The Most Caffeine-Dependent Colleges

No matter what school you go to, studying is an unavoidable aspect of college life, but for some collegiettes, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. Between schoolwork, extracurriculars and essentially preparing to rule the world, a few cups of coffee are inevitable. This is especially true during midterms and finals when libraries become second homes, coffee shops are filled to the brim and everyone is running on three hours of sleep. Although every college student inevitably falls prey to study-induced sleep deprivation, the ambitious students at these ten schools will tell you the caffeine addictions are all too real.


At Hofstra, you might as well count coffee as a part of the student population, because it is everywhere. Dabney Rauh, a senior, says, “There are four locations to get coffee between the dorms and the classrooms. The lines are usually long but COMPLETELY necessary. And, as of this year, Keurigs were finally allowed in dorm rooms so the caffeine dependency was at an all-time high.” You know it’s real when your school suddenly starts encouraging the consumption of caffeine. According to Business Insider, 6 percent of all food orders at Hofstra contain caffeine. At this university, academics are the perfect pair to a cup of coffee.


This university made it on our list not only on account of its rigorous academics, but also because of the coffee culture that presides over campus. Dani Kluss, a junior, says coffee is a necessity: “If you don't live at Starbucks, do you even go to Cal Lu? Starbucks is included in our meal plans and it shows. Starbucks is the only place on campus open past 10pm and it is the place to be,” she says. In fact, she says that this coffee hotspot is also the place for long study seshes and group projects.

Dani says that even the faculty know how popular Starbucks is for Cal Lu students: “…the librarians even set up camp at a table in Starbucks during finals week to answer questions because they know Starbs will be more packed than the library.” Don’t worry; the university boasts an impressive amount of coursework to pair with your triple shot white mocha espresso. Plus lots of events like Green Week and Gumby Gives Day encourage students to participate with the promise of free coffee. Drink up!

8. DREXEL UNIVERSITY (Philadelphia, PA)

If you’re a Drexel student, you know that caffeine is your BFF during the many midterms and finals weeks that come along with the school’s quarter system. With plenty of work to keep you busy, there’s a good chance you’d be facedown in a textbook without the proper caffeine-to-studying ratio. Rachel Choi, a senior, tells us “Drexel students know the meaning of 'sleep is for the weak' because our school runs on ten-week quarters. We only get the summer after our freshman year off and most students go on one or three co-ops, depending if they are a four or five-year student. You will always see Drexel students in the library, the lab, the studios and the lounges working tirelessly with tons of coffee on hand.” Caffeine addiction? Check.


Boston University is no joke when it comes to challenging academics. Her Campus contributors will tell you that professors push you to work your hardest, and that no ‘A’ is easy. Sophie Heyman, a junior, tells us that BU is the “number one school for grade deflation and the hardest finals. BU students live off caffeine, probably from one of the five Starbucks they have on campus.” At a campus that spends so much time on academics, it makes sense that coffee would be a favorite companion. Whether you are focusing on business, social sciences, biology, or any other major, you’ll be sure to find a study spot at one of their local coffee shops. For a cup (or two) of a strong brew, BU students can head to local faves Blue State Coffee or Café Fixe.


When it comes to getting work done, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun too--you just might not get that much sleep! Students at Colgate are faced with plenty of difficult classes, ranging from humanities to mathematics (and even a course specifically about the history of coffee). Sofia Rietti, a junior at Colgate, knows just how precious caffeine is to her hardworking fellow students.

“Colgate is most definitely a work-hard, play-harder school, and because of it, caffeine is a necessity,” she says. “Some people go out at least three and up to five nights of the week. Yet they always make it to class and the library the next day. The secret, and I can attest to it, is caffeine overload. Even though the campus is small (it’s on only one hill), there are three cafes, and usually some sort of dispenser in every academic building.” Clearly, Colgate is prepared with all the caffeine essentials.


The quarter system that this private research university follows crams semester-long courses into concentrated 10-week periods, creating a huge workload. So basically, caffeine is necessary for survival. Elana Golub, a junior at Northwestern, can attest to the difficult academics: “The workload combined with the competitive nature of the pre-professional atmosphere, especially in the engineering and journalism schools, leaves Wildcats buried under extracurriculars,” she says. “With time being such a minimal and precious resource, students rarely choose to waste chunks of their 24-hour days getting a good night's sleep.” Whether you’re cramming for a midterm, or working on a marathon paper, just remember: caffeine is your friend.


At Carnegie Mellon there’s no shortage of difficult classes, so you’ll be sure to find students combining caffeine and courses pretty often. Amber Jiang, a junior, tells us that students definitely feel the need for some caffeine motivation when it comes to long study seshes. “There's a group on campus that will go around the library late at night sometimes and leave a Red Bull next to sleeping students. Or before finals, they'll leave Red Bulls under seats in some lecture halls,” she says. Plus thanks to Carnegie Mellon’s insane academics, there’s no arguing that many long nights are required at this studious university. Undoubtedly, some caffeine helps them through those late nights too.


Although this liberal arts school of 815 students is one of the smaller colleges, its super low acceptance rate of 13.6 percent, and rigorous course schedule make it number three on our list. Plus, its No.1 spot on the Princeton Review’s “Students Who Study The Most” also tells us that this school doesn’t mess around when it comes to workload and study habits. Long nights accompanied by a few cups of coffee aren’t out of the ordinary for these students. The academics are no joke, and the small classes promote high standards of learning. You’ll also probably find plenty of students huddled up in the Living Room of The Café, which serves as a great place to get in some extra study hours.


As the home of all things math and science, you can bet that MIT will have students downing coffee by the gallon. Whether it’s in preparation for Math 55, which made it on Her Campus’s list of most difficult college courses, or any other class, a coffee IV might be necessary. With The Daily Beast reporting MIT’s workload at a 3.5 out of 10 (the lower the number the harder it is), you can bet that there are some long nights spent hitting the books and chugging some coffee. BU is also close to Kendall Square, so a need for coffee never goes unfulfilled, plus if it’s in Boston you can be sure that there’s a Dunkin’ on every corner.


UChicago is notoriously called “The place where fun goes to die” because of its rigorous course load and challenging classes. Plus, they follow a quarter system, which increases the number of courses, and therefore midterms and finals—aka, the parts of the semester where caffeine replaces sleep.

Students will tell you that if you’re not up to a challenge, don’t go to UChicago. Even the students who were at the top of their high school class have difficulty maintaining good grades. The challenging academics of this university can undoubtedly attest to a reliance on caffeine in all forms, especially during the many nights they spend cramming for finals while in Harper Library. Basically, an arsenal of caffeine products is just as necessary as textbooks and pencils for UChicago students. Coffee is also a great medium for entrepreneurial students who want to combine a love for coffee and management. UChicago has coffee shops, like Cobb Coffee Shop and Harper Café, that are entirely student-run.