10 Best Colleges in Pennsylvania in 2022

The state of Pennsylvania is rich in culture and history and is popularly called the Keystone State. In the past, the state played an essential role in the foundation of the United States. It is also widely referred to by others as the Quaker State because Pennsylvania had a close association with the Quaker faith and William Penn.

Besides Pennsylvania’s rich culture and history, it is the hometown of hundreds of colleges and four-year degree-offering universities in the United States. Among the many colleges includes large research colleges, small Liberal Arts Colleges, and medium-sized universities.

The Quaker brothers were responsible for the establishment of many of the existing colleges with a strong emphasis on community comradeship and services. Pennsylvania is also prominent for its high-quality academic programs.

Below, we will discuss the top best colleges in Pennsylvania.

Top Ten Colleges in Pennsylvania

  •  University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Lehigh University
  •  Villanova University
  •  University of Pittsburgh—Pittsburgh Campus
  • Pennsylvania State University—University Park
  • Drexel University
  • Temple University
  • Duquesne University
  •  Thomas Jefferson University

#1. University of Pennsylvania (UPenn)

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • School Type: Private. Coed
  • Year the University was founded: 1740
  • University Setting: City
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • Acceptance Rate: 9%
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 9,872 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $61,710
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1460-1570
  • Middle 50% ACT: 33-35
  • Phone: (215) 898-5000
  • Website: University of Pennsylvania

In 1740, the private university of Pennsylvania was founded by Benjamin Franklin with a campus size of 299 acres. The college runs on a semester-based calendar. There are more than 25 NCAA among the Division 1 sports that actively participate in the Ivy League.

Their basketball and lacrosse teams are proficient. The college provides accommodation for students in over 10 college apartments. However, many students prefer to live off-campus.

The college has about 25% of its students actively engaged in Greek life, which is made up of about fifty sororities and fraternities.

The University of Pennsylvania is number 8 on the 2022 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities. Among the prominent alumni of this college is former President Donald Trump and the famous musician John Legend.

See Also: 10 Cheapest Colleges In Pennsylvania PA | 2022 UPDATED

#2. Carnegie Mellon University

  • Location: Pittsburgh
  • School Type: Private. Coed
  • Year the University was founded: 1900
  • University Setting: City
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • Acceptance Rate: 17%
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 7,073 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $58,924
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1460-1570
  • Middle 50% ACT: 33-35
  • Phone: (412) 268-2000
  • Website: Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon ranks number 25 on the 2022 copy of Best Colleges in National Universities. The University was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie, a philanthropist, and an industrialist.

Besides the academic excellence of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh offers a fine range of entertainment and dining opportunities and also great opportunities for sports lovers in hockey, football, and baseball. At Carnegie, only freshmen are required to reside on campus. Nonetheless, some students decide to remain on campus all through their stay in college.

The university is prominent for its programs in the area of science and technology. The university has seven schools and colleges that include the Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Science, and the College of Fine Arts.

Carnegie undergraduates have the opportunity to take part in research and can even get support in their field of study in the form of summer fellowships and grants.

Among its prominent personalities is Randy Pausch, former professor of the university and the author of the best-seller The Last Lecture.

#3. Lehigh University

  • Location: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • School Type: Private. Coed
  • Year the University was founded: 1865
  • University Setting: Urban
  • Religious Affiliation: None
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 5,203 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $57,470
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1260-1433
  • Middle 50% ACT: 29-33
  • Phone: (610) 758-3000
  • Website: Lehigh University

Lehigh is a private university. The size of the campus is 2,355 acres with an urban setting. The university operates using a semester-based academic calendar system.

According to the 2022 edition of Best, Colleges in National Universities, Lehigh ranks number 49. Lehigh University has a vibrant sports team that is a part of the NCAA I.

One-third of Lehigh university students are in fraternities and sororities. As a freshman at the university, you will live on campus.

The Greek housing and other campus halls are available for sophomores. The college’s main campus is located on a wooded slope with half of it in open space. 

There are several undergraduate and graduate majors available at Lehigh. Among its most prominent graduate programs are the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, and the College of Education.

Some of the prominent alumni of Lehigh University include Jesse W. Reno, the man who invented the escalator, and Howard McClintic and Charles Marshall, who are famous for the George Washington Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, and the Panama Canal.

See Also: 10 Best Engineering Schools in Pennsylvania

#4. Villanova University

  • Location: Villanova
  • School Type: Private, Coed
  • Year the University was founded: 1842
  • University Setting: Residential
  • Religious Affiliation: Christian (Roman Catholic)
  • Acceptance Rate: 31% and 25.2% (early acceptance rate)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 7,037 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $59,900
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1320-1460
  • Middle 50% ACT: 30-33
  • Phone: (610) 519-4500
  • Website: Villanova University

Villanova University began operation in 1842 and has a campus size of 260 acres. The University operates according to a semester-based educational calendar. In the 2022 edition of Best Colleges in National University, Villanova sits at the 49th position.

The University was named after Thomas of Villanova, a Spanish Augustinian priest. Villanova has six colleges that are situated outside Philadelphia.

Four out of the six colleges are utilized by undergraduate and graduate students.

Villanova graduate school includes the Charles Widger School of Law and the School of Business.

There are over 280 student-run organizations in Villanova like the Blue Key Society which takes freshmen on a tour around the university as well as take charge of prospective student days.

In sports, Villanova is also very notable for hosting the largest special Olympics in the world run by students. The university is also a member of the NCAA Division I Big East Conference.

The students are also responsible prominent for providing a quarter-million hours of service to the local community every year.

There are also sororities and fraternities available on campus. Freshmen are guaranteed housing on campus 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
  • Religious Affiliation: No
  • Acceptance Rate: 64%
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 19,197 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $34,124 (out-of-state), $19,092 (in-state)
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1243-1420
  • Middle 50% ACT: 28-32
  • Phone: (412) 624-4141
  • Website: University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh—Pittsburgh Campus is a public institution.

With a campus size of 145 acres and a metropolitan setting, the university 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 exclusive cultural centers 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 powerhouse professional sports teams like the Penguins and Stellers.

As a student at the University of Pittsburgh, you gain free admission to select locations and museums during your school years.

Fun activities in Pittsburgh include fishing, kayaking sailing, thanks to the abundance of water around the university. Students of Pittsburgh also enjoy free bus rides into the city and buses are available every ten to fifteen minutes to pick up students.

There are close to forty sororities and fraternities available on campus as well as a large Greek community.

Arts and Science major students can enjoy the practical experience through internships, teaching, and research with the assistance of the University’s Undergraduate Research Office, Creative Activity, and Scholarship.

Among the notable alumni of the college are Andrew Mellon—Former U.S. Secretary of Treasury, Dan Marino, Mike Ditka, and the first African-American four-star general in the United States Army—Roscoe Robinson.

See Also: Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences: Programs, Tuition, Ranking, Scholarships

#6. Pennsylvania State University—University Park

  • Location: University Park
  • School Type: Public
  • Year the University was founded: 1855
  • University Setting: Metropolitan
  • Religious Affiliation: No
  • Acceptance Rate: 54%, 67.9% (Early acceptance rate)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 39,809 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $36,476.
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1150-1340
  • Middle 50% ACT: 25-30
  • Phone: (814) 865-4700
  • Website: Pennsylvania State University—University park

In 1855, Pennsylvania State University—University Park was founded as a public institution. The university has a size of 7,958 acres and features a metropolitan style of housing.

The university is always buzzing with activities. The University is also referred to as Happy Valley and it is home to over a thousand clubs and groups.

It provides students with numerous opportunities to become an active part of campus life.

According to the 2022 edition of Best Colleges in National University, Penn ranks number 63.

Besides the nightlife and fun, the school is also prominent in the area of sports and is part of the division one Big Ten Conference. The school mascot is known as Nittany Lion while the football team plays in one of the biggest arenas in North America—Beaver Stadium.

There are over 70 fraternities and sororities at Pennsylvania State University with a very effective Greek system. More than 16,000 Penn Students are part of the biggest student-run philanthropy organization known as THRON.

Also,

The society is involved in raising funds for pediatric cancer research and awareness. The students of Pennsylvania University also engage in a 46-hours dance marathon.

Penn University provides accommodation for freshmen through the university housing system. 

As part of the university awareness program, the university undergraduates take part in the daily production of the Collegian newspaper. Pennsylvania Students receive a daily copy of the Center Daily Times, USA Today, and the New York Times.

Due to the proximity of mountains around the school, students enjoy activities like hiking, snowboarding, and skiing.

Among the alumni of Pennsylvania State University are notable personalities like Valerie Plame Wilson (Author and former CIA agent) and John Cappelletti (Former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner).  

#7. Drexel University

  • Location: Philadelphia
  • School Type: Private, Coed
  • Year the University was founded: 1891
  • University Setting: Metropolitan
  • Religious Affiliation: No
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 14,552 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $57,136.
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1180-1380
  • Middle 50% ACT: 25-31
  • Phone: (215) 895-2000
  • Website: Drexel University

With a size of 96 acres, Drexel is quite small when compared to other universities on this list of best colleges in Pennsylvania. However, in terms of quality of education and student life, Drexel University founded in 1891 is up to standard with the big names in its class.

The 2022 edition of Best Colleges in National University ranks Drexel University number 103.

The university combines in-class experience with extensive on-the-job training to prepare its students for the job market after their graduation.

Through the coed program, Drexel University sends out its students to work with over 1,600 employers across the globe for 6 months of working experience.

Most of the Coeds are also offer paid opportunities and on average, Drexel students take home over $16,000.

Generally, students that wish to graduate within four years will most likely skip the coed program. However, those that participate in up to three Coed programs generally graduate in 5 years.

In addition,

There are several activities to keep students busy during their free time on campus. They can be part of one of the student clubs and organizations available on campus (The School boasts over 300).

There are also more than 30 sororities and fraternities available on campus.

In sports, Drexel is part of the NCAA I Colonial Athletic Association.

The Drexel programs that have high credibility in the United States include Colleges of Engineering, Law, and Medical Schools.

Some of the notable personalities that passed through the university include Michael Anderson (former professional basketballer) and Earle I. Mack (Former ambassador to Finland).

See Also: How to Become a Private Investigator in Pennsylvania PA 2022

#8. Temple University

  • Location: Philadelphia
  • School Type: Public
  • Year the University was founded: 1884
  • University Setting: Metropolitan
  • Religious Affiliation: No
  • Acceptance Rate: 71% and 85.7% (Early Acceptance Rate)
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 27,306 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $20,291 (in-state) and $34,801 (out-of-state)
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1090-1280
  • Middle 50% ACT: 23-30
  • Phone: (215) 204-7000
  • Website: Temple University

There is no doubt that Philadelphia, PA is home to a majority of the colleges found in Pennsylvania, and Temple University is one of them. In 1884, Temple University, a privately owned university came into existence to tackle the growing need for academic institutions. The university features a metropolitan setting.

While the university may not be as large as the ones above, it still occupies a landmass of 406 acres. Temple runs using a semester-based calendar and freshmen don’t need to live on campus.

Temple students can request suitable rooms using the school’s online portal. Potential rooms are made available on the university’s portal and can also use the matching program to select their suitable roommates.

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

The school has a sports body that is alive and a part of the NCAA I American Athletic Conference. They are also home to pro athletic teams like the Flyers, the Phillies, and the Eagles.

The school is booming with over 300 student organizations and runs numerous research programs.

Richard J. Fox School of Business and management and the prestigious James E. Beasley School of law are both located in Temple University among others.

Some of the notable figures that graduated from Temple University include Bill Cosby and Jeff Kravitz (celebrity photographer).

#9. Duquesne University

  • Location: Philadelphia
  • School Type: Private, Coed
  • Year the University was founded: 1878
  • University Setting: Metropolitan
  • Religious Affiliation: Christian (Roman Catholic)
  • Acceptance Rate: 77%
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 5,383 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $43,526
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1120-1270
  • Middle 50% ACT: 23-28
  • Phone: (412) 396-6000
  • Website: Duquesne University

The metropolitan style private university—Duquesne University, was founded in 1878 and is affiliated with the Catholic Church. The university is only 49 acres in size and relies on a semester-based academic calendar system to operate.

According to the 2022 edition of the Best Colleges in National Universities, Duquesne ranks number 148.

In sports, the university is part of the NCAA Division I. The University also offers some student services including placement services, non-remedial tutoring, daycare service, health insurance, and services.

The good thing is that despite its affiliation with the Catholic Church, the university permits the drinking of alcohol for students of legal age. Forty percent of the students have cars on campus.

#10. Thomas Jefferson University

  • Location: Philadelphia
  • School Type: Private, Coed
  • Year the University was founded: 1824
  • University Setting: Metropolitan
  • Religious Affiliation: No
  • Acceptance Rate: 70%
  • Undergraduate enrollment: 3,783 (fall 2020)
  • Tuition fee: $41,715
  • Middle 50% SAT: 1090-1270
  • Middle 50% ACT: 20-27
  • Phone: (215) 955-6000
  • Website: Thomas Jefferson University

Thomas Jefferson University blends the busy city life with the serenity of college life. Measuring 104 acres in size, the university has a beautiful landscape lined with trees and provides a serenity that takes your mind off the busy city life.

According to the 2022 edition of Best, Colleges in National Universities, Thomas Jefferson ranks number 148.

Students can easily access the world-class restaurants, entertainments centers, and museums from the university.

Recently, the university merged with Philadelphia University, which means a better curriculum and standard of education for the university. In sports, the university is part of the NCAA II.

See Also: Pennsylvania State University Online Programs | World Campus Review

Conclusion

With a variety of options available, selecting the best college can be a bit difficult for those hoping to take their academic experience to Pennsylvania. Nevertheless, this list of top ten colleges in Pennsylvania helps to cut down the list of universities for you.

It is essential to note that, while all the universities have their different acceptance rate, they are very selective. Therefore, you can use online Admission calculators to figure out your chances of being accepted.

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