menu
Articles

10 universities you've seen in the movies

Uniplaces Team

This post is also available in: Spanish Italian German French

For some lucky students out there, every day they go to class makes them feel like they’re an extra in Hollywood’s next blockbuster. Everywhere they look, they know they’ve seen the buildings in their universities in movies before.

If you’re like me, and you’re not one of those lucky students, you’ll actually know many of these buildings. Why? Precisely because they HAVE been in so many films – you could recognise them from a mile away. However, others will frankly come as a surprise to many – University of Toronto, anyone?

See how many of these university campuses you spotted when watching the film:

University College of London, UK

UCL’s portico and main library have been the backdrop for some of the silver screen’s biggest hits, including the most recent Batman trilogy and Inception. The university’s National Institute for Medical Research is even the set for Scarecrow’s first appearance in Batman Begins, when Rachel visits him at Arkham Asylum.

University College of Los Angeles, USA

Now here’s one you’ll see very often. Many of Hollywood’s comedy films set around university life are filmed at UCLA. From Eddie Murphy as the Nutty Professor, to “the biggest man on campus, the boss with the sauce” Van Wilder, to Erin Brockovich, UCLA has seen it all.

University of Southern California, USA

10 universities in movies: University of South California

University of Southern California – “The Graduate” (1967), “Ghostbusters” (1984), “Blue Chips” (1994), “Forrest Gump” (1994), “Road Trip” (2000), “Legally Blonde” (2001), “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” (2004)

If ever you were to see Bill Murray and co. telling Forrest Gump to run away from the ghosts on a road trip to White Castle, you’d know you’re at USC. This campus has been home to several of Hollywood’s classics along the years. The very bench Tom Hanks sat on as Forrest Gump is still there and is marked with a golden plaque on it.

Columbia University, USA

Are you Queen B fighting Serena or are you Peter Parker? Most university scenes shot in New York are filmed at Columbia. Even 007’s Casino Royale was partly shot outside the university’s buildings. Next time you go to class, rock up in a tuxedo for maximum bondiness.

Cambridge University, UK

10 universities in movies: Cambridge University

Cambridge University – “The Theory of Everything” (2014), “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (2011), “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” (2010)

Films featuring scenes set anywhere near Cambridge usually involve a genius or two. The latest blockbuster to be shot on the university premises was none other than The Theory of Everything, which follows the story of one of our greatest ever geniuses (or genii :p) – Stephen Hawking.

Oxford University, UK

10 universities in movies: Oxford University

Oxford University – “Harry Potters”, “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997), “An Education” (2009), “The History Boys” (2008), “The Oxford Murders” (2007), “The Golden Compass (2007)”, “X-Men: First Class” (2011)

Of course, you can’t mention Cambridge University without mentioning Oxford University. Oxford Uni’s buildings are quite something, and definitely out of our ordinary world: and that’s exactly what they’re used for! Harry Potter never quite understood why the X-Men were hanging around the Chamber of Secrets, but that’s because he wasn’t aware it was all just for Hollywood.

University of Toronto, CA

10 universities in movies: University of Toronto

University of Toronto – “Mean Girls” (2001), “The Incredible Hulk” (2008), “Total Recall” (2012), “Robocop” (2014), “Cocktail” (1988), “Good Will Hunting” (1997), “Chicago” (2002)

To many of you, like myself, the sheer amount of films shot in Toronto’s university came as a total surprise. Truth is, it’s much cheaper to shoot a film in Canada, so film directors (and the studios behind them) often head up to Toronto for their university scenes – which I must say are just as awesome as the others on this list.

Johns Hopkins University, USA

Most of you know Mark Zuckerberg’s story, especially if you’ve watched The Social Network. Originally, Mark studied at Harvard University, but Harvard hasn’t let anyone film on-campus since 1970, so the producers moved the set to the Johns Hopkins University.

Princeton University, USA

10 universities in movies: Princeton University

Princeton University – “House M.D.” , “A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009)

House M.D.. Need I say more? Most of the outdoor scenes right outside the series’ Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital were filmed on-location at Princeton University’s Frist Campus Centre.

Old Royal Navy College, UK

Where else would a famed pirate from the Caribbean be tried under the British Empire for their daring escapades? The Old Royal Navy College of course. Now part of the University of Greenwich, the Royal Navy College has been used for films such as Thor and Sherlock Holmes, amongst many others.

None of the photos belong to Uniplaces, and all photos are credited to the studios that published each respective movie.


Thanks for reading this post! We hope to see you soon, coming back for more.
Did you know any of these awesome universities in movies??
Just drop a line in the comment section if you did.
And remember: if you need student accommodation, you’ll find the student home you’re looking for on Uniplaces. We are currently in 39 cities across Europe and we’ll be in many more!

This post is also available in: Spanish Italian German French

Thanks for reading this post

Reset Filters