How Many Colleges are in Philadelphia?

Philadelphia is the largest city in Pennsylvania, with an estimated population of 1,526,006. Located in the Delaware Valley region of southeastern Pennsylvania, about halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C., Philadelphia is the fifth-largest city in the United States and serves as the county seat of Philadelphia County.  Here we will see about How Many Colleges are in Philadelphia?

  • The Philadelphia metropolitan area consists of six counties in Pennsylvania and has a population of 5,917,553 as of 2011 Census estimates making it the sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States.
  • Philadelphia has an incredible number of institutions of higher learning, including colleges and universities as well as technical schools and other training facilities. 
How Many Colleges are in Philadelphia?

Here’s what you need to know about Philadelphia schools and colleges.

A Guide to Colleges Near Philly

If you’re an area high school student considering your options for college, you’ve probably already looked into schools in other nearby cities. 

  • For example, it may have crossed your mind that Pittsburgh or New York City might be within reach—but where does that leave Philly? 

There are more than 20 colleges and universities located within 50 miles of Center City, including some prestigious institutions like Drexel University and Temple University. 

And while each campus has its own distinct character, one thing they all have in common is their rich history with The City of Brotherly Love. That means no matter which school you choose to attend after high school graduation, and you won’t be far from home!

University of Pennsylvania Section

The University of Pennsylvania is widely considered one of America’s most prestigious Ivy League schools. It was chartered by King George II in 1740 and has made a name for itself as an international leader in research, innovation, and education. 

  • In fact, it was dubbed the world’s first truly global university. 
  • The school offers more than 100 different majors across its five undergraduate schools, including architecture and design, business administration, engineering, applied science, humanities, arts, and social sciences, medicine, nursing, public health, and veterinary medicine. 
  • There are also a plethora of doctoral programs offered through Penn’s Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. 
  • The total number of students who attend Penn is just under 30k.

Drexel University Section

Founded in 1891, Drexel University is a coeducational, privately supported university with a total undergraduate enrollment of 24,168 students. 

  • The school has 11 campuses across five states, including major campuses in Bala Cynwyd and Center City. 
  • Drexel offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate programs to students and also operates a prestigious health sciences system that includes Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. 
  • The university awards more than 3,000 degrees each year and boasts numerous notable alumni, including former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, filmmaker Nora Ephron and Academy Award-winning actress Tilda Swinton.

Temple University Section

For example, most of Temple University’s campuses are located within a 2-mile radius of Center City. The school, which has more than 33,000 students enrolled (and graduates roughly 10,000 per year), is among Philly’s largest colleges and universities. Temple also has campuses in Rome; Tokyo; and Tel Aviv, Israel. In addition to four main locations (Center City campus, Ambler campus, Main Campus East, and Main Campus West), Temple also offers a class at dozens of other sites around Greater Philadelphia.

Villanova University Section

In 1842, a priest named Rev. Edward Fenwick purchased land in what is now Roxborough and established St. Joseph’s Academy for boys. By 1846, students were also welcomed into classrooms at Rosemont College; it was here that future Union General George Meade studied before graduating from West Point Military Academy. 

  • In 1920, Rosemont College went co-ed and became a women’s college shortly thereafter. The school merged with nearby Bayless High School to become Villanova University in 1953.
  • Villanova is known nationally for its basketball team, which has won two NCAA titles: in 1985 and 2016, but sports fans can also cheer on football, golf, lacrosse, and volleyball teams, among others.

La Salle University Section

La Salle University is a private, coeducational university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was founded by members of the Institute of a Christian Brothers congregation. 

  • La Salle’s main campus is situated on 191st Street between Olney Avenue and Lancashire Road in northeastern Philadelphia, about 10 miles from Center City. 
  • The university also has satellite campuses throughout Pennsylvania and other U.S. states, including Florida, California, New Jersey, Delaware, and Virginia. Over 5,000 students attend La Salle University full-time, with over 15% percent being international students representing 77 countries around the world.

Saint Joseph’s University Section

Saint Joseph’s University is a private Catholic university located on 295 acres in Northeast Philadelphia. The school was founded in 1851 and had an undergraduate enrollment of about 5,600 students. 

  • Saint Joseph’s serves as a top-ranked national liberal arts college, placing 76th among schools like Mount Holyoke College and Fordham University, according to U.S. News & World Report rankings. 
  • In addition to its undergraduate programs, Saint Joseph’s also offers graduate degrees through its seven schools: Business Administration; Computer and Information Sciences; Education; Liberal Arts and Sciences; Nursing; Public Health; Social Work & Criminal Justice. Aside from being one of the oldest Catholic universities in the U.S.

Community College Section

Community colleges are typically known for being less expensive than four-year schools. In fact, if you’re looking to save some money on your education, community college may be a good option. 

  • The cost of tuition can vary at different community colleges. 
  • The average is about $3,000 per year, but it can be even less if you live close to a community college or you’re taking non-credit courses at one that requires only pay for lab fees and books (or not even those). 
  • If your primary reason for attending school is to make new friends and meet people in your area – these can help cover most of those costs anyway.
  • However, keep in mind that there are some downsides to attending a community college. You might have fewer class options since they don’t offer as many majors as four-year schools do. 

It’s also important to note that credits earned at two-year institutions aren’t always transferable to other universities or colleges. However, if you’re planning on transferring after two years, then it’s something worth considering.


This research article proves that there are numerous colleges and universities in Philadelphia that offer accredited degree programs. There is a range of colleges to choose from, including Temple University (8800 N. Broad Street, Temple University Center City), La Salle University (1900 W Olney Avenue, La Salle University-City Campus), and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (118-128 N Broad St). 

  • Explore each school’s website to find out more about its academics, campus setting, and social life!