Rankings | Penn State University

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  2017 Best Online Program Rankings

Penn State is ranked No. 8 (tied) for the best online bachelor's programs in the country in U.S. News & World Report’s 2017 “Best Online Programs." Individual programs ranked include:

  • No. 4 for best online graduate engineering programs
  • No. 5 for best online graduate computer information technology programs
  • No. 7 (tied) for best online graduate business programs excluding MBA
  • No. 8 for best online MBA programs
  • No. 9 for best online graduate education programs

U.S. News & World Report"Best Colleges" (Undergraduate) 2017

Penn State ranks No. 50 overall among national universities in U.S. News & World Report's 2017 "Best Colleges" rankings. The University comes in No. 14 among national public universities.

Best Undergraduate Business Programs:

  • Overall, No. 23
  • Accounting, No. 34
  • Finance, No. 27
  • Insurance, No. 10
  • Management, No. 23
  • Marketing, No. 24
  • Production / Operation Management, No. 16
  • Supply Chain Management / Logistics, No. 5

Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs:

  • Overall, No. 18
  • Aerospace Engineering, No. 16
  • Chemical Engineering, No. 18
  • Industrial / Manufacturing Engineering, No. 9
  • Materials Engineering, No. 10

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

Diverse Issues In Higher Education

Diverse rates Penn State among the Top 100 Undergraduate Degree Producers, all disciplines combined, for the latest available academic year, 2014-15. The University ranks No. 57 for Total Minority Bachelor's Degrees; No. 44 for Asian American Bachelor's Degrees; No. 65 for African American Bachelor's Degrees; and No. 76 for Hispanic Bachelor's Degrees.

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

In 2016, for the sixth consecutive year, Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital ranks among best U.S. hospitals in five pediatrics specialties — cancer, neonatology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, and urology —in  U.S. News & World Report 's Best Children's Hospitals.

DesignIntelligence 2015

For the fourth consecutive year, Penn State's undergraduate landscape architecture program has been ranked in the top 3, ranking #1 in the east and #2 overall; the graduate program ranked #5 in the east and #9 overall. In addition, Penn State's architecture program is #16 nationwide in undergraduate architecture programs.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-15

Penn State is ranked No. 68 internationally, by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2016-17.

Center for World University Rankings 2014, Top 100

Penn State is ranked at No. 52 internationally in the 2016 Center for World University Rankings, and ranked 35 nationally.


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., in 2016.

Pollstar has announced that the Bryce Jordan Center on the University Park campus has been ranked fourth in the world in concert and event tickets sold among university venues for the first half of 2016, with 66,115 tickets sold. Pollstar is an official trade publication for the concert tour industry.

The 2016 Campus Pride Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning-Friendly Campus Climate Index  has ranked Penn State among the top 30 schools in the nation. The University once again received 4.5 out of five stars for overall campus climate by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization for student leaders and campus groups working to improve LGBTQ environments at colleges and universities.

Academic Ranking of World Universities (AWRU) has ranked Penn State at 77th in its 2016 ranking of the top 100 world-class universities. Penn State comes in at 41st nationally.

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 2014-15, with 7,728 students at the University Park campus, in addition to several more thousand across the Commonwealth, according to the Institute of International Education’s (IIE) annual Open Doors report for 2014-15.

Association of Research Libraries: The 2013-14 Association of Research Libraries Library Investment Index Rankings list of top research universities in North America ranks the Penn State University Libraries at 10th. The ARL ranking system is based on dollars spent for total library expenditures, salaries and wages and library materials, plus the number of professional plus support staff employees. 

The Chronicle of Higher Education ranks Penn State in 2016 among the top producer of Fulbright scholars among research institutions in the nation, with six awards for 2016.

National Research Corporation: Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has been named by in 2016 a Consumer Choice Award winner for Pennsylvania for the 17th consecutive year by the National Research Corporation.

Aviation Week Top Universities for A&D (aerospace and defense):According to Aviation Week's annual Workforce Study for 2016, Penn State is a "preferred supplier" based on the ability to recruit students on campus who are both well-prepared academically and in programs that have a record for quality research and alumni. Penn State was also named among young professionals when asked how important they believe their alma mater is to their career growth.

Compiled by: Penn State Office of Strategic Communications

Category: Business school

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