Party Time! Top 15 College Theme Ideas

Need an idea for a college party theme? Look no further than our list of favorites.

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This post will show you the best college party themes of all time, with our top 15 college theme party ideas ranked.

Costume and theme parties are a huge part of college life.

After all, college is one of the few times in life where you can get away with dressing in crazy costumes, and convincing your friends to do the same, on a regular basis. I mean, how often do your parents talk about going to an ABC party?

If you think you’ve been to every kind of themed costume party there is, think again. There are so many college themed party ideas to try!

Below, I’ve listed the top fifteen best college party themes:

15. Zombie Apocalypse Party

A signage marked Zombies Ahead

This one is a little off the wall but so much fun. Basically, you decide whether you want to go as a human or a zombie (some parties are just zombies) — but dress like it’s the apocalypse regardless! Think ripped jeans, fake blood, fake weapons, homemade armor, etc. This one can get crazy but it’s a blast.

14. Casino Night Party

Three girls holding cards in casino.

Get all dressed up for a casino-themed college party!. This one of the great college themed party ideas if you love card games or, casino games and just want to create a sophisticated evening with your friends! You could even set an entrance fee that will be donated to charity – great for sororities and fraternities.

13. Disney Party

Dressing like Disney princesses in 2020

What better way to celebrate your college graduation than with a Disney theme party? Whether you go for only old favorites like Mickey and Minnie or mix in some of the newer Marvel characters, it’s sure going be an evening full of fun!

12. Graffiti Party

A wall full of abstract painting.

This college party idea is perfect for anyone who loves to be creative and break all the rules. Basically, the people throwing the party put poster boards or paper all around their place and give party-goers the ability to “tag” these areas (usually with sharpies). Black lights are common so wear something bright or white!

11. Catholic School

Baby One More Time Dancing GIF by Britney Spears - Find & Share on GIPHY

This is a party theme we’ve seen a lot more on campus in recent years. Basically, it’s a glorified excuse to rock Britney-esque “Baby One More Time” schoolgirl outfits, but if you’re down with that, this one is a fun theme. Expect lots of dudes dressed as priests.

10. Tight and Bright

Buy from

This one is a lot of fun and gives you a chance to be creative with clothes you have, or borrow from friends to create a look that’s cute and fun.

The rules: any article of clothing you wear has to be both brightly colored and skin tight. This one is especially funny for guys, who aren’t as used to wearing tight clothing, and usually come up with some funny outfits.

9. Snowpants or No Pants

Snowpants or no pants - women wearing dresses

Don’t worry: this doesn’t have to be as lewd as it sounds. Guests have the option of wearing snowpants to the party, or “no pants.”

But, this doesn’t mean you have to show up in your undies if you don’t have snow pants to wear; it’s another chance to get creative. Pro tip: Wear a skirt – after all, a skirt isn’t pants.

Also Read: Slay the Party: College Outfit Inspiration

8. Masquerade

Masquerade party

If you’re a Gossip Girl fan, I’m sure you’ve fallen for the romance and mystery of a classic masquerade party. The best part is, you only have to buy a mask to come to this party, and the rest of your outfit can be whatever you like.

Usually, the theme is more formal, but you can shake things up with a “Halloween Mask-erade”, and have everyone don black, with a scary or silly Halloween mask on top, instead of the fancy feathered variety. This is also fun for a Mardi Gras party.

7. Ugly Sweater

Ugly sweater party

This is one is perfectly timed for this holiday season, super easy, and really fun. Almost everybody has some kind of ugly Christmas or holiday sweater – you know, the kind your grandma knits you with a large, lop-sided Rudolph on the front?

Have everyone wear their hokiest sweater and then vote for who has the ugliest sweater! It’s a fun take on a holiday party that’s perfect for the college scene. For more, see our tips on what to wear to an ugly sweater party!

6. Black Light

This is a fun party idea, especially if you’re a creative type. Swap out your regular light bulbs for black light bulbs (or go big with this 12-light glow bar from Amazon) and have all the guests arrive in plain white tee shirts that they don’t mind getting ruined.

The fun part comes with highlighters, which you can use to write and draw on each other’s shirts. When the black lights are switched on, the writing will glow, and you can check out everyone else’s artwork.

5. ABC (Anything But Clothes)

ABOARD WITH JORD: abc themed dress up crew member party!

Again, don’t freak out at the name of this party. It doesn’t mean everyone shows up naked. Instead, you have to fashion an outfit out of materials other than clothing.

I’ve seen girls use Monopoly money, maps, garbage bags, and flags to make really cute dresses and outfits.

ABC parties are fun, cheap, and creative, and can lead to some really fun photos. This is another theme party where a best outfit contest can add some extra incentive to be really creative.

4.  Rubik’s Cube

This party theme starts out simple, but quickly gets out of control.

Everyone shows up wearing one item of clothing for each color on the Rubik’s cube (white, red, blue, orange, green, and yellow). Then, once you get to the party, you swap clothing items with other guests until you can create an outfit of one solid color.

Tip: accessories like gloves and hats make this process a lot easier.

3. High School Stereotype

High school varsity jacket
Hope you saved your varsity jacket.

Were you a geek in high school? A jock? A cheerleader? A band kid? Well, dig out that old uniform and show up at this party as a high school stereotype of yourself.

If you didn’t fit into a box so easily (and, let’s face it, most of us didn’t) you can either pick an identity, or dig out some embarrassing threads you used to think were cool, back in your grade nine days.

2. Alphabet

ABC letters

Pick a letter of the alphabet (your initial? your school’s name?) and have everyone wear a costume that starts with that letter.

For example, the letter N could have people showing up as nurses or ninjas.

It’s a challenge to come up with something unique, and a lot of fun to see what other people come up with.

1. Toga

Okay, this isn’t exactly a new idea… In fact, it’s probably the oldest college themed party ideas in the book. But still, would you really want to go through four years of college without attending at least one toga party?

If you still haven’t done it, now’s the time! The best part: it’s as cheap as pulling the sheet off of your bed. Check out this site to learn how to tie it properly, and let the memory-making begin.

More College Theme Party Ideas & Tips:

Want more? We’ve written extensively about college theme parties and what to wear to them. Check out these posts:

What do you think?

Which types of theme costume parties have you been to? What was your favorite? Which ones didn’t work out so well? Leave a comment and let us know!

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8 thoughts on “Party Time! Top 15 College Theme Ideas”

  1. We’ve done White Trash, Sports Hos and Pros, Naughty Nurses and Dirty Doctors. Saturday Night Live, Toga, Super Heroes, Pirates and Wenches, Animal House, Woodstock, Pimps and Hos. They are always fun because people come ready to have a good time!!

  2. Theme parties we’ve thrown over the past 6-7 years:

    Urban Cowboy
    White Trash
    Jersey Shore
    Revenge of the Nerds
    King Pin (Bowling)

  3. You could do your own pub quiz night and be the quizmaster.
    Here you can download an awesome free quiz:
    Everything is already done and it even has answer sheets and everything. I’ve done it before and it’s great fun.

  4. Katy- What do immigrants dress like exactly?! LOL. That’s an extremely racist idea. You wouldn’t say that if you’ve actually been to other countries. I’m sorry, but that’s just really offensive. Been to Paris, Rome and London. Everyone dressed the same. So I really don’t know what you mean.
    Now if you said, dress in traditional clothing of different countries, then that’s another story.


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