Pennsylvania’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Pennsylvania offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Pennsylvania’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

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.

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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.

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What are Pennsylvania’s Colleges & Universities?

Pennsylvania’s Best Overall


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There are 35 doctorate-granting universities in Pennsylvania. The top 25 graduate schools below are composed of both private and public schools that satisfy the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 50%.

How do we determine Pennsylvania's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

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Best Grad Schools in Pennsylvania

  1. #1

    University of Pennsylvania

    #16 institution's historical influence
    #10 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $58K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    Philadelphia, PA

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    What is University of Pennsylvania known for?

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

    • Business
    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Law
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Carnegie Mellon University

    #35 institution's historical influence
    #35 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    Pittsburgh, PA

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    What is Carnegie Mellon University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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  3. #3

    University of Pittsburgh

    #58 institution's historical influence
    #987 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    84%

    Student body

    27K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1350/30

    Pittsburgh, PA

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    What is University of Pittsburgh known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

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  4. #4

    Pennsylvania State University

    #77 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $18K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    47K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1190/26

    University Park, PA

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    What is Pennsylvania State University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Biology
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Temple University

    #131 institution's historical influence
    #1402 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    33K

    Philadelphia, PA

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    What is Temple University known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Business
    • Law
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Drexel University

    #310 institution's historical influence
    #54 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1290/28

    Philadelphia, PA

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    What is Drexel University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Chemistry
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #7

    Bryn Mawr College

    #251 institution's historical influence
    #119 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $54K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    85%

    Student body

    2K

    Bryn Mawr, PA

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    What is Bryn Mawr College known for?

    Bryn Mawr College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • History
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Lehigh University

    #294 institution's historical influence
    #89 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1365/31

    Bethlehem, PA

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    What is Lehigh University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • Computer Science
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Psychology

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Villanova University

    #451 institution's historical influence
    #198 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    31%

    Graduation

    92%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1395/32

    Villanova, PA

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    What is Villanova University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Law
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

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  10. #10

    Wilkes University

    #2455 institution's historical influence
    #386 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1119/23

    Wilkes-Barre, PA

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    What is Wilkes University known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • History
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
  11. #11

    Thomas Jefferson University

    #439 institution's historical influence
    #568 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $42K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1165/24

    Philadelphia, PA

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    What is Thomas Jefferson University known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Psychology
    • Chemistry
    • Communications
    • Law
    • Computer Science
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

  12. #12

    Duquesne University

    #550 institution's historical influence
    #1080 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/25

    Pittsburgh, PA

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    What is Duquesne University known for?

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

    • Law
    • Business
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Medical
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

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  13. #13

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    #1397 institution's historical influence
    #334 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    10K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1015/19

    Indiana, PA

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    What is Indiana University of Pennsylvania known for?

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

    • Education
    • Business
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #14

    Widener University

    #1273 institution's historical influence
    #583 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    75%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/22

    Chester, PA

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    What is Widener University known for?

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

    • Law
    • Business
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #15

    University of Scranton

    #1260 institution's historical influence
    #567 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $46K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1215/26

    Scranton, PA

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    What is University of Scranton known for?

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

    • Literature
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  16. #16

    Saint Joseph's University

    #1166 institution's historical influence
    #266 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $47K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    81%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/26

    Philadelphia, PA

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    What is Saint Joseph's University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Philosophy
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

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  17. #17

    Point Park University

    #3039 institution's historical influence
    #439 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    55%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/22

    Pittsburgh, PA

    View profile

    What is Point Park University known for?

    Point Park University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #18

    Arcadia University

    #2081 institution's historical influence
    #812 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/24

    Glenside, PA

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    What is Arcadia University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Communications
    • Law
    • Psychology
    REQUEST INFO
  19. #19

    West Chester University

    #1700 institution's historical influence
    #1387 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    75%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1120/23

    West Chester, PA

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    What is West Chester University known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #20

    Eastern University

    #2137 institution's historical influence
    #1415 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    58%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1130/23

    Saint Davids, PA

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    What is Eastern University known for?

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

    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Anthropology
    • Literature
    • Philosophy
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

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  21. #21

    Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

    #2200 institution's historical influence

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    74%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    9K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/21

    Slippery Rock, PA

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    What is Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania known for?

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

    • Economics
    • Education
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  22. #22

    Penn State Harrisburg

    #4227 institution's historical influence
    #647 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $15K

    Student body

    5K

    Middletown, PA

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    What is Penn State Harrisburg known for?

    Penn State Harrisburg’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics
  23. #23

    Gannon University

    #1768 institution's historical influence
    #301 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $34K

    Acceptance

    79%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/22

    Erie, PA

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    What is Gannon University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Communications
    • History
    • Chemistry
    • Engineering
    • Nursing
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #24

    Robert Morris University

    #2659 institution's historical influence
    #527 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $31K

    Acceptance

    86%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/24

    Moon Township, PA

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    What is Robert Morris University known for?

    Robert Morris University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Economics
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  25. #25

    Lancaster Bible College

    #5593 institution's historical influence
    #168 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $26K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Lancaster, PA

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    What is Lancaster Bible College known for?

    Lancaster Bible College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
    • Communications

Pennsylvania’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!


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