Top Pennsylvania Colleges

Pennsylvania has some of the best colleges in the country. Students will find top-ranked liberal arts colleges, public universities, and private universities. The top colleges listed below vary so much in size and type of school that I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking.

01
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Allegheny College

Allegheny College
Allegheny College. Allen Grove
02
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Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr College. thatpicturetaker / Flickr
03
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Bucknell University

Bucknell University
Bucknell University. aurimasliutikas / Flickr
04
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Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University and the Carnegie Museum and Library
Carnegie Mellon University (top) and the Carnegie Museum and Library (bottom). Jimmy Lin / Flickr
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Enrollment: 13,258 (6,283 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: comprehensive research university
  • Distinctions: 10 to 1 student/faculty ratio; top-ranked science and engineering programs; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; membership in the American Association of Universities for strengths in research
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Carnegie Mellon profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for CMU
05
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Dickinson College

Dickinson College
Dickinson College. ravedelay / Flickr
06
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Franklin and Marshall College

Franklin and Marshall College
Franklin and Marshall College. The Pocket / Flickr
07
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Gettysburg College

Gettysburg College
Gettysburg College. fauxto digit / Flickr
08
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Grove City College

Grove City College
Grove City College. nyello8 / Flickr
  • Location: Grove City, Pennsylvania
  • Enrollment: 2,336 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private Christian liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: One of the country's top conservative colleges; excellent value; impressive retention and graduation rates; chapel requirement for all students 
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Grove City College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for GCC
09
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Haverford College

Haverford College Path
Haverford College Path. edwinmalet / flickr
10
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Juniata College

Juniata College - Halbritter Performing Arts Center
Juniata College - Halbritter Performing Arts Center. mjk4219 / Flickr
  • Location: Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
  • Enrollment: 1,573 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 13 to 1 student/faculty ratio and an average class size of 14; no traditional majors but "programs of emphasis"; 30% of students design their own majors; main campus is complemented by a large nature preserve and environmental studies field station
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Juniata College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Juniata
11
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Lafayette College

Easton, Pennsylvania
Easton, Pennsylvania. Retromoderns / Flickr
12
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Lehigh University

Lehigh University
Lehigh University. conormac / Flickr
13
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Muhlenberg College

Muhlenberg College
Muhlenberg College. JlsElsewhere / Wikimedia Commons
14
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Penn State University

Penn State University Football
Penn State University Football. nick knouse / Flickr
  • Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
  • Enrollment: 47,789 (41,359 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: comprehensive public research university
  • Distinctions: Large school with wide-ranging academic offerings; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences, membership in the Association of American Universities for research strengths; athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Penn State profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Penn State
15
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Swarthmore University

Swarthmore Parrish Hall
Swarthmore Parrish Hall. EAWB / flickr
16
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University of Pennsylvania (Penn)

University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania. rubberpaw / Flickr
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Enrollment: 24,960 (11,716 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: comprehensive private research university
  • Distinctions: Member of the Ivy League; 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)
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Penn profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Penn
17
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University of Pittsburgh (Pitt)

University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh. shadysidelantern / Flickr
  • Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Enrollment: 28,664 (19,123 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: comprehensive public research university
  • Distinctions: Wide-ranging strengths including philosophy, medicine, engineering and business; membership in the Association of American Universities for strong research programs; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; athletic teams compete in the NCAA Division I Big East Conference
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Pitt profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Pitt
18
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Ursinus College

Ursinus College Tower
Ursinus College Tower. PennaBoy / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Collegeville, Pennsylvania
  • Enrollment: 1,556 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: 11 to 1 student/faculty ratio; student-centered curriculum; 170-acre campus boasts an excellent art museum, observatory, and new performing arts facility; chapter of Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences 
  • For more information and admissions data, visit the Ursinus College profile
  • GPA, SAT and ACT graph for Ursinus
19
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Villanova University

Villanova University
Villanova University. Lauren Murphy / Flickr