting process.

You can also read more about the best cities in US to pursue your post graduation. 

If you have any GRE related questions or queries, you can comment below or call us at: +91-98844-53276. We will make sure you get a call from our GRE experts to help you out with your specific problems. Happy learning with GREedge.

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2 Responses

  1. Cazare says:

    Super citire si aplicabil in orice moment.

  2. Frank Duck says:

    Hi
    Very good topic.
    Harvard, MIT, University of Toronto this three areas are world famous.

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