Penn was ranked No. 6 in the U.S. News & World Report ranking of United States universities, rising two spots from previous years.
The University, which has ranked eighth for the past three years, now shares the No. 6 spot with Stanford University and the University of Chicago.
Princeton University remained in the top position for the ninth year in a row, followed by Harvard University. Columbia University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Yale University tied for No. 3. Duke University, which tied with Penn in 2019 for the No. 8 spot, has dropped to No. 10.
This is Penn’s highest position in the rankings since 2013, when the University was ranked No. 7. Since then, it had hovered between the eighth and ninth spots.
This year, Penn was ranked No. 15 in Best Value Schools, a drop from No. 12 in last year’s rankings. The University also ranked No. 27 for Most Innovative Schools, rising from No. 32 last year.
U.S. News & World Report calculates rankings based on 15 categories that measure academic quality. Unlike other popular ranking organizations, it only considers academic factors.
The largest factor used to calculate the rankings is "outcomes," a measure of a school's graduation rates and success in retaining students. The outcomes factor accounts for 35% of a school's total score. It also includes a social mobility component, which looks at how successful a school is at helping Pell Grant recipients to graduate.
According to U.S. News and World Report, other factors in the ranking include faculty resources, expert opinion, financial resources, student excellence, and alumni giving. Unlike last year's ranking, the 2020 ranking did not consider high school counselors' opinions as expert opinions.
This ranking follows other high rankings for the University in the past few months. Penn was ranked No. 4 in this year’s Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, where it rose from the No. 10 spot. This past March, U.S. News & World Report also ranked Wharton's MBA program as the top full-time MBA program in the country.