Peter Parker in College: Success or Failure?

We tend to think of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, the hero of New York. Occasionally, we see him as a potential romantic partner of the beautiful Mary Jane. But we never really think of him as a college student looking for the Story of an Hour summary he needs to read or searching for a business strategy game for economics class. We’ve never thought about one of the most famous protagonists of comic books as Peter Parker high school student. What about the Peter Parker teacher annoyance, when he’s late to class yet again? Was he a success in college? Let’s dig deeper.

According to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peter Parker went to the Empire State University. This school is fictional, but it is interesting that the school he spends so much time studying in is named after the building he is mostly seen climbing or perched on. This school is supposed to be in Greenwich, near the very real New York University. That makes it seem likely that ESU is a stand-in for this school.

Trouble in Paradise

We don’t know much about what actually happened while Peter was in college. The story lines often change, so the answers aren’t always certain. One thing is almost guaranteed, though: He didn’t stop being a hero just because he became a college student. We can imagine him still fighting the crooks with his Spider-Man strength while trying to think of the best free online plagiarism checker for students, cannon bard theory, Freytag’s pyramid or Static character. Or maybe he would be dealing with Doc Oc while thinking of ways how to get free essays, instead of worrying about the plagiarism checker for students. Whatever the case, Peter Parker would have had trouble maintaining his college life and secret identity. Definitely, it was difficult with the learning process, task submissions and acquiring knowledge as well as skills required for his field of studies.

Love Interests

Depending on what timeline we would be discussing, there are different options for how Peter Parker’s love life could be going. The most memorable love interest, Mary Jane, is often the one he ends up with as an adult. And why not? Everyone was eager for him to get the girl, after all. So, as a college student, he would have been working his way closer to that. However, some comics show him with other women, making him a bit more of a playboy than you would normally imagine. Whichever the case, you can imagine that the responsibilities of both college and saving New York would put some strain on a relationship.


Friendships change quickly in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, just as they do in the comics. After all, one of Peter Parker’s best friends becomes the new Green Goblin after his father dies. The college would give Peter the chance to make new friends, perhaps some that didn’t even know who Spider-Man was before moving there (“Spider- Man? Who’s that?” must be a rare thought there). But just like his love life, you can imagine that the duties of being a superhero complicate friendships. There were likely many planned study sessions or nights out that he bailed on.

So, Was It a Success?

Considering that Peter Parker earned a scholarship to a great school to study biophysics, we can imagine that his college life was a success. It might have been hectic, but so was his time in high school, and he succeeded in that. Some of his friendships likely suffered, but the closest ones would have stuck by him. And, of course, there’s Mary Jane, always there, always patient.

Considering all that he’s done as Spider-Man, you can imagine that Peter Parker’s college life would be successful if not exactly easy-going and smooth. But Spidey, it seems, really can do anything.

About the author

Tom Smith

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