Top Colleges for Harry Potter Fans

Top Colleges for Harry Potter Fans

Still waiting for your owl? Well, for those whose Hogwarts acceptance letters seem to have gotten lost, good news - there are plenty of Muggle colleges out there that will make any witch or wizard feel right at home. Here's a list of the top colleges perfect for those who love magic, fun, and all things Harry Potter.

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The University of Chicago

University of Chicago (click photo to enlarge). puroticorico / Flickr

If what you really want is a place that looks like Hogwarts, then University of Chicago is your best bet. With its beautiful castle-like architecture, UC is ideal for anyone who wants to feel like a resident of the wizarding world. In fact, UC's Hutchinson Hall is modeled after Christ Church, which has been used in every Harry Potter film. So if you're looking to live in Hogwarts but can't get to platform 9 ¾, this school is sure to make your college experience a little more magical. (Just don't forget your dormitory password.)

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The College of New Jersey

The College of New Jersey (click photo to enlarge). Tcnjlion / Wikimedia Commons

The students at the College of New Jersey are working to create a more witch-and-wizard-friendly campus by starting their own Harry Potter-based club, The Order of Nose-Biting Teacups (ONBT). The club, which is currently working toward becoming official, plans to unite all the Harry Potter fans on campus into one big magic community. The ONBT is planning campus activities such as Deathday Parties, Yule Balls, and Wizard Rock concerts, and even plans on starting a Quidditch Team. If you're looking to help bring the Hogwarts experience to campus, The College of New Jersey's Order of the Nose-Biting Teacups might be the club for you.

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SUNY Oneonta

Hunt Union (home of the Yule Ball) at SUNY Oneonta (click photo to enlarge). Photo by Michael Forster Rothbart at SUNY Oneonta

Though Harry Potter clubs are fairly common, SUNY Oneonta has one that not only provides fun for the whole campus but also gives back to the community. March 9th, 2012, Oneonta's Harry Potter club organized a Yule Ball, which was part of a four-day Triwizard Tournament. Over 150 students attended, and the club raised $400 for Oneonta Reading is Fundamental, a non-profit organization that provides free books for elementary school children. If you like helping others (and missed your chance to join SPEW), you can help promote literacy with SUNY Oneonta's Harry Potter club.

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Oregon State University

Oregon State University (click photo to enlarge). Taylor Hand / Flickr

What's the best way to protect yourself from Dementors? If your answer involved a class with Remus Lupin or joining Dumbledoor's Army, you might be interested to know that there is another way. Oregon State University's class, “Finding your Patronus,” is a course designed to study leadership education through the characters of Harry Potter and help freshman get oriented to campus. Through the use of interesting themes, “Finding your Patronus” helps students not only learn about real-world topics but also get accustomed to college life and classes. Whether your Patronus is a stag, goat, or weasel, this is a class that is sure to benefit all wizards, witches, and werewolves.

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Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College (click photo to enlarge). CB_27 / Flickr

As we know, there are college-level Harry Potter courses in some colleges, but few have gotten as much attention as Swarthmore College's first-year seminar, “Battling Against Voldemort.” This class, in particular, received its own media spotlight as it was filmed by MTV as part of a segment on the Harry Potter series in college classes. Being on this program has given Swarthmore the most famous Defense against the Dark Arts class outside of Hogwarts.

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Augustana College

Augustana College (click photo to enlarge). Phil Roeder / Flickr

What is it that makes Hogwarts so enriching for its students? Some would argue that it's the professors who make the school really amazing. If teachers really are the magic ingredient, then Augustana College is brewing the right potion. Augustana is ​the home of the self-proclaimed “Hogwarts Professor” John Granger, who has been described by TIME Magazine as the “Dean of Harry Potter Scholars.” He teaches about the “literary alchemy” and deeper meanings of the Harry Potter series and has written several books on the subject. (You may be wondering, how does he know so much about the wizarding world? Did you notice his last name is Granger?)

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Chestnut Hill College

Chestnut Hill College (click photo to enlarge). shidairyproduct / Flickr

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to visit the wizarding world for a few days? Well, if you visit Chestnut Hill College during the annual Harry Potter weekend, you're sure to find wizards, witches, and magic on every corner. After an opening ceremony from Headmaster Dumbledore, you can try the Diagon Alley Straw Maze at the Woodmere Art Museum, before heading over to the Chestnut Hill Hotel for a showing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. But, as all Hogwarts students know, Quidditch is the main event, and Chestnut Hill is no different. The Saturday of the Harry Potter Weekend, Chestnut Hill participates with 15 other colleges in the Philadelphia Brotherly Love Quidditch Tournament, a fantastic spectacle for wizards and muggles alike.

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Alfred University

The Steinheim at Alfred University. Allen Grove

When joining an honors program, you probably expect to wind up in classes like “Honors History” and “Honors English.” However, if you join Alfred University's Honors Program, you may just end up in “Muggles, Magic, and Mayhem: The Science and Psychology of Harry Potter.” With topics like “Magizoology: Natural History of Magical Beasts” and “Perception of Time, Time Travel, and Time Turners,” this class applies the magical world of Harry Potter to things that affect the everyday lives of muggles. Though this class explores fascinating subjects in an enjoyable and understandable way, it is the real-world applications of this course that make it truly magical. (And where else do you get extra points for wearing house colors?)

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Middlebury College

Middlebury College (click photo to enlarge). cogdogblog / Flickr

Whether you're a chaser, a keeper, or a seeker, if you like Quidditch, Middlebury College is the place to be. Not only did Quidditch (or Muggle Quidditch) originate at Middlebury, but they also founded the International Quidditch Association (IOA). On top of that, they have won the past four Quidditch World Cups, going totally undefeated for four years. If you're looking for a champion team for your favorite game on a broomstick, Middlebury College is the top choice.

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The College of William & Mary

The College of William and Mary (click photo to enlarge). Photo Credit: Amy Jacobson

For those looking for a large Harry Potter fan base, the best option is the Wizards and Muggles Club at the College of William & Mary. Almost as big as Hogwarts itself, the club contains over 200 members and has a weekly attendance of between 30 and 40 people. True to the fandom, the club is divided into four houses, and each has an appointed head of house. The club also has a “Professor of Arithmancy” (treasurer), “Professor of Ancient Runes” (secretary), and “Professor of History of Magic” (historian). It even has an end of semester House Cup. So if you're looking for the total Hogwarts experience, disapparate on over to the College of William & Mary, sign up for the Wizards and Muggles Club, and make your house proud.