You are here


Philadelphia main image

QS Best Student Cities ranking: 48th

Back to the full ranking >

Home of Ivy League member the University of Pennsylvania (18th in the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16), as well as the esteemed Drexel University and Temple University, Philadelphia certainly holds its own as an international study destination.

The city has played a key role throughout US history and politics. It was here that the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776, and here that the Liberty Bell – a symbol of US independence – is housed. This rich history, combined with a good selection of museums, galleries and thriving arts, theater and music scenes, makes Philadelphia a popular tourist destination, as well as a pleasant and interesting place to live.

Beyond the tourist trail, the ‘city of brotherly love’ (a nickname based on the Greek meaning of ‘Philadelphia’), is a multifaceted modern metropolis. The city’s residents are known for being passionate about sport at both professional and university level. In recent years Philadelphia has also become something of a foodie’s favorite,  though the city’s cuisine will always be associated primarily with the simple pleasures of the steak and cheese submarine sandwich (the ‘Philly cheesesteak’).

Follow our guide to studying abroad in the US >

QS ranked universities


More about Philadelphia

Number of universities ranked by QS


Top ranked institution

University of Pennsylvania (18th in the world)



Students (% of total population)

1.2% (based on ranked institutions)

International students

13.0% (of students at ranked institutions)

Average tuition fees


Global Liveability Ranking


Mercer Cost of Living rank


Cost of a Big Mac


Cost of an iPad


Numbeo safety rank

394th (out of 446)

Numbeo pollution rank

178th (out of 300)

Transparency International score

19th (out of 177)


Sources: QS World University RankingsBig Mac Index (The Economist’s Intelligence Unit); iPad Index (Commsec); Corruption Perceptions Index (Transparency International).

Related categories:

Laura Tucker's profile image
Written by Laura Tucker
Laura is a staff writer for, providing advice and guidance for students on a range of topics helping them to choose where to study, get admitted and find funding and scholarships. A graduate of Queen Mary University of London, Laura also blogs about student life.

Want to leave a comment?

Please login or register to post
comment above our articles