2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST UNIVERSITIES IN PENNSYLVANIA


What Are the Top Universities in Pennsylvania and the Best MBA Programs in PA?

Besides being the birthplace of Hershey’s chocolate, Pennsylvania has a lot to offer when it comes to advanced education. You can find some of the country’s top business schools in PA.

Top 6 Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Among the many great Pennsylvania universities is America’s first university, being granted the designation in 1779. The honor is held by one of the ranking schools on our list of universities in PA, the University of Pennsylvania.

Whether you’re looking for public universities in Pennsylvania for an undergraduate degree or planning to attend one of the top Pennsylvania business schools, you can’t go wrong going to school in this state, one of the original 13 colonies, because of its rich history.

Many of those reviewing universities in Pennsylvania are there to find the best business schools in PA due to the popularity of the master of business administration (MBA) degree, which is recognized internationally and typically translates into lucrative career prospects.

In our ranking and review of the best universities in PA, we are going to include state universities in Pennsylvania as well as the best business schools and public universities in Pennsylvania. We’ll also give you a rundown of some of the best MBA specialties.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Universities in Pennsylvania

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the school names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that school):


Top 6 Best Universities in Pennsylvania | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Top Universities in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Universities Location

Associated School for MBA Programs in PA

Private or Public

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Tepper School of Business

Private

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

College of Business and Economics

Private

PennState

University Park, PA

Smeal College of Business

Public

Temple University

Philadelphia, PA

Fox School of Business

Public

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

The Wharton School

Private

University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business

Public

Table: Top 6 Universities and MBA Programs in PA | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Top Universities in Pennsylvania FAQ | Popular MBA Specializations

The top business schools in PA have come a long way since the first MBA program at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School more than 115 years ago. Today’s master of business administration programs teach business basics, and then have multiple specialties that to choose from.

Do you want to be a pro in negotiating international business? Maybe you like being in charge of the vendors in a supply chain. If you choose to dive into a specialty at one of the universities in Pennsylvania, often your MBA degree can get you a higher starting salary.

Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Image Source: Best Universities in Pennsylvania

According to Fortune, the last year that data was available, 2011–2012, 25.4% of advanced degrees were MBA degrees as compared to 23.6% master’s in education degrees, edging out what used to be the most popular master’s degree type.

With that increased popularity, it’s no wonder so many are seeking out the top business schools in PA for their specialized master of business degree.

Here are the top 6 MBA specializations, according to TopMBA.com. You can find these at the best business schools in PA.

  • International Business
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Operations Management
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Human Resources


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Detailed ReviewTop Ranking Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Below, please find a detailed review of each school on our list of top universities in Pennsylvania. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these universities and top business schools in PA to score so highly in our selection ranking.



Carnegie Mellon University Review


Carnegie Mellon University is one of the universities in PA that is a private research school and is world renowned. A donation of $1 million to the city of Pittsburgh in 1900 for the creation of a technical institute by businessman Andrew Carnegie was the founding moment.

Although this is among the best universities in PA, they have a global reach. This is one of the Pennsylvania universities with campuses around the world in places such as Australia, Portugal, Qatar, and India.

Top Business Schools in PA

Image Source: Carnegie Mellon University | Great Universities in PA

Highlights That Make Carnegie Mellon University Stand Out on Our Top List of Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Top Marks in Multiple Areas

Whether you’re a computer science major or looking to become an actor, this is one of the universities in Pennsylvania that gets top marks in both.

They were ranked #1 computer science school by U.S. News & World Report in 2014 and #3 school of drama by the Hollywood Reporter in 2016.

Seven Different Top Schools

This is one of the best universities in PA for multiple choices in top specialized schools. Carnegie Mellon has seven schools and colleges, including one of the well-known Pennsylvania business schools.

  • College of Engineering
  • College of Fine Arts
  • Dietrich College (Humanities & Social Sciences)
  • Heinz College (Information Systems & Public Policy Management)
  • Mellon College of Science
  • School of Computer Science
  • Tepper School of Business

Tepper School of Business

Besides being one of the great universities in Pennsylvania for an undergraduate degree, they also have one of the top MBA programs in PA through their Tepper School of Business.

They are among the smallest of the top 15 business schools, with a 1:5 faculty-to-student ratio, which means this is one of the best Pennsylvania business schools to get a personalized postgraduate education.

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Lehigh University Review


Another of the private state universities in Pennsylvania that started from a monetary gift from an entrepreneur is Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Founder Asa Packer fancied himself a risk-taker and gave the Lehigh Valley Railroad $500,000 in 1865 to start the school.

This is one of the Pennsylvania business schools that is part of a university with a wide range of opportunities. They have three other schools besides one of the best business schools in PA. They include the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education, and the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science.

MBA Programs in PA

Image Source: Lehigh University | Best Universities in PA

Highlights That Make Lehigh University Stand Out on Our Top List of Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Academic Fusion

When you go to Lehigh, you’re not stuck in one path when pursing your dreams. This is one of the top universities in Pennsylvania if you like to learn a little bit of everything.

They encourage students to customize their learning experience by fusing together programs in different fields to create their own unique path.

Study Abroad Programs

Have you always dreamed of traveling to learn other cultures and see new places? Lehigh is one of the Pennsylvania universities that not only has the usual study abroad programs, but also limited summer programs that allow you to get a chance to experience another country for a short time.

College of Business and Economics

When you’re looking to get a MBA, Lehigh University College of Business and Economics offers you tons of support. Not only do you have a faculty advisor, you also get an alumni mentor and career coach too.

This is also one of the Pennsylvania business schools that doesn’t shy away from new technology. Their Data X program explores big data, data analytics, and more.

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PennState Review


PennState prides itself on being one of the largest public universities in Pennsylvania. It’s located in University Park, PA, and has 24 campuses which include 100,000 students and 17,000 faculty and staff.

The university started in 1855 and of all the universities in Pennsylvania, this is the only land-grant school. It was originally conceived with a goal to apply scientific principles to farming and was one of the first agricultural science schools in the U.S.

Highlights That Make PennState Stand Out on Our Top List of Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Makes Major Impact In PA

Because PennState is one of the biggest public universities in Pennsylvania, they contribute billions of dollars to the state economy through their multiple campuses. They also happen to be a a major employer in their state, which includes opportunities for the students that attend.

Teaching Hospitals and Medical Schools

If you’re interested in a medical career, then PennState is one of the best state universities in Pennsylvania for a choice of multiple medical hospitals and colleges to learn your craft. Including:

  • PennState Hershey
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Health and Human Development
  • Eberly College of Science
  • College of Nursing

Pennsylvania Universities

Image Source: Smeal College of Business | MBA Programs in PA

Smeal College of Business

The PennState Smeal College of Business boasts 90.9% of their 2015 MBA graduates had a job offer within three months of graduation. That makes this one of the MBA programs in PA with solid job prospects.

The fact that they have 1,300+ internship and co-op opportunities posted by top companies every year is something that makes this one of the best business schools in PA for postgraduation career options.

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Temple University Review


This next school on our list of top universities in Pennsylvania has an interesting history that is just as relevant today as it was in 1884. Temple University began when the Reverend Russell Conwell began teaching young men who could only go to school at night due to needing to work a job during the day.

This is one of the universities in PA that has grown leaps and bounds since those early days, offering multiple graduate programs that include:

  • Fox School of Business
  • Beasley School of Law
  • College of Education
  • Lewis Katz School of Medicine
  • Tyler School of Art
  • Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry
  • College of Engineering

Universities in Pennsylvania

Image Source: Temple University | Great Universities in Pennsylvania

Highlights That Make Temple University Stand Out on Our Top List of Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Highest Research Activity

Temple University is one of the public universities in Pennsylvania that is in the top four percent of four-year institutions in the U.S. for research activity.

They have 28 patent filings and $242 million in research dollars. With more than 16 teaching labs in their science and education research center, this is one of the best universities in PA if you love have a chance to invent new things.

Great Philadelphia Location

This is one of the few Pennsylvania universities located in the fifth largest city in the U.S.: Philadelphia. You can explore the nation’s history, including Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed.

If you love American history and the chance to stand in its shadow while attending a great school to forge your own history, then Temple is one of the best state universities in Pennsylvania to consider.

Fox School of Business

The Fox School of Business at Temple University was started in 1918 and has a distinguished history of preparing future business leaders for success.

This is one of the best Pennsylvania business schools, ranked #32 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, and they have a newly revamped two-year Global MBA program to prepare students to succeed doing business anywhere in the world.



University of Pennsylvania Review


One of the U.S. founding fathers was also a founder of the University of Pennsylvania, also known as Penn. Benjamin Franklin helped start the school in 1751 and also served as its president. That makes Penn one of the oldest universities in PA.

They are another of the top universities in Pennsylvania that calls the city of Philadelphia home, but they also have a global campus and many international educational opportunities around the world.

Highlights That Make the University of Pennsylvania Stand Out on Our Top List of Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Green Campus

When Penn does things sustainably, they don’t just talk about it. This is one of the few urban Pennsylvania universities with a diverse green canopy campus.

Joining a 135-year-old American elm tree are more than 6,500 other trees that are planted throughout the campus, along with gardens, walking paths, and parks.

Universities in PA

Image Source: Penn | Best Universities in Pennsylvania

They’re an Ivy League School

While schools like Yale and Harvard might get all the Ivy League recognition, of the top universities in Pennsylvania, the University of Pennsylvania is the only one that’s also in the Ivy League.

This also gives their MBA programs in PA a level of stature not held by other top business schools in PA.

The Wharton School

The Wharton School at Penn has the distinction of being the world’s very first business school, being founded in 1881 by industrialist Joseph Wharton.

The school offers several specialized MBA programs in PA including:

  • MBA Program for Executives
  • International Studies
  • Government
  • MBA/Law
  • Additional Dual Degrees

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University of Pittsburgh Review


Another one of the great public universities in Pennsylvania is the University of Pittsburgh. Also known by the nickname Pitt, this school embraces their “steel city” heritage being located in the heart of Pittsburgh.

Pitt was founded in 1787 and is one of the oldest universities in Pennsylvania and the country. They are a state-related research university and a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU).

Highlights That Make the University of Pittsburgh Stand Out on Our Top List of Best Universities in Pennsylvania

Excellent Rankings and Reputation

The University of Pittsburgh has a number of the best rankings of any of the top universities in Pennsylvania, including:

History of Scientific Breakthroughs

Pitt has one of the most impressive scientific discovery records of any of the top universities in Pennsylvania. They not only helped to develop the polio vaccine, they’ve also pioneered television and heavier-than-air-flight.

Pennsylvania Business Schools

Image Source: University of Pittsburgh | MBA Programs in PA

Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business | Top Business Schools in PA

Pitt’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business is also no stranger to great rankings, being listed among the top 40 business schools in the U.S. (Poets & Quants 2015) and is ranked #1 in job placement (Businessweek 2015).

This is one of the best MBA programs in PA to give you multiple options that include a one or two year program in addition to the Professional and Executive MBA options.


Conclusion—Top 6 Best Universities in Pennsylvania

When you’re attending one of the top universities in Pennsylvania, there is no lack of being in touch with American history. Many of these universities in PA were right there while it was happening.

Whether you choose from one of the private or public universities in Pennsylvania, you’ll have many great options to get a top-tier degree in any number of areas, from science, to business, to the arts.

And when it comes to the top business schools in PA, these six universities all have world-renowned MBA programs and offer multiple specialities in niche areas. Among these best business schools in PA, you also have the very first one ever founded.

So, if you haven’t yet considered PA as a learning destination, you have some excellent choices in these top universities in Pennsylvania for not only a quality undergraduate education but also a master of business or other postgraduate degree.



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