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. Additional information about the University can be found in Penn State's Fact Book.

Recent Rankings

U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges" (Undergraduate) 2020

Penn State ranks No. 57 overall among national universities in U.S. News & World Report's 2020 "Best Colleges" rankings. In addition, U.S. News ranked the University at No. 18 nationally among “Top Public Schools,” and No. 30 for “Best Colleges for Veterans.”

Best Undergraduate Business Programs

  • #22 overall (Smeal College of Business) 

  • #2 in Supply Chain Management / Logistics (tie) 

  • #7 in Insurance (tie) 

  • #13 in Production / Operation Management
  • #16 in Marketing (tie)
  • #19 in Accounting (tie) 

Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate)

  • #25 Overall (College of Engineering) 

  • #3 in Petroleum Engineering (tie) 

  • #8 in Industrial / Manufacturing Engineering 

  • #10 in Biological/Agricultural 

  • #10 in Materials Engineering (tie) 

  • #12 in Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering 

  • #12 in Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering 

  • #13 in Civil Engineering
  • #14 in Mechanical Engineering (tie)
  • #18 in Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering 

  • #19 in Computer Engineering 

  • #20 in Chemical Engineering 

U.S. News & World Report, “America's Best Graduate Schools 2020-21”    

#41 in Best Business Schools (Smeal College of Business)

  • #5 in Supply Chain/Logistics
  • #12 in Production/Operations (tie) 

  • #17 in Real Estate (tie) 

#36 in Best Education Schools (College of Education)

  • #2 in Higher Education Administration (tie) 

  • #5 in Student Counseling and Personnel Services 

  • #10 in Educational Administration and Supervision
  • #11 in Education Policy
  • #13 in Secondary Teacher Education
  • #14 in Special Education (tie)
  • #14 in Educational Psychology
  • #14 in Elementary Teacher Education 

  • #15 in Curriculum and Instruction (tie) 

#35 in Best Engineering Schools (College of Engineering)

  • #5 in Petroleum Engineering (tie)

  • #9 in Nuclear Engineering (tie)
  • #11 in Industrial/Manufacturing/Systems Engineering
  • #11 in Biological/Agricultural Engineering
  • #11 in Materials Engineering
  • #15 in Aerospace/Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering (tie)
  • #17 in Mechanical Engineering (tie) 


  • #30 in Best Nursing Schools: Master’s (tie) (College of Nursing)

Health Disciplines (last ranked in 2016)

  • #10 in Clinical Psychology (tie)
  • #4 in Rehabilitation Counseling (tie) 

Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

  • #5 in Developmental Psychology (tie) 

  • #5 in Criminology 

  • #6 in Ceramics
  • #11 in International Economics

  • #17 in Sociology (tie)
  • #17 in Sociology of Population (tie)


  • #1 in Geology
  • #3 in Environmental Sciences
  • #4 in Geochemistry
  • #5 in Earth Sciences
  • #9 in Cosmology/Relativity/Gravity (Physics)
  • #11 in Condensed Matter (Physics) (tie)
  • #20 in Statistics (tie)
  • #20 in Chemistry


  • Penn State Law — #60 in Best Law Schools (tie)
  • Penn State Dickinson Law — #62 in Best Law Schools (tie)

U.S. News 2020 “Best Online Programs” Rankings – Penn State World Campus

Penn State is ranked No. 8 (tied) for the best online bachelor's programs in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 “Best Online Programs." In addition, the University ranks highly in online graduate programs:

  • #6 for best online graduate engineering programs
  • #6 for best online graduate computer information technology programs
  • #6 (tied) for best online MBA programs
  • #7 for best online graduate education programs
  • #8 (tied) for best online graduate business programs excluding MBA

In addition, U.S. News ranked the University at No. 6 (tied) for Penn State’s online bachelor’s programs for veterans. In addition, online graduate programs for veterans ranked:

  • #2 in online graduate education
  • #4 in online MBA
  • #4 in online graduate business
  • #5 in online graduate engineering
  • #5 in online graduate computer information technology 

Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings 2020

Penn State ranked third in the U.S. and 35th in the world out of 767 international institutions that participated in the Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings.

The global rating is a broad multidimensional assessment of a university’s research, community outreach and education, and campus operations, and is linked to the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to being in the top 5 percent globally, Penn State ranked worldwide No. 6 in SDG 14, Life Below Water; No. 13 for SDG 15, Life on Land; and No. 17 for SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation, among international institutions that submitted for specific SDGs.

International University Rankings

Center for World University Rankings 2020-21, Top 100

Penn State is ranked at No. 54 internationally among 2,000 schools ranked in the most recent Center for World University Rankings and ranked No. 43 in the United States.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Penn State is ranked No. 78 internationally, among more than 1,250 institutions across 86 countries, by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2020.

U.S. News & World Report “Best Global Universities” 2020

Penn State is ranked at No. 72 internationally, among 1,500 institutions evaluated, in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Global Universities” for 2020.    

QS World University Rankings 2020 

Penn State is ranked (tied) at No. 93 internationally among 2,000 schools ranked in the 2016 Center for World University Rankings and ranked No. 43 in the United States.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (AWRU) 2019

Academic Ranking of World Universities has ranked Penn State at No. 98 in its 2019 listing of the top 1000 world-class universities, out of more than 1,800 institutions ranked worldwide.

Additional Rankings    

U.S. News & World Report, “Best Children's Hospitals 2020”

For the 10th consecutive year, Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital ranks among the nation’s best hospitals for children in multiple specialties — cardiology and heart surgery (No. 16), cancer (No. 38), pulmonology (No. 38) neonatology (No. 40), and nephrology (No. 48).

DesignIntelligence 2019-20

Penn State's undergraduate landscape architecture programs have been ranked No. 1, and its graduate programs ranked at No. 11, by DesignIntelligence’s annual Architecture Schools Survey.

In addition, the Penn State’s undergraduate architecture programs rank No. 13 nationwide, and its graduate programs at No. 28.

Gartner Inc.

Penn State Smeal College of Business ranks No. 3 in undergraduate and graduate programs in supply chain management in the country in 2020, according to technology research firm Gartner Inc.

Campus Pride Index 2019

Penn State has received 5 out of 5 stars for overall campus climate in the 2019 Campus Pride Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning-Friendly Campus Climate Index for 2019. Campus Pride is a national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to improve LGBTQ environments at colleges and universities.

Institute of International Education Open Doors Report

Penn State ranks 13th in the U.S. and 1st in Pennsylvania for institutions hosting international students in 2018-19, with 9,396 students at the University Park campus, in addition to several more thousand at its campuses across the Commonwealth, according to the latest IIE annual Open Doors report.

Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries Library Investment Index Rankings list of top research universities in North America ranks the Penn State University Libraries at No. 7 among top national research libraries, and No. 2 among top national research libraries, for 2017-18, the latest report available.

Top Producers of Fulbright U.S. Scholars and Students

The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked Penn State as the top producer of Fulbright U.S. scholars among research institutions in the nation, with 13 awards for 2019-20.

Compiled by Penn State’s Office of Strategic Communications