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10 Best Colleges in Pennsylvania

10 Best Colleges in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania, a state rich in culture and history, is commonly known as the Keystone State. In the past, the state was instrumental in establishing the United States. Pennsylvania is also commonly known as the Quaker State due to its close affiliation with the Quaker faith and William Penn.

In addition to its rich culture and history, Pennsylvania is home to hundreds of four-year degree-granting schools and universities. There are huge research colleges, modest Liberal Arts institutions, and medium-sized universities among the various colleges.

Numerous universities with a strong emphasis on communal camaraderie and service were founded by the Quaker brothers. Pennsylvania is renowned for its excellent academic programs.

List of the 10 Best Colleges in Pennsylvania 

The following is a list of the 10 Best Colleges in Pennsylvania in 2023:

  1.  University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
  2. Carnegie Mellon University
  3. Lehigh University
  4.  Villanova University
  5.  University of Pittsburgh—Pittsburgh Campus
  6. Pennsylvania State University—University Park
  7. Drexel University
  8. Temple University
  9. Duquesne University
  10.  Thomas Jefferson University

1. Pennsylvania’s University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

Best Colleges in Pennsylvania

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Type of School: Private Coed
  • The University was established in 1740
  • Acceptance Rate: 9%
  • Cost of tuition: $61,710
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1460-1570
  • Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania established the 299-acre campus of the private University of Pennsylvania in 1740. The university operates on a semester-based schedule. Ivy League institutions actively compete in more than 25 NCAA Division 1 sports.

Their basketball and lacrosse teams are both highly skilled. The Best Colleges in Pennsylvania provides student housing in over ten college residences. However, many students prefer off-campus housing.

About 25% of the college’s students are actively involved in Greek life, which consists of approximately fifty sororities and fraternities.

The University of Pennsylvania is ranked eighth on the 2022 Best Colleges in National Universities list. This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania notable alumni include former President Donald Trump and renowned musician John Legend.

2. Carnegie Mellon College

  • Location: Pittsburgh
  • Type of School: Private Coed
  • 1900 is the year of the university’s founding.
  • Acceptance Rate: 17%
  • Cost of tuition: $58,924
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1460-1570
  • Middle 50% ACT: 33-35

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania is ranked at number 25 on the 2022 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities. Andrew Carnegie, a philanthropist and industrialist, established the University in the year 1900.

In addition to Carnegie Mellon University’s academic quality, Pittsburgh offers a wide variety of entertainment and culinary options, as well as tremendous chances for hockey, football, and baseball fans. Only freshmen are required to live on campus at Carnegie. However, some students choose to remain on campus for their entire college career.

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania is distinguished for its scientific and technology offerings. There are seven schools and colleges at this university, including the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Science and the College of Fine Arts.

Undergraduates at Carnegie have the option to do research and can even receive help in the form of summer scholarships and grants.

Randy Pausch, former lecturer at the institution and author of the best-seller The Last Lecture, is one of its most notable figures.

3. Cornell University

  • Bethlehem is located in Pennsylvania
  • Type of School: Private Coed
  • The University was established in 1865
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Cost of tuition: $57,470
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1260-1433
  • Middle 50% ACT: 29-33

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania is a private school. The campus consists of 2,355 acres in an urban area. The academic calendar of the university is organized by semester.

Lehigh ranks number 49 in the 2022 edition of Best, Colleges in National Universities. Lehigh University boasts a thriving NCAA Division I sports program.

One-third of students at Lehigh University belong to fraternities and sororities. As a college freshman, you will reside on campus.

For sophomores, the Greek house and other campus halls are offered. The main campus of the college is situated on a wooded slope with half of it being open space.

The Best Colleges in Pennsylvania offers various undergraduate and graduate majors. P.C. is one of the most prestigious graduate programs. The Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science as well as the College of Education.

Jesse W. Reno, the inventor of the escalator, and Howard McClintic and Charles Marshall, renowned for the George Washington Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, and the Panama Canal, are notable alumni of Lehigh University.

4. Villanova University

Best Colleges in Pennsylvania

  • Location: Villanova
  • Private and Coeducational
  • Rate of Acceptance: 31% and 25% (early acceptance rate)
  • Cost of tuition: $59,900
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1320-1460
  • Middle 50% ACT: 30-33

Villanova University was established in 1842 and features a 260-acre campus. The educational calendar of the University is divided into semesters. In the 2022 edition of National University’s Best Colleges, Villanova is ranked 49th.

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania was named after the Spanish Augustinian priest Thomas of Villanova. Six of Villanova’s colleges are located outside of Philadelphia.

Four of the six colleges are attended by students at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The graduate school at Villanova is comprised of the Charles Widger School of Law and the School of Business.

There are around 280 student-run groups at Villanova, including the Blue Key Society, which gives tours of the campus to incoming students and oversees prospective student days.

In sports, Villanova is noteworthy for hosting the largest student-run special Olympics in the world. The university is also a member of the Big East Conference of NCAA Division I.

The students are also prominently responsible for performing a quarter-million hours of community service annually.

On campus, there are also sororities and fraternities. Freshmen are assured on-campus accommodation for their first three years.

Villanova University Wildcats is also reputable for its success in the male basketball program.

5. University of Pittsburgh—Pittsburgh Campus

  • Location: Oakland neighborhood, Pittsburgh
  • School Type: Public
  • Year the University was founded: 1787
  • University Setting: Metropolitan
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Tuition fee: $34,124 (out-of-state), $19,092 (in-state) (in-state)
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1243-1420
  • Middle 50% ACT: 28-32

University of Pittsburgh—Pittsburgh Campus is a public institution.

With a campus size of 145 acres and a metropolitan setting, this Best Colleges in Pennsylvania has all the qualities to be on this list of the top ten best colleges in Pennsylvania.

According to Best Colleges in National Universities (2022 edition), the university ranks number 59.

There are dozens of special cultural venues like the Phipp Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Andy Warhol Museum available in the Oakland neighborhood where the university is located.

It is also home to professional sports powerhouses such as the Penguins and Stellers.

During your time as a student at the University of Pittsburgh, you have free access to various locations and museums.

Fishing, kayaking, and sailing are enjoyable pastimes in Pittsburgh due to the availability of water surrounding the university. Students in Pittsburgh also have access to free bus rides into the city, with buses departing every ten to fifteen minutes.

There are close to forty sororities and fraternities on campus, in addition to a substantial Greek community.

With the help of the University’s Undergraduate Research Office, Creative Activity, and Scholarship, students majoring in the arts and sciences can gain practical experience through internships, teaching, and research.

Andrew Mellon, the former United States Secretary of the Treasury, Dan Marino, Mike Ditka, and Roscoe Robinson, the first African-American four-star general in the United States Army, are prominent alumni of the college.

6. University Park is the main campus of Pennsylvania State University

  • University Park is the location of the
  • Type of School: Public
  • 1855 is the year of the university’s founding
  • Metropolitan University Ambience
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%, 67.9% (Early acceptance rate)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 39,809 (fall 2020)
  • The tuition is $36,476.
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1150-1340
  • Middle 50% ACT: 25-30

Public institution Pennsylvania State University—University Park was founded in 1855. The university’s size is 7,958 acres, and its housing style is urban.

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania is perpetually bustling with activity. The University, popularly known as Happy Valley, is home to nearly a thousand clubs and organizations.

As one of the Best Colleges in Pennsylvania, it offers students several possibilities to participate actively in campus life.

Penn is ranked number 63 in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges in National University.

In addition to its nightlife and enjoyment, the school is a member of the Big Ten Conference’s division one and is a notable athletics institution. The school mascot is the Nittany Lion, and the football team plays in Beaver Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in North America.

At Pennsylvania State University, there are over 70 fraternities and sororities with a highly effective Greek system. More than 16,000 Penn students are members of THRON, the largest student-run philanthropic organization.

In addition, the group raises funds and promotes awareness for pediatric cancer research. Pennsylvania University students also participate in a 46-hour dancing marathon.

Freshmen at Penn University are provided lodging through the university housing system.

Undergraduate students contribute to the daily production of the Collegian newspaper as part of a university awareness initiative. Students in Pennsylvania receive daily copies of the Center Daily Times, USA Today, and New York Times.

Due to the school’s proximity to mountains, students enjoy sports such as hiking, snowboarding, and skiing.

Pennsylvania State University graduates include famous figures such as Valerie Plame Wilson (author and former CIA agent) and John Cappelletti (Former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner).

7. The university Drexel

  • Place: Philadelphia
  • Private and Coeducational
  • Metropolitan University Ambience
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Tuition: $57,136 per year.
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1180-1380
  • Middle 50% ACT: 25-31

In comparison to other colleges on this list of the Best Colleges in Pennsylvania, Drexel’s 96 acres of land are rather tiny. In terms of school quality and student life, however, Drexel University, founded in 1891, is on par with the class leaders.

Drexel University is ranked number 103 in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges in National University.

To prepare its students for the labor market when they graduate, the university blends classroom instruction with significant on-the-job training.

Through the coed program, Drexel University sends its students to gain six months of work experience with over 1,600 employers around the world.

The majority of Coeds are offered paid employment, and on average, Drexel students earn over $16,000 per year.

Students who aim to finish within four years will typically avoid the coed program. Those who enroll in up to three coed programs typically graduate in five years.

In addition, there are numerous activities on campus to occupy students during their leisure time. They can join one of the numerous student clubs and organizations on campus (The School boasts over 300).

Additionally, there are over thirty sororities and fraternities on campus.

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania is a member of the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association.

In the United States, the colleges of engineering, law, and medicine at Drexel offer programs with a high level of credibility.

Michael Anderson (former professional basketball player) and Earle I. Mack are among the noteworthy individuals who attended the university (Former ambassador to Finland).

8. Harvard University

  • Place: Philadelphia
  • The University was established in 1884
  • Metropolitan University Ambience
  • Acceptance Rate: 71 and 85 percent (Early Acceptance Rate)
  • Tuition: $20,291 (in-state) and $34,801 (out-of-state) (out-of-state)
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1090-1280
  • Middle 50% ACT: 23-30

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania is, without a doubt, one of the majority of colleges in Pennsylvania that are located in Philadelphia, PA. Temple University, a privately owned university, was founded in 1884 in response to the growing demand for academic institutions. The university is located in a metropolitan area.

Even though the university is smaller than those listed above, it still occupies 406 acres of land. The academic calendar at Temple is semester-based, and freshmen are not required to live on campus.

Using the school’s online portal, students at Temple can request suitable rooms. Potential rooms are listed on the university’s portal, and students can use the matching program to find compatible roommates.

According to the ranking by the 2022 edition of Best College in National Universities, Temple University is number 103.

The school’s athletic department is active and a member of the NCAA Division I American Athletic Conference. They are also home to professional sports clubs including as the Flyers, Phillies, and Eagles.

There are over 300 student groups and various research initiatives at the institution.

Richard J. Fox School of Business and administration and the famed James E. Beasley School of law, among others, are both housed at Temple University.

Bill Cosby and Jeff Kravitz are among the noteworthy figures who graduated from Temple University (celebrity photographer).

9. Duquesne University

  • Place: Philadelphia
  • Private and Coeducational
  • Christianity is the individual’s religious affiliation (Roman Catholic)
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Cost of tuition: $43,526
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1120-1270
  • Middle 50% ACT: 23-28

Duquesne University, a private university with a metropolitan style, was founded in 1878 and is linked with the Catholic Church. The university consists of only 49 acres and operates on a semester-based academic cycle.

The 2022 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities places Duquesne at number 148.

In athletics, the university competes in Division I of the NCAA. The university also provides students with placement services, non-remedial tutoring, daycare service, and health insurance.

The good news is that despite its association with the Catholic Church, this Best Colleges in Pennsylvania allows legal-age students to consume alcohol. Forty percent of students on campus have vehicles.

10. Thomas Jefferson College

Best Colleges in Pennsylvania

  • Place: Philadelphia
  • Metropolitan University Ambience
  • Lacking Religious Affiliation
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Cost of tuition: $41,715
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1090-1270
  • Middle 50% ACT: 20-27

Thomas Jefferson University combines the hustle and bustle of the metropolis with the tranquility of campus life. The university’s 104-acre campus is surrounded by a magnificent, tree-lined landscape that gives a tranquil setting away from the hectic city life.

This Best Colleges in Pennsylvania is ranked 148th in the 2022 edition of Best, Colleges in National Universities.

From the campus, students may quickly reach world-class restaurants, entertainment centers, and museums.

Recently, the university amalgamated with Philadelphia University, resulting in an improved curriculum and educational standard. In athletics, the university is a member of NCAA Division II.

FAQs On Best Colleges in Pennsylvania

What is the number 1 hardest college to get into?

Harvard ranked as the toughest school in the country to get into. It has a 5% acceptance rate, according to Niche. Stanford came in second on the list— with an acceptance rate of 5% as well.

What is the Ivy League school in PA?

Penn is one of eight private universities known as the Ivy League. There are over 21,000 students at Penn, including 4,500 international students. Over 4,700 faculty members teach at Penn.

What is the safest part of PA?

Munhall is Pennsylvania's safest city, garnering a 0.71 Safety Index score on the strength of an extremely low violent crime rate of 0.54 per 1,000 and a property crime rate a quarter of the national average. With a Safety Index score of 0.7, Willistown Township is close behind.

Why are people moving to Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is a place where Fortune 500 companies thrive and scrappy startups grow. Residents enjoy stunning natural scenery, professional sports, creative arts and culture and great food – at a surprisingly affordable price point. If you're looking to relocate, PA definitely deserves a place on your short list.

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