Best Colleges in Pennsylvania 2022

Here are the best colleges and universities in Pennsylvania based on the academic achievements of faculty and alumni associated with the schools. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Best Colleges in Pennsylvania 2022

Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania

Prospective students hoping to earn an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree have over 100 higher learning institutions to choose from. The largest public university is Pennsylvania State University, or Penn State, with a tuition of $18,000, and a student population of over 95,000 across its campuses. As a private institution, the University of Pennsylvania, or simply Penn, is known for its medical, nursing, social work, and business fields. Tuition is $56,000, and the school boasts a 95% graduation rate.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Students can also attend one of the more than 60 religiously affiliated schools, such as Villanova University or Lafayette College, each with a tuition of about $53,000. Some of the most affordable colleges in the state include the Curtis Institute of Music and the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia, with tuitions set at $3,000 and $9,000, respectively. Though the average tuition for college in Pennsylvania comes in above the national average, those who practice medicine in underserved areas may qualify for up to $100,000 in loan forgiveness through the Pennsylvania Primary Care Loan Repayment Program.

As the nation’s second state, Pennsylvania’s history runs deep. It’s here where Betsy Ross made the first American flag and where the Declaration of Independence was signed. The Keystone State is also home to some culinary delights, including whoopie pies, soft pretzels, and the famous Philly cheesesteak. Students looking to earn their degree in Pennsylvania will undoubtedly enjoy what the state has to offer.

Check out the state’s top programs and learn more about earning your degree in Pennsylvania.


What are Pennsylvania’s Colleges & Universities?

Pennsylvania’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

Pennsylvania' Best Colleges and Universities Badge
Download Badge

How do we determine Pennsylvania's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 97 colleges and universities in Pennsylvania that meet our criteria. This list of the top 30 colleges in Pennsylvania below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in Pennsylvania.

Back to Top

Best Colleges and Universities in Pennsylvania 2022

  1. #1

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    What is University of Pennsylvania known for?

    University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Anthropology
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Carnegie Mellon University

    Pittsburgh , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    17K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    What is Carnegie Mellon University known for?

    Carnegie Mellon University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Computer Science
    • Engineering
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  3. #3

    University of Pittsburgh

    Pittsburgh , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    27K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1350/30

    What is University of Pittsburgh known for?

    University of Pittsburgh’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Sociology
    • Social Work
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  4. #4

    Temple University

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    33K

    What is Temple University known for?

    Temple University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Anthropology
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Philosophy
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Swarthmore College

    Swarthmore , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $56K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    97%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    What is Swarthmore College known for?

    Swarthmore College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Physics
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Anthropology
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    Lehigh University

    Bethlehem , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1365/31

    What is Lehigh University known for?

    Lehigh University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Computer Science
    • Sociology
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #8

    Haverford College

    Haverford , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $61K

    Acceptance

    18%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1460/33

    What is Haverford College known for?

    Haverford College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  8. #9

    Villanova University

    Villanova , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    31%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1395/32

    What is Villanova University known for?

    Villanova University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Law
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  9. #11

    Duquesne University

    Pittsburgh , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/25

    What is Duquesne University known for?

    Duquesne University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Law
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • History
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  10. #12

    Thomas Jefferson University

    Philadelphia , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    What is Thomas Jefferson University known for?

    Thomas Jefferson University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Social Work
    • Chemistry
    • Nursing
    • Physics
    • Psychology
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #13

    Dickinson College

    Carlisle , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    52%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Dickinson College known for?

    Dickinson College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Earth Sciences
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  12. #15

    Lafayette College

    Easton , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    36%

    Graduation

    90%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1345/30

    What is Lafayette College known for?

    Lafayette College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Literature
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Economics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #16

    Washington & Jefferson College

    Washington , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Washington & Jefferson College known for?

    Washington & Jefferson College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Business
    • Literature
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #17

    Franklin & Marshall College

    Lancaster , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $63K

    Acceptance

    37%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Franklin & Marshall College known for?

    Franklin & Marshall College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Anthropology
    • History
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Economics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #18

    Gettysburg College

    Gettysburg , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    48%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    3K

    What is Gettysburg College known for?

    Gettysburg College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  16. #19

    Gannon University

    Erie , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/22

    What is Gannon University known for?

    Gannon University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Nursing
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  17. Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/19

    What is Indiana University of Pennsylvania known for?

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Education
    • Earth Sciences
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #21

    La Salle University

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    4K

    What is La Salle University known for?

    La Salle University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Philosophy
    • Religious Studies
    • Communications
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Chemistry
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #22

    Widener University

    Chester , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    What is Widener University known for?

    Widener University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • Law
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Physics
    • Political Science
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #23

    Saint Joseph's University

    Philadelphia , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    What is Saint Joseph's University known for?

    Saint Joseph's University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Economics
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  21. #24

    Lincoln University

    Lincoln University , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/17

    What is Lincoln University known for?

    Lincoln University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Anthropology

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #25

    University of Scranton

    Scranton , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $48K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/26

    What is University of Scranton known for?

    University of Scranton’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Political Science
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  23. #26

    Grove City College

    Grove City , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1257/26

    What is Grove City College known for?

    Grove City College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Economics
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Physics
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #27

    Elizabethtown College

    Elizabethtown , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/24

    What is Elizabethtown College known for?

    Elizabethtown College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology
    • History
    • Economics
    • Chemistry
    • Business
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  25. #28

    West Chester University

    West Chester , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

    What is West Chester University known for?

    West Chester University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Sociology
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Physics
    • Business
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  26. #29

    Ursinus College

    Collegeville , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    74%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1250/27

    What is Ursinus College known for?

    Ursinus College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Economics
    • History
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  27. #30

    Eastern University

    Saint Davids , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $36K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    What is Eastern University known for?

    Eastern University ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Anthropology
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Social Work
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Education

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
Back to Top

Find the Best Colleges in Pennsylvania for Area of Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Swarthmore College
  2. Carnegie Mellon University
  3. University of Pennsylvania
  4. Bryn Mawr College
  5. Haverford College
  6. University of Pittsburgh
  7. Westminster College
  8. Lehigh University
  9. Bucknell University
  10. Wilkes University
  11. Dickinson College
  12. Drexel University
  13. Franklin & Marshall College
  14. Pennsylvania State University
  15. Saint Francis University
  16. Elizabethtown College
  17. Villanova University
  18. Lafayette College
  19. Thomas Jefferson University
  20. Temple University
  21. Allegheny College
  22. Washington & Jefferson College
  23. Ursinus College
  24. Susquehanna University
  25. Gettysburg College