Charles Smith and John Perrone pleaded guilty in federal court to manufacturing the drug DMT, a hallucinogen.
Smith, who was attending Georgetown University, and Perrone, a University of Richmond student, were arrested in October. Both were freshmen but have been living at home with their parents in Andover, Mass., since being released following their arrest.
During the hearing, Perrone acknowledged purchasing materials to make DMT, including ammonia and paint thinner. He said he was responsible for mixing the ingredients and said he used instructions he printed from the Internet.
Smith told a judge he agreed to pay for half the costs and that he was present for much of the preparation. Both teens said they had never consumed DMT before.
"I have never consumed DMT in my life, didn't get that far," Perrone said during the hearing.
Both men said the drug was being made for their personal use, not to sell, though they would have shared with friends.
A prosecutor said the men wound up manufacturing about a gram of the drug, which Perrone said was about 10 doses. Smith said they chose to make DMT because the process is simple and much less dangerous than other drugs.
Lawyers for the two men and the government have agreed to recommend that the two men get sentenced to six months of jail, which they would not serve, and instead be put on probation and do community service.
Sentencing was set for March 18.