While there are a handful of public universities and colleges in Pennsylvania, the majority of the higher education institutions are private. The private universities can be broken down into the following categories: private colleges and technical schools, private Bible colleges, private four-year universities and colleges, private specialty schools and private doctoral schools. While there are an ample amount of private universities and colleges in Pennsylvania, that doesn't mean that students who wish to pursue a public higher education route don't have any opportunities. The Commonwealth System of Higher Education manages the four main publicly-funded institutions in the state, which also has 28 affiliate campuses and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education oversees 14 master's level universities.
The University of Pennsylvania, which is known most often as Penn, is one of the most prestigious private universities in the state. It is a member of the Ivy League, and is a private research school. Penn is located in Philadelphia, and was founded in 1740. It has the distinction of being a member of the Colonial Colleges - the higher education institutions that were founded before the American Revolution. In addition to being one of the oldest universities in the country, Penn is also known for being the first university to have both baccalaureate and graduate level programs offered in one location. The school as founded by Benjamin Franklin, and it also made its place in the history books for having the first medical school in the country as well as the first collegiate business school. It is one of the most exclusive schools in the country, and its most well-known academic programs include the dental school, law school, medical school, nursing school and communications school.
The most well-known public university in Pennsylvania is Pennsylvania State University, which is known affectionately as Penn State. The main Penn State campus is located in University Park, Pennsylvania, but there are 19 additional extension campuses and five specialty campuses throughout the state. Founded in 1855, Penn State is both a land-grant and a space-grant institution. Some of the most prominent academic programs at Penn State are the business programs and medical programs that are available. Some famous alumni who graduated from Penn State include Herman Fisher, who was the co-founder of the Fisher Price corporation and Richard T. James, who invented the popular children's toy, the Slinky. The school also has produced many professional athletes.