Public Universities in Pennsylvania: A Complete List

Interested in public colleges in Pennsylvania? Check out our complete list and get information on the most popular universities in Pennsylvania.
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Over a quarter of a million college students attend public universities in Pennsylvania. Are you ready to join them?

The Keystone State has many affordable, top-ranked public colleges. You can choose a large, urban college like Pitt or Temple, or get the college-town experience in rural Pennsylvania.

Learn more about popular public universities, and check out our full list of public colleges in Pennsylvania to find the best fit for you.

5 Popular Public Universities in Pennsylvania

The following public colleges in Pennsylvania offer a wealth of student resources, boast top-notch reputations, and provide a rigorous academic experience.

1. Pennsylvania State University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $26,747
  • Acceptance Rate: 55%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 50,028

If you know anything about public universities in Pennsylvania, you've probably heard of Penn State. Known for its college athletics, Penn State is also the largest university in the Keystone State. Including its 24 regional campuses and the online World Campus, the public university enrolls nearly 100,000 students.

Penn State offers more than 275 majors from its main campus. You can also participate in internships, undergraduate research projects, and student organizations to round out your education.

2. Temple University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $23,935
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 33,196

Philadelphia's public university is also the largest college in the City of Brotherly Love. In between classes, Temple students take advantage of Philly's sports, art, and food culture. The bustling campus overlooks the city's skyline, offering historical and state-of-the-art architecture with a residential feel.

You'll have 17 schools and colleges to learn from at Temple, with over 500 academic programs. Complete a community service project, join a student club, or hop on the Broad Street Line to explore the city.

3. University of Pittsburgh

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $24,286
  • Acceptance Rate: 49%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 33,767

One of the largest universities in Pennsylvania, Pitt dates back to 1787, when it began as a log cabin. Today, the public college enrolls over 33,000 students and offers nearly 650 degree and certificate options.

Want to dive into student life? The campus is always active thanks to an energized student community. You can choose from over 600 student organizations at Pitt. You'll get hands-on experience along with classroom learning, since 84% of undergrads complete an internship.

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4. Indiana University of Pennsylvania

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $20,205
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 8,816

IUP is one of the most affordable public colleges in Pennsylvania. The school is located in Indiana, Pennsylvania, a small town an hour northeast of Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania residents can earn their degree for around just $7,000 per year in tuition and fees.

Here, you can choose from over 160 undergraduate and graduate programs. The 374-acre campus is crisscrossed by rivers, and you can also enroll in a study abroad program. IUP encourages personal growth in its students.

5. Slippery Rock University

  • Avg. Annual Net Price: $17,873
  • Acceptance Rate: 74%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 8,221

A mid-sized public college in western Pennsylvania, SRU dates back to 1889. An hour's drive north of Pittsburgh, the 660-acre campus offers a college-town feel. You'll share the rural town of Slippery Rock with 3,000 residents.

Over 90% of first-year students live on campus, and nearly 90% of undergrads come from Pennsylvania. SRU offers a significant tuition discount for out-of-state students with a 3.0 GPA, who pay around $4,000 more than in-state tuition and fees.

List of All Public Universities in Pennsylvania

We've created a complete list of all four-year nonprofit public universities in Pennsylvania. You can use the table below to compare data on student population, average net cost, acceptance rate, and number of applicants.

The following school data comes from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Note that schools with fewer than 500 undergrads were excluded from this list.

All Public Colleges in Pennsylvania
School Total Student Enrollment Avg. Annual Net Price Acceptance Rate Number of Applicants
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania 697 $11,588 100% N/A
Commonwealth University of Pennsylvania 12,074 $17,412 94% 9,570
East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania 5,143 $17,278 94% 5,679
Indiana University of Pennsylvania 8,816 $20,205 92% 8,603
Kutztown University of Pennsylvania 7,455 $20,776 96% 7,248
Lincoln University 1,824 $15,502 81% 6,699
Millersville University of Pennsylvania 6,775 $21,076 92% 6,506
Pennsylvania State University 50,028 $26,747 55% 85,784
Penn State Abington 3,090 $20,460 93% 6,463
Penn State Altoona 2,577 $20,621 96% 7,523
Penn State Beaver 522 $18,113 93% 1,707
Penn State Berks 2,077 $21,728 97% 5,605
Penn State Brandywine 1,196 $21,600 96% 2,440
Penn State Erie-Behrend College 3,295 $21,968 95% 4,363
Penn State Harrisburg 4,572 $22,096 96% 9,925
Penn State Lehigh Valley 888 $18,142 94% 1,806
Penn State Mont Alto 670 $19,838 91% 678
Penn State Schuylkill 623 $17,252 86% 928
Penn State Scranton 875 $16,594 94% 2,297
Penn State World Campus 13,979 $19,551 82% 857
Penn State York 718 $18,910 93% 2,005
Pennsylvania Western University 12,778 $18,527 94% 8,463
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania 5,162 $21,462 88% 6,367
Slippery Rock University 8,221 $17,873 74% 5,591
Temple University 33,196 $23,935 80% 38,666
University of Pittsburgh 33,767 $24,286 49% 53,072
University of Pittsburgh-Bradford 1,074 $16,505 94% 5,071
University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg 1,328 $18,194 98% 3,003
University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown 2,043 $17,545 97% 3,470
West Chester University of Pennsylvania 17,275 $22,973 88% 14,778
Source: NCES

Cost of Living in Pennsylvania

How much does it cost to live and study in Pennsylvania? The cost of living in Pennsylvania is in line with many other states; however, cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh report higher costs of living than rural areas.

Cost of living is a great factor to consider when choosing a college. Average incomes can also tell you how much you can potentially earn after finishing school. For example, Pennsylvania households earn an average of around $75,000 per year, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

The largest expenses for Pennsylvania residents include housing, transportation, and food, followed by healthcare and utilities.

Highest-Paying Jobs in Pennsylvania

After graduating from a public university in Pennsylvania, you'll qualify for many high-paying careers that require a bachelor's degree.

The state's best-paying jobs without a graduate degree include roles in finance, management, tech, and engineering. Many of these job titles report median salaries of over $120,000 per year, as the table shows.

Highest-Paying Jobs in Pennsylvania with a Bachelor's Degree
Job Median 2022 Salary
Personal Financial Advisors $163,400
Computer and Information Systems Managers $155,290
Architectural and Engineering Managers $153,000
Financial Managers $149,150
Compensation and Benefits Managers $145,290
Public Relations Managers $130,490
Actuaries $122,910
Nuclear Engineers $122,440
Computer Hardware Engineers $120,530
Database Architects $120,180
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022

Frequently Asked Questions About Public Universities in Pennsylvania

How many public universities are in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania has over 30 public nonprofit four-year universities, including branch campuses of universities like Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh. The public colleges in Pennsylvania enroll more than 225,000 students, according to NCES data.

Penn State is the largest public university, with around 50,000 students. Excluding other Penn State campuses, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, an HBCU, is the smallest public school in Pennsylvania, with around 700 students.

What is the No. 1 public college in Pennsylvania?

Penn State and Pitt are both considered top public colleges in Pennsylvania. They're also two of the most selective universities in Pennsylvania. Penn State received over 85,000 applications in fall 2022 and admitted 55% of applicants. Pitt received roughly 53,000 applications and admitted 49% of applicants.

What is the largest university in Pennsylvania?

Penn State is the largest university in Pennsylvania by enrollment. The university reports that nearly 89,000 students enroll across all of its campuses, with additional students attending the online World Campus. The main campus in University Park welcomed just over 50,000 students in fall 2022, according to NCES.

Pitt and Temple are the next largest public colleges in Pennsylvania. Pitt enrolls just under 34,000 students, while Temple enrolls 33,000. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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