The 25 Best College Radio Stations


Nobody listens to radio anymore, right? Spotify this, Rhapsody that... there’s a large and growing number of internet streaming services that offer personalized stations, DJ-free programming, and hours upon hours of static-free listening bliss. Why would anyone with a stable internet connection actually choose to listen to an old-fashioned radio station? At least among the music and internet savvy, radio is so late '90s.

But it’s not dead. It’s just underground. For college radio stations, being underground is nothing new, it’s kind of their thing. College radio has been thriving under the radar for years, and has served as a springboard for some truly great artists. Artists like R.E.M. and Nirvana, or more recently Toro y Moi and The Local Natives were a mainstays of college radio long before they hit the masses. College radio is often full decades ahead of mainstream radio, and sometimes even comes out ahead of the internet. If you want to hear what’s going to be popular in a few weeks, months, or even years, tune into a great college radio station and listen to something you’ve never heard before.

At 6:00 PM on a friday night you may turn the dial and get an earful of death metal, but 30 minutes later hear a folk show DJed by a girl with a voice so tiny and squeaky that she surely has a vitamin deficiency. College radio has its quirks, but there are some seriously phenomenal stations out there, most of which have their very own internet streams. No need to bust out the old transistor, just hit up the stream or download the iHeartRadio app.

But where do we start? There are tons of colleges, and many have multiple stations. Surely you can’t be expected to wade through hours of sub-par stations to find that one golden station that played Youth Lagoon six months before anybody else did? Ain’t nobody got time for that! So we took the time for you.

Here are the 25 best college radio stations in the nation.

Click to start the list