Aug 18, 2017


Officially known as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania shares borders with Canada, and with the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia. Harrisburg is the state capital, while Philadelphia is the largest city. Other major cities include Pittsburgh, Allentown, and Erie. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Pennsylvania had a total population of 12,773,801 as of July 1, 2013.

PennsylvaniaPennsylvania’s major economic sectors include energy, technology, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, tourism, and life sciences. The state has the second largest energy field in the world, and has long been recognized as a major agricultural hub and food manufacturing state. In 2013, the state exported more than $1.8 billion in agricultural commodities, and more than $30 billion worth of food products.

The Office of Postsecondary and Higher Education, in consultation with the State Board of Education, oversees postsecondary and higher education programs in the state, including the authorization of colleges, universities and trade schools. The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education comprises 14 public universities with a combined enrollment of more than 100,000 students. Overall, the state boasts more than 270 colleges and universities, including independent for profit and not-for profit institutions.

Top Reasons to Study in Pennsylvania

  • Quality of Life: Pennsylvania offers an excellent quality of life with a mix of major urban cities, such as Philadelphia and several smaller rural communities and towns. Among the state’s main strengths are its excellent schools, world class cultural and historic attractions, and a strategic location, hours away from New York and Washington, DC.
  • Employment Prospects: Pennsylvania is ranks 4th in medical technology employment and 3rd in the nation for biotechnology employment and industry strength in drugs and pharmaceuticals. The state is also a major financial services hub in the region. There are 21 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the state, including AmerisourceBergen, Rite Aid Corporation, Comcast, the Hershey Company, and H.J. Heinz.
  • Education Quality:With one of the best education systems in the country, Pennsylvania is home to six of the 100 top ranked universities in the country, according to a 2014 U.S. News Report. These include Lehigh University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pennsylvania, and Drexel University.

Featured Colleges and Universities

Below are some of the popular colleges in the state. You can also use our college finder search tool to find the right college for you based on your preferred area of study.

For a full list of accredited colleges and universities in Pennsylvania, contact theOffice of Postsecondary and Higher Education.



College Popular Majors Type of Institution Enrollment
Lehigh University Accounting,Finance,Mechanical Engineering Private >10,000 Request Info
Duquesne University Business,Communications/ Journalism,Health Private >10,000 Request Info
Bryn Mawr College Biology,Mathematics,Political Science Private >10,000 Request Info
Carnegie Mellon University Business Administration,Computer Science,Electrical/ Computer Engineering Private >10,000 Request Info
La Roche College Business,Health,Psychology Private >10,000 Request Info
Villanova University Art,Economics,English Private >10,000 Request Info
Swarthmore College Health (Massage Therapy) Private >10,000 Request Info
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Business,Education,Health Public >10,000 Request Info