Chicken University, Batman University: 15 institutions with the weirdest names

weirdest name
Did you know there is an institution called Batman University in Turkey? Source: AFP

What’s in a university name? We know of the Harvards and Oxfords — which by virtue of saying them instantly tells us of their prestige.

But what if a university carries one of the weirdest names in the world?

We’re talking about names that’ll make you scratch your head and even laugh out loud.

This is hardly the outcome you would want when you mention your university, more so if you’re applying for a job.

Yet, despite all its strangeness, there are some benefits behind all this bizarreness.

Universities with weirdest names = universities worst degrees?

The name of a university impacts how the public perceives it. When people hear or read a university’s name, they form assumptions about its quality, values, and uniqueness. 

For example, a university named after a famous person or a elite location might be perceived as more prestigious itself, such as Stanford University, which is named after American politician Leland Stanford Jr. 

This can influence rankings because higher prestige often means better funding, more accomplished faculty, and more resources. 

Perhaps this is why the majority of universities today stick to respectable sounding words.

On the flipside, however, there are institutions that take the opposite approach and end up with the weirdest names possible.

While their first impression isn’t great, don’t write them off just yet. Some of these have hidden perks that may just work for the right kind of students and even you.

15 institutions with the weirdest names 

weirdest name

Chicken University was created to teach students about poultry genetics and nutrition. Source: AFP

1. Chicken University 

Chicken University has one of the weirdest names that definitely raises some eyebrows. The university is a training and research centre for Genesis BBQ – a huge South Korean fast-food chain. 

The university lives up to its name by teaching students how to cook the perfect fried chicken and start a business out of it. 

Established in 1952 by Dr. John Smith and Dr. Emily Brown, the university was originally named the Poultry Science Institute. It has gained popularity among farmers and researchers for its pioneering studies in poultry genetics and nutrition.

In 1976, the institute expanded its curriculum to include agricultural sciences, which prompted its name change to Chicken University. 

2. Batman University 

We hate to burst your bubble, but attending Batman University won’t make you like the DC superhero. It was actually named after the city it is located in. 

Established in 1960 in Batman, Turkey, the university began as an extension of Istanbul University’s Faculty of Agriculture. Over time, it has grown to become an independent institution in 1992.

The university offers programmes in engineering, arts and sciences, economics and administrative sciences, health sciences, and fine arts. 

weirdest name

If you love burgers, Hamburger University might be the best institution for you. Source: AFP

3. Hamburger University 

Hamburger University may have one of the weirdest names, but it is actually a globally recognised institution that trains people in the fast-food industry. 

It was founded in 1961 by McDonald’s and provides educational services to its employees and franchisees worldwide. Students can go through week-long programmes and graduate with a degree in Hamburgerology.

The university started as a way to standardise training for franchisees and employees worldwide. The programme focuses on topics such as McDonald’s history, restaurant management, and customer service. 

Today, Hamburger University has multiple campuses worldwide, including in the US, China, Japan, and Europe. 

4. Assumption College 

Assumption College, indeed, has one of the weirdest names. The college was founded in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption, a Catholic order. The name “Assumption” refers to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This event signifies Mary’s ascent into Heaven, which holds importance within the Catholic Church. 

The college started as a small institution focused on training men for the priesthood. Today, it offers various undergraduate and graduate programmes in liberal arts, business, sciences, and health professions. The college aims to provide a well-rounded education guided by Catholic teachings. 

5. The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has one of the weirdest names when it comes to institutions. 

The name “Hygiene” reflects the school’s origins in public health and sanitation during the late 19th century. At that time, concerns about hygiene and preventing disease outbreaks such as cholera, typhoid and scarlet fever were seen throughout London. 

The term “Tropical Medicine” was added later after the school expanded to address the health challenges in tropical and developing regions.

weirdest name

Slippery Rock University was named after a nearby stream. Source: AFP

6. Slippery Rock University

Slippery Rock University is known for having one of the weirdest names. However, the university has an interesting backstory that explains its unusual name. 

The name “Slippery Rock” comes from a nearby shallow stream known for its slippery rocks. Early settlers found these rocks difficult to cross, and the name stuck as the place developed. When the university was founded, it was located near this stream and took on the name “Slippery Rock.”

The university began as a teacher training institution, aiming to educate future educators for the growing communities in western Pennsylvania. Today, it has expanded and offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programmes in business, education, health sciences, liberal arts, and STEM fields.

7. Beijing Normal University

Beijing Normal University’s name is definitely a head-scratcher, and many people are wondering, “Is there an abnormal university?”

The term “normal” actually refers to teacher training, which was historically referred to as “normal education.” 

The university was founded in 1902 during the late Qing Dynasty as the Faculty of Education of Capital Metropolitan University. It was one of the earliest institutions in China dedicated to teacher education.

It was first created to modernise China’s education system by training teachers with progressive educational methods. Today, the university is renowned for its comprehensive academic programmes in natural sciences, humanities, social sciences, engineering, management, and education.

weirdest name

Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua and the dog breed were named after the same town, Chihuahua, Mexico. Source: AFP

8. Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua

Universidad Autónoma de Chihuahua has one of the weirdest names due to its link to the famous dog breed loved by celebrities. 

While the university has nothing to do with the dog, it is located in the same Chihuahua, Mexico, the same place where the dog breed was first discovered. 

The university was established in 1954, during a period when many universities in Latin America were seeking autonomy from government control to get academic freedom and self-governance. 

The term “Autónoma” refers to the university’s independence, highlighting its ability to make decisions regarding its academic and administrative affairs without external interference.

9. Colgate University

Colgate University is often confused with the popular toothpaste brand. The name “Colgate” comes from its early benefactor, William Colgate, who was a successful businessman and devout Baptist. 

He made huge donations to the university in the mid-19th century, which helped it expand. Eventually, in 1890, the university was officially renamed Colgate University in his honour.

Fun fact, William Colgate is the same person who started the toothpaste business. 

While you may not get pearly whites by attending Colgate University, you will receive an excellent education that prepares you to contribute to society. 

10. Friends University 

Despite having one of the weirdest names, Friends University is one of the top universities in the country. 

Located in Wichita, Kansas, the university was established in 1898 by the Religious Society of Friends. This explains its name, “Friends,” which refers to the religious affiliation of its founders.

The university started as a college offering primary and secondary education. It then expanded to include undergraduate and graduate programmes. Today, it offers many programmes that include liberal arts, sciences, business, education, and fine arts. 

weirdest name

Converse University was started by Dexter Converse and has nothing to do with the famous sneakers. Source: AFP

11. Converse University 

No, Converse University has no connection to the popular Converse sneakers. The university was named after a textile entrepreneur Dexter Edgar Converse. He  was the head of Converse College’s first board of directors and was among the school’s founders and donors.

The university was founded in 1889 as a women’s college. Dexter Converse donated US$125,000 to establish the institution, which was named Converse College, in honour of his generosity.

The university offers programmes in arts, sciences, education, and business. 

12. Universidad de Morón

Universidad de Morón, despite having one of the weirdest names, is not a university for people with low intelligence.

Founded in 1960, the university is located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Its name comes from the city of Morón.

The university offers undergraduate and graduate programmes across many fields. Whether you’re interested in pursuing a degree in law, medicine, engineering, or any other field, Universidad de Morón ensures you receive the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career. 

13. Worms University of Applied Sciences

The name Worm University of Applied Sciences may make you squirm, but don’t worry — it is in no way related to creepy crawlies. The university is actually named after the German city of Worms.

The university specialises in applied sciences, focusing on practical and hands-on education that prepares students for careers in various fields. It offers undergraduate and graduate programmes in areas such as engineering, computer science, business administration, social sciences, and design.

weirdest name

The Clown Conservatory aims to preserve the art of clowning. Source: AFP

14. The Clown Conservatory

If you are a fan of Cameron Tucker from Modern Family here’s your chance to follow in his path. By attending The Clown Conservatory, you can receive the training needed to become just like his alter ego, Fizbo.

The institution is dedicated to preserving and teaching the art of clowning. It is a performing arts school and a part of the Circus Centre.

It specialises in training people in the comedic and theatrical skills essential to clowning. This includes physical comedy, improvisation, mime, character development, and the use of props.

The college offers a three-year programme where students learn everything from costume design to comedy. Students will experience practical workshops, performances, and theoretical studies to develop their comedic timing, physical dexterity, and stage presence. 

15. Carpigiani Gelato University

Carpigiani Gelato University may sound like it has the weirdest name at first, but its name reflects the institution’s dedication to teaching the art and science of gelato making.

The university was established in 2003 by Carpigiani, a renowned Italian manufacturer of gelato machines. Located in the country that started the dessert, Italy, the university was founded to address the growing demand for high-quality gelato. 

It offers several courses catering to beginners and experienced professionals. The courses cover everything from the basics of gelato production to advanced techniques in flavour creation, marketing, and business management.

Through a four-week intense training programme, students master the art of manufacturing gelato, with the goal of eventually opening their own gelato stores.