Education / Resources / Roundups

Here’s where Philly-area universities rank on US News & World Report’s 2022 Best Colleges

Seven of the state's more than 100 universities made the list from the Greater Philadelphia region.

The University of Pennsylvania. (University of Pennsylvania by f11photo via Shutterstock)

U.S. News and World Report released its annual list of best colleges this week, and seven Philadelphia-area institutions are among the rankings.

The state has more than 100 four-year degree institutions, including a mix of large research universities, midsize colleges, small liberal arts schools and several specialty schools. U.S. News and World Report ranks the schools  according to their performance across a set of “widely accepted indicators of excellence.”

Mainly, the report looks at a school’s outcomes — its graduation and retention rates, as well as its faculty resources, financial resources, scores for students and alumni giving. Experts in academia also weigh in, which factors about 20% into the overall score.

(As noted by’s Pittsburgh reporter, Sophie Burkholder: Though the reliability and merit of these rankings has long been called into question by some education experts in the past, they still drive interest in universities for prospective students, and can call attention to the successes of individual programs or majors within each school.)

Philadelphia has seven schools on the list this year, while Pennsylvania’s second largest city, Pittsburgh, saw a handful as well. Here’s how the Philly schools fared:

The highest ranked was University of Pennsylvania, at No. 8 on the list of national universities, No. 38 in best undergraduate teaching and No. 14 in best value schools. When it comes to the institutions’ degree programs, Penn ranks No. 21 in undergraduate engineering, and No. 1 in business programs. The University City schools had 9,900 undergraduate students in the fall of 2020, and tuition and fees were just under $62,000.

Villanova University tied for 49th place with Bethlehem’s Lehigh University on the national schools list, and in 2020 enrolled 7,000 students. The Main Line school, which costs just under $60,000 in tuition and fees, ranked No. 96 in engineering programs and No. 23 in best value schools.

Drexel University and Temple Universities tied on the list for No. 103 this year, and had a 2020 enrollment of 14,600 and 27,300 undergraduate students, respectively. Drexel, in University City, saw its engineering programs ranked No. 52 and its value ranked No. 100, at an annual tuition and fees cost of about $57,000. Temple, in North Philadelphia, saw its engineering programs ranked No. 131, and it was ranked No. 75 for best value at an annual in-state cost of about $20,000 for tuition and fees.

Thomas Jefferson University, in Center City, ranked No. 148 overall, with a ranking of No. 195 for engineering programs. At an average costs of $41,715 each year, enrollment stood at 3,800 undergraduates in 2020.

And the last Philly-area schools on the list: Chester’s Widener University at No. 213, with enrollment at 2,900 and cost per year at $49,702, and Chester County’s Immaculata University at No. 227, with enrollment at 2,600 and cost per year at $27,750.

See the full report
Companies: Thomas Jefferson University / Drexel University / Lehigh University / Temple University / University of Pennsylvania / Villanova University / Widener University

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

3 ways to support our work:
  • Contribute to the Journalism Fund. Charitable giving ensures our information remains free and accessible for residents to discover workforce programs and entrepreneurship pathways. This includes philanthropic grants and individual tax-deductible donations from readers like you.
  • Use our Preferred Partners. Our directory of vetted providers offers high-quality recommendations for services our readers need, and each referral supports our journalism.
  • Use our services. If you need entrepreneurs and tech leaders to buy your services, are seeking technologists to hire or want more professionals to know about your ecosystem, has the biggest and most engaged audience in the mid-Atlantic. We help companies tell their stories and answer big questions to meet and serve our community.
Contribute to the journalism fund Preferred partners Our services

Join the conversation!

Find news, events, jobs and people who share your interests on's open community Slack


Gopuff lays off 6% of workforce, as it prepares for 'next leg of growth'

Philly coworking guide: 21 places to get work done

Philly Power Moves: Penn bets on AI with its first vice dean dedicated to the tech

5 local orgs with services and resources for startups and entrepreneurs

Technically Media