When you’re paying $25,000+ a year for your education, sometimes you need to laugh to keep from crying. Maybe that’s why college seems to be the place where so many of our funniest citizens get their start. It really got us wondering: What are the funniest campuses? We have lists for the most stressful colleges and the most accepting schools, but what about the places you can get a good laugh beyond your chemistry professor’s periodic table puns?
For all these reasons, we spent far more time and research than is probably appropriate to research this list of the funniest colleges in the country! And by that we mean the schools that seem to have a preternatural gift for churning out the funniest people by offering the funniest environments. Here are the results:
Top 10 funniest colleges
- New York University
- University of California, Los Angeles
- University of Southern California
- Northwestern University
- Columbia University
- Yale University
- Cornell University
- Harvard University
- Emerson College
- California Institute of the Arts (tied for 10th)
- Carnegie Mellon University (tied for 10th)
Other rather amusing schools
- Boston College
- Boston University
- The City College of New York
- Dartmouth College
- Georgetown University
- Juilliard School
- Queens College
- Stanford University
- Syracuse University
- Temple University
- The University of Arizona
- University of Chicago
- University of Michigan
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Wisconsin–Madison
- Washington University in St. Louis
The #1 school, New York University, wasn’t exactly the biggest surprise since they’re located in the epicenter of comedy. But they still won by a landslide (sorry, UCLA). They certainly earned it, having given us the likes of Billy Crystal, Andy Samberg, Aziz Ansari, Neil Simon, and two sets of funny twins: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and Dylan and Cole Sprouse.
You can learn about the other schools' famous alumni by viewing our official Funniest Colleges list. (If a school has a green "Connect me" button, you can click it to request information from the school quickly and easily!)
How did we come up with this list?
A lot of it’s based on the alma maters of the funniest people in and behind your favorite comedies, including comedians, the show runners for the top comedy TV shows and movies, and Emmy Award winners and nominees for writing and acting in comedy. But we also gave points for colleges with comedic extracurriculars on campus, like improv groups and humor publications. We even interpolated our list of schools for fun-loving students. Then we narrowed down 1,162 entries to the ones you see here.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the nation’s funniest colleges, bastions of everything from the sharpest political satire to admittedly less sharp (one would hope) poop jokes. They may not be able to teach you how to be funny, but they’re not a bad place to start. At the very least, you'll have a good chance of listening to a hilarious commencement speaker when you graduate.
Did you love this list? Find even more to explore based on famous alumni, college trivia, and other fun stuff in our Lists & Rankings section!