FRIDAY FIVE! Best Fictional Academic Institutions

And now, the FRIDAY FIVE!

In keeping with September’s “School” theme (Thanks, Jeanne!), this week will feature the Top 5 Fictional Academic Institutions.  While not all of these grand establishments are known for their rigorous dedication to learning, some are sure to strengthen your mind (and body) and every last one is, without a doubt, an awesome place to hang out.

Class is now in session.  Join us after the jump to see if your favorite school made the list.  And be sure to leave a comment or idea for next month’s theme.  Remember, participation is 50% of your grade!

As you may have guessed, picking the top five institutions was a VERY difficult task!  Each school was graded on 5 different criteria.  So, without further ado:

5. BRAKEBILLS ACADEMY (The Magicians, Lev Grossman)

What if your average sex-crazed, hard-drinking, high-strung, educated-elite college students were given a massive dose of magical power (easily surpassing that of Harry Potter)?  You’d get Brakebills Academy… a darker, more “realistic” take on the education of magic that even involves a study abroad program.  What, you thought learning spells would be easy?  The Magicians, a wonderful, entertaining novel,  manages to poke playful fun at every fantasy classic from Narnia to Hogwarts.   Here is Brakebills’ Report Card:

Curriculum: A,  Faculty: C+,  Student Body: B,  Notoriety as an Institution: B,  Popularity as a Creative Work: C


A slew of bizarre students, several guest lecturers (including Michael K Williams!), one crazy dean and a yearly, campus-wide paintball war… why go anywhere else for your crappy law degree?  Here is Greendale’s Report Card:

Curriculum: B+,  Faculty: A-,  Student Body: B,  Notoriety as an Institution: C,  Popularity as a Creative Work: C

3. SUNNYDALE HIGH (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Joss Whedon)

Whenever your school is a nexus for occult energy, you know you’re in for a wild ride.  On the plus side, you get to hang out with beautiful, multi-talented, ass-kicking classmates as well as the coolest librarian ever!  On the downside, your school is, you know, at the center of a hellmouth that attracts all sorts of demons and supernatural baddies.  As if high school wasn’t awkward enough…  Here is Sunnydale’s report card:

Curriculum: C,  Faculty: B,  Student Body: B+,  Notoriety as an Institution: A,  Popularity as a Creative Work: B

2. STARFLEET ACADEMY (Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry)

You decided to boldly go where no one has gone before?  Then you’re going to the Starfleet Academy!  Whether you want to get into medicine, lecture hot-headed young officers on the finer points of the Prime Directive, or captain a starship with wonton abandon, this is the only school for you.  Here is Starfleet Academy’s Report Card:

Curriculum: A,  Faculty: C,  Student Body: C+,  Notoriety as an Institution: A+,  Popularity as a Creative Work: B+

1.) Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling)

Well, yeah… everyone knew this was coming.  For me, the selling point of Hogwarts has always been its faculty.  Snape is the coolest!  Here is Hogwarts’ Report Card:

Curriculum: A-,  Faculty: A+,  Student Body: A,  Notoriety as an Institution: B,  Popularity as a Creative Work: A+


And now, a few Honorable Mentions: Xavier Institute for Higher Learning (X-Men), Bayside High School (Saved by the Bell), and Wetish College (The Art of Fielding).

Thanks for reading!  If you have any comments, concerns or random ideas, drop us a note in the comments section.  And be sure to check out a new Friday Five! post every Friday.  Enjoy the weekend!



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