Whether you choose to study in Philly because of the schools that make their homes here, the industry you’re interested in pursuing, or because you just plain love living here, there’s no question you could find what you’re looking for in the City of Brotherly Love.
Choosing your graduate school is a great opportunity, and not just in an academic sense. For one, it’s your chance to see what it’s like to live and work in an exciting new city!
Philadelphia in particular could be a great choice in this regard, whether you’re a relative local or a long plane-ride away. And it’s easy to see why.
From Philadelphia’s unique position in the nation’s history, to its vibrant arts and culture scene, to the wealth of international dining options, and even the convenient travel options, it’s clear the city has a ton to offer—more than you could take in on a short visit.
Start your search by browsing some popular programs from our partner schools in Philly.
Whether you’re a student of history or just really like singing along to 1776, you’re probably at least tangentially aware of the important role Philadelphia played during and after the American Revolution. Founded in 1682 by William Penn, Philadelphia was the home of both the First and Second Continental Congress, and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution.
The region was also the site to several key battles, including Valley Forge and the Battle of Brandywine, both of which you can still visit today (Bonus: the Brandywine Valley is also known for its wineries!). Much of this history is preserved in the city’s many libraries, museums, and national parks and historic sites—all of which could be a boon if that’s your area of research.
The city’s contributions to society didn’t just stop in the eighteenth century. In fact, Philly still makes waves today, especially when it comes to creative achievement. Case in point: the volume of arts schools you’ll find here. This includes such names as The University of the Arts (or UArts), Tyler, Moore College of Art and Design, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and more. Philly is even home to the Curtis Institute, a famously competitive music conservatory—which is even more selective than Harvard.
Even if you’re not studying the arts yourself, you could still be enriched by them. Philadelphia has a robust offering of art museums, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, and the Barnes Foundation. But that’s just the start. Philly residents also enjoy many temporary and permanent art installations around the city, like the Magic Gardens and the Mural Arts program.
Prefer performing art? Take in not only the Philadelphia Orchestra and Pennsylvania Ballet, but also a vibrant theatre scene. (Broadway is only a 90-minute train ride north, too!)
Prefer using the other side of your brain? Philadelphia might be a haven for the artistically minded, but it also has plenty to offer the scientifically-minded. The Greater Philadelphia Area is home to several locally and nationally ranked hospitals and healthcare systems, some of which are affiliated with university medical schools. A few examples you may have heard of include the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Hahnemann University Hospital, and Temple University Hospital. A number of biotech and pharmaceutical companies also have significant presences here.
For the hobbyist, Philly’s thriving museum scene won’t leave even amateur science geeks hanging. In addition to the well-known Franklin Institute, consider exploring places like the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and the Academy of Natural Sciences!
Want to study in a city that could afford you the professional experience you need to make the most of your graduate education? If so, Philadelphia could be a solid choice. Philadelphia’s local economy is made up of higher education, manufacturing, food processing, telecommunications, financial services, tourism, healthcare and biotechnology, oil refining, and tourism. Twelve Fortune 500 Companies have their headquarters in the area, with even more having satellite offices in the area.
And if you don’t quite find your dream job here, Philly is also in a prime location to facilitate travel throughout the northeast. Located along the Northeast Corridor, it’s only a few hours drive to get to either New York City or Washington DC, with easy bus or train access to a number of places farther afield.
Whatever your area of study, whether you’re looking for an internship or employment while you study, or opportunities once you graduate, Philadelphia could be a great place to start your search.
Whether you’re studying culinary arts or not, it’s practically a given that an exciting culinary scene is a serious advantage. What locals already know is that we’ve had that for years, right here in Philadelphia! The food scene in Philly has been growing over the years, and the world has started to take notice. Philly might be famous for cheesesteaks—and for good reason—but you’ll also find a thriving restaurant culture, with tons of options for international cuisine, unique BYOBs, and even craft brewing.
And that’s not limited to the city itself. If you venture out into the suburbs along the Main Line—or if you end up studying at one of the many schools there—you’ll find even more options. So whether you’re looking to get professional experience to back up your culinary degree, or just want to fuel your studies with something delicious, Philly’s got you covered.
While there’s more than enough to keep you busy in the Philadelphia area, another great advantage to calling the city home is the ease of travel to other places! Philly occupies a key location, right between New York and DC, along the Northeast Corridor. In other words, two major cities are only a couple hours’ drive away, with additional destinations easily reachable by train. Philadelphia residents also have access to an international airport and bus service on top of that.
What does that mean for you? It means weekend excursions are within the realm of possibility if you get bit by the travel bug. It means traveling to New York or DC for interviews or research trips to support your dissertation could be that much easier. And it means if you have friends or family in any of those places, it might take a little stress out of planning your visits.
Philly offers a unique blend of local neighborhood and larger scale metropolitan experience. That means whatever your preferred lifestyle, you could probably find a place where you feel like you really fit. Philly is made up of smaller neighborhoods, each with unique characteristics and personality.
In fact, there are too many to list comfortably here. Philly has a staggering 41 different zip codes, which don’t always align to the neighborhoods as the locals know them.
Here are just a few examples to give you a taste of what you might find.
With the amount of colleges near Philadelphia, whatever you want to study, you’re almost certain to find potential programs here. That said, here are a few examples of the types of things graduate programs in Philadelphia offer.
It may seem surprising, but Philly could be a solid option if you're looking for biomedical engineering graduate programs. For one, if you need internship or professional experience, there’s a robust industry presence, ranging from healthcare, to pharmaceuticals, to biotechnology.
But career options are far from the only reason to choose Philly to study biomedical engineering. In fact, they’re arguably not even the main reason.
Several widely recognized universities in the Philadelphia area offer biomedical engineering graduate programs, at the masters and even doctoral level. Here are just a few examples from our sponsored program listings:
Graduate programs like these build on prior mathematics, scientific and medical knowledge, honing creative and technical skills to advance the healthcare industry. In addition to academic study and research, you might pursue opportunities for guided hands-on experience
With all the performance venues, art museums, and public art initiatives in the city, is it any surprise the robust fine arts graduate program offerings you may find here? Whatever your creative passion, Philly is here to help you nurture it.
Interested in creating physical art, through painting, drawing, or sculpture? If so, you’re in luck. A number of reputable art schools make their homes in Philadelphia. For example, you could earn your MFA in Sculpture, Painting, Photography, and more through the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Or study Studio Art at PAFA. (Also be sure to look for Robert Indiana's famous LOVE sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza, just north of City Hall.)
Think you’d rather perform, or teach others to perform? Philly’s got you covered. If you’ve got some serious chops, maybe look into studying Opera at the Curtis Institute. Or choose a music education or performance-focused music graduate program at West Chester University.
The above examples were all drawn from our Sponsored Program Listings here on GradSchools.com. And they’re just the tip of the iceberg. Tons of other options may be out there at all different Philadelphia colleges, just waiting for the right student to apply.
Social Work Graduate Schools in Philadelphia could help you prepare for licensure as a social worker, expand your practice, and learn more about the people you want to dedicate your life to helping. Philly colleges may offer a number of unique specializations within social work, including social work administration, policy, trauma, addiction, and children and families.
Sponsored Philadelphia universities offering graduate programs in social work include: