2017 Best Colleges in Pennsylvania

The Best Colleges ranking is based on rigorous analysis of academic, admissions, financial, and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni. The ranking compares more than 1,000 top colleges and universities in the U.S.
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Viewing 1-25 of 100
  1. 1

    University of Pennsylvania

    • Philadelphia, PA
    • 1,105 reviews
    College Junior:Very diverse undergraduate class socioeconomically and culturally. Penn's resources spanning across all 12 graduate schools are available to undergraduates, truly enhancing the learning experience. Great and friendly atmosphere. Great professors who challenge and engage with students.
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  2. 2

    Haverford College

    • Haverford, PA
    • 193 reviews
    College Freshman:I love going to college at Haverford. It's almost everything I want in a college. The social life isn't overwhelming but it's always fun and exciting. I'm learning a ton in my classes and I've gotten to know a lot of my professors. I've joined various activities that I wouldn't have been able to join at a larger school. I feel a sense of intimacy with the campus due to its small size. The honor code also makes Haverford a great place to be. I do wish Haverford students were more politically involved and talked about topics such as class, race, etc. more, but I think that aspect of the college can improve.
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  3. 3

    Carnegie Mellon University

    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • 1,299 reviews
    College Freshman:CMU is an amazing school and if you work hard, you can pretty much get whatever job you want. Tesla, spaceX, microsoft, apple, etc... we have way more than enough opportunities for internships and jobs. If you graduate and work hard, you will get an amazing job at your pick of companies. And not just the CS majors (engineers, art students, CS students, and drama students tend to do very well)
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  4. 4

    Swarthmore College

    • Swarthmore, PA
    • 380 reviews
    College Sophomore:Swarthmore was the best decision of my life. I've met people and had experiences here that changed my life, and for that I'm incredibly grateful. I love that students and faculty are refreshingly genuine and passionate. However, be warned, the academics are overwhelming. Swarthmore is consistently ranked as one of the most academically rigorous undergraduate institutions in the country and this is mentally demanding on students. One thing is for sure, Swarthmore is not easy.
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  5. 5

    Lehigh University

    • Bethlehem, PA
    • 779 reviews
    College Junior:The program I'm taking here is very hard to find at other colleges, and is one of the best out of all the schools that offer it. Additionally, being a bus and train ride away from home is really nice. And most of all the people that go here are all really great. I've made amazing friends here.
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  6. 6

    Bucknell University

    • Lewisburg, PA
    • 694 reviews
    College Junior:Bucknell is absolutely a top tier school and deserves to be there. Unlike many top schools though, it is difficult to get into and it remains difficult throughout the years. You truly have to earn your grades in the vast majority of majors. You will learn a lot at Bucknell, and that includes learning how to fail.
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  7. 7

    Lafayette College

    • Easton, PA
    • 571 reviews
    College Junior:Overall, Lafayette has been the best experience so far in my life. I knew I wanted to major in Biology and I have always been interested on the medical field when I was applying to colleges. However, everything has changed after the first winter term I spent on campus. I conducted biological research for my very first time, and more specifically, cancer research. From pipetting to centrifuging, from splitting tumor cells to performing qPCR, my perspective on biology has altered in those three weeks. I realized that I didn't want to go to medical school; I enjoy hands-on experiments to solve the bigger questions and mysteries in human bodies. And from then onward, I have been conducted research every semester, summer, and winter. I want to be a scientist. It's no longer a dream; it's turned into a practical goal.

    Growing up from an immigrant family where my parents work twelve hours a day, six days a week, going to college was hard; however, Lafayette was able to provide nearly full funded scholarships and grants to make my dreams come true. I didn't want to be a waitress or a chief like my parents, I wanted to have a career that could pay enough money to support my future family as well as my parents, without getting back pain, arm pain, and leg numbness everyday. And Lafayette made my dream more realistic and practical.

    After being here at Lafayette for two years now, I never regret my decision and am grateful to my scholarship donors. I am positive that after enriching my education at Lafayette, I will be able to become a scientist one day and work in the pharmaceutical industry.
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  8. 8

    Penn State

    • University Park, PA
    • 6,145 reviews
    College Junior:Since I transferred from the University of Findlay, I have never been happier in my life. The atmosphere and curriculum is perfect for a college student.
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  9. 9

    Bryn Mawr College

    • Bryn Mawr, PA
    • 388 reviews
    College Sophomore:I could go on about how much I love Bryn Mawr forever. The faculty are laudible, the academics are challenging and enthralling, and its reputation as well as its connections to Haverford, Swarthmore, and Penn give it the resources of a large school while maintaining its unique character. The community is what drew me here, everyone is so passionate, compassionate, and enthusiastic about being who they are.
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  10. 10

    Franklin & Marshall College

    • Lancaster, PA
    • 771 reviews
    College Sophomore:I could not be happier with my choice to attend F&M. I have been granted many experiences and opportunities (both academic and social) that have enriched my life greatly. Getting involved is integral to both student happiness and success here. Exploring my passions through my academics and extracurriculars have given me a plethora of reasons to have pride to be a Diplomat.
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  11. 11

    Villanova University

    • Villanova, PA
    • 1,363 reviews
    College Junior:Villanova has been an incredible experience. It was remarkably easy to find a group of genuine, smart, fun friends who respect and care for each other. Students and teachers are passionate about learning, growing, and challenging mindsets that are rarely challenged. In addition I have the opportunity to make a documentary film and to intern at The Vatican through my school.
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  12. 12

    Gettysburg College

    • Gettysburg, PA
    • 516 reviews
    College Freshman:I love it at Gettysburg. I don't fit in with the stereotypes here, but I still have a lot of great friends and I feel like I fit in even though I kind of don't.

    People are VERY judgemental about money here, which is a small issue for me because my family is very poor, but Gettysburg gives great need-based fin aid.

    Most professors actually are and are willing to help in any possible way. I've only had an issue with one professor. Class sizes are small.

    Gettysburg should increase amount of majors offered. Specifically biotechnology would be a great addition.
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  13. 13

    University of Pittsburgh

    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • 3,624 reviews
    College Junior:I give Pittsburgh 5/5 stars. First of all, I would like to say what students put into their schooling is what they get out of it. I have friends who put in little effort and do not get as much out of college as I do. The reason I am giving Pitt 5 stars is probably a result of myself putting in a lot of effort. I am active in an array of extracurricular activities and work hard in my schooling. Because I put in a lot of time/effort, I get a lot out of my education. My involvement in clubs has taught me just as much, if not more, than I have in class. I find professors who see students working hard in their education to be very willing to help their students out. I regularly correspond with multiple professors, and they all treat me as an equal. They give me advice outside of the scope of school and I think that is priceless.
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  14. 14

    University of Scranton

    • Scranton, PA
    • 567 reviews
    College Junior:Overall I could not be more satisfied with my college experience at the University of Scranton thus far. I am recieving a quality, liberal arts education consisting of excellence and creative learning. Scranton's mission urges service to others and "magis," which is one of the many reasons i love my school. The community of students and teachers is helping me become a better student and preparing me to be a succesful, caring occupational therapist one day. I have had so many great service opportunities and experiences at Scranton that make my school feel like a second home. There are many school spirited events and whether it is attending these events, going to basketball games, or doing interesting group projects and papers for class, I would not trade the experiences I made at Scranton for anything. Our school is unique for its unyielding love and support for being men and women for others and reiterating the Jesuit values. I owe it to Scranton for helping me discover the person I truly want to be, a person who serves others and gives back to the world we live in. I would not choose a different school if I had to do it all over again. In fact I almost did not choose Scranton and I am overjoyed and thankful everyday that I did. I could not be happier for what Scranton has provided for me and I look forward to the years to come. I could not be prouder to say I am a Royal!
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  15. 15

    Dickinson College

    • Carlisle, PA
    • 502 reviews
    Recent Alumnus:I would choose the same school again if I had to, mainly because I like the location and the view of the campus during the seasonal changes. It doesn't matter how stressed you are, the weather and the campus views outside will always cheer you up! The good feelings you get from the outdoors is only a fraction of great things about my college. Another most important point to highlight is the faculty. They are always available to help and they really dedicate their time well for the student.
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  16. 16

    Temple University

    • Philadelphia, PA
    • 4,744 reviews
    College Sophomore:Most of the professors are great and really want you to succeed. There are a few bad ones though. Look up professors before you take their classes.
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  17. 17

    Drexel University

    • Philadelphia, PA
    • 2,601 reviews
    College Sophomore:I really do love my school! Its' great! Since it is located in the city of Philadelphia there is always something fun and exciting to do on and around campus. The teachers and professors are great people and really strive to help students achieve their best. I like the layout of the campus and all the nice athletic facilities that are convenient and high quality.

    I would choose this school all over because of the Co-op opportunity which is the fact that my school sets me up with 3 internships while I am an undergrad. This is an amazing working experience and also what make my school so unique!
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  18. 18

    Muhlenberg College

    • Allentown, PA
    • 406 reviews
    Recent Alumnus:I had an amazing experience while I was at Muhlenberg. I met my life long friends there and potentially my future husband. Within my major (psych) the professors were always there to help every step of the way. I also joined a sorority which is something I am so grateful for. Everything about this school (campus, activities, parties, food, classes, ect) was amazing. If I had the opportunity to go back and attend college anywhere I wanted, I would only want to go to Muhlenberg.
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  19. 19

    Juniata College

    • Huntingdon, PA
    • 795 reviews
    College Sophomore:I love Juniata, but it's one of those cases where I feel as though I could have saved more money attending a two year school first. Also I probably would have felt much more comfortable being at a larger college because I hate having people know me and my business. Basically, I probably should've applied to a state school rather than a private institution. However, if you like small schools and can afford it then you'll probably love Juniata.
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  20. 20

    Allegheny College

    • Meadville, PA
    • 826 reviews
    College Sophomore:Allegheny College has truly become my home away from home. Not only is the student body warm and welcoming to all, the professors are incredibly knowledgable and leave lasting impressions beyond the term of their classes. Each and every student knows just how hard we have to work in order to get good grades when faced with such rigorous coursework. This adds to the atmosphere of comraderie and acceptance we have for one another.

    I have met lifelong friends at Allegheny. From the court, to the classroom, to the sisterhood I joined, there are so many unique personalities that I am so blessed to have encountered. Allegheny College has made me a more well-rounded, knowledgable person, and I feel I am being completely prepared for when I start job searching after graduation! There is not one thing I would change about my school.
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  21. 21

    Duquesne University

    • Pittsburgh, PA
    • 1,258 reviews
    College Junior:My overall experience at school so far has been amazing to say the least. I have gained countless memories and opportunities throughout my college career. My favorite experience would be joining Greek Life. There are so many avenues that can be taken within the Greek community. From holding a position to participating in community-wide charity events, I have grown as a person and truly fell in love with my college. I have met so many wonderful people from different sororities and fraternities that I would have never crossed their path if I had not joined freshman year. Four aspects of Greek Life: friendship, service, personal growth and loyalty, have made me who I am today and I could not be more thankful. My school also offers many opportunities to communicate with professionals to further personal knowledge about your chosen career or even secure a job after graduation. Between job fairs or forums with the Dean, I have a voice at my college and can make a change for the better. If I had the choice to rewind time and change anything about my chosen school, I would not. I am appreciative for the chance to attend college and could not imagine a better college experience.
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  22. 22

    University of the Sciences

    • Philadelphia, PA
    • 511 reviews
    College Freshman:I'm a Doctorate of Pharmacy major at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Although the course load is intense, it is the most populous major at my university. Many professors have held very important pharmaceutical presidencies and positions here, so they are very valuable for networking purposes. The curriculum changes very slightly from year to year, but overall, you are learning the same exact material the students a year above you learned.
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  23. 23

    Susquehanna University

    • Selinsgrove, PA
    • 691 reviews
    College Junior:For my major, there are plenty of opportunities to get noticed in interns. my professor is constantly giving me tips on what to do for internships
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  24. 24

    Elizabethtown College

    • Elizabethtown, PA
    • 605 reviews
    College Junior:Elizabethtown is great for many reasons: the food, the faculty, the people and the lab equipment. The unique nature of "Etown" is definitely found in its small student body, everyone knows each other, and we all have a sense of kinship. You get very close with your class and the students in your major. The only negative aspects of Etown is the dorms and living spaces. They need a lot of updating, and should be a lot better especially since we pay so much to live there. If I could repeat the college process, while I love Etown, I wouldn't chose it again due to the poor condition of the dorms and the cost.
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  25. 25

    Ursinus College

    • Collegeville, PA
    • 415 reviews
    College Junior:Professors are accommodating and want/push students to learn and do their best. Registration is easy, help is available if anyone is confused, but I wish there were more class options in the art field, like Bookmaking II, printmaking II or something else more adventurous of an art form. Though I know that the teachers will support branching out to other fields, they can't help to teach it/master other fields
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