College party themes: group of friends posing for a photo

College is undoubtedly a time for learning, but it’s also a time for having fun, expressing yourself, and getting to know people who might become lifelong friends. One of the best ways to connect with others is by hosting college parties and meetups.

To help you out, we’re sharing some of our favorite college party themes. Once you pick a theme, order in some tasty food and crank up your playlist for a crowd-pleasing celebration.

1. Toga Party

You can’t go wrong with a classic college party theme — the toga party! With a dress code inspired by Greek and Roman traditions, you can ask party guests to don their best togas.

While there are usually drinking games involved in this type of party, feel free to make it your own and focus on other creative elements. For example, ask everyone to customize their togas with decorations or opt for brightly colored (or glow-in-the-dark) versions. You could also combine your toga bash with another unexpected theme — like a toga rave party.

2. Ugly Sweater Party

College party themes: Ugly Sweater Party Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

There’s nothing quite like an ugly sweater party. Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or the holidays, or just gathering your college friends for a hilarious get-together, ugly sweaters (ironically) never go out of style.

Challenge your guests to find their most festive (read: tackiest) sweater and join you for an evening of great food, party games, and getting to know each other. Offer a prize for the best (or worst) dressed, and have fun theming your activities and food around the topic too — like a sweater-themed quiz.

3. Graffiti Party

It’s time to get expressive and break all the rules with a fun graffiti-themed party. This college party idea is perfect for art students, music students, or anyone who loves getting creative.

Ask your guests to come dressed in something white — like a white T-shirt, tank top, or dress. Then, hand out markers, highlighters, pens, and fabric paints in all different colors and invite people to go wild and accessorize their own outfits or each other’s. Just make sure to inform guests on your party invitations so they wear something they don’t mind getting graffitied.

You could keep the graffiti art to just your outfits or find a suitable place where people can showcase their scribbling skills — like a giant canvas or cardboard model.

4. High School Stereotypes Party

College party themes: Groovy Tie Dye Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

High school never ends, and this college party theme proves it. Invite your guests to come dressed as a high school stereotype for some fun and reminiscing about the not-so-distant past.

There’s no end to the stereotypes you could cover — nerds, hippies, cheerleaders, jocks, and goths are just a few that come to mind. You could even come dressed as your favorite dynamic duo or trio from a high school movie — such as “Clueless” or “Mean Girls.”

5. Disney Party

Break out your Disney classics for this cute take on traditional college party themes. There’s lots of fun you can have with this — you can stick with Disney princesses and villains, opt for only the old favorites like Mickey and Minnie, or include some of the newer Marvel characters too.

For your Disney-inspired party, encourage attendees to dress up as their favorite Disney character. (There’s no need to wait for a Halloween party, although this works perfectly for the spooky season.) Go all out and decorate your space, decor, food, and drinks with images from the iconic animation studio. If you’re all above the required age, these Disney-inspired cocktails will make for a colorful addition to your menu.

6. Hawaiian Luau

College party themes: Maui Wowee Invitation

Design: Clementine Creative

If summer is in the air, it’s the perfect time to host a Hawaiian luau for your college student pals. This beach party idea is one of those college party themes that remains popular, as it’s such a bright, fun way to spend time together.

Come dressed in your best bathing suit or Hawaiian shirt, whether or not you’re heading somewhere by the sea. Play party games like limbo and coconut shy, enjoy island-inspired drinks and food, and set up the kind of party playlist that transports you to an island getaway. Have fun styling your space with this theme — think tiki torches, textured grass touches, and plenty of bright colors. For a full list of ideas, don’t miss our guide on how to host a luau party.

7. Meme Party

If you’re all about the memes, this is the college party theme for you. Gather your friends around for an evening of trying to see who knows the most when it comes to their memes — and who has no idea what’s hot in pop culture right now!

This is one of those college party themes with plenty of options to be creative, with costume ideas coming from all the classic memes and what’s trending at the moment. Don’t have a favorite meme or not sure what exactly to come dressed as? This guide to the best memes will help you find the perfect outfit for this casual get-together.

8. Pajama Party

Pajama parties may have been all the rage back in middle school, but slumber parties are here to stay no matter how old you are. We love this college party theme for sorority nights, best friend meetups, and relaxing weekends with new friends.

Make your space super cozy with throw pillows and blankets, and make sure you’re in your coziest pajamas. Choose a movie or two to watch until late in the evening with plenty of popcorn, snacks, drinks, and ice cream on hand.

9. Casino Night Party

Casino Night Invitation

Design: Hooray Creative

Get all dressed up with somewhere to go with a casino-themed party. This one’s great if you love card games, casino games, or just want to create a sophisticated evening. You could even set an “entrance fee” that you can then donate to charity.

Transform your college dorm or venue into a casino for the night, complete with red, black, and gold decor accents. Add in luxurious textures like velvet curtains for a fun touch, and use them as the backdrop for a DIY photo booth. Play games and laugh the night away with your new friends.

10. Anything But Clothes Party

Challenge your guests to come dressed super creatively with an “anything but clothes” or ABC party. This college party theme means wearing anything you want — as long as it’s not classified as clothing. Sounds fun, right?

Pick up a bed sheet, sleeping bag, tent and transform it into something wearable, or go a little more out there with candy wrappers, cardboard boxes, and rolls of tape. Whatever your party guests dress in, it’s sure to be hilarious and Insta-worthy.

11. Zombie Apocalypse Party

For a truly immersive experience, how about a zombie apocalypse shindig? This theme isn’t just for a Halloween bash either — it works great all year round.

Ask your party guests to suspend belief and come to a post-apocalyptic wonderland. Have fun serving spooky food options — or stick with party classics like burgers and pizza — and let your guests choose whether they come as ordinary people or those who have already turned. For background visuals, you can opt to play some of the top-rated zombie movies of all time.

12. Masquerade Party

Mod Halloween Invitation

Design: Kate Ahn Design

Surround yourself with suspense and mystery by hosting a fabulous masquerade party. We love this college party idea because you can take it in different directions — head back in time for a royalty-inspired bash, or throw a soiree for Mardi Gras.

If you’re going for the classic masquerade ball approach, ask your guests to don their finest as they come over to sip on sophisticated cocktails and enjoy some fine dining. Hosting a fiesta instead? Break out your brightest balloons, garlands, and string beads and party until dawn.

13. Retro Rave Party

One of the most vibrant college party themes, a retro rave is your chance to break out the glow sticks and neon, glow-in-the-dark ensemble.

Deck out your decades party space with black lights, bright neon lights, and sparkly foil curtains to create a classic 80s party or 90s party theme. Dance it out on a makeshift dance floor with some loud tunes — or keep it neighbor-friendly and host a silent rave instead.

14. You Are What You Eat

For a fun and quirky college party theme, invite friends to join you dressed as their favorite food or drink. This “you are what you eat” costume party trend encourages people to get creative and come up with a unique costume everyone can laugh about.

To match the party theme, serve a buffet of different foods from around the world — or invite people to bring their favorite dish and host a potluck-style celebration. Throw in some music and party games, and you have a great themed party idea. Want more? Check out our guide to creative costume party ideas.

15. Hollywood Party

Art Deco Oscar Party Invitation

Design: Signature Greenvelope

Create a sense of sophistication and glamor by hosting a Hollywood theme party. Celebrate movies through the ages, the golden Hollywood years, the Great Gatsby era, or a more contemporary take that features your favorite current-day celebrities.

Roll out a red carpet for a glitzy entrance and set up a screening area to watch a movie. Want to keep things light and fresh? Make it a Hollywood after-party where the focus is on dancing and hanging out with your favorite people.

16. Foam Party

Sometimes you don’t have to look far for good college party themes, and that’s the case with a foam party. It’s been around for ages, but there’s a reason it works — it’s fun, easy to set up, and works well for spring break and summertime.

The requirements list for a foam party is simple — lots of foam! Add in some inflatables, iced drinks, snacks, an amazing playlist, and you’re all set for fantastically fun foam party chaos.

17. Music Festival

Music Enthusiast Invitation

Design: Diasty Hardhikaputri

One of our favorite creative college party theme ideas is to host a mini music festival. This is the perfect way to show off your organizational skills, honor your love for music, and create an incredible experience.

Get together with a handful of pals to stage a music festival with some of your favorite local acts, college bands, and aspiring musicians. Ask guests to pitch in to hire a BBQ caterer or food truck, and enjoy an afternoon or evening of good music, good tunes, and good times.

Have a Blast with These College Party Themes

Hosting a college party is all about keeping it light and fun. You want people to feel relaxed, enjoy the fun vibe, and get to know each other. Use one of these fun college party themes to get you started, then spread the word with fully customizable digital invitations. When the party day comes, blast those tunes, set out some food, and you’re good to go!