There are a few different types of road bikes. For commuting a cyclocross or touring bike can be good choices. A cyclocross bike is a specialized type of road bike designed for light duty off road racing. The biggest advantage they have over a standard road racing bike is that they can take wider tires which will smooth out the bumps. A touring bike can also take wider tires, is designed to haul a lot of stuff, and has a less aggressive riding position. Touring bikes typically aren't going to be as exotic looking as the road bikes you're probably thinking of. Cyclocross bikes may or may not be.
There are also flat bar road bikes and road bikes that are designed more for the weekend warrior than the serious racer. Some will have mounts for racks and fenders which many commuters feel are required equipment.
If I were you I'd just go to a bike shop and try out a bunch of different types of bikes, - including some hybrids and see what you think. Other things to consider are where you're going to keep your bike, how you plan to carry your stuff, and what the road conditions are like. Is it going to be locked to a rack where it might get banged around by other people locking up their bikes? Are bike thefts common at your school? Do you want to do longer rides on the weekends?
The other thing to consider is your budget. Because of the more complex shifters road bikes tend to be more expensive than other types of bikes. It's a generalization though. A low end road bike is still going to be a lot cheaper than a high end mountain bike. It's also the reason I mentioned a flat bar road bike. Flat bar road bikes can use less expensive shifters while still having the lively feel of a road bike. They (generally) cost less and some people prefer flat bars anyway.