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Colleges and Universities With the Best On- and Off-Campus Entertainment

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Warm Welcomes

  • Augustana College (Rock Island, IL):
    Campus highlight: The Office of Student Life and Leadership (OSL) hosts events and experiences that complement classroom learning and engage students in campus life, including bingo, concerts, hypnotists, comedians, Ted Talks, and leadership retreats to places like Disneyland and Washington, DC. The OSL also connects students to a variety of cultures and experiences through the arts, entertainment, educational programming, and more than 150 student groups.
    What students say: "[They host an] Annual Opera, multiple movie nights, and welcome week concerts."
  • California State University, Sacramento (Sacramento, CA):
    Campus highlight: The A-Team is comprised of event planners, graphic designers, and communications and outreach staff working together to coordinate and promote activities and programs that enhance campus life. Some of the annual events that take place each year include the Block Party, Election Kick-Off, Thanksgiving Food Basket Drive, and Farmworkers Awareness Week.
    What students say: "They have return-to-campus and welcoming students events!"
  • California State University, San Bernardino (San Bernardino, CA):
    Campus highlight: The Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (OSLE) supports an inclusive environment by offering a one-stop shop for social and extracurricular opportunities that foster student involvement on campus. OSLE advises over 150 student clubs and organizations, provides information on the 16 active Greek Life chapters, and houses the National Student Exchange program.
    What students say: "The events I enjoy at my school are comedy shows, campus activities for certain clubs, welcoming events, and parties—but overall, I like the events that make you feel welcomed on campus."
  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—New Brunswick (New Brunswick, NJ):
    Campus highlight: Students can explore the many ways to thrive at Rutgers with clubs to join (or even run), communities to serve, performances to enjoy, and lots more. From bass fishing and belly dancing to bioengineering and business analytics, there are more than 750 student-run clubs to choose from. On top of that is access to museums, art galleries, film festivals, and cultural events.
    What students say: "There are always tons of events going on. The week before school starts there's a huge festival for all the students to get to know each other, and there's homecoming week with tons of things you can do to support our teams."
  • University of Colorado Boulder (Boulder, CO):
    Campus highlight: Each semester, the Division of Student Affairs offers hundreds of events, workshops, and opportunities to get involved, meet fellow Buffs, and have some fun! Events range from DIY craft nights and fitness classes to career fairs and watch parties. And with 450+ student organizations to join for everything from environmental protection to social justice to artistic expression, there’s something for everyone at CU Boulder.
    What students say: “[They have] more than 500 student organizations and [host] Welcomefest.“
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell (Lowell, MA):
    Campus highlight: The Office of Student Activities & Leadership creates cultural, social, and leadership opportunities that enhance the overall learning and development of students. With over 250 active student organizations, all students can meet new people, have fun, develop their leadership skills, and make a difference. Students also have access to Engage, an online student hub to learn about all events and organizations on campus, that allows you to track your involvement.
    What students say: “[They have] cultural festivals, opening week campus activities, K-Pop club, and S’mores making on the quad.”

Let's Party

  • University of California, Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA):
    Campus highlight: Get your culture on every day of the week with endless arts programming, courtesy of venues like the MultiCultural Center, Pollock Theater, and the Art, Design & Architecture Museum. With hundreds of student organizations, a culture of giving back, and a drive to pay it forward, UCSB isn’t just somewhere to study—it’s a place to thrive.
    What students say: "They are known as a party school with happy students. They also have a number of fraternities and sororities."
  • University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL):
    Campus highlight: The UCF campus buzzes with events and activities, including concerts, art shows, sporting events, 650+ student clubs, volunteer opportunities, and outdoor adventure. And living in America’s most popular tourist destination has its perks, but there’s a lot more to Orlando than theme parks and thrill rides. From a dynamic downtown to eclectic neighborhoods and wide-open nature reserves, Orlando offers many reasons to explore.
    What students say: “[They’ve had a] Ross Lynch music party, football games, and the [annual] Splashdown Pool Party.”
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington (Wilmington, NC):
    Campus highlight: Campus Activities & Programs (CAP) coordinates and promotes opportunities to cultivate connection and social engagement for UNCW Seahawks. Our mission is to engage students in innovative and diverse social opportunities through programmatic areas covering arts and culture, concerts and films, contemporary issues, lat-night alternatives, and school spirit.
    What students say: "[They have] campus parties, lots of adventure programs, and beach events."
  • Wichita State University (Wichita, KS):
    Campus highlight: On and off campus, Shockers have access to all the arts, entertainment, and traditional college fun they could want. We're talking more than 350 annual on-campus events, action-packed athletics, interaction with people from all around the globe, and a city teeming with galleries, stages, shopping, and great eateries.
    What students say: "It has a bowling alley among other cool things, including a dive bar that is super well known!

Chuckles and Crowds

  • Bluefield University (Bluefield, VA):
    Campus highlight: Student Activities encourages new students to join the Student Activities Leadership Team (SALT), a student-centered organization offering new, exciting activities for the Rams. This energetic group plans and implements free or reduced-cost events for everyone. Joining the planning committee means you’ll get the inside scoop on what’s happening on campus; actively participate in events such as Homecoming, Winter Solace, and Mud Pig Day; connect with local businesses and other departments; and develop your event planning skills.
    What students say: "Karaoke night, Super Bowl watch parties, and Honors celebrations are very enjoyable events at Bluefield University."
  • Boston University (Boston, MA):
    Campus highlight: At BU, the social, athletic, artistic, and other clubs amount to over 500, from literary and classic rock clubs to intramural and club teams for almost every sport imaginable. The University also hosts several hundred events each year, from comedy to opera to debates and lectures, including the School of Medicine which hosts hundreds of specialty opportunities for its active community of medical students and professionals.
    What students say: “I love that events and concerts [in the city] are cheaper for students.”
  • Drake University (Des Moines, IA):
    Campus highlight: Whether you’re into kicking soccer balls or political ideas, Student Inclusion, Involvement & Leadership can help you find the campus club that suits you among more than 160 student organizations. Outside of extracurriculars, you can catch a comedy or jazz show, ponder over modern art at the Anderson Gallery, get inspired by a guest lecture, attend a photography exhibit, and much more.
    What students say: “They have Drake days that have a ton of things to do including concerts, {other] performances, and games.”
  • Georgetown University (Washington, DC):
    Campus highlight: Sing, dance, create, volunteer, compete, debate, or worship in any of the 350+ clubs and organizations on campus. Build a new skill, lead a team, or help others as you find your friends and your sense of self at Georgetown. And off campus, you’ll have access to some of the most vibrant cultural and athletic events in the world, all just a few Metro stops away. Experience the Smithsonian Museum, take a trip to the Library of Congress, or cheer on Hoya basketball at Capitol One Arena.
    What students say: “[They host] comedy performers, world leaders, stand-up contests, and musicals.”
  • Southern Connecticut State University (New Haven, CT):
    Campus highlight: The Adanti Student Center is a hub for organizations, activities, and a wide range of services for students, faculty, and staff—including the Student Life, Fitness, Multicultural, and Sexuality and Gender Equality Centers. Besides comfy lounges and meeting rooms, you'll find a bookstore, food court with outdoor seating, movie theater, TV lounge, Dunkin' Donuts, game room, computer lab, ballroom, and fireplace lounge as well as the SCSU TV station, WSIN radio station, Southern News student newspaper, and Folio Literary Magazine.
    What students say: "[The University hosts] The Real Talk podcast, the annual play and musical, and the end of the year on-campus concert."
  • Southwestern University (Georgetown, TX):
    Campus highlight: The Office of Student Activities facilitates learning experiences through leadership opportunities, student organizations, social activities, and other services that promote personal growth and success. Student Activities and the University Programming Council plan many events year-round for students to enjoy such as Welcome Week, Cinematic Saturday, Break Programs, and much more.
    What students say: “[They have] Friday Night Live, magic shows, and theatre [performances]."
  • University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA):
    Campus highlight: Daily activities, performances, and events are open to the campus community and the general public at Berkley. Whether you’re checking out the Berkley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, strolling through the on-campus Botanical Garden, sitting in on a poetry lunch hour, or catching performances from world-renowned musicians, dancers, playwrights, and more—there’s something for everyone here.
    What students say: "Berkeley is home to an amphitheater that attracts many big names, but on the campus itself, you’ll probably find someone playing music—whether they’re a student, a community member, or a musical legend."
  • University of California, San Diego (La Jolla, CA):
    Campus highlight: With more than 500 student organizations, community service opportunities, and more on campus, there is no shortage of opportunities to express yourself, grow into a leader, and make meaningful connections. From music and dance to theatre and film, there’s always a creative buzz on campus that allows students to create and exchange ideas with emerging and well-known art makers.
    What students say: “{There are] many productions including concerts and plays, a variety of sports options with resources, and a craft area for robotics, yarn crafts, painting, and similar activities.”

    “There are many activities on campus, but the concerts at the University certainly uphold it to a high standard (e.g. SunGod Festival).”
  • University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA):
    Campus highlight: UNI and Cedar Valley are jam-packed with the culture, art, and entertainment you’d expect in a big city but in a small town. Catch a Broadway show at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center (GBPAC), attend a lecture by a nationally recognized speaker, or conquer the indoor rock-climbing wall at the Wellness Recreation Center. The surrounding community offers live music, comedy clubs, waterparks, restaurants, shopping, cafés, parks, 80+ miles of bike trails, and more.
    What students say: "They bring big-name people to the GBPAC!"
  • University of South Florida (Tampa, FL):
    Campus highlight: The Marshall Student Center is a hub for student life where you'll find Student Government, various Student Affairs departments, a gaming lounge, study and meeting spaces, food, retail shop, and more. The Campus Activities Board hosts free fun events, like Patio Tuesday, Movies on the Lawn, and BullStock and the University Lecture Series brings guest lecturers to campus frequently.
    What students say: "Joe Gatto from Impractical Jokers came and did comedy [on campus]."

Extracurriculars, Extrafun

  • Appalachian State University (Boone, NC):
    Campus highlight: Appalachian Popular Programming Society (APPS) aspires to establish transformational experiences and a deep sense of belonging to all students. Common events include club shows with up-and-coming local bands creating bands and comedians; Appalachian Heritage dances, music, crafts, and more; main stage concerts, acts, and DJs; cultural heritage weeks; specialist performers like magicians and hypnotists; and homecoming and Founder’s Day events.
    What students say: "They have a room set to natural temperatures moderated by trees to study in and watch movies. They also offer many outdoor activities."
  • Bellarmine University (Louisville, KY):
    Campus highlight: The Division of Student Affairs promotes student success academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually by aiming to foster student engagement and development; advance equity and belonging; and cultivate holistic well-being. Each year, students collectively participate in 90+ student organizations, 3,000 campus events, and 20,000 volunteer hours.
    What students say: "Campus activities hold events at least once a day so students don't get homesick or overwhelmed by school work. [They also] hold Mass at the on-campus chapel for Catholic and non-Catholic students alike as well as retreats at least once per semester."
  • Chadron State College (Chadron, NE):
    Campus highlight: The Campus Activities Board provides programs for students coordinated by students. CAB promotes student involvement by planning cultural, educational, and social activities through 50+ student organizations as well as events like hypnotists, magicians, comedians, dances, movies, and novelty acts. To avoid missing out on any of the fun, students can download the CSC Eagle Rewards App to earn points by checking in at events and activities for a chance to win prizes!
    What students say: "They have a planetarium and geology museum. The College also has speakers from around the United States come to speak about different topics."
  • Northeastern University (Boston, MA):
    Campus highlight: The Center for Student Involvement strives to be a leader in providing a maximized co-curricular student experience across the Northeastern global network. The Center is home to 500+ recognized student organizations, and every semester, they host hundreds of incredible events, including concerts, leadership workshops, guest lectures, cultural celebrations, political and social demonstrations, and more! And all this is done by the students, for the students.
    What students say: "[There's] lots to do; [they] have more than 400 student organizations and celebrations for events such as Lunar eclipses."
  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock (Little Rock, AR):
    Campus highlight: Life beyond the classroom means joining your friends at campus events, volunteering to help others, and ending your day with a swim at the gym. There’s a never-ending list of things to do and people to see. Students enjoy lectures by some of the world's greats, like the Dalai Lama and Jane Goodall; the most popular headliners in music, like the Foo Fighters and Kid Cudi; as well as comedy shows, late-night programs, outdoor feature films, art openings, and live theater.
    What students say: "The events I find particularly fascinating on campus are laser tag, bubble scooter, and game shows."
  • University of Houston (Houston, TX):
    Campus highlight: The University of Houston provides countless opportunities to meet new people, listen to distinguished lecturers, nourish your talents, experience public art from renowned artists, and become involved with the community and various student organizations while living in one of the most exciting cities in the nation.
    What students say: "They have an arcade and bowling alley in the food hall."
  • University of Mississippi (University, MS):
    Campus highlight: The Ole Miss Student Union enhances social, cultural, and educational opportunities for students and the community through innovative and entertaining activities, programs, and events. Pageants, musical entertainment, special events, and the movie series are among the more than 125 events sponsored every year.
    What students say: "I love MPower, The Tent Croft Leadership Institute, Rebfest, Rebel Run, and more."
  • University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH):
    Campus highlight: With more than 250 student-led clubs and organizations, big homecoming festivities, the U-Day picnic, and volunteer opportunities galore, students have many opportunities to het involved with campus life and explore their passions.
    What students say: "[There are lots of] camps activities, food trucks, and just always something fun going on."
  • University of Oregon (Eugene, OR):
    Campus highlight: A lot is going on around campus: Should you play soccer on an intramural team or go to the Student Recreation Center to work out? Should you check out the Ducks After Dark double feature or a speaker in the EMU Ballroom? Should you grab a coffee on campus with a friend or watch the football game? From student government and community service to crafting and radio broadcasts, the Student Union is the place to discover what’s happening and how to get involved.
    What students say: “They have a lot of clubs and different sports you can join. They also have a huge gym and recreation center that provides a lot of different activities to do.”

For the Culture

  • Arkansas State University (Jonesboro, AR):
    Campus highlight: The Carl R. Reng Student Union is a hub of campus activity where students, faculty, alumni, and community visitors all come to experience many activities and services. The Student Union provides a dynamic environment with state-of-the-art conference and meeting rooms, event spaces, a variety of dining options, and diverse student organizations.
    What students say: "I'm a big fan of the interactive museum activities near campus and have taken my younger siblings a few times."
  • Indiana University Bloomington (Bloomington, IN):
    Campus highlight: Indiana University and Bloomington are, in many respects, inseparable. Events start on campus and spill into the city. Festivals fill the city and get magnified on campus. Broadway shows, garage bands, fine dining, street food, gallery strolls, nature hikes, and more than 750 student organizations—whatever you’re into, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy here.
    What students say: "We put on a number of shows at our very own theater at a discount for the IU community."
  • New York University (New York, NY):
    Campus highlight: At NYU, a community of cultural experiences is built from dance performances, interactive visual installations, classical music, and more. The Center for Student Life produces events through the year such as NYU Welcome, Club Fest twice a year, Violet 100 Spirit Week, Strawberry Fest, and Senior Week.
    What students say: "[NYU has] access to comedy, Broadway, art shows, and other New York City events."
  • Oberlin College (Oberlin, OH):
    Campus highlight: Art is everywhere at Oberlin: in our acclaimed Allen Memorial Art Museum, the conservatory and campus performance venues, the vintage Apollo Theatre, student clubs, and maybe even in your room. See a concert, dance to live music, watch a film, rent a painting, or try capoeira. With access to more than 500 events a year on one small campus, the cultural opportunities at Oberlin never end.
    What students say: "I’d say Oberlin because I have a friend who goes there, and I’ve heard they have a lot of nice music programs and activities to attend. And I like music!"
  • Tulane University (New Orleans, LA):
    Campus highlight: Being in New Orleans is a part of the Tulane package. All the great stuff you’ve heard about—the music scene, Mardi Gras, the Creole cuisine—is part of student life on both the uptown and downtown campuses, showcasing plentiful dining options and access to unparalleled culture. Tulane also has more than 200 student-run clubs and organizations, including club sports, Greek life, radio stations, performing arts organizations, student government, and community service clubs.
    What students say: “[Students can enjoy] Mardi Gras, New Orleans Jazz, Voodoo music, and music festivals.”
  • University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA):
    Campus highlight: With 1,200+ clubs and organizations, there are ample opportunities to discover new interests, make friends with like-minded Bruins, and get involved in arts and culture as a spectator and creator. Students are DJs for Campus Radio, they write and edit at the Daily Bruin, and they enjoy films at Melnitz Movies. The Student Committee for the Arts is a branch of the world-renowned Center for the Art of Performance where students work frequently with staff to promote and produce events that showcase student artists.
    What students say: "[They have a] cultural affairs commission and dance theater alongside [top] sports."
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA):
    Campus highlight: The USC Village is a dynamic hub that offers the perfect blend of living and learning for Trojans and Angelenos alike. Students can enjoy daily jaunts to cafes, international cuisine, stylish boutiques and shopping destinations, salon services, and more. After grabbing a coffee or quick bite, invest in yourself with a fitness class or stick around to enjoy the open space for performing arts, art exhibitions, and more happening right where you live and learn.
    What students say: "You can enjoy shows, movies, food, and fun events on campus that celebrate all cultures and people from all walks of life."

Source: CX Student Users

Want more information on how this list was compiled? Find out more about where our Lists & Rankings come from.

About This List

College isn't just going to class and writing papers—there's much fun to be had between extracurricular activities, on-campus events, and the plethora of things going on in nearby towns and metropolises! To say these campuses have top-notch entertainment all year long is only touching the surface of all you could have access to.

Each college recommended on this list promotes lively campus environments through resource-packed student centers; dedicated student life, affairs, and activities departments; numerous opportunities to see big performances and influential speakers; and much more. Whether you’re looking to party, attend performing arts shows, or explore local eateries just off campus, you’ll never be bored or lacking in enriching experiences if you attend one of these colleges or universities. Start finding the fun now!

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