Accredited colleges and universities have had their educational programs and faculty evaluated by an outside agency. Those agencies ensure that the school provides a high-quality education to its students, so to have your degree recognized by employers, it’s critical to attend an accredited institution. Below you’ll find information on higher education in the state and helpful resources on online colleges in Pennsylvania.
- School Search
- Accreditation Agencies
- Education Links
- Notable Schools
Accredited Online Colleges Database
The following agencies accredit schools in Pennsylvania. This list only represents institution-wide accreditors, as opposed to agencies that award program-specific accreditation. You can find information on program-specific accreditation in our subject pages.
- Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
- Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
- Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET)
- Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS)
- Council on Occupational Education (COE)
- Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
- Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS)
Higher Education Links
To learn more about higher education in Pennsylvania, the state’s department of education provides information on its institutions, as well as state codes and regulations. Pennsylvania’s higher education assistance agency also provides information on planning and paying for college.
Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are in the state. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific area. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable accredited online and campus-based schools in the state to help you begin your school search.
Pennsylvania’s public institutions are among the biggest in the country. There’s a reason students flock to them; they’re also known for their strong academics. Read more about some of the state’s top public schools below.
Pennsylvania State University
Penn State is one of the nation’s largest universities, from its nearly 40,000-strong undergraduate student body to its sprawling University Park campus to its pioneering online World Campus, which brings the school’s student enrollment to nearly 100,000. The school is ranked by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes as among the best in the country.
University of Pittsburgh
Since opening more than 225 years ago, scores of notable actors, athletes, writers and more have called themselves Univeristy of Pittsburgh alumni. A small fraction of these include Gene Kelly, Dan Marino, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon. The institution is also well-regarded by U.S. News & World Report for its School of Education, Swanson School of Engineering, and School of Medicine, which is affiliated with the renowned University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
The urban public research university has been serving students since 1888. It has a strong student body presence and life, with more than 300 student clubs. The school is also recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the top in the nation. Notable alumni include comedian Bill Cosby.
Pennsylvania is home of several prestigious private schools, including one of the eight Ivy League institutions and one of the country’s top liberal arts colleges. Learn more about some of the state’s top private schools below.
University of Pennsylvania
Benjamin Franklin founded the University of Pennsylvania in 1740. The school lives up to its pedigree: it is an Ivy League institution that ranks among the top schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes. In the past 20 years, its faculty have also included seven MacArthur Award recipients, five National Medal of Science recipients, four Nobel Prize recipients, and five Pulitzer Prize recipients.
Carnegie Mellon University
Industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie founded Carnegie Mellon at the turn of the 20th century. Today, it is known for its strong science and technology programs and is recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes as among the top schools in the country.
This small, private school is recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes as having one of the strongest liberal arts programs in the country. It is part of the Tri-College Consortium with Bryn Mawr and Haverford, meaning students can take courses from these renowned colleges as well.