Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Singleton|
|Produced by||John Singleton
|Written by||John Singleton|
|Music by||Stanley Clarke|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Higher Learning is a 1995 American romantic drama film, directed by John Singleton, and starring an ensemble cast. The film follows the changing lives of three incoming freshmen at the fictional Columbus University: Malik Williams (Omar Epps), a black track star who struggles with academics; Kristen Connor (Kristy Swanson), a shy and naive girl; and Remy (Michael Rapaport), a lonely and confused man seemingly out of place in his new environment.
The film also featured Tyra Banks' first performance in a theatrical film. Laurence Fishburne won an NAACP Image Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture"; Ice Cube was also nominated for the award. This was the last film appearance of Dedrick D. Gobert, who was shot dead in 1994 prior to the film's release.
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- Omar Epps as Malik Williams, a track star who struggles with academics
- Kristy Swanson as Kristen Connor, a shy and naive girl
- Michael Rapaport as Remy, a lonely and confused student
- Ice Cube as Fudge, an afrocentric senior
- Jennifer Connelly as Taryn, a junior and a lesbian
- Tyra Banks as Deja, Malik's girlfriend and fellow track runner
- Regina King as Monet, Kristen's roommate
- Jason Wiles as Wayne, Malik's roommate who begins dating Kristen
- Cole Hauser as Scott Moss, the leader of a racist Neo-Nazi gang
- Busta Rhymes as Dreads, Fudge's best friend
- Laurence Fishburne as Professor Maurice Phipps, a political science teacher at Columbus University
- Bradford English as Officer Bradley, an officer on the campus
- Jay R. Ferguson as Billy
- Andrew Bryniarski as Knocko
- Trevor St. John as James
- Talbert Morton as Erik
- Adam Goldberg as David Isaacs, Remy's Jewish roommate
- J. Trevor Edmond as Eddie
- Bridgette Wilson as Nicole
- Kari Wührer as Claudi
- Colleen Fitzpatrick as Festival Singer
- Morris Chestnut as Track Anchor (Uncredited)
- Gwyneth Paltrow as Student (Uncredited)
According to Box Office Mojo, Higher Learning grossed $38,290,723 in the United States, with $20,200,000 in rentals. It ranked #17 amongst highest grossing R-rated movies in 1995.
Laurence Fishburne won an Image Award, and Ice Cube was nominated an Image Award in 1996.
Critical response 
The film received mixed reviews. Roger Ebert commented about John Singleton's direction of the film: "He sees with a clear eye and a strong will, and is not persuaded by fashionable ideologies. His movies are thought-provoking because he uses familiar kinds of characters and then asks hard questions about them." He awarded the film 3 out of 4 stars. TimeOut Magazine wrote: "a stylish, intelligent film-maker, Singleton interweaves the threads of his demographic tapestry with assurance, passion and a welcome awareness of the complexities of the college community's contradictory impulses towards integration and separatism."
Reel Film Reviews wrote, "...Higher Learning is consistently entertaining and well-acted all around. While it's not a perfect movie – Cube's character disappears for a 30-minute stretch and Singleton's approach often veers into heavy-handedness – it is nevertheless an intriguing look at the differences between races and how such differences can clash." (3.5 stars out of 4)
Higher Learning currently holds a 50% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 34 reviews.
The soundtrack, containing hip hop, R&B, rock and jazz music was released on January 3, 1995 by Epic Records. It peaked at #39 on the Billboard 200 and #9 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. In addition to "Higher", performed by Ice Cube, the soundtrack includes original music by OutKast, Liz Phair, Tori Amos and Rage Against the Machine.
- "Violence Erupts in Opening Week of 'Higher Learning'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-06-03.
- Roger Ebert (January 11, 1995). "Higher Learning". RogerEbert.com (Chicago Sun-Times).
- "Higher Learning | review, synopsis, book tickets, showtimes, movie release date | Time Out London". Timeout.com. Retrieved 2015-01-27.
- "The Films of John Singleton. Higher Learning.". Reel Film. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13.
- Higher Learning at the Internet Movie Database
- Higher Learning at AllMovie
- Higher Learning at Rotten Tomatoes