Penn State remains strong in 2025 QS World University Rankings | Penn State University (2024)

Academics

University ranks No. 89 globally and No. 24 in U.S., continuing to place highly in metrics of international research network, sustainability and academic reputation

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State tied for No. 89 in the world in the recently released 2025 QS World University Rankings, placing the University in the top 6% worldwide among the 1,503 institutions ranked by QS. Joining Penn State at No. 89 globally are Durham University in the U.K. and fellow Big Ten member Purdue University.

Penn State also placed, out of 197 ranked U.S. institutions, at No. 8 (tied) among public universities nationally and No. 24 (tied) among all U.S. universities. Penn State continued to rank No. 4, tied with Purdue, among Big Ten institutions.

The QS rankings are considered one of the three most respected international university ranking systems, along with the rankings compiled by Times Higher Education and the Academic Ranking of World Universities, according to Sabine Klahr, interim vice provost for Penn State Global.

"Penn State continues to demonstrate its distinction as a premier world-class institution, and this excellence has been recognized with another top-100 ranking this year,” said Klahr. “This is due to the broad range of cutting-edge work of faculty, staff, and students across the commonwealth who make our University a top-tier institution for research, education and global impact.”

Penn State placed highly again in international research network and sustainability, two metrics added by QS last year. Other performance indicators that comprise the QS methodology include academic reputation, citations per faculty, employer reputation, employment outcomes, faculty-student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

The strength of the University’s international research network placed the institution at No. 28 in the world (up from No. 36 last year), and No. 5 in the U.S., among those ranked by QS. As examples of its international research network:

  • Penn State is strong in international collaborations involving genomics research, helping to deepen our understanding of evolution, investigate questions about fertility, and shed light on diseases related to sex chromosomes.

  • The University announced a $20 million grant this year from NSF to support the establishment and operation of the National Synthesis Center for Emergence in the Molecular and Cellular Sciences, involving more than 1,600 scientists worldwide.

  • A worldwide network of more than 55 universities and children’s hospitals, dedicated to discovering new therapies and cures for children with cancer, the Beat Childhood Cancer Research Consortium, has joined Penn State Health.

  • A newly formed MASH consortium will identify industry-academia-government partnerships to position the U.S. for technology and workforce leadership in semiconductors and microelectronics.

  • The University also is working with partners around the globe to investigate the possibilities of LionGlass, a Penn State glass with 10x the strength and half the carbon footprint of standard glass, and TerraSafe, a venture seeking to reduce and eventually replace single-use plastics.

Penn State's efforts in sustainability tied it for No. 37 (No. 52 last year) worldwide, and No. 4 in the U.S., among those ranked by QS — continuing a trend of consistently high international rankings for the University in this area. Penn State’s sustainability efforts also were recognized by Times Higher Education’s most recent Impact Rankings, where the University ranked No. 3 in the U.S. and No. 40 worldwide, and last fall the QS sustainability rankings placed Penn State No. 4 in the U.S and No. 37 in the world.

Penn State’s strong academic reputation, as measured by the annual QS Academic Reputation Survey, ranked No. 77 in the world, and No. 23 in the U.S. Earlier this year, QS recognized Penn State’s excellence in its 2024 World University Rankings by Subject — based partly on academic and employer reputation surveys —where Penn State ranked in the top 25 in seven subject areas and in the top 50 in 17 areas.

Penn State also placed in the top 8% worldwide in employer reputation (No. 121 worldwide and No. 24 in the U.S.). The University’s graduates gain employment in sectors across industry, government, education and nonprofit organizations, and are highly sought after by employers.

QS describes itself as “the world’s leading provider of services, analytics and insight to the global higher education sector, whose mission is to enable motivated people anywhere in the world to fulfill their potential through educational achievement, international mobility, and career development.” In total, nearly 5,633 institutions from 106 locations were evaluated for inclusion in the ranking, with 1,503 universities ultimately making the list. Read more about the methodology for the 2025 QS World University Rankings.

Penn State remains strong in 2025 QS World University Rankings | Penn State University (2024)
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