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.

Click Here to See the Best Colleges in the US*Bureau of Labor Statistics *visitphilly.com *Wikipedia, “Philadelphia” *pa.gov

Best Four Year Universities in Philadelphia

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.

Swarthmore College
Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore College offers 91 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2020, 418 students graduated with students earning 418 Bachelor's degrees.

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Haverford College
Haverford, PA

Haverford College offers 41 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2020, 324 students graduated with students earning 324 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 2020, 535 students graduated with students earning 358 Bachelor's degrees, 94 Master's degrees, 75 Certificates, and 8 Doctoral degrees.

University of Delaware offers 256 degree programs. It's a very large, public, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2020, 5,794 students graduated with students earning 4,243 Bachelor's degrees, 995 Master's degrees, 295 Doctoral degrees, and 261 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 2020, 631 students graduated with students earning 286 Bachelor's degrees, 253 Doctoral degrees, 76 Master's degrees, and 16 Certificates.

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 2020, 53 students graduated with students earning 31 Bachelor's degrees, 19 Certificates, and 3 Master's degrees.

Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, PA

Thomas Jefferson University offers 136 degree programs. It's a medium sized, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large city. In 2020, 2,548 students graduated with students earning 1,005 Bachelor's degrees, 903 Master's degrees, 473 Doctoral degrees, 121 Certificates, and 46 Associate's degrees.

Ursinus College
Collegeville, PA

Ursinus College offers 43 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, four-year university in a large suburb. In 2020, 314 students graduated with students earning 314 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

Best Community Colleges in Philadelphia

Lansdale School of Business
North Wales, PA

Lansdale School of Business offers 19 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2020, 41 students graduated with students earning 31 Associate's degrees, and 10 Certificates.

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 2020, 25 students graduated with students earning 20 Associate's degrees, and 5 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 2020, 177 students graduated with students earning 155 Certificates, and 22 Associate's degrees.

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 2020, 42 students graduated with students earning 42 Associate's degrees.

Lincoln Technical Institute-Philadelphia offers 2 degree programs. It's a very small, private for-profit, two-year college in a large city. In 2020, 98 students graduated with students earning 83 Certificates, and 15 Associate's degrees.

Orleans Technical College
Philadelphia, PA

Orleans Technical College offers 5 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, less than two-year school in a large city.

Harcum College
Bryn Mawr, PA

Harcum College offers 29 degree programs. It's a small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2020, 397 students graduated with students earning 385 Associate's degrees, and 12 Certificates.

ASPIRA City College
Philadelphia, PA

ASPIRA City College offers 3 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large city.

Salem Community College
Carneys Point, NJ

Salem Community College offers 39 degree programs. It's a very small, public, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2020, 224 students graduated with students earning 186 Associate's degrees, and 38 Certificates.

Valley Forge Military College offers 6 degree programs. It's a very small, private not-for-profit, two-year college in a large suburb. In 2020, 67 students graduated with students earning 67 Associate's degrees.

List of all colleges in Philadelphia

School Average Tuition Student Teacher Ratio Enrolled Students
University of Pennsylvania Logo University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
5/5
18 : 1 26,552
Swarthmore College Logo Swarthmore College Swarthmore, PA
5/5
6 : 1 1,437
Haverford College Logo Haverford College Haverford, PA
5/5
8 : 1 1,307
Bryn Mawr College Logo Bryn Mawr College Bryn Mawr, PA
5/5
10 : 1 1,634
University of Delaware Logo University of Delaware Newark, DE
3/5
19 : 1 23,613