Best Research Universities in Pennsylvania 2023

Best Research Universities in Pennsylvania 2023

Interested in attending a STEM school in Pennsylvania? Our ranking of top research universities for bachelor’s degrees displays schools that will best prepare you for STEM careers.

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.


What are Pennsylvania’s Colleges & Universities?

Pennsylvania’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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A research university is a great option for students interested in obtaining STEM degrees. Research universities invest heavily in research, which consequently provides meaningful and extensive opportunities for its students and faculty to participate in research. We’ve identified 15 research universities in Pennsylvania. To be included in our ranking, schools must be a fully accredited universities and must must offer doctoral degrees across the range of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

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Best Research Universities in Pennsylvania 2022

  1. #1

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    6%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1515/34

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    16K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

  3. #8

    Duquesne University

    Pittsburgh , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $44K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    78%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1195/25

    Duquesne University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Computer Systems Technology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Organizational Leadership
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #9

    Thomas Jefferson University

    Philadelphia , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1180/23

    Thomas Jefferson University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Accounting
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Criminal Justice
    Degree Concentrations
    • Computer Forensics
    • Crime and Criminal Behavior
    • Criminal Justice Administration
    • Homeland Security and Emergency Management
    • Probation and Parole
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Accounting
    • Acquisition and Contract Management
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Finance
    • Health Services Administration
    • Human Resource Management
    • Hospitality and Tourism Management
    • Joe Gibbs Performance Management
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Project Management
    • Retail Management
    • Social Media Marketing
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BAS in Management
    • Required Credits: 180
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #12

    Widener University

    Chester , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $50K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1122/23

  6. #13

    Robert Morris University

    Moon Township , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    94%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/26

  7. #14

    Wilkes University

    Wilkes-Barre , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $40K

    Acceptance

    95%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/23

  8. #15

    Immaculata University

    Immaculata , PA

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    69%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/20

    What is Immaculata University known for?

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

    Most Influential Alumni

    Immaculata University’s Online Degrees

    BS in Allied Health for Clinical Professionals
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Care Management
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Cybersecurity
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Organizational Behavior
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Resources Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Emergency Planning and Management
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Leadership
    • Required Credits: 126
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Business Management
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Find the Best Research Universities in Pennsylvania for Your Area of Interest

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 utilized 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. Carnegie Mellon University
  2. University of Pennsylvania
  3. University of Pittsburgh
  4. Chatham University
  5. Lehigh University
  6. Wilkes University
  7. Drexel University
  8. Pennsylvania State University
  9. Villanova University
  10. Thomas Jefferson University
  11. Temple University
  12. Widener University
  13. Duquesne University
  14. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  15. Gannon University

Check out our directory of research universities throughout the U.S. for a look at the top research institutions in every state.