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Accredited Four-Year Colleges in Pennsylvania

by Giselle Mazur

If you want to pursue a college degree in Pennsylvania, you have a wealth of options to choose from. Pennsylvania is home to 85 accredited colleges and universities, including public, private secular, private religious and even an Ivy League school, so there is something for everyone. If you are specifically in the market for a four-year degree, a large number of these institutions offer bachelor's programs.

Accredited Public Colleges

The two groups of public institutions in Pennsylvania include the 14 universities in the State System of Higher Education, which are wholly funded by the state, and the state-related Commonwealth Universities, which are independent but receive a portion of their funding from the state. Not to be confused with the private University of Pennsylvania, the State System universities can be identified by their locations, such as Bloomsburg University and Millersville University. The schools in the State System offer the lowest-cost baccalaureate degree programs in the state, and work closely with the state community college system to help students transfer in easily and achieve their degree goals. The state-related Commonwealth Universities include more than 20 Pennsylvania State University campuses, as well as Lincoln University, Temple University and the University of Pittsburgh. Of these, Lincoln University is unique as it was the first center of higher education that focused on providing education for students of African decent. Notable Lincoln graduates include Langston Hughes and Thurgood Marshall.

Accredited Private Secular Colleges

Philadelphia University is a private university in Philadelphia. It was founded in 1884 and is composed of three colleges: the College of Architecture and the Built Environment; the College of Design, Engineering and Commerce; and the College of Science, Health and the Liberal Arts.The school leverages an educational approach called Nexus learning, which it describes as "active and collaborative learning" that combines real world experiences with academics. Carnegie Mellon University is a private institution in Pennsylvania that was founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie, who is also known for Carnegie Hall. The university encourages business-focused and scientific innovation, and has campuses around the world for international opportunities. Carnegie Mellon is often ranked among the world's top institutions, and graduates have gone on to win Nobel Prizes, Academy Awards and a number of professional industry-based awards.

Accredited Private Religious Colleges

Immaculata University is a private Catholic university in Immaculata. Immaculata was founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1920 and offers a program that combines core academia with Catholic values. While the school is now coeducational, Immaculata opened as the first Catholic college for women in the Philadelphia area. Immaculata strives to promote a sense of education and community, with a stress on the importance of service to the local community. Baptist Bible College & Seminary is a Christian Baptist college in Clarks Summit that offers on-campus, online and distance learning programs. BBC&S is focused on providing degrees for students who are interested in pursuing careers in Christian ministry, and it offers a range of degrees including a one-year Bible certificate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. Aside from academics, BBC&S offers a Christian community and mentorship opportunities that extend beyond degree programs.

Accredited Ivy League School

One of the most famous schools in Pennsylvania is the University of Pennsylvania. UPenn was founded by none other than Benjamin Franklin in 1740 and is a member of the Ivy League school system. The school is made up of 12 colleges, and is a heavily research-focused institution. The university also boasts more than a dozen Noble Prize-winning graduates. One of UPenns's missions is to stress the value of interdisciplinary study, and the school does this by offering both interdisciplinary study for students as well as instruction from interdisciplinary professors who work together to close the gaps between the arts and sciences through the Penn Integrates Knowledge Program.

About the Author

I read about 10 magazines a month. I love music and going to concerts. I write because it's my passion, not because I'm getting paid. I live outdoors so hiking and gardening are way up there. I've been to 6 countries and 10 states, so you could say I'm s travel buff, especially road trips. I'm also cooking fanatic who lives by "The Joy of Cooking."

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