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University of Pennsylvania

Given its status as one of the nine original Colonial Colleges – institutions established before the US became a sovereign nation after the American Revolution – and a founding member of the Association of American Universities, it is no surprise the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) claims to be the first fully fledged (multi-faculty) “university” in the USA.

Though Penn’s origins date back to 1740, it was until 1749 when Benjamin Franklin published his famous essay, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth, circulated it among Philadelphia’s prominent citizens, and organized 24 trustees to form an institution of higher education based on his proposals. It was 30 years later when Penn was granted university status. Since then, Penn has expanded into a sprawling 302-acre campus with 200 buildings. It boasts many notable “first” landmarks on campus including the country’s first student union, double-decker college football stadium, and the world’s first collegiate business school – The Wharton School.

University of Pennsylvania is found in...

Top 11 World University Rankings 2018
( 11 items )
Item Position (rank): 1