This is Penn State

A photoband consisting of three images: a female professor and student examine a skull, a group of graduates in blue caps and gowns, a male student holds a blue globe.



For more than 150 years we've been leaders in higher education, as shown by rankings from those who monitor academe from the outside. Here are a few examples of recent rankings, primarily relating to our academic standing.


U.S. News 2015 Best Online Program Rankings

Penn State World Campus ranked No. 1 for the best online bachelor programs in the country in U.S. News & World Report's 2015 "Best Online Programs," the highest-ever ranking for the University. World Campus also ranks in the top 10 for best online graduate programs in business, engineering, education, and computer information technology. 

U.S. News & World Report, America's Best Graduate Schools 2016

Smeal College of Business overall tied for 36th
Supply Chain/Logistics 5th

College of Education overall tied for 36th
Vocational/Technical Education, 1st
Higher Education Administration, tied for 7th
Administration and Supervision, 7th
Educational Psychology, 10th

College of Engineering overall 25th
Nuclear Engineering, tied for 5th

Health Disciplines
Clinical Psychology (doctorate), tied for 18th
Health Care Management (master's/doctorate), tied for 27th
Rehabilitation Counseling (master's/doctorate), tied for 6th
Speech-Language Pathology (master's), tied for 21st

Penn State Dickinson School of Law overall tied for 71st

College of Nursing overall tied for 38th

Social Sciences and Humanities
Sociology of Population, 6th
Criminology, tied for 5th
Sociology, tied for 17th
Economics, 27th
Political Science, tied for 28th
English, tied for 26th
Psychology, tied for 30th
Developmental Psychology, tied for 5th

Geology, tied for 1st
Environmental Sciences, tied for 2nd
Geochemistry, 2nd
Earth Sciences, 6th
Paleontology, 8th
Cosmology/Relativity/Gravity, 10th
Statistics, tied for 20th
Chemistry, tied for 21st
Physics, tied for 23rd
Mathematics, tied for 28th
Computer Science, tied for 29th
Biological Sciences, tied for 42nd

DesignIntelligence 2014

DesignIntelligence 2014 ranks Penn State's Landscape Architecture program No. 1 in the U.S., with its graduate program ranking 7th. In addition, Penn State's Architecture program made the top 5 for undergraduate architecture schools in the ease and 13th nationwide in undergraduate architecture programs. 

Center for World University Rankings 2014, Top 100

Penn State is ranked at No. 46 for 2014 in the Center for World University Rankings, up from No. 50 in 2013. The list includes national and international schools. Criteria for the rankings are: quality of faculty, publications in top journals, highly influential research, citations, patents, academic training of students, and professional future of alumni.

U.S. News & World Report, Best Children's Hospitals 2013-14

Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital has been ranked among the top 50 U.S. hospitals in six specialties—cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and urology—in U.S. News & World Report's 2014-15 Best Children's Hospitals rankings.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2013-14

Penn State has been named one of the top universities in the world, ranking 49th, up 12 positions from 2012-13 and considered in the top 1 percent of higher education institutions worldwide. (10/2013)

Penn State ranks 7th among "flagship" schools whose recent graduates earn the highest median starting salaries. (2013)

U.S. News 2013 Best Online Education Program Rankings

Penn State World Campus ranked in the Top 25 for its online undergraduate and graduate programs in U.S. News & World Report's 2013 Best Online Education Program Rankings, including:

  • 2nd for online graduate engineering programs
  • 5th for online graduate computer information technology programs
  • 16th for online bachelor's degree programs
  • 19th for online graduate business programs
  • 25th for online graduate education programs

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance “Best Values in Public Colleges”

Kiplinger's Personal Finance for 2012-13 named Penn State as one of the 100 Best Values in Public Colleges, recognizing the University among four-year schools that combine outstanding education with economic value. Penn State's ranking is No. 48. (2012)

Wall Street Journal

Ranked No. 1 for college graduates who are best suited for the world of work in a survey of corporate recruiters by the Wall Street Journal. (2010)

The Education Trust

Penn State named among top 25 “gap-closers” for minority students: In reports released by The Education Trust, Penn State is among the top six U.S. institutions for closing the graduation gap for African American and Hispanic students. Penn State is the No. 21 graduation-rate gap-closer for Hispanic students among public institutions and No. 18 for African American students. (10/2012)

Academic Ranking of World Universities (AWRU)

ARWU has ranked Penn State at 49th in its 2012 ranking of the top 100 world-class universities. The University is one of five Big Ten universities and one of only two Pennsylvania schools to make the top 50.

National Science Foundation
Total S&E Research Expenditure Rankings (March 2012)

Overall: 14
Industry: 9

Overall Engineering: 3
Aero/Astro-Engineering: 10
Chemical Engineering: 18
Electrical Engineering: 3
Materials Engineering: 2
Mechanical Engineering: 3

Overall Physical Sciences: 17
Chemistry: 20
Physics: 17
Astronomy: 13

Overall Environmental Sciences: 11
Atmospheric: 8
Earth Sciences: 7

Mathematical Science: 7
Computer Science: 8
Agricultural: 8
Psychology: 1

Overall Social Science: 11
Political Science: 19
Sociology: 2

Institute of International Education "Open Doors"

Penn State ranks 10th in the U.S., and No. 1 in Pennsylvania for the second year in a row, with a record number of international students—6,693 at University Park—according to the Institute of International Education's "Open Doors" report for 2012-13, an annual statistical survey of international students in the nation. The report also ranks Penn State at 19th for the number of students studying abroad (1,926) for 2011-12. (2012-13)


Center for World University Rankings 2013, Top 100

Penn State is ranked at No. 50 for 2013 in the Center for World University Rankings, up from No. 64 in 2012. The list includes national and international schools. Criteria for the rankings are: quality of faculty, publications in top journals, highly influential research, citations, patents, academic training of students, and professional future of alumni.

U.S. News annual Best Children's Hospitals: Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital is ranked in five specialities—cancer treatment; urology; orthopedics; neurology and neurosurgery; and cardiology and heart surgery. (2013-14)

Associaton of Research Libraries: Penn State University Libraries rank 8th among North American research libraries, based on ARL's Library Investment Index Rankings for 2011-12. (2013)

The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks Penn State as the top producer of Fulbright scholars among research institutions -- and all institutions, as well -- in the nation. (2011-12)

National Research Corporation: Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been named a 2011-12 Consumer Choice Award winner for Pennsylvania for the 13th consecutive year. (2011-12)

U.S. News annual Best Colleges rankings: Penn State tied for 20th nationally in Best Undergraduate Business Programs. In Undergraduate business specialties: Supply Chain Management/Logistics, Penn State ranks 3rd. (2011)

U.S. News annual Best Colleges rankings: Penn State tied for 17th nationally in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. In Undergraduate Engineering Specialities: Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical, Penn State ranks 10th; and in Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering, Penn State ranks 4th. (2011)

Aviation Week: Penn State ranks as the top engineering school for aerospace and defense recruitment, according to Aviation Week's annual Workforce and Young Professionals/Student Study. (2011)

Diverse Issues In Higher Education rates Penn State among the top 100 higher education institutions nationwide in African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American undergraduate degree producers. (2011)

Gartner, Inc.: Penn State Smeal College of Business has the No. 1 undergraduate and graduate programs in supply chain management in the country, according to technology research firm Gartner, Inc. (2011)

The UTD Top 100 Business School Research Rankings: Penn State Smeal College of Business ranks 15th among all U.S. and international business schools and 4th among publicly supported schools for scholarly research output, according to data from the University of Texas at Dallas. (2011)

Smartmoney Magazine: Penn State ranks 12th nationally among "Colleges That Help Grads Get Top Salaries." (2011)

Compiled by: Penn State Office of Strategic Communications