Best colleges in Philadelphia

A Historic Future

Great things come from Philly beside cheesesteaks and the Fresh Prince

Although widely known for its rich history including the Liberty Bell, National Constitution Center, Betsy Ross House, and the Valley Forge National Historic Park, Philadelphia’s modern attractions provide an idyllic balance that celebrates the best of the past while enjoying the exciting future.* With approximately 90 colleges and universities in the greater Philadelphia area, your options are limitless with majors including biophysics and Italian studies.* Opportunities for success in Philadelphia will have you cheering at the top of the Philadelphia Museum of Art stairs: an unemployment rate lower than the national average, ranking in the nation’s top 50 cities in education, and making the top 100 Best Places for Business and Careers.*

Philadelphia earned the nickname of “City of Brotherly Love” from its Greek origins and acceptance of people. These ideals have stayed true in the city that truly celebrates community and appreciates artistic expression – in places like the PFS Roxy Theater, Venice Island Performing Arts Center, and Dilworth Park.* But it's not all about the arts. Philadelphia is home to some amazing professional sports teams to cheer for including the Philadelphia Eagles, Phillies, and Philadelphia 76ers.* And when you’re hankering for some local cuisine, your options are far more diverse than just the locally beloved cheesesteak. Take a dinner cruise on the Spirit of Philadelphia or enjoy a meal in a historic setting at the famous M Restaurant.* With so much to do and see as an urbanite or outdoorsman, and close proximity to the best historic destinations the East Coast has to offer, you’re guaranteed to find it in Philly. The Liberty Bell is ringing – don’t miss your calling for a fantastic collegiate experience in Philadelphia.

*Bureau of Labor Statistics *visitphilly.com *Wikipedia, “Philadelphia” *pa.gov

Best Four Year Universities in Philadelphia

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore College offers 89 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 395 students graduated with students earning 395 Bachelor's degrees.

University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
Image by @moonizzang

 Founded in 1740 in downtown Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania is a private academic institution with a current undergraduate enrollment of roughly 25,000. The school was initially founded by Benjamin Franklin before the Declaration of Independence was drafted, making it one of only nine universities to be chartered in that era. Penn's tuition and fees total over $55,000 annually, and the school ranks among the top universities in the nation. 

The university is in an urban setting with a historic gothic campus that includes a walled-in student housing complex located just north of the Schuylkill River and blocks from Rittenhouse Square. Classes follow a semester-based academic calendar, and the current student-faculty ratio is 6:1, one of the smallest ratios for a top university in the nation. 

The University of Pennsylvania is home to internationally recognized colleges including the Annenberg School for Communication, The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, and the Wharton School of Business. UPenn has academic partnerships worldwide with schools such as King’s College London, the University of Barcelona, and even in Australia at the University of Queensland. During their stay at UPenn, students can participate in a range of social clubs like the famous Penn Glee Club, or work at The Daily Pennsylvanian, the student-run newspaper. Notable alumni include former President of the United States Donald Trump, author Noam Chomsky, and architect of the Louvre Pyramid, I.M. Pei.

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Haverford College
Haverford, PA

Haverford College offers 39 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 321 students graduated with students earning 321 Bachelor's degrees.

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, PA

Bryn Mawr College offers 55 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 495 students graduated with students earning 334 Bachelor's degrees, 82 Master's degrees, 71 Certificates, and 8 Doctoral degrees.

Curtis Institute of Music
Philadelphia, PA

Curtis Institute of Music offers 10 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 45 students graduated with students earning 24 Bachelor's degrees, 18 Certificates, and 3 Master's degrees.

University of Delaware offers 246 degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 5,937 students graduated with students earning 4,320 Bachelor's degrees, 1,029 Master's degrees, 317 Doctoral degrees, and 271 Associate's degrees.

University of the Sciences
Philadelphia, PA

University of the Sciences offers 56 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 704 students graduated with students earning 291 Bachelor's degrees, 245 Doctoral degrees, 145 Master's degrees, and 23 Certificates.

Ursinus College
Collegeville, PA

Ursinus College offers 44 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 320 students graduated with students earning 320 Bachelor's degrees.

Temple University
Philadelphia, PA

Based in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Temple University is a public research university founded by minister Russell Conwell. Temple has a total undergraduate enrollment of about 40,000 students who attend classes on a campus situated in the North Philadelphia neighborhood just west of the Delaware River. Temple is on a semester-based academic calendar and while Pennsylvania residents receive in-state tuition rates, the university provides ample merit and need-based scholarships to all students. 

The university is made up of 15 colleges including the competitive Tyler School of Art and Architecture, as well as the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Students can live on or off campus, but many choose to live on-campus and take advantage of amenities like the Howard Gittis Student Center, which includes a theater, food court, and computer lounge for students and faculty to study or relax. 

Temple students have access to a slew of greek organizations and student-run programs like The Temple News, the school’s newspaper. Outside of school, attendees can enjoy historic Philadelphia and visit Rittenhouse Square, The Liberty Bell, and walk through Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. The Temple Owls compete in the A-10 and feature regularly in the NIT and NCAA tournaments. Notable alumni include actor Bob Saget, and comedian Kevin Hart

Saint Joseph's University
Philadelphia, PA

Saint Joseph's University offers 163 degree programs. It's a medium sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2019, 2,196 students graduated with students earning 1,092 Bachelor's degrees, 1,064 Master's degrees, 24 Certificates, and 16 Doctoral degrees.

Best Community Colleges in Philadelphia

Orleans Technical College
Philadelphia, PA

Orleans Technical College offers 7 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 315 students graduated with students earning 310 Certificates, and 5 Associate's degrees.

The Workforce Institute's City College offers 3 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 9 students graduated with students earning 8 Associate's degrees, and 1 Certificate.

Delaware College of Art and Design offers 6 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a small city. In 2019, 25 students graduated with students earning 25 Associate's degrees.

Jna Institute of Culinary Arts offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2019, 19 students graduated with students earning 16 Associate's degrees, and 3 Certificates.

Pennco Tech-Bristol
Bristol, PA

Pennco Tech-Bristol offers 8 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 259 students graduated with students earning 247 Certificates, and 12 Associate's degrees.

Lansdale School of Business
North Wales, PA

Lansdale School of Business offers 22 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 60 students graduated with students earning 33 Associate's degrees, and 27 Certificates.

Pennsylvania Institute of Technology offers 21 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 146 students graduated with students earning 78 Certificates, and 68 Associate's degrees.

Harcum College
Bryn Mawr, PA

Harcum College offers 30 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 385 students graduated with students earning 379 Associate's degrees, and 6 Certificates.

Salem Community College
Carneys Point, NJ

Salem Community College offers 38 degree programs. It's a very small, public, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2019, 218 students graduated with students earning 181 Associate's degrees, and 37 Certificates.

Manor College
Jenkintown, PA

Manor College offers 30 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2019, 110 students graduated with students earning 108 Associate's degrees, and 2 Certificates.

List of all colleges in Philadelphia

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
Swarthmore College Logo Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
5/5
7 : 1 1,594
University of Pennsylvania Logo University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
5/5
18 : 1 26,675
Haverford College Logo Haverford College Haverford, PA
5/5
8 : 1 1,317
Bryn Mawr College Logo Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
5/5
11 : 1 1,723
Curtis Institute of Music Logo Curtis Institute of Music Philadelphia, PA
2/5
43 : 1 173
University of Delaware Logo University of Delaware Newark, DE
3/5
19 : 1 23,808
University of the Sciences Logo University of the Sciences Philadelphia, PA
5/5
14 : 1 2,285
Ursinus College Logo Ursinus College Collegeville, PA
5/5
12 : 1 1,472
Orleans Technical College Logo Orleans Technical College Philadelphia, PA   29 : 1 292
Temple University Logo Temple University Philadelphia, PA
4/5
24 : 1 38,794
Saint Joseph's University Logo Saint Joseph's University Philadelphia, PA
5/5
25 : 1 7,362
Drexel University Logo Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
5/5
22 : 1 24,205
Thomas Jefferson University Logo Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
5/5
27 : 1 8,026
West Chester University of Pennsylvania Logo West Chester University of Pennsylvania West Chester, PA
3/5
25 : 1 17,669
The Workforce Institute's City College Logo The Workforce Institute's City College Philadelphia, PA
3/5
7 : 1 7
Moore College of Art and Design Logo Moore College of Art and Design Philadelphia, PA
5/5
16 : 1 408
Rutgers University-Camden Logo Rutgers University-Camden Camden, NJ
4/5
23 : 1 7,233
Eastern University Logo Eastern University Saint Davids, PA
5/5
29 : 1 3,100
Arcadia University Logo Arcadia University Glenside, PA
5/5
20 : 1 3,463
Rowan University Logo Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
3/5
33 : 1 19,618