Best Colleges in Pennsylvania by Salary Potential

Investing in your education is smart. But make the smartest investment by first researching Pennsylvania’s best four-year colleges by earning potential.

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RankSchool NameSchool TypeEarly Career Pay
Mid-Career Pay
% High Meaning
% STEM Degrees
Rank:1School Name:Carnegie Mellon UniversitySchool Type:Engineering, Private School, Research UniversityEarly Career Pay:$75,900Mid-Career Pay:$136,100% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:66%
Rank:2School Name:Lehigh UniversitySchool Type:Engineering, Party School, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$69,500Mid-Career Pay:$134,100% High Meaning:45%% STEM Degrees:52%
Rank:3School Name:University of PennsylvaniaSchool Type:Ivy League, Private School, Research University, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$72,800Mid-Career Pay:$133,900% High Meaning:41%% STEM Degrees:21%
Rank:4School Name:Swarthmore CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$67,500Mid-Career Pay:$123,200% High Meaning:44%% STEM Degrees:45%
Rank:5School Name:Bucknell UniversitySchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Party School, Private School, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$66,700Mid-Career Pay:$122,900% High Meaning:40%% STEM Degrees:40%
Rank:6School Name:Lafayette CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$66,500Mid-Career Pay:$122,500% High Meaning:37%% STEM Degrees:47%
Rank:7School Name:Villanova UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, Research University, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$65,100Mid-Career Pay:$119,500% High Meaning:41%% STEM Degrees:23%
Rank:8School Name:University of the SciencesSchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$60,700Mid-Career Pay:$115,200% High Meaning:72%% STEM Degrees:12%
Rank:9School Name:Drexel UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Research University, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$61,700Mid-Career Pay:$114,800% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:28%
Rank:10School Name:Haverford CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$59,300Mid-Career Pay:$112,300% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:36%
Rank:11School Name:Franklin and Marshall CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$57,200Mid-Career Pay:$109,700% High Meaning:42%% STEM Degrees:23%
Rank:12School Name:Gettysburg CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$58,400Mid-Career Pay:$109,300% High Meaning:39%% STEM Degrees:24%
Rank:13School Name:Pennsylvania State University-Main CampusSchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$58,500Mid-Career Pay:$105,500% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:37%
Rank:14School Name:Saint Joseph's UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$57,300Mid-Career Pay:$105,100% High Meaning:41%% STEM Degrees:6%
Rank:15School Name:La Salle UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Religious, For Sports FansEarly Career Pay:$55,800Mid-Career Pay:$104,800% High Meaning:40%% STEM Degrees:5%
Rank:16School Name:Thomas Jefferson UniversitySchool Type:Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$63,400Mid-Career Pay:$102,500% High Meaning:83%% STEM Degrees:7%
Rank:17School Name:Muhlenberg CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$53,400Mid-Career Pay:$101,900% High Meaning:43%% STEM Degrees:20%
Rank:18School Name:Ursinus CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$54,400Mid-Career Pay:$101,800% High Meaning:42%% STEM Degrees:40%
Rank:19School Name:Pennsylvania State University-Penn State HarrisburgSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$55,000Mid-Career Pay:$100,400% High Meaning:47%% STEM Degrees:31%
Rank:19School Name:University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusSchool Type:Research University, For Sports Fans, State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$55,900Mid-Career Pay:$100,400% High Meaning:50%% STEM Degrees:27%
Rank:21School Name:Dickinson CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private SchoolEarly Career Pay:$55,800Mid-Career Pay:$100,100% High Meaning:46%% STEM Degrees:25%
Rank:21School Name:Widener UniversitySchool Type:Private School, Research UniversityEarly Career Pay:$55,700Mid-Career Pay:$100,100% High Meaning:57%% STEM Degrees:13%
Rank:23School Name:University of ScrantonSchool Type:Private School, ReligiousEarly Career Pay:$56,400Mid-Career Pay:$99,700% High Meaning:42%% STEM Degrees:12%
Rank:24School Name:Grove City CollegeSchool Type:Liberal Arts School, Private School, Religious, Sober SchoolEarly Career Pay:$54,400Mid-Career Pay:$98,400% High Meaning:53%% STEM Degrees:29%
Rank:25School Name:Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Erie-Behrend CollegeSchool Type:State SchoolEarly Career Pay:$58,800Mid-Career Pay:$97,900% High Meaning:44%% STEM Degrees:32%

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College Student

PayScale gathered alumni salary data for dozens of colleges and universities in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is home to over 100 colleges total, including a number universities where the typical alumni go on to earn over $100,000 per year.

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) is an Ivy League School with the most famous business school (Wharton) in the country, so it’s no surprise that UPenn graduates earn one of the highest mid-career median salaries, based on students for whom a bachelor’s degree is the highest degree obtained.

When it comes to early career salaries, Carnegie Melon produces the highest earners for recent grads using both bachelor’s only and all alumni salary data.

The Moore College of Art and Design has an undergrad enrollment of about 440 (making it the smallest college). Moore is also a female-only school.

The salaries of professional athletes are not included on this list, but numerous such alumni have attended (and graduated from) Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Mark DeRosa and Sean Estrada both attended University of Pennsylvania (Quakers), while Anthony Adams, Jay Alford, Levi Brown, Deon Butler, Kerry Collins, Dan Connor, Bobby Engram, Maurice Evans, John Gilmore, Robbie Gould, Bryant Johnson, Larry Johnson, Jeremy Kapinos all were Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) Lions.

Penn State’s Main Campus is also the largest school in Pennsylvania (with an enrollment of more than 40,000).