Pennsylvania Colleges

Pennsylvania Colleges

Pennsylvania’s Schools – An Overview

Prospective students who have a passion for history should add Pennsylvania’s many colleges and universities to their short list. As one of the original colonies and one of the first official states in the Union, Pennsylvania is home to many institutions with long and successful traditions of providing high-quality education hundreds of thousands of students. “Virtue, Liberty and Independence”, the state’s motto, highlight the many different colleges and college traditions that exist throughout the mountainous and highly-rural state. Students who are interested in the bucolic, mountainous regions will find many colleges and universities that offer quality education with gorgeous scenery. Those interested in urban settings and city life will be happy to know that Pennsylvania’s universities located in its urban population settings are among the best in the nation.

pennsylvania monument near the college

Pennsylvania is replete with colleges and universities, both public and private. The U.S. Department of Education holds data on 199 different institutions within the state, spanning community colleges, 4-year public and private institutions, graduate schools and accredited religious schools. The state has a multitude of colleges and universities spanning the spectrum of well-respected to practically unknown. While most of the state’s colleges and universities are private, Pennsylvania does have two established state university systems, more than almost any other state in the country.

The 14 universities within the state’s Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education are each master’s level institutions. These universities are Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, Millersville University of Pennsylvania, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania and West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Each of these schools is relatively small in comparison to several other institutions in the state, as well as peer institutions in other states. Many of these schools are ranked well. Several are in the top 100 among regional universities, such as West Chester University of Pennsylvania, which is ranked #71 in U.S. News and World Report’s annual college rankings. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania is placed well at #79, and Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania is placed at #92.

The second publicly-aligned group of four universities are those under the Commonwealth System of Higher Education. These schools, while ultimately private, receive state funding, and allow for different tuition rates for in-state and out-of-state students. There are four institutions within this category: Lincoln University, University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and the very well-known Pennsylvania State University. “Penn State”, as it is more commonly referred to, is one of the most highly ranked institutions in the country. Ranked at #37 among national universities according to the U.S. News and World report, it sits favorably, even among the University of Pittsburgh (ranked #62), and Temple University (ranked #121). Each of the schools in the system receive very impressive endowments as well. The lowest of these is Lincoln University, with $35.5 million in endowments. Temple University receives $281 million, Penn State receives $1.725 billion, and the University of Pittsburgh receives $2.5 billion.

The vast majority of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities are private institutions, among which are some of the highest ranked schools in the country. Among the best private colleges and universities in the state are Lehigh University (#47 among national universities), Bucknell

University (#32 among national liberal arts colleges), Carnegie Mellon University (#23 among national universities), Geneva College (#16 among regional colleges), Haverford College (#12 among national liberal arts colleges), Lafayette College (#37 among national liberal arts colleges), St. Joseph’s University (#15 among regional universities), University of Scranton (#8 among regional universities), Villanova University (#1 among regional universities), and Wilson College (#21 among regional universities). Those interested in Pennsylvania’s schools should expect to pay more, on average, for their education (both in-state and out-of-state students), but should also expect to command above-average post-graduation salaries.

Traditional Colleges In Pennsylvania

Albright College

Allegheny College

Alvernia College

Arcadia University

Bryn Mawr College

Bucknell University

California University of Pennsylvania

Carlow College

Carnegie Mellon University

Cedar Crest College

Chatham College

Cheyney University of PA

Clarion University of Pennsylvania

DeSales University

Dickinson College

Drexel University

Duquesne University

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania

Eastern University

Elizabethtown College

Franklin and Marshall College

Gannon University

Geneva College

Gettysburg College

Gratz College

Grove City College

Gwynedd-Mercy College

Harcum College

Haverford College

Holy Family University

Immaculata College

Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Juniata College

Keystone College

King’s College

Kutztown University

La Salle University

Lackawanna College

Lafayette College

Lancaster Bible College

Lancaster Theological Seminary

Lebanon Valley College

Lehigh University

Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania

Marywood University

Messiah College

Millersville University

Moravian College

Mount Aloysius College

Muhlenberg College

Neumann College

Penn State Erie,  The Behrend College

Pennsylvania State University

Philadelphia University

Point Park University

Rosemont College

St. Francis College

St. Josephs University

St. Vincent College

Seton Hill University

Shippensburg University

Slippery Rock University

Susquehanna University

Swarthmore College

Temple University

Thiel College

University of the Arts

University of Pennsylvania

University of Pittsburgh

University of Scranton

University of the Sciences in Philadelphia

Ursinus College

Villanova University

Washington and Jefferson College

Westminster College

  • Site –
  • Phone – 800-942-8033
  • Admissions –
  • Financial Aid –

Widener University

Wilkes University

Wilson College

York College of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Community Colleges

pennsylvania, scranton

Bucks County Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 275 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA 18940
  • Phone – (215) 968-8000

Butler County Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 107 College Dr, Butler, PA 16002
  • Phone – (724) 287-8711

Community College of Allegheny County

  • Site –
  • Address – 595 Beatty Rd, Monroeville, PA 15146
  • Phone – (724) 327-1327

Community College of Beaver County

  • Site –
  • Address – 1 Campus Dr, Monaca, PA 15061
  • Phone – (724) 480-2222

Community College of Philadelphia

  • Site –
  • Address – 1700 Spring Garden St, Philadelphia, PA 19130
  • Phone – (215) 751-8000

Delaware County Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 901 Media Line Rd, Media, PA 19063
  • Phone – (610) 359-5000

Harcum College

  • Site –
  • Address – 750 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
  • Phone – (610) 525-4100

Harrisburg Area Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 1 HACC Dr, Harrisburg, PA 17110
  • Phone – (800) 222-4222

Lackawanna College

  • Site –
  • Address – 501 Vine St, Scranton, PA 18509
  • Phone – (570) 961-7810

Lehigh Carbon Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 4525 Education Park Dr, Schnecksville, PA 18078
  • Phone – (610) 799-2121

Luzerne County Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 1333 S Prospect St, Nanticoke, PA 18634
  • Phone – (800) 377-5222

Manor College

  • Site –
  • Address – 700 Fox Chase Rd, Jenkintown, PA 19046
  • Phone – (215) 885-2360

Montgomery County Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 340 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422
  • Phone – (215) 641-6300

Northampton Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 3835 Green Pond Rd, Bethlehem, PA 18020
  • Phone – (610) 861-5300

Pennsylvania Highlands Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 101 Community College Way, Johnstown, PA 15904
  • Phone – (814) 262-6400

Pennsylvania Institute of Technology

  • Site –
  • Address – 800 Manchester Avenue, Media, PA 19063-4089
  • Phone – (610) 892-1000

Pittsburgh Technical Institute

  • Site –
  • Address – 1111 McKee Rd, Oakdale, PA 15071
  • Phone – (412) 809-5100

Reading Area Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 10 S 2nd St, Reading, PA 19603
  • Phone – (610) 372-4721

Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

  • Site –
  • Address – 750 E King St, Lancaster, PA 17602
  • Phone – (717) 299-7701

University of Pittsburgh/Titusville

  • Site –
  • Address – 504 E Main St, Titusville, PA 16354
  • Phone – (814) 827-4400

Valley Forge Military College

  • Site –
  • Address – 1001 Eagle Rd, Wayne, PA 19087
  • Phone – (610) 989-1200

Westmoreland County Community College

  • Site –
  • Address – 145 Pavilion Ln, Youngwood, PA 15697
  • Phone – (724) 925-4000

Career, Vocational & Trade Schools

pennsylvania bridge


CDM Institute

Lincoln Tech

Pennsylvania School of Business

YTI Career Institute


Pennco Tech


CHI Institute


All- State Career School


DeVry University

Gwynedd-Mercy College

Keller Graduate School of Management

Fort Washington


McCann School of Business and Technology

King of Prussia

Strayer University

Central Penn College

Consolidated School of Business

YTI Career School


Laurel Technical Institute


YTI Career Institute


Career Training Academy

New Kensington

North Wales

Lansdale School of Business


Art Institute of Philadelphia

DeVry University

Gwynedd-Mercy College

Keller Graduate School of Management

Lincoln Tech- Center City

Lincoln Tech- Northeast

Lincoln Tech

National Massage Therapy Institute

Prism Career Institute

Sanford Brown Institute

Strayer University

Thompson Institute

Universal Technical Institute

University of Phoenix


Center City

Pennsylvania Institute of Technology

Cranberry Valley

Strayer University

Dickerson City

McCann School of Business and Technology


Tri-State Business Institute


Automotive Training Center

Forty Fort

Allied Medical and Technical Institute

Central Penn College

Kaplan Career Institute

Keystone Technical Institute

University of Phoenix


Pennsylvania Institute of Technology


ITT Technical Institute

Western School of Health and Business



University of Phoenix

Academy of Court Reporting

All-State Career – Commercial Driving

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

Bradford School

DeVry University

Everest Institute

International Academy of Design and Technology

Kaplan Career Institute-ICM Campus

Keller Graduate School of Management

Pennsylvania Culinary Institute

Strayer University

University of Phoenix

Western School of Health and Business

Plymouth Meeting

Lincoln Tech


McCann School of Business and Technology
Pace Institute



Allied Medical and Technical Institute


Laurel Technical Institute


CHI Institute


Anthem Institute


Central Penn College


McCann School of Business and Technology


Sanford Brown Institute
Strayer University


Laurel Business Institute

Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology

Upper Darby

The PJA School

Valley Forge

DeVry University

Keller Graduate School of Management


Automotive Training Center


Penn Commercial Business and Technical School

University of Phoenix


University of Phoenix


Berks Technical Institute


Art Institute of York

Consolidated School of Business

YTI Career Institute

Online Degrees and Programs In Pennsylvania

Due to its focus on traditional colleges and degree programs, as well as the vast number of options available for these, Pennsylvania’s online degree programs are scant in comparison to many other states. A 2012 National Center for Education Statistics report showed only 7.8% of students enrolled in Title IV schools in the state were in fully online degree programs. However, Pennsylvania does offer a state-sanctioned organization, the Pennsylvania Distance Learning Association. PADLA, as it is known in shorthand, is a 501c3 non-profit professional organization that provides forums, events and resources for area e-learning and distance learning professionals in the community. However, PADLA itself does not host or offer any courses itself.

The best ranked online degree programs in the state can be located at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, California University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Cedar Crest College, Chatham University and Immaculata University. Clarion University offers five Associate’s degrees, 11 Bachelor’s degrees, 11 Master’s degrees and one Doctorate degree, as well as five certificate programs. California University of Pennsylvania offers many more options, with 26 Master’s degree programs, one Doctor of Health Sciences program and eight Bachelor’s degree programs. Slippery Rock offers well-established programs, but is somewhat limited in its offerings. It has one undergraduate program in Nursing, one Doctoral program in Special Education, and 15 Master’s degree programs, mostly in education of various kinds. Cedar Crest College has a very limited number of degree programs in its online offerings, mostly geared toward adult learners. The eight degree programs they offer are Master’s degrees in Health Care Management, Human Resource Management, Management, Marketing, Master of Education, Criminal Justice, Nursing and Master of Science in Nursing.

Thankfully for prospective students, the state’s main public university system’s schools offer low tuition rates. Both California University of Pennsylvania and Clarion University of Pennsylvania each has relatively low tuition rates, although they do not offer courses at a per-credit rate. California University of Pennsylvania offers its programs at the annual tuition rate of around $8,000, and Clarion University of Pennsylvania offers its programs at around $8,500. In all, there are 157 colleges, universities and technical schools within the state that are fully accredited by regional and national organizations, and that offer online degree programs of some kind.