Philadelphia Area Colleges and Universities

Learn About 30 Colleges and Universities In and Around Philadelphia

If you're looking for a college in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, you have a wide range of options. From an Ivy League university a small Christian College, the Philadelphia area offers an impressive breadth of options for higher education. Whether students choose to attend school in the city or in its suburbs, the rich cultural and historical attractions of the city are readily accessible through the area's public transportation system.

The 30 colleges and universities below are all within 20 miles of Center City Philadelphia.

Arcadia University

Arcadia University
Arcadia University. Montgomery County Planning Commission / Flickr
  • Location: Glenside, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 10 miles
  • School Type: Private liberal arts university
  • Distinguishing Features: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; small classes; excellent study abroad program; Grey Towers Castle (a stunning National Historic Landmark)
  • Learn More: Arcadia University admissions profile

Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College. Montgomery County Planning Commission / Flickr

Cabrini College

Cabrini College
Cabrini College. Photo Courtesy of Cabrini College
  • Location: Radnor, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 15 miles
  • School Type: Roman Catholic liberal arts college
  • Distinguishing Features: attractive tree-lined campus; located on the Philadelphia Main Line; 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; strong focus on community service; member of the NCAA Division III Colonial States Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Cabrini College admissions profile

Cairn University

Cairn University
Cairn University. Desteini / Wikipedia
  • Location: Langhorne Manor, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 20 miles
  • School Type: private Christian university
  • Distinguishing Features: Christian faith and biblical teachings an integral part of a Cairn education; 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 18; strong religious studies program; member of the NCAA Division III Colonial States Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Cairn University admissions profile

Chestnut Hill College

Chestnut Hill College
Chestnut Hill College. shidairyproduct / Flickr
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 14 miles
  • School Type: Roman Catholic college
  • Distinguishing Features: 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio and a holistic approach to education; member of the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC); on of the top colleges for Harry Potter fans
  • Learn More: Chestnut Hill College admissions profile 

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania

Cheyney University Library
Cheyney University Library. Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Cheyney, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 20 miles
  • School Type: public historically black university
  • Distinguishing Features: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; oldest historically black college or university in the nation; member of the NCAA Division II Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Cheyney University admissions profile    

Curtis Institute of Music

Curtis Institute of Music on 18th and Lombard in Philadelphia
Curtis Institute of Music on 18th and Lombard in Philadelphia. Alsandro / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 0 miles
  • School Type: music conservatory
  • Distinguishing Features: one of the best music conservatories in the country; one of the country's most selective schools; 2 to 1 student / faculty ratio; enviable location near the Avenue of the Arts
  • Learn More: Curtis Institute of Music Website

Drexel University

Drexel-University
Drexel University. Sebastian Weigand / Wikipedia Commons
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 1 mile
  • School Type: private university
  • Distinguishing Features: strong business, engineering and nursing programs; 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; member of the NCAA Division I Colonial Athletic Association
  • Learn More: Drexel University admissions profile

Eastern University

The St. David's SEPTA Station, walking distance from the Eastern University campus
The St. David's SEPTA Station, walking distance from the Eastern University campus. Adam Moss / Flickr
  • Location: St. Davids, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 15 miles
  • School Type: private university affiliated with the American Baptist Churches
  • Distinguishing Features: 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; education grounded in Christian faith; popular education and nursing programs; located adjacent to Cabrini College; member of the NCAA Division III Middle Atlantic Conferences
  • Learn More: Eastern University admissions profile

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Mercy University. Photo Credit: Jim Roese
Gwynedd Mercy University. Photo Credit: Jim Roese. Photo Credit: Jim Roese
  • Location: Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 20 miles
  • School Type: private Roman Catholic University
  • Distinguishing Features: 10 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 17; strengths in education, health and business; high graduation rate in relation to student profile; member of the NCAA Division III Colonial States Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Gwynedd Mercy University admissions profile   

Haverford College

Haverford College
Haverford College. Antonio Castagna / Flickr

Holy Family University

The Philadelphia Skyline
The Philadelphia Skyline. Kevin Burkett / Flickr
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 14 miles
  • School Type: private Catholic university
  • Distinguishing Features: individualized educational experience with a 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio and average class size of 14; member of the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference; popular programs in business, education, and nursing
  • Learn More: Holy Family University admissions profile 

La Salle University

La Salle University Library
La Salle University Library. Audrey / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 7 miles
  • School Type: private Catholic university
  • Distinguishing Features: 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; students from 45 states; popular business, communications and nursing programs; Honors Program for high achieving students; member of the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 Conference
  • Learn More: La Salle University admissions profile 

Moore College of Art and Design

Wilson Hall at the Moore College of Art and Design
Wilson Hall at the Moore College of Art and Design. Daderot / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 0 miles
  • School Type: private women's college of art and design
  • Distinguishing Features: enviable location in Philadelphia's Parkway Museums District; rich history dating to 1848; high level of job placement in students' fields of study; test-optional admissions
  • Learn More: Moore College of Art and Design admissions profile 

Neumann University

Neumann University
Neumann University. Derek Ramsey / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Aston, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 20 miles
  • School Type: private Catholic university
  • Distinguishing Features: 14 to 1 student / faculty ratio and an emphasis on personal attention; new Living and Learning Centers for residential students; popular business, nursing and education programs; member of the NCAA Division III Colonial States Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Neumann University admissions profile  

Peirce College

Peirce College
Peirce College. TexasDex / Wikipedia
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 0 miles
  • School Type: career-focused college specializing in non-traditional students
  • Distinguishing Features: enviable location in Center City, Philadelphia; popular business, healthcare, and paralegal programs; many online offerings
  • Learn More: Peirce College admissions profile

Penn State Abington

Sutherland Building at Penn State Abington
Sutherland Building at Penn State Abington. AI R / Flickr
  • Location: Abington, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 15 miles
  • School Type: public university
  • Distinguishing Features: part of the Penn State network of campuses; commuter campus with most students coming from nearby counties; popular business and social psychology programs; member of the NCAA Division III North Eastern Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Penn State Abington admissions profile 

Penn State Brandywine

Penn State Brandywine Commencement
Penn State Brandywine Commencement. Jim, the Photographer / Flickr
  • Location: Media, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 20 miles
  • School Type: public university
  • Distinguishing Features: part of the Penn State network of campuses; commuter campus with easy access to public transportation; popular business, communications and human development/family studies programs; member of the Penn State University Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Penn State Brandywine admissions profile

Thomas Jefferson University

Scott Memorial Library on Thomas Jefferson University's Center City campus
Scott Memorial Library on Thomas Jefferson University's Center City campus.

Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons /  CC BY-SA 4.0

  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 7 miles (medical campus in Center City)
  • School Type: private university
  • Distinguishing Features: popular architecture, fashion merchandising, and graphic design communication programs; over 80 student clubs and organizations; 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; member of the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
  • Learn More: Thomas Jefferson University admissions profile 

Rosemont College

Rosemont College
Rosemont College. RaubDaub / Flickr
  • Location: Rosemont, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 11 miles
  • School Type: private Catholic liberal arts college
  • Distinguishing Features: located on the Philadelphia Main Line; 11 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 12; popular accounting, biology and psychology programs; member of the NCAA Division III Colonial States Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Rosemont College admissions profile 

Rowan University

Oak Hall at Rowan University
Oak Hall at Rowan University. Kd5463 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Glassboro, New Jersey
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 20 miles
  • School Type: public university
  • Distinguishing Features: 87 undergraduate majors offered through eight colleges; popular music education and business administration programs; 17 to 1 student / faculty ratio; member of the NCAA Division III New Jersey Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Rowan University admissions profile

Rutgers University Camden

Rutgers University Camden
Rutgers University Camden. Photo Credit: Henry Montesino
  • Location: Camden, New Jersey
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 2 miles
  • School Type: public university
  • Distinguishing Features: one of the regional campuses of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; 15 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 22; member of the NCAA Division III New Jersey Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Rutgers University Camden admissions profile

Saint Joseph's University

Saint Joseph's University
Saint Joseph's University. dcsaint / Flickr
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 5 miles
  • School Type: private Catholic university
  • Distinguishing Features: chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; rich history dating to 1851; 75 academic programs; popular business programs; member of the NCAA Division I Atlantic 10 Conference
  • Learn More: Saint Joseph's University admissions profile

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore College. CB_27 / Flickr
  • Location: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 11 miles
  • School Type: private liberal arts college
  • Distinguishing Features: one of the country's top liberal arts colleges; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong programs in the liberal arts and sciences; 8 to 1 student / faculty ratio; opportunity to register for classes at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and the University of Pennsylvania; attractive campus is a registered national arboretum
  • Learn More: Swarthmore College admissions profile

Temple University

Temple University
Temple University. Steven-L-Johnson / Flickr
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 2 miles
  • School Type: public university
  • Distinguishing Features: 125 undergraduate degree options, popular programs in business, education and media; over 170 student clubs and organizations; active Greek system; member of the NCAA Division I American Athletic Conference
  • Learn More: Temple University admissions profile

University of the Arts

The University of the Arts in Philadelphia
The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Beyond My Ken / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 0 miles
  • School Type: private school for visual and performing arts
  • Distinguishing Features: located on the Avenue of the Arts; 8 to 1 student / faculty ratio; 12 gallery spaces and 7 professional performance venues
  • Learn More: The University of the Arts admissions profile 

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania. rubberpaw / Flickr
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 1 mile
  • School Type: private research university
  • Distinguishing Features: one of the eight Ivy League schools; one of the country's most selective colleges; membership in the Association of American Universities for strong research programs; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; rich history (founded by Benjamin Franklin)
  • Learn More: University of Pennsylvania admissions profile

University of the Sciences

Philadelphia Skyline
Philadelphia Skyline. Kevin Burkett / Flickr
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 3 miles
  • School Type: private pharmacy and health science university
  • Distinguishing Features: founded in 1821; popular programs in health science, biology, occupational therapy and pharmacy; 80 student clubs and organizations; member of the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference
  • Learn More: University of the Sciences admissions profile 

Villanova University

Villanova University
Villanova University. Lauren Murphy / Flickr
  • Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 12 miles
  • School Type: private Catholic university
  • Distinguishing Features: oldest and largest Catholic university in Pennsylvania; one of the country's top Catholic universities; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; member of the NCAA Division I Big East Conference
  • Learn More: Villanova University admissions profile 

Widener University

Old Main at Widener University
Old Main at Widener University. Smallbones / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Chester, Pennsylvania
  • Distance from Center City Philadelphia: 15 miles
  • School Type: private university
  • Distinguishing Features: 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; emphasis with hands-on learning; three-quarters of students participate in internships or service opportunities; over 80 student clubs and organizations; member of the NCAA Division III MAC Commonwealth Conference
  • Learn More: Widener University admissions profile