8 Best Places to Study on Campus

College campuses are full of libraries, coffee shops, and classrooms. But what are the best places to study on campus and how can you find great study spots?

portrait of Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.
by Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D.

Updated September 14, 2022

Edited by Tyler Epps
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8 Best Places to Study on Campus
Image Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill / Tetra Images / Getty Images

Choosing the right study spot in college can make a big difference. Good studying spots can help you focus and get the most out of every study session. And there's great news for undergrads: College campuses are full of good places to study.

From quiet corners of the library to bustling cafes, colleges offer studying spots for every kind of student. Here are the best places to study on campus — plus some tips on how to find great study spots.

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Ready to start your journey?

1. Campus Library

Few spots beat the campus library when it comes to quiet places to study. And the library is full of study spots. From cushy couches on the main level to group study rooms, many libraries offer a variety of places to study. Some libraries even let students reserve a private study carrel.

At large universities, make sure to check out the smaller libraries if you prefer a quiet study spot. Find a table tucked away in a corner to study without interruptions.

If you prefer studying in busier areas, check out the library coffee shop — lots of campuses have cafes in the library.

2. Coffee Shop

When it comes to good places to study, coffee shops top many lists. And it's not hard to see why. Easy access to caffeine and study snacks, plus lots of table space, makes cafes a great spot to study on campus.

Most college campuses have multiple coffee shops, including options in the student center, library, and dining halls. And if you can't find a good coffee shop on campus, there's almost always an option nearby in college towns of all sizes.

3. Outside

There's nothing better than reading under a tree. College campuses have many outdoor study spots. You can join classmates in the quad for a group study session or find a secluded corner for quiet reading.

And there's another added benefit to studying outdoors at your college: You can explore campus while discovering new study spots. Even the busiest campuses have hidden study spots ready for students to find!

4. Dorm Room

If you're living on campus, there's a good chance you'll study in your dorm. That's why your dorm comes with a desk after all. But how can you transform a noisy and sometimes chaotic dorm into a good study spot?

First, keep your study materials organized and your desk uncluttered. Second, consider scheduling "study hours" with your roommate so you can focus. And finally, escape to a quiet common area if your hall gets too loud or distracting.

5. Empty Classroom

Ironically, many students forget that they can study in classrooms. Colleges have all kinds of classroom spaces, from cozy seminar rooms to large lecture halls. During different times of the day, those classrooms sit empty.

What makes an empty classroom the best place to study? For one, they're designed for learning, with lots of chairs and desks. Students can also easily slip into study mode in a classroom.

Lastly, hanging out in an empty classroom before or after your class can give you extra time to prepare for a discussion session or review new lecture material.

6. Student Lounge

Most college campuses have multiple student lounges, but many students don't know they exist. Your department might have a lounge for majors and grad students. The student center might provide a lounge for undergrads. Most residence halls also have lounge areas for students.

These lounges are great spots for study groups or individual study sessions. They're a particularly good option for students living on campus who need to escape their dorm room but want a comfortable study spot.

7. Dining Hall

Studying in the dining hall? It might seem unusual, but dining halls are a great place to put in some study hours. Think like an executive and schedule a working lunch with your group project members. Or hang out during the empty hours between lunch and dinner to make use of the huge tables.

Like cafes, dining halls offer easy access to snacks and drinks. If you prefer an active study space with lots of background noise, the dining hall might be the perfect fit.

8. Student Center

Most campuses have a student center, and most student centers offer study spots. You can reserve a block of time in a meeting room or hang out on couches in a lofty atrium to study.

The student center might also have dedicated study areas that offer support services. For example, check whether your campus writing center or tutoring center, often hosted in the student center, offer quiet places to study.

How to Find the Best Places to Study on Campus

Every college campus is different. Some provide more than a dozen libraries for students to explore in search of the best places to study on campus. Others feature student-run coffee shops with dozens of different drinks to sample.

How can you find the best study spots on your campus? First, use your study spot quest to explore campus. Walk into a building you've never visited and see what you find. Order a coffee at every cafe to rank them. Or hang out after class ends to find empty classrooms.

Second, ask other students where they like to study. Talk to the juniors and seniors in your residence hall or department to discover new places to study. Form a study group and meet in a new spot each week.

Finally, consider your study style. Do you need a perfectly quiet room to study? Or does ambient lo-fi music help you focus? Do you study best in a group or alone?

Find the study spots that fit you as a student — and create your own unique study map of campus.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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